2019 District Conference

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2019 District Conference
June 7-8, 2019
La Crosse Center
La Crosse, Wisconsin



Please scroll down to review the conference agenda prior to selecting the Register Button.
Welcome to District Conference 2019! 

Welcome to the 2019 District Conference!  We have had an inspiring year – now it’s time to celebrate, as well as exchange ideas and plan for the future.  In keeping with President Barry Rassin theme ”Be the Inspiration”, we have some truly inspiring stories to share with you.  We also have some inspiring challenges that face our entire district, that we will address and ask “What can a Rotary Club do about this?”  Two of those biggest challenges are the opioid epidemic in our region, and human trafficking. 
Besides the thought provoking sessions, we will have a membership summit meeting, our annual business meeting, and fun!  Be sure and check out the House of Friendship, and the silent auction items up for bid.  And take in some of La Crosse’s fun at the free Artspire street fair, just a block or so south of the La Crosse Center.  In the evening, there will be live entertainment there.  We also have several “international” ports of call lined up so you can sample La Crosse’s walkable downtown nightlife.
Rotary’s slogans and messages come and go, but this year’s theme will stay with me forever.  Because a central part of each and every Rotarian’s responsibility is truly to “Be the Inspiration”.  That should not end at the close of this Rotary year.  I hope each of us will embrace that mission, and share the gifts of Rotary with many others in the years to come!

Bill Hoel
District Governor 2018-2019

Welcome to District Conference 2019! 

Dear fellow Rotarians and friends,

Esther and I are excited to welcome you to your 2018-19 District Conference. I hope that you take advantage of this opportunity to come together, connect, and share ideas on how to help Rotary do its job in the world, better. By working together strategically and efficiently, your impact—and Rotary’s impact—becomes much more significant.
We must ensure that Rotary continues to provide the best possible experience to its members, that it continues to grow and be useful through sustainable service. Our Rotarians need to feel the value of being a member of your Rotary Club. We have to make sure that we are transparent and accountable, all while changing the lives of as many people as possible. While setting goals and hitting milestones are important, it’s even more important to always look beyond this year. We have to think about how what we achieve now will help set the tone not only today or tomorrow, but well beyond our own time in Rotary.
Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.
Paul Harris once said, “Rotary is a microcosm of a world at peace, a model which nations will do well to follow.” To me, Rotary is not only a model but an inspiration. I’m looking forward to all that we can and will accomplish together as we work to Be the Inspiration. I hope you have a productive, inspiring time during your district conference.

Barry Rassin
2018-19 Rotary International President

Schedule & Program

Friday, June 7, 2019

10:00 am - 8:00 pm Registration Open - Hall of Friendship Setup
10:00 am - 11:30 am District Business Meeting - Election of District positions
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Lunch - Featured Speaker: Tim Schuler, RI President's Representative

On the menu:
Tortilla soup, tequila marinated black bean and corn salad, cilantro lime dressed cabbage slaw, corn chips, flour tortillas, Spanish rice, chili braised pork shoulder, Beef Barbacoa, sour cream, onions, tomatoes, shredded lettuce and shredded cheese, salsa and guacamole.
1:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Break, Silent Auction & Hall of Friendship
1:15 pm - 2:00 pm
Breakout Session #1
“Say Cheese,” Club Public Image
“Gimme’ ShelterBox,” ShelterBox & Rotary - Partners in Times of Disaster
“Making it Rain,” Club Fundraisers
2:00 pm - 2:15 pm Break, Silent Auction & Hall of Friendship
2:15 pm - 3:00 pm
Breakout Session #2
“Say Cheese,” Club Public Image
“Gimme’ ShelterBox,” ShelterBox & Rotary - Partners in Times of Disaster
“Making it Rain,” Club Fundraisers
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
River Walk & International Gardens Tour | Riverside Park
Enjoy the beauty of the Riverside International Friendship Gardens. This collection of public gardens celebrates La Crosse’s sister-city relationships with communities in China, Germany, France, Russia, Norway and Ireland. Located next to the La Crosse Convention and Visitors Bureau at Riverside Park. It’s a short walk from the La Crosse Center through Riverside Park.
In celebration of 100 years of Rotary in our region, area Rotary clubs are partnering with the International Friendship Gardens, the La Crosse Friends of Cameroon, the City of La Crosse, and others to develop a garden in honor of the Sister City relationship between La Crosse and Kumbo, Cameroon. The effort is called “Growing Hearts Across the World.”  Nearing completion, the garden is located adjacent to the International Friendship Gardens. For more details:  https://www.riversidegardens.org.
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm President's Reception (for Current Club Presidents and Invited Guests)
Held in the Zielke Suite, enjoy refreshments, hors de oeuvres and Rotary fellowship. Cash bar available providing cocktails, beer, wine, soda and water.  (2 free drink tickets per guest provided)
5:30 pm - 6:45 pm
Reception/Rotary Fellowship/Silent Auction & Hall of Friendship
Join Rotary Friends at the Ballroom Lobby, second level, beginning at 5:30 pm to kick off our celebration! Cash bar available providing cocktails, beer, wine, soda and water. 
6:45 pm - 8:45 pm
Rotary Welcome by Andy Bakkum, Master of Ceremonies
Welcome to La Crosse by Steve O'Malley, La Crosse County Administrator

