Dale Fowler recently resigned as Mayor of the City of Harrisburg where he promoted the city as the hub of Southeastern Illinois - marketing Harrisburg as a great location to not only do business, but raise a family.
Prior to becoming Mayor he served as a City Commissioner. He also served as a member of the Saline County Board from 2002-2006.
Dale is currently employed as a business development officer for Peoples National Bank in Harrisburg. He began this second career in 2012, one day after retiring as chief engineer from the Illinois department of Juvenile Justice .
He began his state service in 1990 as an office operations supervisor in Springfield under then-Secretary of State Jim Edgar. He later worked at both the Vienna and Shawnee Correctional Centers prior to his transfer to DJJ and IYC-Harrisburg.
He grew up on the family farm in Eldorado and managed the family meat packing business.
Dale was one of two Illinois representatives for the Delta Regional Authority / Delta Leadership Network Board of Directors. He serves on the board of directors for Saline County Senior Citizens Golden Circle.
He is a Deacon at the First Presbyterian Church of Harrisburg, a member of Harrisburg Masonic Lodge number 325, and a 35-year member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge 1058 in Harrisburg. He is also the chairman of the Midland Institute's Saline County C.E.O. program that focuses on educating local youth on entrepreneurial opportunities and starting their own business.
Dale is founder and chairman of the board of the Fowler Bonan Foundation, best known for its "Clothes for Kids" of southern Illinois program. He previously served as President of the United Way of Southern Illinois before forming the "Clothes for Kids" endeavor in 2003. That program developed into the charitable, not-for profit Fowler-Bonan Foundation.
Fowler credits the start-up of "Clothes for Kids" to a childhood memory of two underprivileged neighbor kids that were made fun of at school because their clothes were old and tattered. Unable to shake the memory, he decided to try to raise a little money with a "Clothes for Kids" youth golf day in 2003 that aided twelve local kids. From that humble beginning, fast forward to the present, and a record 645 underprivileged kids, in seventeen southern Illinois counties, received new clothes from the Fowler Bonan Foundation in 2015 alone.
In recognition of his efforts, Dale has received the Saline County Chamber of Commerce "Citizen of the Year" award, the Guardian Centers "Hero of the Children" award, the Southern Illinois Business Journal “Leaders Among Us” award, the Volunteer Employee of the Year award at Illinois Youth Center - Harrisburg, and a State of Illinois Governor's Serve Illinois Award.