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2019 Drone Conference

Friday, October 11th, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Heartland Community College Campus

Drones in the Heartland is an all-day conference designed to educate professionals in the latest drone-related technologies. 

Featuring a keynote address and multiple breakout sessions, this year's main areas of focus are:

  • Capture and Collection

  • Data Manipulation

  • Drone Essentials 

  • You’re Invited to Share Your Expertise

    If you have specialized knowledge in drone use, presenting a breakout session at the Drones in the Heartland Conference is a great way to enhance your professional reputation.

    Conference Details
    This all-day professional development event is Friday October 11th at the Normal, IL campus of Heartland Community College. It includes a keynote speaker, flight demonstrations, vendors, a panel discussion and multiple breakout sessions.

    Breakout Session Details 
    As a potential speaker, you can propose a session that fits any of these broad themes:

    • Capture and Collection, e.g. building inspection, videography, environmental assessments, etc.
    • Data Manipulation, e.g. Final Cut Pro, ArcGIS, turning drone images into 3D maps, etc.
    • Drone Essentials, e.g. ethics and law, repair, insurance, etc.

    Each breakout session is 45 minutes long. You should plan to present 30 minutes of content, with 15 additional minutes for Q&A. Audience size will vary from 20 to 50 participants per breakout session, some of which will be repeated.

    Selection Process 
    All proposals will be reviewed by the Drones in the Heartland Advisory Board which includes:

    • Sharon Rossmark, CEO of Women and Drones
    • Keenan Campbell, Bureau County Emergency Management Director
    • Daniel Stange, Technologist for ESi
    • Cole Patrick, Sr. Crop Claim Rep, Compliance
    If selected as a speaker or as a member of the panel discussion, you will receive:
    • A complimentary conference pass including lunch
    • An honorarium
    • Free vendor space, if desired

    Please download the attached Speaker Proposal Form and submit by June 7th, 2019 to Lauren  at In respect of your time, a member of the planning committee will respond to your proposal by June 18th.

  • Sharon Rossmark, Founder and CEO of Women and Drones.

    Women And Drones is the premier global platform featuring women who are disrupting, innovating and shaping the future of the drone industry. Sharon is also a Certified Part 107 Remote Pilot.  In 2018 and 2019 the company was listed as one of the “Top 100 Companies To Watch” in the drone industry.  The organization’s educational effort focuses on collaborating with community and educational programs to incorporate drones into STEM programming for youth with an emphasis on engaging girls.

    Sharon is an international speaker, panelist and facilitator. She has taken the stage to share her passion for drones from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC to the World of Drones Congress in Brisbane, Australia. 

    She is the co-author of several books introducing young children to drones.  The books “Fun with Drones”, “Drone Girls and the Air Show Adventure” and “Drone Girls And The Wonders Of Whale Snot” are available in English and Spanish. Most of the characters in the books are girls, which is a purposeful, important part of the authors' commitment to engaging more girls in STEM and aviation.

    Keenan Campbell, IPEM

    A native of Central Illinois, Keenan Campbell lives and breathes emergency management. Mr. Campbell is currently the Director of Bureau County Emergency Management Agency and a member of the Illinois Incident Management Team.  Director Campbell is an FAA licensed Pilot, holding the Sport Pilot and UAV endorsements.  Director Campbell also holds the Illinois Professional Emergency Manager Certification (IPEM).   While at Bureau County, Director Campbell developed the first sUAS program.  He has successfully deployed UAV’s to natural disasters, missing persons, and many other incidents. Director Campbell believes that technology is a necessity during a disaster to ensure the development of solid situational awareness and lead to a better common operating picture.

    Daniel Stange, Engineering Systems, Inc

    Daniel M. Stange is employed as a Technologist at Engineering Systems, Inc., where he specializes in scientific and engineering data acquisition.  He first became a licensed remote pilot in October of 2016.  Since then he has become the most experienced drone operator for the company with over 65 logged hours of sUAS flight time.  sUAS tools have been implemented to assist in large-scale accident scene documentation and reconstruction.  Typically sUAS operations include photogrammetric post processing to virtually render three-dimensionally measurable geometry.  Noteworthy incidents he has been tasked with documenting include: tornado damage assessment, train derailment, automotive accidents, wind damage assessment, and topography reconstruction.”

    Cole Patrick, COUNTRY Financial

    With roots in a small-town Midwest community, Cole Patrick’s interest in agriculture was only natural. He recognized the importance of farming and its impacts, globally as well as locally. Following his passion, Cole began his career in 2013 with COUNTRY Financial and has been involved in their drone program since the early days. Patrick is Senior Crop Claim Rep, Compliance, and a member of the Emerging Leader Program at COUNTRY Financial.



  • This information will be available soon.

  • We welcome vendors to the drone industry interested in exhibiting during our conference. 

    Download the vendor form.

  • For those not familiar with Heartland Community College, we are extremely accessible, have plenty of free parking, and offer a beautiful, modern campus for our conference venue.

    We are a couple miles from the junction of Interstates 39, 55 and 74.


Contact Us

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Continuing Education
Heartland Community College
Workforce Development Center, Suite 2400
1500 West Raab Road
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309-268-8160
TDD: 309-268-8030
Fax: 309-268-7882
E-mail: Continuing Education

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