Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 04.19.2012

April 19, 2012

Today’s Program | Michael McNally, “Center for Civic Engagement at Carleton” (Hargis)

Birthdays: Paul Reiland (4/16), Wayne Abdella (4/17) and John Fossum 4/19)

Next Week: Mary Quinn Crow. Vice President of Operations and Chief Operating Officer of Northfield Hospital & Clinics (Henke).

Last Week:

Camilo Zuluaga, our exchange student from Colombia, characterizes himself as “shy, but friendly.”

I’d say he’s half right. He is certainly friendly. But I have to wonder about this shy business. His radiant smile and great comedic timing suggests he is pretty comfortable meeting new people and making presentations. But, whatever he says goes. He is our guest.

Camilo comes from Palmira, a city of some 350,000, nestled in the heart of the country’s largest agriculture sector. His mother is a lawyer for a public service company; his father manages a sugar cane farm. His home town is not much of a tourist destination, but beyond production of sugar cane and coffee, it also known for its large number of bicycles per capita, second highest in the world.

Colombia is known for celebrities such as Shakira, a singer, and Sofia Vergera, an actress on Modern Family, and, unfortunately, its drug cartels. Camilo said they are working hard to change their image in the eyes of the world.

This is Camilo’s third excursion to the United States. He came to Northfield seeking to improve his English and to learn about another culture. We introduced him to snow, American football, and we facilitated his visit to Alaska.

Upon his return home, he hopes to attend the University of Cali in Colombia and study Economics and International Business. And with that, he hopes to do more traveling through exchanges with other universities.

 Mini Classification

Pat O’Neil grew up in an Irish home in Cadillac, Mich., the sixth of seven boys.

From his father, who worked in a hardware store, he learned to put the customer first. His mother, the family disciplinarian, shared her love of reading with Pat and the boys and taught them to appreciate the food on the plates in front of them.

Pat moved to Northfield in 1983 when he purchased the optometry practice from Dr. Moore. He merged his practice with Allina in 1994 and then created the River Valley Vision Centers in 2004. His practice will have a new name in May, so stay tuned.

Pat and his wife, Dawn, have three grown children, and they have been involved with four different exchange students over the years. This year, they are serving as Camilo’s counselors.

Pat values the interconnections with his patients and neighbors in Northfield. “We weave our way into this community, and I find this very fulfilling,” he said.




Guests:  Beth Kallestad (Kaczmarek), Karna Halverson and Hank and Kari Nelson (Camilo), Down O’Neill (O’Neill), Ruby Sheets (Weber), Amy Merritt and Cliff Martin (Fenton)


Scholarship Enhancement: The Notorious Jane Fenton

Vicki Dilley is off to Brazil on the GSE trip. You can follow her on her blog.

We received cards of gratitude recently, one from the Northfield Historical Society for our recent $4,000 contribution to its capital campaign, and one from the district polio eradication committee for our $8,000 contribution.

Coming Up:

May 3 — Confessions of an Itinerant Academic, Bob Craig’s

Classification (Estenson)


May 10 – Leo Fanton, Brazil (Quinnell)


May 17 – St. Olaf College President David Anderson (Koenig)