Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 08.03.2017

August 1, 2017

Today’s Program | Thursday, August 3, 2017

Today: Scott Wopata, Director of The Key, Classification (Covey)

Next Week: Katie Arnold, Rice County Dispute Resolution Program (Morlan)

Birthdays: Katy Hargis (8/4)

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet. 

Last Week:
Rhonda Pownell knows what it is like to live in the glare of the community spotlight. She grew up in Sioux Falls, S.D., the middle child in a family that owned a general construction business. She attended a small high school, graduating in a class of 65. That meant she participated in numerous activities, including band, where she played the trombone, and sports, where she competed in basketball and softball. And when she was old enough to drive, her “ride” was often a truck from the family business with a sign on it. People in her world knew who you were and how you behaved.

All of that created an informal accountability, reinforcing family values such as being kind and respectful to others, being good stewards and being a team player.

Rhonda came to Northfield in 1988 to attend St. Olaf College. She earned a degree in Social Work. She met her husband, David, working at Laura Baker Association. They have five children, three still in their Northfield home.

Oh, and did I mention Rhonda is mayor of Northfield? She served on the city council in an at-large position for eight years before being elected mayor last year. She has invited the council to marry vision with action through a new strategic planning exercise. With the help of a community-wide survey and in-depth discussions, the council has identified six priorities for the next three to five years: Economic Development; Affordable Housing; Infrastructure; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Operational Effectiveness; and Climate Change Impact. Each has identified desired outcomes and strategic initiatives to reach the outcomes. City staff is in the process of developing action plans for each priority.

“We’ve got to be focused in order to get anything done,” the Mayor said.

The council will formally adopt the plan at its August 8th meeting. Rhonda expects staff to bring the action plans to the council in September.

Mini Classification:
Erica Zweifel has taken a new position at Carleton College. As of this month, she will be working at the Center for Community and Civic Engagement in the areas of the environment, sustainabililty and equity. Erica has been working as project manager for Carleton’s Science Education Resource Center.

Guests: Debbie Anderson (A. Anderson)

Scholarship Enhancement: We gave it a rest. Our fabulous philanthropy resumes this week.


— Jenni Roney reminds us that the 2017 Defeat of Jesse James Days Bike Tour is just five weeks out; it’s time to round up our posse. She is encouraging us to spread the word by talking to friends, neighbors and families about the event, sharing the 2017 bike tour Facebook page, registering to ride or handing out flyers. See Virginia Kaczmarek about the flyers.

Shelly Holden and Rick Estenson are recruiting bike tour volunteers this year. If you volunteered last year, we will assume you are doing that job again unless we hear from you. It’s getting to be “go” time for one of our major fundraisers.

— Some scheduling notes for upcoming meetings: On Thursday, August 17, we will be meeting at Community Resource Bank for our regular luncheon meeting; then on Thursday, Sept. 7, attendance is required only for those who are volunteering for the Defeat of Jesse James Bike Tour. The program will be dedicated to the pre-tour chalk talk.

— On Friday, Sept. 29, there will be a 5:01 social event for Rotary members and their guests at Keepsake Cidery. Stay tuned for details.

Our 2017-18 outbound students are:
Madison Asp — Finland

Joan Erickson — Argentina

Annika Fisher— South Africa

Bergen Hoff — Czech Republic/Slovakia

Emma Iverson — Spain

Alex Kovach — Japan

Joseph Kreis — Italy

Benjamin (Ben) Mohlke — Brazil

Piper Nelson — Germany

Jenna Olien — South Korea

Jack Overstreet — Brazil

Gregory Pelletier — Argentina

Espen Richardson — Norway

Elizabeth (Betsy) Schuerman — Denmark

Allison (Al) Weise — Thailand

Coming Up

August 17 — Vicki Dilley, District Grant — Bunk Beds in Tanzania (We’ll meet at Community Resource Bank.)

August 24 — Charles Richardson, Experiences in Cuba (Prowe)

August 31 — Andrew Oftedal, Parks and Trails Council (Prowe and Schulte)

September 7 — Bike Tour Chalk Talk (Rich and Reese)