Normal, Ill. – Aug. 8, 2023 – Mayor Chris Koos announced Roger Schmidgall as the Town of Normal’s 2023 Citizen of the Year at the Town’s annual Appreciation Reception Wednesday.
“It is my honor to recognize Roger for his positive impact and dedication to creating a welcoming community attentive to all. He exemplifies a lifelong effort to support underserved populations locally, nationally and internationally,” says Koos.
“From behind-the-scenes, away from the spotlight, Roger is a powerful force in building community and an ambassador of Town of Normal values. He inspires others. I’m proud to know him, and I’m pleased to recognize his impact on our community by designating him as Citizen of the Year,” Koos adds.
“Roger nurtures others, builds strong relationships and demonstrates empathy. A previous coordinator with Friends Forever International, he organized efforts in the Bloomington-Normal community to host youth from Israel and Palestine traveling together in the spirit of building relationships and cultivating international understanding between the nations,” Koos says. “Roger recently demonstrated his knowledge of international issues and passion to support all who seek a better life by participating in group discussions with me and other community leaders on the topic of immigration and welcoming migrants to Central Illinois.”
Schmidgall has traveled to various countries, seeking to understand international cultures, providing humanitarian aid around the world and demonstrating his core values, strong faith and belief in humanity. Friends, colleagues and community members describe him as a “quiet, compassionate leader” who is “genuine, humble and dedicated to building up others.”
A Central Illinois native, Schmidgall retired from State Farm Insurance after a 42-year career. Though retired professionally, he continues serving the community and fulfilling his call to help others.
Schmidgall travels internationally on humanitarian and faith missions and advises community leaders on what it means to be a welcoming, sustainable and productive community where all individuals can thrive.
An active Rotarian and current member of Normal’s Sunset Rotary Club, Schmidgall has served as club president, living the Rotary mission of “providing service to others, promoting integrity, and advancing world understanding, goodwill and peace.”
Active with several other community organizations, Schmidgall has dedicated his life to making a positive difference without praise or attention.