Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 07.10.2014

July 9, 2014

Today: Bill Nelson, Nelson Dairy Consultants (Madigan)

Birthdays: Dana Norvold (7/5),Candy Taylor (7/7), Todd Thompson (7/8) and Nancy Amerman (7/12).

Next Week: Randy Peterson, Target Regional Engineer (Madigan).

Changing of the Guard:

Outgoing president Jim Prichard thanked members for their support and good work during his presidency. He said we are a unique, talented group which made his job easier.He said he continues to be impressed by the world-wide reach and influence of what is essentially a local, grassroots organization.

Incoming President Matt Rich graciously assumed the mantle of leadership. If this editor were former Vikings Coach Denny Green, he would say: Matt doesn’t have to build the car; he just has to drive it, and Matt would agree. Under his agency, we will learn more about the employment history of our members. And you are invited to share your earliest employment experience by accessing a form on our website. Good luck, Matt. We are all behind you.

Last Week:

A sister city program between Red Wing and Quzhou, China gave Chris Heineman and his family an opportunity to experience Chinese culture from the inside out.

Chris lives in Red Wing. His wife teaches English at Red Wing High School. She applied for a teacher exchange program and was accepted. Chris took a two-month leave of absence from his position of Community Planning and Development Director with the City of Northfield so he and their two children could share in the experience.

Quzhou is about 300 miles southwest of Shanghai. It is a city of 2.4 million people, but its design gives it the feel of a small city. The Heinemans lived in an apartment provided to them by the exchange program. They were treated like dignitaries, Chris said. They were invited to many banquets and met multiple times with Chinese education officials.

By chance, Chris discovered the International City-County Management Association was hosting a conference in China. He applied and was asked to be one of the presenters on the topic of sustainable development, which included a summary of Northfield’s Greenstep program.

Chris was impressed in China’s investment in infrastructure. He said it is being developed on a much larger scale than anything being done in the United States. The Chinese are investing wisely by borrowing the best ideas from other countries, Chris said.

They traveled to Beijing and saw the Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City and made a trip to the Great Wall. As the anniversary of Tiananmen Square approached, Internet access became more limited, Chris said. He was not used to that kind of government control.


Six minutes into his presidency and Matthew Rich is already throwing money around. He presented Peg Prowe, a representative of Mill Towns Trail, with a $12,000 check for trail development. Peggy said the latest developments for the trail include a bridge being built at Lake Byllesby and the purchase of 50 acres of land from Dundas south to CR 8. Soon, we will be able to get there from here.

Last Week’s Guests: Tiphaine Vaude (Langer), Ellen Currier (Zweifel), Jed Heineman (Heineman).

Fond Farewell:

Lucas, the last of this year’s exchange students, is now home in Brasil. He said he thoroughly enjoyed his stay in Northfield. His exchange experience taught him that respecting other cultures is the path towards peace. Everyone here changed him in different ways, he said. He won’t forget his time here, especially the legendary winter of 2014.

Scholarship Enhancement: Neil Lutsky


The Rotary Challenge for the YMCA’s Raise the Roof campaign raised an incredible $113,651 from 120 donors during June. Virginia Kaczmarek, the YMCA executive direction, said this was more than $38,000 more than the campaign goal. Good work, Rotary!

President Rich said the club is looking for a local, large-scale project to support. Ideas are due by August 13. On September 9, there will be public presentations, and the full board will make a decision on September 11. If you or someone you know is passionate about a local service project, let them know about this initiative.

Jan Stevens is looking for volunteers to help with Vintage Band Day on Saturday, Aug. 2, in Bridge Square. Let her know if you can help.

A Rotary Clothing Incentive Program will be in play through end of the year to attract more contributors to the Paul Harris Foundation. The first 25 members to contribute $100 or more will be able to select a Rotary-branded clothing item from Larson Printing’s inventory.

Coming Up

July 24 — Matt Saari, Director of Product Engineering at Multek (Madigan)

July 31 — No noon meeting; evening social event.

August 7 — Dr. Annette Parker, president of South Central Technical College

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