Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 11.10.2011

November 10, 2011

Today’s Program | Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011

Today: District Governor Judy Freund (Bierman) 

Birthdays: Lee Dilley (11/10), Greg Carlson (11/11), Carl Caskey (11/14)

Next Week: “Inspiring Possibilities, Realizing Dreams” Laura Baker School, Director Sandi Gerdes (Braucher)

Last Week:

   Omar Jamal, a well-known advocate for Somalis in Minnesota, has recently taken a new job with the Permanent Mission of the Somali Republic to the United Nations.   Omar provided us with an excellent summary of the tumultuous history of Somalia, chronicling its status as an Italian colony, a British protectorate, a dictatorship under Mohamed Siad Barre, enduring Civil War beginning in 1991, the brief United Nations and American involvement with Operation Restore Hope, the huge outpouring of refugees, and attempts at formation of a functioning government continuing since 2004.

Omar was born in Mogadishu and fled Somalia with his family as a youngster, going first to Germany, then to England, followed by Canada and later to Memphis where he studied at the University of Memphis.  Later he moved to Minnesota, worked in the Ventura administration in the State Agricultural Dept. and ultimately became Director of the Somali Justice Center in the Twin Cities focusing on legal advocacy for Somali-Americans.

He was very clear in pointing out that the disparity of wealth and history of contradictions that permeate American society contribute to the disillusionment of vulnerable young Somali-American youth who fear that they can never realize the “American Dream”.

Guests: All our exchange students, Emily and Bob Nesvold (Prowe), Kris Flaten (Flaten), Yogi’s father, Gitta Reppmann and Georgene Malecha (Reppmann),

Scholarship Enhancement: Nancy Amerman

New Member Inductions:

– Todd Thompson, Teacher at ARTech Charter School, consultant and music director, sponsored by Mark Cashman

– Megan Allen Tsui, Executive Director for the Northfield Enterprise Center (NEC), sponsored by Rick Estenson

Please welcome these new members to our club.


— Congratulations to club member Chris Richardson who has been named Minnesota Superintendent of the Year!

— Please contact Mike Lane if you can volunteer for the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot and have not already signed up.

— Chris Weber is looking for volunteers to help with interviews for the Rotary International Global Grant Scholarships.

Coming Up:

Nov. 24 – Turkey Trot

Dec. 1 – Felicia Speychal, Exchange student from Sweden, host (Holden)
Dec. 8 – Thomas M. Thorfinnson – Rotary Foundation, (Pritchard and Brown)

Dec. 15 – Round Table, Dreaming of Northfield’s Future, Steve Wilmot (Ellingboe)