On the Menu
Field greens with toasted almonds, radish, shredded carrots and a champagne vinaigrette, pan seared pork tenderloin with a grain mustard pork jus, green beans with pickled red onion, creamy grains with chives, freshly baked dinner rolls, chocolate Tuxedo Cake with salted caramel. Vegetarian Option: Chef's Choice Salad, Cheese Ravioli with Forest Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Asparagus and Vegetable and Rolls.
Speaker Ed Futa
Ed Futa is a past General Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation, as such he managed operations for one of the world’s largest global humanitarian service organization with 33,000 clubs in 200 countries and geographic regions. Futa comes from Honolulu, Hawaii, where he was president of an international marketing consulting firm. He is a keynote speaker at many Rotary International events including club and district conferences and international assemblies and conventions.

Click here for presenter biography

8:45 pm - 12:00 pm
Late Night La Crosse
Late Night Fun… and then some! An International Approach to the Best of La Crosse
La Crosse has a vibrant downtown scene and the passport you received at registration will guide you to hotspots having diverse international flavors.  Having no time commitments, your passport is valid throughout the duration of our conference. Explore!

Saturday, June 8 , 2019

7:00 am - 8:00 pm
Registration Open
7:30 am - 9:00 am
Enjoy a buffet breakfast.  You will have your choice of seasonal fresh fruit,   scrambled eggs, thick cut smoked bacon and sausage links, roasted red potatoes, fresh baked Danishes, croissants and assorted fruit muffins. Chilled fruit juices, coffee and tea.
9:00 am - 9:45 am
Plenary 1 - Spotlight:  The Opioid Epidemic
It’s called an epidemic, how bad is it? What is an opioid? What caused the growth in the use of prescription opioids? Is this crisis about prescription painkillers or heroin? Why has the problem got so much worse in recent years? In 2017, 916 people died from drug overdoses in Wisconsin, that’s more than were killed in car crashes. Last year, first responders transported almost 1,000 Wisconsin seniors for suspected, accidental opioid overdoses. While the numbers may be daunting, the goal remains to prevent opioid overdoses and other negative outcomes resulting from opioid misuse.
Featured Speaker – Al Bliss

Al Bliss has been a health educator with La Crosse County since 1995. He currently coordinates several programs including the Drug Free Communities grant, the Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking grant, and the Heroin and Other Illicit Drug Task Force. The goal of this effort is to create a self-sustaining coalition of community stakeholders to identify and implement community-based strategies that reduce the public health burden of heroin and other illicit substance use in La Crosse County.

Click here for presenter biography


9:45 am - 10:00 am Break - Hall of Friendship - Silent Auction
10:00 am - 10:45 am

Plenary 1 - Spotlight:  The Opioid Epidemic, Panel Discussion

This blue ribbon panel will examine measures communities are taking to mitigate the epidemic, and share ways Rotarians can work to stem the crisis or at least decrease the harm of opioid use in their communities.
10:45 am - 11:00 am
Break - Hall of Friendship - Silent Auction
11:00 am - 11:45 am
Break Out Session #3
“Keep in Touch,” Club Runner
“The Swap Meet,” Club Service Projects
11:45 am - 1:15 pm
Classic Caesar Salad, Pasta Salad, grilled Chicken Piccata, twice baked Three Cheese Pasta, garlic marinated oven roasted vegetables, breadsticks, Tiramisu.
Rotary Reflections, Tim Schuler – President’s Representative, Rotary International
Featured Speaker Tracy Wilichowski, RI Global Grant Scholar
Tracy works for World Bank and is an Analyst in the Global Knowledge and Innovation Unit of the Education Global Practice. She is a core member of the Teach team, and her interests include researching how teacher professional development interventions can be designed to improve student learning in low- and middle-income countries. In 2014, she was awarded a Rotary International Global Grant Scholarship to study Development Management at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she earned her M.Sc. She holds a B.Sc. in philosophy and history from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. 
1:15 pm - 1:30 pm
Break - Hall of Friendship - Silent Auction
1:30 pm - 2:10 pm
Plenary 2 - Spotlight:  Human Trafficking
It’s common to conceive of slavery as a thing of the past, but the practice is still affecting millions worldwide. Experts consider human trafficking to be a modern version of slavery, where individuals, especially women and children, are exploited for labor and commercial sex.
Sadly, this practice is more prevalent in America than experts previously believed. Specifically pertaining to Wisconsin, sex trafficking statistics are staggering, yet many are in denial or choose to remain ignorant of its damaging effects.


