Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 10.20.2016

October 18, 2016

Today’s Program | Thursday, October 20, 2016

Today: Melanie Freeze, Carleton College, “What’s Ahead in the Election” (Holden)

Birthdays: Bruce Morlan (10/19), Mark Gleason (10/20) and Barry Carlson (10/22)

Next Week: Breanna Wheeler, River Bend Nature Center’s New Start (Madigan)

Last Week:
Aurora Pharmaceuticals is a home-grown, Northfield success story. It started as a two-person veterinary practice and has evolved over 30-some years into a sophisticated manufacturer of medicinal products for animals. In the process, Aurora created 100 new living-wage jobs, many of them professional level, across multiple businesses and built an 85,000 square foot building in Northfield for manufacturing, warehousing and other related work.

Mark Strobel and Mark Werner, both veterinarians, are the drivers behind the operation. They joined forces in the early 1980s in a veterinary practice in Northfield. By the mid-90s, they were working with a compounding pharmacy in St. Peter to make unique formulations of drugs for animals. They started the FDA approval process for their first drug, Equine-anti product, in 2010 and received final approval in 2013. The product now grosses $10 million in sales and is the foundation for a business that makes 11 animal drugs and one for humans.

Mark said the business emerged from their commitment to solving problems for local customers, such as Holden Farms. Now they are well-positioned for growth with a national sales force and six new drugs in the FDA pipeline.

Aurora Pharmaceuticals is an environmentally-sensitive company that has tried to minimize its carbon footprint, but Mike said he and his partner are most proud of creating the 100 new jobs in Northfield. “It’s a great place to live and raise a family,” he said.

After 31 years as a card-carrying Rotarian, Brett Reese, once the new kid in the club, is now a club elder. He is a CPA by training, but an entrepreneur in spirit and practice. He said at 12-years of age he went into debt, borrowing money to buy cows; he is still leveraged, as they say in the business. His company, Rebound Enterprises, is involved in hospitality, manufacturing, real estate, financial services and community building.


Rice County Chemical Health Coalition last week recognized Northfield Rotary with a “prevention champion” award. Shelley Cole, representing the coalition, said our club is being recognized for going “above and beyond” in support of youth. She cited our support of the skate park, literacy projects and our youth exchange program. She also said acting on our “service above self” motto provides a good example for youth in our community. Barry Carlson, who submitted the application, received the award on the club’s behalf.

Guests: Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn, Dr. Richard Huston, and Rice County County Attorney John Fossum (Lasswell); Cindy Carlson (B. Carlson); Shelley Cole (Baily); Max Elberg (Heilman); Sam Gett (Hjellming) and Brent Nystrom (Reese).

Scholarship Enhancement: Chad Hjellming


Rob Bierman said Turkey Trot posters are now available. The 16th annual Thanksgiving 5K run/walk is gaining momentum. The food drive will again be a component of the event. Beginning Thursday, Nov. 3, members can bring donations to our meetings to jump-start that campaign. The “free-range” Turkey Trot is getting traction among those who will not be in Northfield the day of the run. Friday, Nov. 11, is the deadline for those joining with us long distance. Check out our website for details.

President Lasswell noted that Jean Wakely, our vice president, was recently in the Northfield News for facilitating a $20,000 Mary Kay Foundation Grant for Ruth’s House. And Richard Collman recently received one of four volunteer of the year awards from the Northfield Arts Guild for his fundraising.

The Rotary Outdoor Musical Park (ROMP) at Way Park will be dedicated Saturday, Oct 29, at 6 p.m. The project was accomplished in collaboration with the Friends of Way Park, our Rotary Club, local music educators and the City of Northfield.

Our Rotary District 5960 is marking Rotary Foundation’s 100th anniversary with a celebration Saturday evening, November 12, at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in St. Paul. If you are interested in going, please register at

Inbound students are:
Daniel Chien from Taiwan

Emma Nielsen from Denmark

Nico Suarez Toloza from Colombia

Eric Kwun from South Korea
Wanzita Ally from Tanzania
Matteo Lombardo, Italy

Our 2016-17 outbound students are:

Sage Brinton, Argentina

McKenna Dale, Brazil

Caroline Hummel, Norway

Noah Klein, South Korea

Jane Ludwig, Colombia

Yizel Marcial, Germany

Daiki Nishioka, Taiwan

Liliana (Lily) Noble, Italy

Madison Peterson-Bradford, Brazil

Emma Pritchard, Taiwan

Nathaniel Urke, Brazil.

Past Northfield Rotary Club meeting videos on YouTube

Coming Up

November 3 — Dan Knutson, Classification, (Rich)

November 10 — Zach Pruitt, HCI’s Tri-Bridges Program (Kaczmarek)

November 17 — TBA

November 24 — Turkey Trot