Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 09.29.2016

September 27, 2016

Today’s Program | Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016

Today: Joe Wakely, Clean Drinking Water in Guatemala (Halverson)

Birthdays: Don Robertson (9/25); Jim Blaha, Chad Hjellming, Hugh Kaste, and Gerhard Meidt (9/27); Laurie Williams, (9/28); Rob Bierman and Kurt Larson (9/29) and Rachel McIves Morey (9/30).

Next Week: Bruce Morlan, Classified.

Last Week:
James J. Hill’s legacy is alive and well.

The legendary “empire builder,” best known for his privately-financed, inter-continental railroad, believed in changing the world by championing entrepreneurialism, said Patrick Donahue, President and CEO of Hill Capital Corporation. Hill helped 19th century settlers become more economically stable by introducing them to new crops and new breeds of livestock. He also established the James J. Hill Reference Library in St. Paul to provide entrepreneurs the resources they needed to develop business ideas.

In the spirit of James J. Hill and with support from the James J. Hill Center, the Hill Capital Corporation was formed in 2016. Its goal is “economic barn-raising,” Patrick said. Entrepreneurs need access to quality capital. It is especially acute for those whose needs are too big for community banks, but not big enough to attract institutional investors.

Angie’s Popcorn out of Mankato is a good example, Patrick said. When Angie and her husband decided to give up their conventional employment to scale up their business, she was forced to use credit cards to find the capital to buy inputs and pay people. At any point in time, there are thousands just like her, Patrick said.

Hill Capitol is essentially a private-equity, venture capital firm. Its investors are entrepreneurs or retired executives who share a commitment to small business development.

For more information, go to:


Mike Leming gave some background on the upcoming Kevin Kling show Saturday evening, Oct. 28, a fundraiser for Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts. Interact is national leader in creating art opportunities for artists with disabilities. In 2010, Mike saw one of their shows and invited the director to Thailand, where he has an ongoing interest in human development.

Over a period of five years, Interact drew from groups with a variety of disabilities to create a community of performers. Their productions inspired the Thai government to build a $10 million therapy facility. Mike encouraged members to attend the Kling show and support efforts to bring hope and joy to our friends in Thailand. Tickets are $25 and are available online at

Guests: Larry Fowler (S. Richardson), Al Kalter and Rick Istead (V. Dilley)

Scholarship Enhancement: Chris Weber


Chris Heineman, chair of the DJJD Bike Tour Committee, said a final, final tally on the bike tour is not yet available, but revenue is now at $24,500, not a high water mark, but an increase over last year’s number.

The Turkey Trot Committee is now actively looking for sponsors for this year’s 5K run/walk Thanksgiving morning. Rick Estenson asked that club members think about becoming a sponsor if they own a business. This year, we will pilot a Wild Free-Range Turkey Trot contest for those who will not be in Northfield November 24. We are using social media to invite those with a Rotary affiliation, former exchange students, their families and the like, to sign up and provide a photo or video for our web site the day of the race. We will vote on the best one and provide a prize or assign bragging rights to the most creative “trot.” Spread the word.

Dick Schulte, Fred Rogers, Jean Wakely and Erica Zweifel contributed to the Cannon River cleanup September 17. They worked along the river in Cannon Falls.

We need 40 volunteers to help interview prospective outbound exchange students on Monday, Oct. 24. Your help is needed from 5 to 9 p.m. that evening. There will be pizza and training. Rachel Estrella is expecting 20 students. We need two interviewers for each student. See her if you can help.

Today is the last chance to purchase 2016 Bike Tour T-shirts. They are on sale in the lobby at the discounted price of $8.

Inbound students are:
Daniel Chien from Taiwan

Emma Nielsen from Denmark

Nico Suarez Toloza from Colombia

Eric Kwun from South Korea
Wanzita Ally from Tanzania
Matteo Lombardo, Italy

Our 2016-17 outbound students are:

Sage Brinton, Argentina

McKenna Dale, Brazil

Caroline Hummel, Norway

Noah Klein, South Korea

Jane Ludwig, Colombia

Yizel Marcial, Germany

Daiki Nishioka, Taiwan

Liliana (Lily) Noble, Italy

Madison Peterson-Bradford, Brazil

Emma Pritchard, Taiwan

Nathaniel Urke, Brazil.

Coming Up

October 13 — Mike Strobel, The Making of Aurora Pharmaceuticals, (Reese)

October 20 — Melanie Freeze, Carleton College, “What’s Ahead in the Election,” (Holden)

October 27 — Breanna Wheeler, River Bend Nature Center’s New Start, (Madigan)

November 3 — Dan Knutson, Classification, (Rich)