2024 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


Elections

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.


Resolutions

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.


Awards

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


Restoring Our Great Waters – Taking Action Today to Secure a Better Future

At our 2024 convention, the League will focus on our historic mission to protect the nation’s great waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay, and discuss how we can take action today to secure a better future. We will also host a special event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the League’s 1924 achievement of establishing the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

Everyone is invited. Meet fellow Ikes, learn about conservation priorities and how to participate in League activities. The scenic Choptank River, Chesapeake Bay and Maryland’s Eastern Shore offer many places to explore and opportunities for recreation.

This convention follows a new two-day format on Monday, July 15, and Tuesday, July 16. The Early Bird Welcome Reception will be Sunday evening, July 14. The Executive Board and Endowment Board will also meet on Sunday. The Maryland Division is planning optional events on Wednesday, July 17, ranging from fishing trips to a tour of an oyster hatchery and research center.

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.

Register Now

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

UPDATED July 7, 2023: The League's discounted room block has been completely filled, and the rest of the hotel is also sold out. This means there are NO rooms currently available at any rate for July 27-29. The hotel suggests members check the hotel website periodically to see if rooms become available in the future due to a cancellation.

For members planning to attend convention who have not yet made a hotel reservation, the Nebraska Division suggests calling the New Victorian Suites at (402) 464-4400. Room rates start at $99/night and breakfast is included. The New Victorian is about 3 miles from the Cornhusker or roughly a 10-minute drive.

The convention itself will go ahead as planned at the Cornhusker:

  • Where: Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina, Cambridge, MD
  • When: July 15-16, 2024 (Early Bird party on Sunday night – Note the Monday-Tuesday dates, a shift from our usual Wednesday-Friday schedule)

Hotel Amenities

  • Incredible restaurants
  • Pools and a beach
  • Kayaking and water sports
  • Walking trails

The discounted hotel room rate for convention attendees is $175/night (plus taxes). The special rate is available for three days before and three days after the convention dates (subject to room availability).

Reserve your room online or by calling the hotel directly at (410) 901-1234 and providing our group code (G-IZWL) to receive the League’s discounted rate.


Convention Kit

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

Travel Tips

Airports and driving directions

We hope you’ll take some time to enjoy all the amenities at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort in Cambridge, Maryland. The League’s special hotel room rate (about half the seasonal rate for this hotel!) is good for three days before and three days after convention as long as rooms are available. Book early to ensure you don’t miss this deal!

To ensure smooth sailing in July, we have a few tips on getting to Cambridge.

A Note About the Key Bridge Collapse: You have likely heard about the collapse of the Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, and the tragic loss of six people who were working on the bridge when it collapsed. This bridge is NOT on the route convention attendees will follow to and from the convention site in Cambridge. Attendees will cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on Route 50.

By Car

Plan around peak travel times. Maryland’s Eastern Shore is a popular summer destination for people throughout the Washington, DC, region, and traffic is especially busy on the weekends. Friday afternoon/evening and Saturday morning are peak travel times going east across the Bay Bridge and on Routes 50 and 301 toward the convention site in Cambridge. Sunday morning/afternoon are peak drive times coming back west.

Getting there: If you plan to arrive at the convention hotel on Sunday, July 14 (the Early Bird Welcome Reception and Auction will be held on Sunday evening), there will be much less traffic toward Cambridge on Sunday morning, although you’ll still have company on the roads from people with Sunday-to-Sunday beach rentals. If you plan to arrive at the hotel on Saturday, avoid traveling in the direction of Cambridge on Saturday morning.

Crossing the Bay Bridge: Route 50, which is the most commonly used major road toward the Eastern Shore, crosses the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Traffic congestion approaching the bridge has been substantially reduced through “highway speed tolling” using E-Z Pass, Pay-By-Plate or Video Tolling (cash payment is NOT accepted). The Maryland Transportation Authority Bay Bridge website has useful travel tips, including about peak travel times, and real-time traffic information.

Coming home: After convention, traffic will be much lighter heading back west Wednesday or Thursday.

Driver assistance crossing the Bay Bridge: The Chesapeake Bay Bridge offers a spectacular view of the bay and surrounding landscape. But if you’re nervous about driving the 4-mile-long span, assistance is available. The Kent Island Express is a paid service that will drive your car (and you!) over the Bay Bridge. Call 410-604-0486 one hour before you expect to reach the bridge. The fee for this service is $40 cash / $50 credit and additional fees apply for trips between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. (which are by advance appointment only).

By Plane

If you’re arriving by plane and heading straight to convention (rather than taking in the sights, like Washington, DC), you definitely want to fly into Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI). Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC, and Dulles International Airport in Loudoun County, Virginia, are far from the convention site and the League strongly discourages Ikes from using these airports.

From BWI, you have a few options for getting to Cambridge:

  • Rental car: Multiple car rental companies operate out of BWI. You do need to take a free shuttle from the airport terminal to the car rental facility.
  • Bay Runner Shuttle: This shuttle stops right at the Hyatt Regency, making it simple for you to get from BWI to the convention hotel. A one-way fare is $84, but per-person rates decrease when you have more than one passenger in your reservation. PLEASE NOTE: The earliest shuttle from the convention hotel to BWI departs at 6 a.m. daily. If you plan to use the shuttle to travel to BWI after convention, keep the shuttle departure time in mind when booking your flight home.

