Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 10.04.2012

October 4, 2012

Today: Tim Penny, Ethics in Grant Making and SMIF Update (Tsui)

Birthdays: Rotarians around the globe.

Next Week: Meet the Inbound Students (V. Dilley)

Last Week:

MOM Brands, formerly Malt-O-Meal, is a Northfield success story.

The cereal producer was founded by John Campbell in 1919 and moved from Owatonna to Northfield in 1927 to make hot cereal at the Ames Mill on Fourth and Water streets. In 1961 it purchased what is now the Campbell Mill on Fifth Street, west of Highway 3, and its envelope has grown to house a million square feet of manufacturing capacity.

Bob Johnston, plant manager, said the company now produces five hot wheat cereal flavors, 23 varieties of oatmeal and 30 plus ready-to-eat cereal products, some marketed under the MOM brand, others under private labels. Besides Northfield, they produce cereal in St. Ansgar, Iowa, Tremonton, Utah and Asheboro, North Carolina with distribution centers in key locations across the country. It sells $700 million worth of cereal in a year and employs 1,800 people; eight hundred of them work in Northfield.

A family-owned business, MOM Brands is steadily increasing its market share in the cereal industry and sees its growth tied to emerging markets in Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. It is committed to food and worker safety, environmental sustainability with emphases on energy, packaging, water and waste, and whole-person development of their workforce through an initiative called “Thrive.”

MOM Brands has an employee-funded charitable giving arm called MOM Cares. They have raised $855,000 over time and distributed $125,000 in the last two years.

Bob said corporate headquarters will be moved in the not too distant future from Minneapolis to Lakeville where it already has a technical center.

Mini-Classification; Leo Lawlor

Leo Lawlor is an Ames, Iowa product. He was born and raised there, and except for a stint in the Army and an undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa, Ames was his home base.

He taught English and Speech in the Ames school system for 10 years and then served another 20 as a library media supervisor. He later ran a small business for 15 years.

Leo moved to Northfield in 2008 and joined Rotary in 2009. He and his wife, Bernadette, have three daughters and eight grandchildren.

Guests: All of our inbound exchange students joined us: Mizuki (Mickey) Oeda from Japan, Diatou Gueye from France, Adnan ansjur from Indonesia, Hsin-Yuan (Cindy) Wang from Taiwan, Mizuki (Mickey) Oeda from Japan, Carolina Riofrio from Ecuador and Rachael Dawson from India; Pat Douglas (Braucher), Chris Heineman (Rich) and Mary Quinn Crow (Richardson)

Scholarship Enhancement Winner: Keith Covey, who generously shared his windfall with our exchange students.


— We are participating in Rotary’s New Generations Exchange, which facilitates two to three week cultural exchange experiences for people 18-25. Nancy Amerman’s daughter, Ruth, is going to Brazil for three months and we are looking for a host family for a young Brazilian woman in exchange.

— We will need folks to interview prospective outbound exchange students Monday, Oct. 29, 7 to 9 p.m.  Contact Judy Brown-Wescott if you are interested in helping.

— Only 76 days until the Rotary Turkety Trot. Rob Bierman is looking for a partner to co-lead this event. If you are a selfstarter, but a team player and interested in learning about the fascinating world of race planning, talk to Rob.

— Chris Weber reported that Rotary is contributing two drop boxes to the Early Childhood program to help with its book circulation program.