Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 07.03.2014

July 3, 2014

Today: Chris Heineman, To China and Back, (Taylor) and our orderly transition of power. President Prichard rides into the sunset after passing the torch to President Matt Rich. Happy trails, Jim, and thanks for your leadership.

Birthdays: The All-American James Grabau (7/4) and the All-Canadian Scott Richardson (7/1)

Next Week: Bill Nelson, Nelson Dairy Consultants (Madigan)

Last Week:

Vicky Langer has a well-worn passport. Her father was a career military officer who, she believes, worked for the CIA and later for the United States Agency for International Development. He was stationed in Germany, Great Britain, Colorado, California and Laos. Vicky followed along.

Her memories of Germany are scant, but she has vivid recollections of her school days in England. The family most often moved in the middle of school years, so Vicky learned to adapt to new situations. She learned about different cultures, but found it hard to leave childhood friends behind.

Vicky and all but one of her three siblings were born in Minnesota and all of them graduated from Harrison High School in Colorado Springs. Vicky went on to St. Olaf College, but spent her summers with her family in Laos, where she taught English to Lao army officers.

During her time at St. Olaf, she met a local farmer, Greg Langer. They married and raised two children, Jon and Rebecca, in Greenvale Township. She said she surprised her globe-trotting family by settling down on a farm near Northfield. But she explains: “You meet the guy you like, the guy you love and you stay in Northfield.”

A retired teacher, Vicky is a master swimmer, enjoys skiing and the mountains. She is proud of what Rotary stands for and enjoys learning and growing through club activities.


Laurie Williams sums up her life in two words: family and music.

She grew up in Dundas surrounded by family. She joined her husband, Jesse Streitz, in his family’s business in 1980. It remains a true family enterprise; now their two sons work with them.

Laurie has a nursing degree from what is now Minnesota State University, Mankato. In college, as in high school, she played in the band and the orchestra and sang with the choir. Her love of music was a family affair, too. She remembers her mother always humming or singing, and Laurie learned piano from her grandmother.

Laurie has pursued her musical interests as an adult. She is a church organist at Grace Lutheran Church in Nerstrand, she sings with the chamber group, I Cantanti, and plays in the Cannon Regional Orchestra. Laurie also enjoys travel, water sports, biking, and she is a beginning quilter.

Laurie thanks Peg Prowe for inviting her into the club. That was in 1996, when the club was smaller and the demographics were different. She likes Rotary’s emphasis on service and even though the club has grown, she considers it close-knit.

Presentation: On behalf of our International Project Committee, John Sinning presented Love Odetola with a $500 check for her Women for Women Empowerment project in Senegal, Love’s home country. Love is a recent graduate of St. Olaf College and a frequent guest at Rotary meetings. The funds will be used to educate women about health, entrepreneurship and empowerment.

Last Week’s Guests: Tiphaine Vaude (Langer), Love Odetola (Wakely) and Judy Schaplowsky (Hoschouer).
Scholarship Enhancement: Charles Kyte


An anonymous donor has offered to add $5,000 to the Rotary challenge so we are now hoping to bust through the $90,000 mark with this June fundraising campaign. With $59,300 from the community contributions in hand, that looks doable, according to Virginia Kaczmarek, the YMCA executive direction.

Our own Bob Will was recognized during an open house at the newly-remodeled Northfield City Hall last week for his 31 years of service to the city’s Historic Preservation Commission. It was also the 60th anniversary of the city hall building.
Bob will also be honored in September by the Defeat of Jesse James Committee with the Joseph Lee Heywood Community Service Award.

Chris Weber said the club’s Literacy Committee has been working with Northfield’s Healthy Community Initiative and the Early Childhood Coalition to get the last of the book collection boxes placed at Longfellow School. Books are being donated and books are being distributed. He said it is a worthwhile effort.

Coming Up

July 17 — Randy Peterson, Target Regional Engineer (Madigan)

July 24 — Matt Saari, Director of Product Engineering at Multek (Madigan)

July 31 — Northfield Chief of Police Monte Nelson (Conway)

August 7 — Dr. Annette Parker, president of South Central Technical College