Schedule at a Glance

A quick calendar of key events

Sunday, July 14

  • Executive Board Meeting
  • Early Bird Party and Auction
  • Youth Convention Early Bird

Monday, July 15

  • Convention Opening Ceremony
  • League Awards Luncheon
  • National Officer Elections
  • Parade of States

Tuesday, July 16

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

Special Guests

Featured speakers, keynote topics

Steven MarkingSteven Marking

A Visit from Will Dilg


Will Dilg was the driving force behind and the first national president of the Izaak Walton League of America. In 1924, he led an unprecedented grassroots campaign to establish the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. One hundred years later, the Refuge is an anchor for conservation and bastion for outdoor recreation along the river in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Drawing on Dilg’s impassioned speeches and editorials in Outdoor America magazine, Marking brings Dilg to life describing the imperiled environment along the upper Miss in the early 1920s and the extraordinary campaign to convince Congress to establish the Refuge. As importantly, Marking channels Dilg to talk with audiences today about the important work ahead to conserve natural resources, fish and wildlife, and special places for future generations.



Millicent Sparks as Harriet TubmanMillicent Sparks

Harriet Tubman: Living History Experience


Harriet Tubman’s life and legacy are deeply rooted in Maryland from her early life as a slave on the Eastern Shore to her extraordinary bravery as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad freeing more than 70 slaves from this region over a 10-year period. Millicent Sparks’ portrayal of Harriet Tubman blends accounts of special events in Tubman’s life with an acute sense of Tubman’s personal qualities—her emotional depth, profound spirituality, immense intelligence, extraordinary dignity, and astounding courage.



Jeff JanvrinJeff Janvrin

Mississippi River Habitat Specialist, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources


Throughout a career spanning nearly 35 years, Jeff Janvrin has coordinated Wisconsin’s participation in the selection, design and monitoring of over 40 federally funded Upper Mississippi River Restoration Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Projects. He does much of his work in the field along 231 miles of river in Wisconsin. Janvrin actively promotes awareness of Mississippi River history and management through presentations, publications and development of a Mississippi River activity guide for formal and non-formal educators.



Peter TangoPeter Tango

Monitoring Coordinator, Chesapeake Bay Program


Since 2006, Peter Tango has served as a liaison between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey as Chesapeake Bay Monitoring Coordinator. In this role, he leads a wide range of teams and workgroups for the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership addressing issues related to monitoring, management, science and policy focused on the health and restoration of the Bay watershed. Tango is at the forefront of engaging volunteer water quality monitors and ensuring the data they collect is used in combination with other data to assess the health of and inform management decisions related to the Bay watershed.



Teresa SeidelTeresa Seidel

Director, Great Lakes National Program Office, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Teresa Seidel is the Director of the Great Lakes National Program Office at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago. The Great Lakes National Program Office brings together federal, state, tribal, local and industry partners under the strategic framework of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to improve water quality, remediate seriously polluted sites, combat invasive species and restore native species and their habitat. Before leading the Great Lakes Program, Seidel was the Director of the Water Resources Division at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.



Marcia Pradines LongMarcia Pradines Long

Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex Project Leader, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


In this position since 2016, Marcia Pradines Long has focused on strengthening relationships with the community, helping new audiences get engaged with the outdoors through programs like mentored hunts and finding the connections between people and wildlife that make conservation successful. The Complex consists of the Blackwater, Eastern Neck, Martin and Susquehanna National Wildlife Refuges. In her spare time, Long is an avid hunter, angler and a mentor for other women learning to hunt.

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.



Bill DunnBill Dunn

Vice President for Marketing, National Shooting Sports Foundation


Mr. Dunn will share the perspective of the firearms industry on future participation in shooting sports and the evolving demographics of firearms ownership in America.



Samantha BriggsSamantha Briggs

Director, IWLA Clean Water Program


Samantha (Sam) Briggs has been with the League for over 7 years. She has a masters of environmental science and policy degree from Johns Hopkins University, and has a passion for connecting individuals with the environment and water quality monitoring within their communities.



Nicole HorvathNicole Horvath

Environmental Outreach Coordinator, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC Water)


Nicole Horvath currently serves as the lead of the Salt Summit Outreach Working Group. WSSC Water provides safe drinking water to over 1.8 million people in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland, and road salt pollution is an increasing concern in the region.



Ted CorriganTed Corrigan

CEO and General Manager, Des Moines Water Works


The Des Moines Water Works provides drinking water for about 600,000 people living in Des Moines and other communities in central Iowa. Mr. Corrigan will join a panel with Ms. Briggs and Ms. Horvath to discuss the 21st century challenges providing clean, safe drinking water.



Andrew McKeanAndrew McKean

Hunting and 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

Resolutions

Every year at Convention, League members vote on policy resolutions that set the direction of the organization. Chapters and divisions submitted 10 policy resolutions prior to the deadline in February. Resource committees and the Resolutions Committee will meet virtually in April to consider these proposals. Resolutions approved by the committees will be voted on by chapter delegates during the national convention. Any League member can observe the committee meetings; however, only committee members can vote. Committee meeting dates and times will be shared via email and posted on the convention website.

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 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, 2024.

Nominate someone for a leadership position


Delegates

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 June 30, 2024.

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 2024 League Convention as it becomes available.