Plan to attend the inaugural Great River Collaborative Conference: Changing Currents 2022!
April 7 - 9, 2022 THE CAMPUS OF CULVER-STOCKTON COLLEGE
Mission of the Great River Collaborative Conference
The Great River Collaborative Conference brings together academics and scholars, community members, government officials, business leaders, and other interested constituents to explore the centrality of the Mississippi River to the past, present, and future of the Tri-States. Through the conference, we hope to convene a broad and motivated constituency to exchange ideas to benefit the region's economic, cultural, artistic, political, spiritual, environmental, and academic life. Ultimately we hope conversations generated through Changing Currents will foster innovative and collaborative solutions to the various challenges facing the river and the communities it impacts.
General details of the conference are as follows. Specific details will be forthcoming as proposals are reviewed and accepted.
When traveling to the Great River Collaborative Conference, we invite you to stay in the area and enjoy the beautiful river-landscapes of Mississippi. Below are local lodging options within an hour's drive to Culver-Stockton College. A group rate is being offered to any conference attendee when mentioning "Great River Collaborative Conference" at booking.
Meet our Conference Co-chairs
Dr. Scott Giltner Professor of History
Dr. Matthew Osborn Assistant Professor of Business
Chad Pregracke Named Plenary Speaker
Chad Pregracke is the internationally named 2013 CNN Hero of the Year, founder and president of Living Lands & Waters; a nonprofit river cleanup organization, author and professional public speaker. He is proof one person can make a difference.
Best known for starting out as a young man in East Moline, Illinois wanting a cleaner waterway, Chad has become the champion for the Mississippi River. Growing up on its banks, he worked as a commercial shell diver during his early years, experiencing the river from the bottom up. Sometimes spending 10 hours a day in the depths and current of the pitch-black waters, he crawled nearly 150 miles of the river bottom over six years. Chad saw its beauty and was frustrated by the neglect. At the age of 17, he decided to clean it up. Twenty-three years later, Chad and his Living Lands & Waters crew have organized and led over 1200 community cleanups on 23 rivers in 21 states and removed over 11 million pounds of garbage. Chad had an idea that evolved into a movement that has helped to restore one of America’s greatest icons, the Mississippi River.
Chad has been recognized by former President, George W. Bush as a national “Point of Light.” He received a standing ovation at the Kennedy Center from all four living former U.S. Presidents for his inspirational message on dreaming big, taking action, persevering, leading and
collaborating. He has been the keynote speaker for college graduations, business conferences and events, classrooms, nonprofit organizations and more. Named “America’s Hardest Working Person” by Mitchum, Chad’s enthusiasm, sense of humor and passion amplifies his story and entertains audiences. Ultimately, his message inspires people to believe they can make a
Chad currently lives and works with his wife Tammy dividing their time between life on the Teamwork barge and their home in East Moline, IL.