2023 National Convention

Honoring Our Heritage, Embracing Our Future

The Izaak Walton League's 100th anniversary convention was an extraordinary event. Ikes celebrated an incredible legacy and charted a path for a second century of conservation leadership. Read on for a summary of key takeaways.

Vision for the Future

League President Vicki Arnold introduced our vision for our second century, which focuses on engaging more Americans in community-based conservation and volunteer science, advocating for sound public policy to protect America's natural resources for future generations, and connecting people to the natural world.

Following the presentation, a panel highlighted ways League chapters and members can begin turning that vision into reality.

Clean Water Program Director Samantha Briggs gave examples of League volunteers who go above and beyond by putting out an informational sign while they're doing community science, taking photos of their community science activities, holding fellow volunteers accountable, sharing the implications of what they discover through doing community science, and simply being persistent in their advocacy efforts.

George Venable, Chair of the Rifle and Pistol Committee at the Lynchburg (Virginia) Chapter, spoke about how chapters can engage people by introducing them to shooting sports and by partnering with Scout groups to reach youth.

Annette Hansen, Executive Director of the Porter County (Indiana) Chapter, gave a brief overview of the importance of creating partnerships. Potential partners are everywhere, including kids who need to fulfill required volunteer hours, university students who need access to research opportunities, government agencies, homeschool groups, and every organization at the local Earth Day festival. The key questions to keep in mind: what do you need from your partners, and what do they get from you? Every League chapter has plenty to offer, including the use of chapter property for recreation opportunities or research projects, and the skills and expertise of chapter members.

Later in the Convention, League Communications Director Michael Reinemer showed us simple ways chapters and divisions can leverage the vision to showcase their strengths, raise their visibility locally and engage the media.

Keep talking about our incredible history, Michael said, while also using the vision statement as a road map for engaging new audiences and meeting future challenges. Be sure to talk to the media; they are always interested in positive local stories.

One additional tip: avoid "IWLA" in favor of "Izaak Walton League." It's easier to understand and it's actually faster to say!

Read the whole vision statement


By unanimous vote, the League members present at Convention elected a slate of national officers:

  • National President – Vicki Arnold
  • National Vice President – Jodi Arndt Labs
  • National Secretary – Jim Storer
  • National Treasurer – Scott Meyer
  • Directors-At-Large – Richard Sommer and Bill Kelly

The sitting members of the Izaak Walton League Endowment Board elected four new colleagues:

  • Steve Labs of Wisconsin (three-year term)
  • Lisa McIntyre of Iowa (three-year-term)
  • Gary Schwartz of Minnesota (three-year term)
  • Annette Hansen of Indiana (one-year term)

League members in attendance at the Convention elected three directors to three-year terms on the Executive Board:

  • Dale Braun of Iowa
  • Rick Cerwick of Iowa
  • Jill Padgette of Virginia

New Logo

Following clarifying questions and debate, national directors voted unanimously to adopt a change to the League's bylaws that would give the board more flexibility to propose a new logo for the organization.

The directors then promptly voted to adopt a logo similar to the anniversary emblem for long-term use. Watch for further information about the design of this logo and about guidelines for using the League's emblems and mottos.


Delegates voted to adopt resolutions regarding protections for ephemeral streams and wetlands, conservation of native non-game fish, and technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material. Following a revised resolutions process that gave delegates more time to consult with the chapters they represent, the League membership voted not to adopt a resolution related to rural electric cooperatives.

The resolutions have been officially added to the League's policy handbook. They will also appear in the next issue of Outdoor America.


League chapters, members, volunteers and partners were recognized for accomplishments in conservation, youth engagement, shooting sports and other areas of excellence. A full list of winners is now available online. More information about the honorees will be published in Outdoor America this fall.

Anniversary Celebrations

In addition to the typical annual awards for excellence in advancing the Izaak Walton League's mission, this year we also honored the chapters that have been carrying out that mission the longest. Four chapters chartered in the League's founding year are still going strong: Chicago #1 (Illinois) was the very first chapter, while Michigan City #7 (Indiana), A.D. Sutherland (Wisconsin), and Des Moines (Iowa) also opened their doors in 1922.

100-year-old chapters

Throughout the convention, attendees had the opportunity to sign a tablecloth – a nod to an early League meeting at which Will Dilg, one of the 54 founders, scribbled down the names of his colleagues and noted how much they were donating to the organization. By the end of our centennial celebration, nearly 200 Ikes had signed the new tablecloth. Click the image below for a larger version.

Anniversary tablecloth

Conservation at a Crossroads: Putting Solutions into Action

Join us as the Izaak Walton League marks our 101st year of conservation leadership in Lincoln, Nebraska. In a shift from previous years, our 2023 convention will be held Thursday through Saturday, July 27-29.

Conservation in America is at a crossroads. As a nation, we have made real progress to reduce pollution, restore wildlife and protect special places. Yet, progress has slowed in many cases and serious challenges – especially climate change – threaten our environment, economy and way of life unlike anything League founders envisioned a century ago. Our conservation work is far from done.

The convention will explore a range of conservation challenges and the opportunities to address them by building on the League’s enduring strengths – from community-based conservation and volunteer science to policy advocacy.

