Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 07.24.2014

July 22, 2014

Today: Matt Saari, Director of Product Engineering at Multek (Heineman)

Birthdays: Gerhard Meidt (7/10), Teresa Jensen (7/11), Duane Benson (7/21), and Linda Willgohs (7/22).

Next Week: No noon meeting; evening social event at the Estenson Event Center

Last Week:

Randy Peterson probably has a say in the placement of Target store logos and those red spheres near store entrances. But as a member of the retail giant’s Property Development Group, he does much more than that.

He and his department help create and maintain 1,900 Target stores across the United States and Canada. They provide the engineering, architectural services and construction management to support the stores we shop.

All of his work is dedicated to driving sales, he said, $70 billion worth annually at last count. They are constantly creating different store models to accommodate the changing needs of consumers. For instance, they are testing a concept called “Target Express,” a smaller 20,000 square foot store that mirrors the format developed by Walgreen’s and CVC. They are developing store concepts to better meet the needs of college students, and they are working on innovative design to wedge stores into urban centers like one in Boston near Fenway Park.

Randy lives in Northfield. He served as Director of Public Works for the City of Northfield for eight years in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. He now is one of the thousands of Target employees who work in downtown Minneapolis, but his work requires that he travel a couple of times each month.

Target has had its share of “bad press” in the last year, Randy acknowledged. An aggressive expansion into the Canadian retail market did not meet expectations (It generated $1.5 billion in sales, not the projected $1.8 billion.) There was the technology breach during last year’s holiday season, and there has been a change in top corporate leadership, which suggests new strategic direction.

Randy said he appreciates Target’s corporate culture with its emphasis on service, community giving, environmental sensitivity and innovation. He shared a quote that sums up the need to keep evolving to meet customer needs. “What’s made you successful in the past may prevent you from seeing the future.”

Paul Harris Fellows: Jim Prichard and Tim Madigan were presented with Paul Harris Fellowships. David Brown, chair of the Paul Harris Foundation Committee, reminded us that our goal is to have each Rotarian commit $100 a year to the foundation. The half-price sale is in effect through December. A $500 donation qualifies you for a Paul Harris Fellowship. Think about it.

Leadership Recognition: President Rich presented former president Jim Prichard with a gavel in appreciation for his service as president this past year. This case is closed.

Last Week’s Guests: Leah Rich and new member Adam Elling (Rich).

Scholarship Enhancement: Brett Reese (The Cow-Calling Star of “Northfield Rotary’s Got Talent” or was it “Hee-Haw?”).


President Rich reported that the Members Section of the Rotary website has been updated. A reminder: the new password is the current president’s surname, lowercase.


Charlie Cogan said the Books for Africa book shipment has reached the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Books will soon be distributed to the schools.


Judy Brown-Wescott presented a flag from the Leyland, England Rotary Club, which she visited recently. She said one of their rituals each week is to raise a glass and toast the Queen of England. The monarchy lives on.


There will be no noon meeting on Thursday, July 31. Instead, there will be a social at the Estenson Event Center beginning at 5:30 p.m. It will be a family-friendly social event with dinner.


We’re looking to fill a board position for this year. The community service directorship is open. All members who are interested in serving this year or in the future should contact any board member. The next stages of the succession plan are being developed, so now is the time to make leadership aspirations known.


The club is now accepting applications for a local service project. All details, including the guidelines, process, and application, can be found on the club’s website on the Service page.


We learned that Jean Wakely’s first job was in hospital laundry department, where she earned 75 cents an hour washing sheets.


Coming Up
August 7 — Dr. Annette Parker, President of South Central Technical College

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

August 21 — Matt Hillman, Transformation Technology in Northfield Public Schools (C. Richardson)