Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 01.21.2016

January 20, 2016

Birthdays: Mark Abbott (1/17) and Wendy Sivanich (1/21)

Next Week: Jo Ann Sabin, Pollinator Friendly Alliance, (Kallestad)

Last Week:

Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce has adopted “Good, Better, Best” as a slogan for 2016. Todd Bornhauser, executive director, explained that the organization is good, but it needs to be better so it can be its best.

The chamber had been on a rocky ride before Todd took the helm 15 months ago. He believes the organization is back on solid footing and leaning forward. Membership has grown from 190 members to 260 over the last year, and he says there are another 200 to 300 prospects in the local market.

He stressed that the chamber is a voice for all businesses in the community, not just those that line Division Street or employ large numbers. Sixty percent of chamber members employ less than 10 people, Todd said.

The chamber aspires to be the leader in shaping the local business climate. The organization’s foundational values are: 1) Provide value to members; 2) Be a respected player in community affairs; 3) Be a collaborator; 4) Provide leadership; 5) Encourage volunteerism; and 6) Have fun doing the above.

Its goals for 2016 include promoting member engagement, economic development, advocating for the business community, promoting tourism and providing education and networking opportunities for chamber members.

Todd has been a Northfield resident since 1990. He graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Hotel-Restaurant Management. He worked in the hospitality industry for 17 years before becoming the chamber executive director for Lakeville, a position he held for 14 years before assuming the position in Northfield. He is married with three children.

Mini Classification:

Tim Madigan grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania. He came to Minnesota to attend college at Minnesota State Moorhead, where he met his wife, Wendy. He was a teacher for a time, but ultimately earned a masters degree in City Management and over the rest of his career served five cities, including a four-year tour of duty as Northfield’s city administrator.

Now retired, Tim is teaching Urban Studies at Minnesota State Mankato and a course on the 1960s for the Cannon Valley Elder Collegium. When he is not teaching his is biking, skiing and enjoying two grandsons.

Guests: Sharon Flaten (Prowe), Mary Jo Christopherson (Zweifel) and Anita McKay (Allawala)

Scholarship Enhancement:  Erica Zweifel, the birthday girl


  • New member orientation will be held Friday, Jan. 29, noon at Community Resource Bank. New members from 2013-2015 are encouraged to attend. Michelle Lasswell, our vice president in charge of membership, along with other board members will provide an overview of Rotary structure, activities and ways to become involved. Lunch will be provided.
  • Mark Abbott was recognized for a Paul Harris Plus 5 Fellowship. David Brown reminded us that we strive to have every member contribute $100 or more to the foundation each year. The foundation contributes to Polio Plus and many more projects across the globe.
  • Charlie Cogan noted the recent suicide attack in Pakistan that targeted Polio Plus workers. In spite of these attacks, he said, the vaccination programs continue.
  • Boxes for recycling cell phone are now available at our meetings. The phones are being collected by the Minnesota Zoo and used to fund its Recycle the Rain Forest project.

Here is a list of this year’s outbound students. Some have already departed.

  • Beimers, Henry – Norway
  • Beimers, William – Brazil
  • Carlson, Samuel -Argentina
  • Estrada, Gabriella – France
  • Hahn, Erin – Thailand
  • Hodel, Christoph – Indonesia
  • Kelley, Caitlin – Chile
  • Lunderby, Jack – Brazil
  • Mandsager, Erik – Zimbabwe
  • Muir, Mason – Taiwan
  • Olson, Josiah – Colombia
  • Regnier, Eli – Brazil
  • Rodriguez-Vazquez, Leslie – Brazil
  • Scheffert, Jenna – Italy
  • Seitz, Zoe – Denmark
  • Washburn Chapman, Ahna Cole – South Africa
  • Woitalla, Jessica – Brazil

Past Northfield Rotary Club meeting videos on YouTube

Coming Up

February 4 — Alan Anderson, Climate Change Threatens Rotary’s Good Work

February 11 — Nicole Blaires, Exchange Student (V. Dilley)

February 18 — Jayne Hager Dee, Classification Talk (Prowe)