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NICNE Presents:

State of the Sector: Mobilizing for Change with Dennis Barsema, Keynote

Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence (NICNE)

Friday, September 6, 2019 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM (CDT)

State of the Sector: Mobilizing for Change with Dennis...

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Individual Seat - NICNE Member 10% Savings Aug 27, 2019 $45.00 $3.30
Individual Seat - General Admission Aug 27, 2019 $50.00 $3.55
Full table (8 seats)
$45/seat, $360 total.
Aug 27, 2019 $45.00 $3.30

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Event Details

NICNE presents: The 2nd Annual State of the Nonprofit Sector Event: Leadership, Innovation & Mobilizing for Change

Luncheon & Keynote with Dennis L. Barsema, Chair – NIU Board of Trustees

 Presented by NICNE, with sponsorship from:

The United Way of Rock River Valley and the Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce

Logos NICNE, United Way Rock River Valley, Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce

Date: Friday, September 6th, 2019
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Location: The Radisson Hotel & Conference Center –

                  200 S. Bell School Road, Rockford, IL 61108


What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world.” – Simon Sinek


Leadership DOES make a difference! Featured speaker Dennis Barsema will speak on leadership, innovation, and mobilizing for change. Dennis will talk about how to mobilize others to want to make extraordinary things happen in the world. Dennis will share how to transform personal values into action and realities, obstacles into innovation, separateness into solidarity, and risks into rewards.


The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Alan Kay


Is Your Nonprofit Built for Sustained Innovation? Pam Clark Reidenbach, Executive Director – NICNE, will share research conducted by The Rockefeller Foundation and The Bridgespan Group, providing guidance for ways that nonprofit leaders and board members can build their capacity to innovate. She will also share research conducted by NICNE on the current state of the local nonprofit sector. 

Registration: 11:00 a.m.

Keynote and Luncheon: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Meal includes fresh-baked rolls, butter, coffee and tea, and assorted miniature desserts. Choose one of the following:

A. Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad - Grilled chicken sliced over a bed of Romaine lettuce, croutons, tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese tossed in a traditional Caesar dressing

B. Spring Mix Salad - Fresh Spring Mix greens, strawberries, blueberries, candied pecans, goat cheese, and raspberry vinaigrette dressing

          *Note any dietary restrictions, allergies or food sensitivities when completing your registration

Ticket sales will close 11:00 p.m. on August 23rd. 


About Dennis: Dennis’ creation of Impact Engine, helping people identify the potential to drive strong financial returns AND positive social impact, is especially relevant to the Rockford community.  His experience teaching students in the School of Business and his social entrepreneurship influence through CAUSE (NIU Collegiate Association of Unreasonable Social Entrepreneurs) brings a powerful message inspiring our community to think and act in new ways to enact social change.

Dennis Barsema was a successful chief executive for several Silicon Valley technology companies from 1996 to 2007. Most recently, he was an instructor in the College of Business at Northern Illinois University from 2007 to 2017. His field of instruction was social entrepreneurship, a curriculum he helped to create in 2007. He is currently a trustee for Northern Illinois University, appointed to this position in January 2017. He is a consultant and advisor to numerous businesses, both social and traditional.

Mr. Barsema has more than 30 years of executive experience in telecommunications, software and optical networking. During his days in Silicon Valley, Mr. Barsema was the president and CEO of Redback Networks where he led the company through rapid growth and one of the most successful IPOs in Wall Street history. Redback was later acquired by Ericsson. Mr. Barsema was also CEO and chairman of Onetta, Inc. (acquired by Bookham Technologies) and the CEO of Blue Lane Networks (acquired by VMWare). Prior to joining Redback in 1997, he held senior executive positions at Centigram Corporation (acquired by ADC), Softswitch (acquired by Lotus Development Corporation), Primary Access (acquired by 3Com) and Paradyne Corporation (acquired by Zhone).

Mr. Barsema serves, or has served, on the boards of directors of numerous venture capital-funded companies including Halo Investing, a financial technology company co-founded by his son, Jason Barsema. Other companies he’s served include Redback Networks, Blue Lane Technologies, Onetta, Azanda, Telenisus, Tahoe Networks, Stoke, Community Collaboration and In addition, he served as a director of Impact Engine, a social business accelerator located in Chicago. He also serves or has served as a director on several non-profit boards including Oportunidad Microfinanzas of Mexico, Se Mas (a microfinance institution) of Mexico, NEST of St. Louis, Missouri and Carpenter’s Place of Rockford, Illinois.

Mr. Barsema is currently the Board Chair of the NIU Board of Trustees. He has served as a board member of the Northern Illinois University Foundation from 2001 to 2017 and was chairman from 2011 to 2016. He serves as an advisor to the College of Business at Northern Illinois University and is a past advisor to the School of Business at Santa Clara University in San Jose, California.

Mr. Barsema earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Northern Illinois University. He is married to wife Stacey, has three sons, and resides in Barrington Hills, Illinois.

Have questions about State of the Sector: Mobilizing for Change with Dennis Barsema, Keynote? Contact Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence (NICNE)
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When & Where

Radisson Hotel & Conference Center
200 South Bell School Road
Rockford, IL 61108

Friday, September 6, 2019 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM (CDT)

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Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence (NICNE)

NICNE provides training and support to nonprofit organizations in the Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin region. NICNE is a program of Northern Illinois University.

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