Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 03.16.2017

March 14, 2017

Today’s Program | Thursday, March 16, 2017

Today: Eric Kwun, Inbound Exchange Student (V. Dilley)

Next Week: Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Autobiography, (Rogers)

Birthdays: Rotarians Around the Globe

Last Week:
Emma Nielsen is happy to be here. But that probably goes without saying. She comes to us from Denmark, named the world’s “happiest” country in 2016 by World Happiness Index.

Why the high ratings? Emma believes it has something to do with the security associated with the free health care and the free education provided to Danish citizens.  Taxes are high, but apparently the Danes see value in this bargain.

Emma does a lot of studying when she is at home. Her school day runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and then she studies for another five or six hours in the afternoon and evening. She shared a classroom with the same 25 to 30 students for 10 years. There is a degree of informality. Teachers are addressed by their first names. When Emma returns home, she will move on to the next level of education, where she plans to study math and science for three years. Then she hopes to go to a university to study astrophysics.

Denmark is half the size of Minnesota. It is comprised of 418 islands. Its borders are defined by the oceans that surround it. There are more bicycles than cars in the country. Trade, farming and sustainable energy are the engines of the Danish economy.

Emma has three siblings at home. Her father is a CFO for a company and her mother works in sales.

Emma thanked Rotary for this exchange opportunity.

Brad Frago has seen many changes in family law during his 20-plus years working in the field. In terms of substance, he has seen courts and parents, more often than not, arrange for equal parenting time for those divorcing. He has also seen a reduction in spousal financial support.

In terms of process, Brad has seen his role evolve into more a collaborative problem-solver than a litigator. More of his time is now spent doing evaluations to determine parenting time and custody issues. Brad practices with his wife, Michelle Lasswell, in Northfield.

Good Neighbor Award:
Carol and Gerry Gengenbach were honored last week with the Northfield Rotary Good Neighbor Award. The award goes each year to someone from outside the club whose community work reflects Rotary’s commitment to “service above self.”

Carol, a retired teacher, has served for four years on the board of Northfield Community Action Center, one year as vice president. She has been a member of the program committee and was a leader in CAC’s Bridges Out of Poverty workshop. Carol currently chairs the organization’s Housing Task Force, serves as a mentor for Northfield Works and volunteers at Thursday’s Table and the Northfield Food Shelf. Carol tutors children in math and reading as part of Accelerate Northfield. She also serves on the board of Northfield Retirement Community Foundation. Previously, she served on the NRC Board of Directors.

Gerry, a retired Lutheran minister, served for six years as president of Northfield Senior Center and sits on every board committee. His spirit of hospitality is credited with helping develop the spirit of fun and hospitality that permeates the center. He also volunteers in the organization’s Used-A-Bit shop, repairing furniture. Gerry donates his time delivering Meals-On-Wheels and financially supports the work of the Northfield Historical Society, Northfield Retirement Center and more.

Guests: Jenni Roney (Zweifel), Rich Hirsch (Koenig), Rhonda Pownell (Kaczmarek), Rachel’s Mom (Estrella), Stephen and Kathleen Brinton; Ellen and Scot Iverson; and Timothy and Leanne Noble (Nielsen)

Scholarship Enhancement: Jack Hoschauer


— Yogi Reppmann is hosting a Euro-Atlantic Conference Thursday, March 30 – Sunday, April 2 at St. John’s Lutheran Church here in Northfield. Here is a link for information on the conference: There is no charge and lunches and dinners are free. But please register. Yogi needs to know how many are coming. The conference coincides with Yogi’s 60th birthday so he is inviting all of us to Froggy Bottoms at 8 p.m. Friday, March 31, to share in the revelry.

— Rotary will hold a party Thursday, June 8, at the Estenson Event Center to celebrate graduation for our exchange students. The fun will begin at 6 p.m. and go to 7:30 p.m. It will also be an opportunity to thank sponsors of our Turkey Trot and Bike Tour, so be on your best behavior. We want to make a good impression.

— President Lasswell reminded us that the password to navigate the Members Only pages of our web site is her last name — lasswell — no capital L.

— If you are interested in attending Rotary District 5960’s District Conference Thursday, April 27 through Saturday, April 29, see President Lasswell. This is open to all Rotarians and is a great opportunity to learn more about Rotary and meet fellow Rotarians. You are not required to go to the whole conference, but can go to whatever works with your schedule. Here is a link for more information and registration:

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

Caroline Hummel, Norway

Noah Klein, South Korea

Jane Ludwig, Colombia

Yizel Marcial, Germany

Daiki Nishioka, Taiwan

Liliana (Lily) Noble, Italy

Emma Pritchard, Taiwan

Nathaniel Urke, Brazil.

Coming Up

March 30 — Daniel Chien, Inbound Exchange Student (Ischler)

April 6 — TBD

April 13 — Wanzita Ally, (Barry Carlson)

April 20 — David Stanford, Classification