Northfield Rotary Club

Syndicate content
Updated: 1 hour 33 min ago

Rotary Cogwheel | 08.28.2014

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 7:26am

Today:Chuck Huntley, Angel Flight Central (Nemo)

Birthdays: Tate Running (8/30)

Next Week: Bike Tour Chalk Talk

Last Week:

Prairie’s Edge Humane Society’s ultimate goal is to close shop. Kathy Jasnoch, now in her third year as executive director, says she wishes there would not be a need for a humane society. But for now, there are far too many abandoned pets, and there is work to be done.

The organization recently moved from Faribault, its home of almost 30 years, to Professional Drive in Northfield. It is also shifting its program emphasis from that of a foster care-based, rescue group to one that focuses on animal care and public education. Kathy says they are still housing cats and “small furries,” but dogs are now bypassing the shelter for placement in foster care. It’s less stressful and better for their health, she said.

Prairie’s Edge aims to adopt out healthy, well-behaved animals. They now have a formalized protocol in place for accepting abandoned pets. It is now done by appointment. Owners must bring the animal’s medical records. Each animal receives a health and behavior assessment. Once accepted, the animals are vaccinated, given a computer chip and then offered up for adoption.

Prairie’s Edge is in the middle of a fundraising campaign. Supporters have raised $15,000 toward a goal of $25,000. The organization is funded by modest fees for service, a modest Rice County contribution, grants and fundraisers.

Kathy said individuals or organizations can help Prairie Edge by spreading the word, volunteering, becoming a foster family or contributing money. For more information, go to:


Virginia Kaczmarek, executive director for the Y, grew up in St. Cloud, playing her guitar for church. She surprised her family 11 days after graduating from high school by enlisting in the U.S. Marines. She is a first generation college graduate, who went on to earn a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Kansas. She has worked for YMCAs for 15 years, seven of them in Northfield. She has two children, a daughter who lives in Pittsburg with Virginia’s grandson, and a son who lives in Minnesota and works for National Tire & Battery (NTB).

New Members:

It was Hanson week at Northfield Rotary Club. Jan Hanson, a Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at St. Olaf College, and Dennis Hanson, president of Community Resource Bank, were inducted into the club. Chris Weber sponsored both. Jan held leadership posts in the Superior Sunshine Club, where she previously lived. Denny has been a Rotarian for 32 years and was a youth exchange student to Australia way back when.

Last Week’s Guests: Trace Fossum (Fossum) and Lydia Solheim, our new exchange student (Lasswell)

Scholarship Enhancement: Bob Will, who knows the value of a dollar.

First Job:

Charlie Cogan is also an alumnus of Dairy Queen. His first job was in French fry production for a DQ     in Kirksville, Mo. He learned all about balance from schlepping hot vats of oil over slippery floors.

Jean Wakely is recruiting club members for the Defeat of Jesse James Days Bike Tour. We need all hands on deck. It is our largest annual fundraising event. If she has not yet contacted you, please see her before you leave today.

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

Past Northfield Rotary Club meeting videos on Youtube: NorthfieldRotaryVideos

Coming Up:

Sept 11 — Dr. Annette Parker, President of South Central College (C. Richardson)
Sept. 18 – Jesse Streitz and His Cross Country Bike Tour (Williams)
Sept. 25 – Matt Hillmann Transformational Technology in Northfield Schools (Lawlor)

Categories: Organizations

Rotary Cogwheel | 08.21.2014

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 4:04pm

Today:Kathy Jasnoch, Prairie’s Edge Humane Society (Kaczmarek)

Birthdays: Craig Ellingboe 8/22

Next Week: – Chuck Huntley, Angel Flight Central (Nemo)

Last Week:

Todd Thompson spends half his time these days in Guatemala, using music education as a bridge between cultures. Five years ago, he traveled there on a church mission trip. Now he has a regular presence in school classrooms and local churches.

Guatemala’s educational system is woefully short of resources, and there is not much music in the curriculum. Guatemala has many needs, Todd said, but his passion is music and he wants to share it with young people. He sees it as nourishment for the body, mind and spirit.

His latest project is the publication of a Spanish hymnal with accessible arrangements. He said most of the musicians he has met in Guatemala play by ear and find many of our standard hymns too complex for guitar, the instrument most commonly used. His hymns have a slower melodic progression and rhythms familiar to Guatemalans.

To raise money for his music education projects, Todd has made two CDs of music in Spanish He is now seeking funding to allow him to continue his music education exchange for periods of up to three months. Todd is also collecting songs in the Mayan dialects. There are 22 of them. Todd said Guatemala has one of the largest indigenous populations in the world. Of the 17 million folks there, 80 percent are considered indigenous, Todd said.



John Sinning is in transition. (Editor’s Note: Aren’t we all?)

John worked most recently as a controller for Field Solutions, a company that provides field technicians to the electronics industry. He is now taking a step back and looking for a way to work in his home community.

John and his wife, Susan, moved to Northfield in 2001. They raised their two kids on a 40 acre hobby farm. Their daughter is now on her own after graduating from Wittenberg and their son is a junior at Bradley University in Illinois. Susan runs a boutique in the Archer House in downtown Northfield.


Welcome Lydia:

Lydia Solheim, the first of four inbound students, arrived last week and joined us for lunch. She is from the Faroe Islands. Wendy and Andrei Sivanich are her host parents. Brad Frago and Michelle Lasswell are her club counselors. Welcome Lydia. We are delighted to have you with us.

Still to come are: Philipy from Brazil, Marcelo from Peru and Giulia from Italy.

Last Week’s Guests:  Wendy, Katie, Maggie Sivanich (Lasswell), Sharon Flaten (Flaten), Tracy Fossum (Fossum), and Joe Wakely (Sinning).

Scholarship Enhancement: Jon Snodgrass. Invest it wisely, Jon.

First Job:

Adam Elling, our newest member, cut his employment teeth on Dairy Queen products. He worked at a Cottage Grove franchise for seven years. He characterized himself as a mistake-prone employee. The mistakes went home with him for later consumption.


Rotary has received five proposals for a flagship local service project. Presentations will be made to a committee on Tuesday, Sept. 9. The board will make a decision Thursday, Sept. 11.

Jean Wakely is recruiting club members for the Defeat of Jesse James Days Bike Tour. We need all hands on deck. It is our largest annual fundraising event. If she has not yet contacted you, please see her before you leave today.

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

Rotary Minute:

President Rich said by the end of the year, polio should be eradicated across the globe, except for Pakistan. A complete eradication requires $5.5 billion. We still must raise $557 million. Each year our club contributes $3,000. Other funds are contributed through our Every Rotarian Every Year campaign. If you want to make a contribution, go to the Rotary International website.

Coming Up:

Sept. 4 – Bike Tour Planning
Sept. 11 – Dr. Annette Parker, President of South Central College (C. Richardson)
Sept. 18 – Jesse Streitz and His Cross Country Bike Tour (Williams)
Sept. 25 – Matt Hillmann Transformational Technology in Northfield Schools (Lawlor)

Categories: Organizations

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

Bookmark and Share