Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 02.23.2017

February 21, 2017

Today’s Program | Thursday, February 23, 2017

Today: Mateo Lombardo (O’Neill)

Next Week: Human Rights Commission Diversity Skit (Wakely)

Birthdays: Jan Hanson (2/13), Alyssa Herzog Melby and Adrian Thomas (2/15), John Stull (2/18), Peg Prowe  (2/19), Amber Chavie (2/21), Brad Frago (2/22) and James Schlichting (2/25).

Last Week:
Eighty people turned out for the Rotary Foundation Centennial Dinner at Bethel Church. Sarah Swan McDonald, Northfield Teacher of the Year, reminded us of the power of authentic compassion and hopefulness and our obligation to share our stories of philanthropy. The Cogwheels channeled the inspiring folk music of the ‘60s, and our International Service Project team of Dave Brown, Mark Abbott and Charlie Cogan reminded us of how past foundation grants have made a difference. If you would still like to contribute, send a check to David Wolf, our treasurer.

The Week Before Last:
Andrei Sivanich believes in the “butterfly effect”: Small things can have large ripple effects. He’s seen it play out in his own life.

For instance, his father’s suggestion that he try a summer tennis program set Andrei on course for a successful high school and college tennis career. Now in his fifties, he continues to play on a United States Tennis Association team.

He met his wife, Wendy, another member of the club, when peripheral friends invited him out to a night club one night in 1990. He wrote her phone number in lipstick on a moist napkin. The numbers smeared, but they were legible enough to make out and connect with his future life partner.

Andrei first professional work was with a private, nonprofit mental health organization. He negotiated rental units for homeless adults with mental health and chemical dependency issues. That experience led him to a 20-year career in sales in a variety of settings. He now sells sales and use tax software.

Andrei said he is a “townie through and through.” His father, George, was a psychology professor at St. Olaf College. He describes his mother, Arlene as a kitchen philosopher and a prolific writer of letters to the editor.

In 2005, Andrei and family were living in Rosemount and decided a small-town experience is what they wanted for themselves. They were in town one day and on a whim went to an open house on Orchard Street.

They made an offer that day and moved to Northfield.

Wendy and Andrei have two children, Katie and Maggie. Katie is in college and Maggie will graduate from Northfield High School. Both are passionate about travel.

Andrei is actively investigating what he calls his “encore career.”  He is ready to exit the corporate environment and try something else. In the meantime, he and Wendy are becoming minimalists and intentionally working to pare back their world to life’s essentials.

Jim Holden has drawn on what he calls a “seminal experience” teaching in England in the 1960s to publish a book called “The Yank in Queen Elizabeth’s Court.”

After graduating from Augsburg and teaching for four years, he and his wife, Caroline, pulled up stakes and found Jim a teaching position in England. They soaked up the culture, visited the national shrines and learned how to speak the King’s English. Jim said it was a roiling political time. There was a great deal of anti-American sentiment in England, there was racial unrest at home, and the question of Rhodesian independence from English colonial rule was being litigated.

Modestly, Jim does not expect his memoir to be a best seller, so he will give one of his books to anyone donating to the Rotary Foundation.

Jim taught English for many years at Northfield High School and was a long-time boys’ tennis coach.


A Sad Loss
Ramiz Allawala, husband of club member Karen Allawala and a frequent guest at Rotary meetings, died last week. His optimism and insight will be sorely missed.

Fond Farewell:
We want to thank Hugh Kaste for his faithful 10 years of service to the club. He joined the club in 2007 and resigned earlier this year. He was active on our Youth Exchange Committee.

Guests: Rick Hirsch (Koenig) and Mike Krance (Estenson)

Scholarship Enhancement: Nico

Other Announcements
Bruce Morlan has stepped forward to chair our Program Committee. He takes over for the departing Elizabeth Child. Other members on the committee are Charlie Kyte, Tim Madigan and Alan Anderson. If you have program ideas, see Bruce.

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

Caroline Hummel, Norway

Noah Klein, South Korea

Jane Ludwig, Colombia

Yizel Marcial, Germany

Daiki Nishioka, Taiwan

Liliana (Lily) Noble, Italy

Emma Pritchard, Taiwan

Nathaniel Urke, Brazil.

Coming Up

March 9 — Ben Martig, Classification

March 16 — Eric Kwun, Inbound Exchange Student (V. Dilley)

March 23 — Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Autobiography, (Rogers)

March 30 — Daniel Chien, Inbound Exchange Student (Ischler)