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Lt. Gov. Simon names Dr. Norm Walzer Rural Illinois Champion 

SPRINGFIELD – March 12, 2012. As chair of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon has awarded Dr. Norm Walzer, 68, of DeKalb, the Rural Illinois Champion Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment to raising awareness of the challenges rural citizens face.  

Walzer, a Rural Affairs Council member, has provided research to the council on economic development and rural hospital issues. Walzer served as an advisor to the Task Force on the Future of Rural Illinois, which recommended creation of the Rural Affairs Council in 1986 and he founded the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University.              

“For decades Dr. Walzer has helped policymakers understand the unique challenges that rural communities face,” Simon said. “I am honored to have the opportunity to utilize his talents and look forward to continuing to work with him to improve the lives of rural citizens.”  

Walzer is the Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University and has published widely on entrepreneurship, economic development, local public finance, infrastructure, health, and related rural issues.              

Walzer’s contributions were recognized by his peers at the Rural Community Economic Development Conference in Peoria last week.