Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 02.16.2012

February 16, 2012

Today’s Program | Mathilde Mortensen, Denmark (Barry Carlson)

Birthdays: Jim Braucher (2/16), Nichopat Jane Fenton and J ohn Stull (2/18) and Peggy Prowe (2/19)

Next Week: Don Robertson Classification (Esse)

Last Week:
   After more than 25 years working on affordable housing for homeless people,

Herb Frey still likes his clients. There is a candor and an honesty about them that he finds refreshing.

A Northfield resident, Herb is the director of Alliance Housing in Minneapolis. He was on the ground floor when St. Steven’s Catholic Church decided to tackle the housing issue. Over time, he has helped develop more than 400 units for people who are trying to get on their feet. They started by purchasing duplexes. They’ve converted nursing homes into housing units and tapped into government programs designed to encourage workforce housing.

Herb says they have learned by doing and over time have developed a high-touch, supportive philosophy that rests on two key principles: clients must pay their rent and they must behave.

“We just deal with human nature as it comes,” Herb says. “We pay close attention without a lot of rules, and it seems to work.”

Alliance Housing is now working more intentionally to help clients and their children escape the culture of poverty. Clients in units now being developed in North Minneapolis will be required to have jobs and participate in parent education training.

Alliance has some “sober housing” that meets the needs of those with chemical dependency issues. It’s salvation for many, Herb said, and works for part of the population he serves.

Mini Classification

Mark Gleason knows first hand what a transformative experience youth exchange can be. His son spent 2005-2006 in Paraguay, and it changed his life.

Mark’s life changed when he met his wife, Kristi Wermager, curator of Special Collections at Carleton College. She pried him away from his New England roots and showed him there is life outside of Boston. They have three children.

Mark worked for 17 years for the National Endowment for Humanities in St. Paul and now is with Carleton College’s development office in Corporation and Foundation Relations. His goal is to attract $4 million each year to support Carleton’s program.

Mark joined Rotary in 2005.

Guests: Daniel Ajpop (Reggie) and our exchange students Aishwarya, Camilo, Felicia, Mathilde and Nichopat.

Scholarship Enhancement: Linda Willgohs


“To India and Back,” this year’s largest fundraiser for the Youth Exchange Program, is coming up a week from Saturday at the Northfield Middle School. Journey to India for an evening and explore its people, arts, culture, and food, while supporting Youth Exchange in Northfield. Stroll through a street fair from 5-7, enjoy Indian cuisine, palm reading, sanskrit and art, and experience traditional dance and Bollywood music from 7-9.  Tickets are $20 and T-shirts are also available.

— President Bierman offered congratulations to Jane Fenton for Laura Baker Services Association, her employer, being named Business of the Year by the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

— We will be hosting a Global Study Exchange group from Brazil on Sat. March 24.

— Betsy Spethmann invited members to take part in a grant review process for the United Way March 7-19. If you are intersted and have some financial expertise, talk to her

Coming Up:

Feb. 25 – “To India and Back” at the Middle School

Mar. 1 – TBA (Gett)

Mar. 8 – Camilo Zuluaga Caicedo, Columbia (O’Neill)