Northfield Rotary Club

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Rotary Cogwheel | 08.14.2014

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 10:49pm

Today: Todd Thompson, “Teaching Music in Guatemala” (Sinning)

Birthdays: Leo Lawlor 8/15, Tim Madigan 8/16.

Next Week: Tom Bisel, FIT to be TRI’d Bike Shop Owner

Last Week:

Monte Nelson, Northfield Chief of Police, presented a very informative overview of the recently established Rice County Drug Court.

Monte earned a degree in law enforcement from Golden Valley Lutheran College and a degree in political science from St. Mary’s University. After five years as a police officer in Rapid City, SD, Monte came to Northfield in 1991 when he became the Assistant Director of Security at St. Olaf College.  Five years later Monte then joined the Northfield Police Department in 1996 and has worked there ever since. Starting as a patrol officer he has served as School Resource Officer and later as a Patrol Sergeant and Sergeant of Investigations before becoming Chief of Police in January 2014. We in the Northfield area are fortunate to have a Chief who knows our community so well.

The Rice County Drug Court’s mission is “to reduce the adverse impact of serious and repeat offenders on the citizens and criminal justice system of Rice County, and create a system that is more effective for participants.” Offenders who plead guilty to crimes motivated by substance abuse disorders can avoid expensive incarceration by participation in highly structured and supervised individualized substance abuse treatment programs while they under probation. The program allows offenders to stay out of prison and work with community based service agencies for mental health services, employment and education services, parent education and housing support.

The Drug Court participants usually complete their programs within 16 to 24 months.   The Drug Court is a collaborative effort involving many local partners from County and City public agencies, to not for profit organizations, to treatment providers.

Omada Behavioral Health Services, a Primary Outpatient Chemical Health program, is one of the Drug Court partners. Sarah Shippe from Omada spoke highly of the effectiveness of the Drug court programs that focuses especially on younger parents of minor children.

More information is available from the program coordinator Yvette Marthaler at Rice County Corrections. Donation to the program can be made through the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI). The Rice County Drug Court is clearly a positive approach toward true rehabilitation for offenders who are dealing with addiction.

Paul Harris Fellowship:

Our newest Paul Harris Fellow may be our youngest as well. Meredith Reese was presented with a Paul Harris Fellowship by her father Brett Reese.  Meredith, daughter of Brett and Michelle, is a 2014 graduate of Northfield High School and will attend the University of Rochester this fall to begin studies in the field of medical research.

Last Week’s Guests:  Sarah Shippe, Kathy Findley, Steve Kallestad (Beth Kallestad), Michelle and Meredith Reese (Brett Reese)

Scholarship Enhancement: Virginia Kaczmarek

First Job:

Erica Zweifel at age 15 “enjoyed” her first paid job, that of picking strawberries and being paid by the flat.  Bet those Oregon berries were tasty!  Now we know the secret of how Erica began her career in science education.


Please welcome our newest member Adam Elling. Adam recently joined the Lampe Law Group having previously been a law clerk for the Third Judicial District in Faribault. Adam’s Rotary sponsor is Matthew Rich.

If you have ideas for upcoming weekly programs please let Candy Taylor or Alan Anderson know.  We have many openings for future programs.

This year’s inbound youth exchange students will be arriving in the next few weeks.  Every year we eagerly anticipate getting to know more fine young people through our excellent youth exchange program.  Thanks to all who make it possible.

Rotarian Bob Flaten and Sharon Sherman Akre were married on August 3rd, 2014. Congratulations to Bob and Sharon!

Coming Up:

Aug. 28 – Chuck Huntley, Angel Flight Central

Sept. 4 – Bike Tour Planning

Sept. 11 – Dr. Annette Parker, President of South Central College

Categories: Organizations

Rotary Cogwheel | 08.07.2014

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 3:28pm

Today: Monte Nelson, Northfield Chief of Police, Rice County Drug Court (Madigan)

Birthdays:  Rotarians around the globe

Next Week: Todd Thompson, Teaching Music in Guatemala, (Sinning)

Two Weeks Ago:

Multek is a home-grown Northfield business. It was founded in 1955 by G.T. Schjeldahl in the Medical Arts Building in downtown Northfield. There, they produced flexible film coated with adhesives that created space-worthy materials for many high-profile projects such as the ECHO satellite and the space shuttles.

Later, they developed a process that gave birth to the flexible circuit which is used extensively in automobiles, electronics and medical devices.

In 1960, the company relocated to North Highway 3 and was called Sheldahl, an Anglicized version of the founder’s name that is easier to pronounce. They expanded to other states, but ultimately found themselves overextended. Sheldahl went into bankruptcy in 2002. In 2006, the business was purchased by Flextronics and renamed Multek.

This history came from Matt Saari, a longtime Northfielder, who serves as Multek’s Director of Product Engineering. He’s worked there for 33 years and says it is a great place to work. Of the 400 people now employed, the average length of service is 21 years. “When people come to work here, they tend to stay,” he said.

Multek’s flexible circuits are ubiquitous in today’s marketplace. You’ll find them in the dashboards of cars, drive-by steering assemblies, antennas, car console phone chargers, disposable catheters for heart patients, contact lenses that monitor blood sugar levels for diabetics, occupant detectors for customized air-bag deployment and on and on and on.

It has survived because of the low-cost process they have developed and a commitment to innovation. He said a generational change is afoot as those longtime employees he referenced earlier approach retirement age. There are a lot of them, which means employment opportunities to the next wave of engineers, sales people and product developers.


