Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 03.10.2016

March 8, 2016

Today: Carson Hsai, Exchange Student (V. Dilley)

Birthdays: Mark Quinnell (3/7) and Bob Will (3/8)

Next Week: Hold on to your shillelahgs. The Irish are coming: Saint, Scholar and Sinner (O’Madigan)

Last Week:

Chad Hjellming (pronounced Yellming) has a gift for vicarious living. He’s spent his entire professional life in newspapers sharing other people’s stories.

Chad is the new publisher for the Northfield News and regional general manager for newspapers in Waseca, St. Peter, Le Sueur, Le Center, Lonsdale and Janesville. He3 got his start writing sports for the Winona Daily News and editing his hometown newspaper, the Caledonia Argus. Then, he spent 17 years working for Forum Communications with stops in Cottage Grove, Hastings, Red Wing and Farmington.

Caledonia, Minn., a community of 2,800 that teeters on the tip of southeastern Minnesota, provided Chad with an idyllic small-town experience. The youngest of three children, his father ran the local shoe store, and his mother worked evenings as a waitress at the local bowling alley. Sports consumed much of Chad’s energy and passion. He excelled at basketball and baseball and earned all-state academic honors in both.

After high school, he enrolled at Viterbo College in La Crosse, Wis., where he played baseball. After two years, he transferred to Winona State University and turned to journalism, sports writing in particular, to help fund his remaining college years.

Chad claims he hasn’t been anywhere, hasn’t seen anything. He’s only been on one commercial airplane, and he didn’t venture north of the Twin Cities until he was in his 30s.

“It was a small world that I grew up in,” he said, “and it stayed small.”

Chad now resides in Cannon Falls with his wife, Stephanie, a special education teacher. They have two children, Hannah, 12, and Ryan, 8. They, too, are all about sports and Chad coaches their basketball and softball teams.

Mini Classification:

Who knew The Key is an economic development tool? It drew Jake Conway to Northfield years ago for a rock concert. Later, married and looking for a spot to open a chiropractic practice, he remembered Northfield. A tour of the community on bikes sealed the deal.

Jake grew up in Cottage Grove, went to the University Wisconsin – River Falls and then chiropractic school. He and his wife, Bridget, also a chiropractor, own and operate Cannon Pointe Chiropractic, now in its fifth year. Their big news is their new baby, Wyatt, who already has achieved a good deal of notoriety for his dramatic entrance into the world. Let’s just say he was not fashionably late, quite the opposite.

Good Neighbor Award

Alice Thomas was surprised with this year’s Northfield Rotary Good Neighbor Award. The award goes each year to someone outside the club whose investment in the community reflects Rotary’s “service above self” motto.

She has quite a resume when it comes to civic involvement. It might be easier to list the boards and commissions she’s not been a part of rather then those she has. But here is a sampler of her contributions to the Northfield community: Northfield League of Women Voters, Northfield School Board, Northfield Hospital Board, Northfield Soccer Association, Northfield Planning Commission, Northfield Roundtable, Northfield Historical Society, Save the Depot and Northfield in Bloom.

In addition to the standing ovation the club afforded her, she received a Paul Harris Fellowship and a small stipend. Congratulations Alice.

Paul Harris Fellowship

Robert Flaten honored his chauffeur, best friend and wife, Sharon Flaten, with an honorary Paul Harris Fellowship. Sharon, who joined the club recently, said Rotary provides a dimension to her life that she has been missing.

Guests: Tracy Davis, Alice Thomas, Betsey Buckheit (Zweifel), Andrew Lewis (Estrella) and Gracie from Brazil (V. Dilley).

Scholarship Enhancement:  Our troubadour Todd Thompson

Two members of the club are recovering from medical episodes this week. Rick Estenson had a second knee replacement. Dorothy Isler fell and broke her leg. We wish both of them speedy recoveries.

We will be sharing our district Conference with District 5950 this year at Mystic Lake Conference Center, Thursday and Friday, May 12-13.  If you are interested in attending, check out the website at It is a great way to learn more about what Rotary is and does around the world and locally.

The district would like us to register on its website. Here’s how you do it:

  • Find your Rotary ID number on the label of your Rotary Magazine; 2) Log on to www., click “My Club,” below Rotary International click “Sign in Register,” and click “Create Account. 3) Follow the prompts to complete the questions and your Rotary profile.

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

March 24 — Ruth Hickey, Ruth’s House of Hope (Caskey)

March 31 — Marlene Gargulak, Youth Exchange (Cogan)

April 7 — Teresa Jensen, Library remodeling (Madigan)

April 14 — TBA

Quote for the Day:

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
― Mahatma Gandhi