Featured Speaker, Emmy Myers – Founder and Survivor

 Lacey’s Hope Project was started by a sex trafficking survivor, Emmy Myers. Today, Emmy is a leader, community advocate, speaker, and source of knowledge and inspiration for others. She founded Lacey’s Hope Project to help end the social justice issues of sex trafficking and drug abuse. Named in tribute to a friend who lost her life to a trafficker and also Emmy’s given name by her trafficker, Lacey’s Hope Project represents the promise of change, restoration and healing.
2:10 pm - 2:20 pm
Break - Hall of Friendship - Silent Auction
2:20 pm - 3:00 pm
Plenary 2 - Spotlight: Human Trafficking, Panel Discussion Human Trafficking is happening in every corner of the United States, but few know how to recognize and report incidents of human trafficking. Traffickers are targeting children, in their own backyard, school, mall, and digital device. This panel will discover the dynamics of human trafficking and how to appropriately respond. You will also get real-life examples of human trafficking, in its different forms, and easy-to-implement solutions for individuals, families, groups, and communities.
Patty Nuttleman, New Horizons Shelter and Outreach, moderator
Andrew Rosenow, La Crosse Police Department, Sensitive Crimes Unit
Sr. Marlene Weisenbeck, La Crosse Task Force to Eradicate Modern Slavery
Lisa McCormick, Mother whose son was trafficked
Crystal Lewis, Holmen Police Department
3:00 pm - 3:10 pm

Break - Hall of Friendship - Silent Auction
3:10 pm - 4:00 pm
Break Out Session #4
“Keep in Touch,” Club Runner
“The Swap Meet,” Club Service Projects
3:10 pm - 5:00 pm
"Pull up a Chair", Attracting & Retaining Club Membership 
Many clubs find it challenging to recruit new members. Well, you never know where you might meet a qualified prospective member, so it’s a good idea to always be prepared on how you want to promote Rotary to others. Retaining members is in fact just as difficult as attracting new members. Just as businesses try to motivate their employees to work harder and progress, clubs need to motivate their members in order to be able to maintain retention rates. “Pull up a Chair,” let’s talk about attracting and retaining club membership.
3:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Artspire Arts Celebration Experience | Front Street South
Artspire is an all-inclusive and free event that features 4 nonstop performing arts stages, over 50 exhibiting artists, interactive arts, demonstration arts and featured arts projects. It is the largest arts celebration in La Crosse and it’s literally held a couple of blocks from the La Crosse Center!  Friday, June 7, 5-10 pm | Saturday, June 8, 10 am-10 pm. For more details:  www.thepumphouse.org/event/artspire-2019
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Reception/Rotary Fellowship/Silent Auction & House of Friendship
Join Rotary Friends at the Ballroom Lobby, second level, beginning at 5:00 pm.  Cash bar available providing cocktails, beer, wine, soda and water. 
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Greetings by Andy Bakkum, Master of Ceremonies
Youth Exchange Flag Processional
Invocation… Chuck Hanson, PDG, Rotary Club of La Crosse             

On the Menu
Field greens with green apple, red onion, bleu cheese and an apple cider vinaigrette, spinach and artichoke stuffed chicken breast & grilled sirloin steak with a roasted red pepper chimichurri sauce, seasonal vegetables,  parmesan potato gratin, freshly baked dinner rolls, key lime bar in a vanilla pastry crust with sweet mango coulis pot de creme in a chocolate tart with chantilly cream, coffee and tea. Vegetarian Option: chef's choice salad, potato gnocchi with cream sauce, spinach, mushrooms and parmesan, vegetable, and rolls.
Featured Speaker, Razia Jan – Founder and President of Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation
Born in Afghanistan, Razia moved to the United States in 1970. The proprietor of a small tailoring business in Duxbury, Massachusetts, for 20 years she served as president of the town’s Rotary Club. In the aftermath of September 11, Razia rallied her adopted New England community to send over 400 homemade blankets to rescue workers at Ground Zero after September 11. Her efforts expanded to include sending care packages to US troops in Afghanistan.
Through her involvement in the military’s Operation Shoe Fly, she coordinated the delivery of over 30,000 pairs of shoes to needy Afghan children. Her handmade quilts commemorating September 11 have been exhibited at Madison Square Garden, the chapel at the Pentagon, and at fire stations in New York and Massachusetts.
Razia has received many awards for her humanitarian work including a 2012 CNN Top 10 Hero award and multiple Rotary Club International Peace Awards.
Today, in order to continue her humanitarian work, school administration, fundraising efforts, and spending time with family, Razia travels between Afghanistan and the United States.
Click here for presenter biography
9:00 pm - 12:00 am
Late Night Fun… and then some! An International Approach to the Best of La Crosse.
La Crosse has a vibrant downtown scene and the passport you received at registration will guide you to hotspots having diverse international flavors.  Having no time commitments, your passport is valid throughout the duration of our conference. Explore!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

7:30 am - 9:30 am
No Activities Planned

Registration & Fees

This year there is no registration fee!  

Advanced registration is required - Attendees must select the meals/programs they wish to attend.  
Meal registrations must be completed by May 30, 2019 to be assured of being served.

  • ​Friday Lunch - $27
  • Friday Dinner -$39

  • Saturday Breakfast - $25
  • Saturday Lunch - $27
  • Saturday Dinner - $44

  • No Sunday meal options
Cancellation Policy - Any Meal refunds must be requested by May 30 , 2019.  No Refunds will be given after this date.

Conference Registration
Register Online by Credit Card