Chris Heineman is the Community Development Director for the City of Northfield. His job keeps him in touch with local business people, where he learns about what they do and what their future needs might be.

When he is not working, he searches out active, family-friendly pursuits, such as cycling, soccer, cross-country skiing, things he can do with his wife and two children. Chris also is interested in theater. He has performed in community productions and even taken a turn on the Guthrie stage. You know: “To be or not to be…”

Last Week’s Guests: Jennifer and Faye Caskey (Caskey), Rachel Metz, Carol Gengenbach and Adele Porter (Blaha).

Scholarship Enhancement: Rick Estenson. All paths lead to the bank, eventually.

First Job: Richard Collman started out cutting down poplar logs in Bob Dylan’s Great North Country. He moved on to become a honky-tonk piano player, all before seminary, mind you.


President Rich noted the Northfield was recently named the second most livable small town in the country by Livability.Com. Los Alamos, New Mexico was number one. Matt said he likes to think Rotary has something to do with the community’s high ranking.

Jean Wakely, a recent victim of a burglary, advised members to lock their homes, their cars, their cars in garages, their garages, to help police curb the rash of break-ins of late.

President Rich noted that Kathy Smith, a past District Governor for District 5960, is mentioned in a article about helping young women escape from poverty in the most recent Rotarian magazine.

Coming Up

August 21 — Matt Hillmann, Transformation Technology in Northfield Public Schools (C. Richardson)

August 28 — TBA

September 4 — Defeat of Jesse James Days Bike Tour chalk talk

Categories: Organizations

Rotary Cogwheel | 07.24.2014

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 9:39pm

Today: Matt Saari, Director of Product Engineering at Multek (Heineman)

Birthdays: Gerhard Meidt (7/10), Teresa Jensen (7/11), Duane Benson (7/21), and Linda Willgohs (7/22).

Next Week: No noon meeting; evening social event at the Estenson Event Center

Last Week:

Randy Peterson probably has a say in the placement of Target store logos and those red spheres near store entrances. But as a member of the retail giant’s Property Development Group, he does much more than that.

He and his department help create and maintain 1,900 Target stores across the United States and Canada. They provide the engineering, architectural services and construction management to support the stores we shop.

All of his work is dedicated to driving sales, he said, $70 billion worth annually at last count. They are constantly creating different store models to accommodate the changing needs of consumers. For instance, they are testing a concept called “Target Express,” a smaller 20,000 square foot store that mirrors the format developed by Walgreen’s and CVC. They are developing store concepts to better meet the needs of college students, and they are working on innovative design to wedge stores into urban centers like one in Boston near Fenway Park.

Randy lives in Northfield. He served as Director of Public Works for the City of Northfield for eight years in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. He now is one of the thousands of Target employees who work in downtown Minneapolis, but his work requires that he travel a couple of times each month.

Target has had its share of “bad press” in the last year, Randy acknowledged. An aggressive expansion into the Canadian retail market did not meet expectations (It generated $1.5 billion in sales, not the projected $1.8 billion.) There was the technology breach during last year’s holiday season, and there has been a change in top corporate leadership, which suggests new strategic direction.

Randy said he appreciates Target’s corporate culture with its emphasis on service, community giving, environmental sensitivity and innovation. He shared a quote that sums up the need to keep evolving to meet customer needs. “What’s made you successful in the past may prevent you from seeing the future.”

Paul Harris Fellows: Jim Prichard and Tim Madigan were presented with Paul Harris Fellowships. David Brown, chair of the Paul Harris Foundation Committee, reminded us that our goal is to have each Rotarian commit $100 a year to the foundation. The half-price sale is in effect through December. A $500 donation qualifies you for a Paul Harris Fellowship. Think about it.

Leadership Recognition: President Rich presented former president Jim Prichard with a gavel in appreciation for his service as president this past year. This case is closed.

Last Week’s Guests: Leah Rich and new member Adam Elling (Rich).

Scholarship Enhancement: Brett Reese (The Cow-Calling Star of “Northfield Rotary’s Got Talent” or was it “Hee-Haw?”).


President Rich reported that the Members Section of the Rotary website has been updated. A reminder: the new password is the current president’s surname, lowercase.


Charlie Cogan said the Books for Africa book shipment has reached the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Books will soon be distributed to the schools.


Judy Brown-Wescott presented a flag from the Leyland, England Rotary Club, which she visited recently. She said one of their rituals each week is to raise a glass and toast the Queen of England. The monarchy lives on.


There will be no noon meeting on Thursday, July 31. Instead, there will be a social at the Estenson Event Center beginning at 5:30 p.m. It will be a family-friendly social event with dinner.


We’re looking to fill a board position for this year. The community service directorship is open. All members who are interested in serving this year or in the future should contact any board member. The next stages of the succession plan are being developed, so now is the time to make leadership aspirations known.


The club is now accepting applications for a local service project. All details, including the guidelines, process, and application, can be found on the club’s website on the Service page.


We learned that Jean Wakely’s first job was in hospital laundry department, where she earned 75 cents an hour washing sheets.


Coming Up
August 7 — Dr. Annette Parker, President of South Central Technical College

August 14 — Todd Thompson, Teaching Music in Guatemala, (Sinning)

August 21 — Matt Hillman, Transformation Technology in Northfield Public Schools (C. Richardson)

Categories: Organizations

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