Everyone is invited. Whether you are a new member, a long-time convention attendee or an interested nonmember, we have a place for you. Join fellow Ikes to elect new national leaders, vote on policy resolutions that guide League advocacy and have fun.

This is an opportunity to rub elbows with like-minded conservationists from across the nation. As you’ll see below, we have scheduled great speakers, informative workshops, social events and a youth convention.

While you’re there, enjoy the unique sights of Lincoln and the Cornhusker State. The Nebraska Division has been working behind the scenes to ensure this convention is memorable and fun.

Online and mail registration are now closed. On-site registration is open until the beginning of each event.

This registration form works best in Google Chrome. Need more help? Email us.

Prefer to register by mail? Download the paper registration form.

Registering a young person for Youth Convention? See the protocols and download the health and liability form.

Basic Info

Where and when, hotel details, convention kit

Key Details

  • Where: Cornhusker Marriott Hotel, Lincoln, NE
  • When: July 26-29, 2023 (Early Bird party on Wednesday night – Note the Thursday-Saturday dates, a shift from our usual Wednesday-Friday schedule)
  • How Much: $109 ++/night
  • Make Your Reservation: Reserve a hotel room online or call 402-474-7474, select Reservations from the menu of options, and tell the hotel staff you want to make a reservation for the “Izaak Walton League national convention.”

Hotel Amenities

  • Free parking
  • Shuttle from Lincoln airport
  • Full-service restaurant
  • Room service
  • Starbucks café

Convention Kit

Want all the information in one convenient packet? Download the convention kit.

Schedule at a Glance

A quick calendar of key events

Wednesday, July 26

  • Executive Board Meeting
  • Early Bird Party and Auction (NOTE: later start time 7 p.m.)
  • Youth Convention Early Bird

Thursday, July 27

  • Delegate Orientation Workshop
  • Convention Opening Ceremony
  • League Awards Luncheon
  • Parade of States

Friday, July 28

  • National Officer Elections
  • Conservation Luncheon – Guest Speaker: Andrew McKean
  • Small Group Workshops
  • Lincoln Chapter Dinner

Saturday, July 29

  • Endowment Board Meeting and Elections
  • Board of Directors Meeting
  • Executive Board Elections
  • Convention Site Selection
  • Vote on Resolutions
  • Closing Banquet and Officer Inductions

Special Guests

Featured speakers, keynote topics

Dr. Doug TallamyDr. Doug Tallamy

Entomologist, University of Delaware

Dr. Tallamy is one of the most prominent advocates for harnessing the power of small-scale conservation to help slow the decline of and restore once-common wildlife. He is the author of several best-selling books, including Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Backyard. He will describe what’s at stake for the future of biodiversity in the United States. His presentation will include practical steps League chapters, members and supporters can take in “their backyard” to protect biodiversity and broaden public awareness of the role everyone can play in achieving this important outcome.

Dave ChandaDave Chanda

President and CEO, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation

Mr. Chanda will lead a panel discussion focused on the future of participation in outdoor recreation, especially angling and shooting sports. Panelists will highlight likely characteristics, interests and motivations of participants 10 years from now, and actions League chapters and members need to take now to successfully engage and support future participants.

Andrew McKeanAndrew McKean

Conservation Editor, Outdoor Life magazine

Mr. McKean is an independent journalist covering the outdoors, wildlife conservation, and natural resources policy beats. He lives on a ranch outside Glasgow, Montana, where he contributes feature articles and reporting to a number of national publications.

Convention Business

Proposed resolutions, nomination slates, elections of League Leaders, delegate accreditation


Every year at Convention, League members vote on policy resolutions that set the direction of the organization. More information about this year's proposed resolutions will be coming soon. The proposals include:

See the proposed resolutions

Nomination Slates

At the convention, League members vote for national officers, members of the Executive Board, and members of the Endowment Board. The slates of nominees will be coming in June.The slates of nominees are as follows.

Nominate a League Leader

Nominations are now open for Izaak Walton League of America national officers, executive board, directors at large and the Izaak Walton League Endowment board of directors. Use the form linked below to nominate an Ike for any of these leadership positions. Nomination forms must be received by the national office no later than May 31, 2023.

Nominate someone for a leadership position


Delegates are the IWLA chapters’ official representatives at the national convention, and they play a key role in determining the League’s direction for the coming year. In addition to electing national officers, delegates serve on committees and vote on conservation policy resolutions.

Chapters may elect or appoint their delegates. The number of delegates allotted to each chapter is determined by the chapter’s size. Allotments are based on membership figures from the end of the previous year.

After a chapter has named its delegates, the delegate accreditation form must be completed by a chapter official and submitted to the national office by July 11, 2023.

See the delegate allotments and complete the accreditation form

Serve on a Resource or Standing Committee

The Izaak Walton League must continue the important conservation efforts it started years ago. This work cannot be done without the national Resource and Standing Committees. The Resource Committees play a central role in evaluating and approving resolutions submitted by League chapters, divisions and members. Resolutions that are approved by the delegates at the National Convention become League policy. These policies guide the League’s conservation and advocacy work at the local, state and national levels. Standing Committees contribute to essential League functions, including member and chapter awards and the annual youth convention.

Sign up to serve on a Resource or Standing Committee

Please send me information on the 2023 League Convention as it becomes available.