A fifth generation Southern Illinoisan, Dale Fowler learned the meaning of hard work from his father Wilbur on their family farm outside Eldorado. As a young man Dale discovered his passion for business development working at his family-owned small business, Eldorado Locker Company. After graduating from Eldorado High School in 1975, Dale took the reins of the family business and was successful in expanding their business during changing economic times.
Dale gained valuable administrative experience and perspective serving as an office of operations supervisor for then Secretary of State Jim Edgar. Dale spend the next 22 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, working at both Vienna Correctional Center and Shawnee Correctional Center. In 2012 he retired from the Department of Juvenile Justice where he served as Chief Engineer for the Illinois Youth Center in Harrisburg.
Appointed Mayor of Harrisburg in 2014 Dale was uncontested for reelection in April. He also serves as the Business Development Officer for Peoples National Bank. Both roles allow Dale to exercise his passion of promoting Southeastern Illinois, marketing it as a great location to not only do business, but raise a family.
For Dale, public service is not a hobby or occupation, it’s a way of life. He previously served as president of the United Way of Southern Illinois, before forming the Clothes for SI Kids program in 2002. He later co-founded the Fowler-Bonan Foundation — because of those efforts, over 600 underprivileged children across 17 Southern Illinois counties received new clothes for school last year.
As co-chairman of the Saline County CEO program, focused on educating local youth on entrepreneurial opportunities and starting their own business, Dale is always working to bring new businesses, industry and investments to communities in Southern Illinois.
He currently serves on the advisory board for the Saline County Mentors for Kids program, and on the board for the Saline County Senior Citizen’s Council. Dale is also one of two Illinois representatives that serve on the Delta Regional Authority Delta Leadership Network Board of Directors.
He is member of Harrisburg Masonic Lodge number 325, Harrisburg Elk’s Lodge 1058, Harrisburg Rotary, and Harrisburg Kiwanis. Dale and his wife Jill live in Harrisburg, where they have raised two children, Hannah and Ben. The Fowlers are members of First Presbyterian Church in Harrisburg.