Don Norton

District 5610 Grants Subcommittee Chair
Rotary Club of Brookings, SD

Don Norton is the immediate past-president of the Rotary Club of Brookings, South Dakota, where he is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow. He served as the lead on several of the “pop-up” grants in District 5610 during 2020 and 2021. He has been a Rotarian for 26 years.

Don is the CEO of the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Program (SDARL), where his role includes fundraising and overseeing the curriculum development for the 18-month flagship leadership development program that builds the skills, knowledge, and character of leaders. SDARL also offers seminars to alumni of the program and other entities through the SDARL Learning Network.

Don’s background is in education and communication. He taught more than 20 communication courses at the college and university level, and has received four Associated Press News Awards for broadcast journalism, including as a news anchor/reporter at WGN Radio in Chicago. He has a Master of Arts Degree in Communication from Western Illinois University, and is certified in Non-Profit Management from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Prior to joining SDARL, Don directed the leadership programming and served as CEO of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program. He has led leadership classes to China, India, Japan, Panama, Germany, Poland, Ireland, Scotland, and held leadership seminar meetings in Russia and Ukraine.

Don and his wife, Kay, have two grown sons.