Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 03.01.2012

March 6, 2012

Today’s Program | Matt Williams, “Lacrosse in Northfield” (Gett)

Birthdays: Rotarians around the globe

Next Week: Camilo Zuluaga Caicedo, Columbia (O’Neill)

Last Week:

Whatever you do, don’t ask Don Robertson to show you his step-over-toe hold. It’s a guaranteed two-point takedown.

Don grew up in Winnebago, near Blue Earth. He wrestled in high school, twice claiming state titles, and went on to Augustana College in Sioux Falls, where he once finished fifth in the NCAA National Wrestling Tournament.

Don’s had a rich and varied professional life. He was a teacher and wrestling coach in St. James, a farmer, a banker, an agriculture consultant, executive director of the Minnesota Soybean Association, and, now, some 40 years later, he finds himself an owner-operator of Amerprise here in Northfield.

He opened that office with Kerry Running in 1998. He moved here in 2004.

Don is married with two daughters, both Iowa State Cyclones. Both reside in California, and one of them has Don’s twin grandsons. Don and his wife are piling up the frequent flyer miles with their visits.

Don had a Northfield connection before moving here. His grandfather built a house at 914 West Second St. and sent nine girls to St. Olaf, including his mother.

Mini Classification:

Nobody’s perfect, and Rick Esse is living proof. And let me be the first to say, let’s let bygones be bygones. I don’t care what the man has or hasn’t done; he deserves a second chance.

In hindsight, it all makes sense. He got a rough start growing up on the mean street of Hayward, Minn. and then attending the school of hard knocks at St. Olaf College. But he persevered. After doing time as a life insurance agent and an MLT Tours representative, he landed back in Northfield and became Advertising Director at the Northfield News, a position he held for 11 years. He left to launch Esse Advertising, which merged with Neuger Communications three years ago.

Rick has been married to Pam, a psychiatric nurse, for 30 years. They have one son, Alex, who is an artist and illustrator in the Twin Cities and will graduate from the University of Minnesota this spring. Rick’s brother, sister and mother, Lila, all call Northfield home.

Rick is a diehard sports fan. He loves the Twins, the Vikings and the Dundas Dukes, and he pretends to play golf.

He is a past club president and currently serves as Assistant District Governor for Area 4.

This just in….

Peter Davidson, our outbound student in Sweden, has lost two grandparents during his time away. He recently wrote his correspondent David Koenig, thanking Rotary for the support he received during a difficult time.

Guests: Jon Snodgrass (Rich) and Jill Fisher (Dilley)

Scholarship Enhancement: David Wolf


  • Richard Collman announced that the Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra will be performing Beethoven on March 3rd & 4th
  • Chris Weber is looking for volunteers to help at a literacy event at Sibley School Thursday, April 12 4:45 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Jan Stevens said exchange students would enjoy job shadowing our members for a day. If you are interested, talk to her.
  • Mark Abbott asked members to generate ideas for another international project for our club.  We can participate in many projects with other clubs, he said, but it is fulfilling to do our own.

Coming Up:

March 15 –Greater Good Initiative (Grabau)

March 22 –  Devon Barnes, classification ( Halverson)

March 24 – Saturday – GSE team from Brazil Social