Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 11.30.2017

November 29, 2017

Today’s Program | Thursday, November 30, 2017

Today: Shelly Holden, Classification (Nordine)

Next Week: Dorothy Ishler, Classification (Wakely)

Birthdays: Matt Hillmann (11/29)

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet. 

Last Week:
George Davis never had a chance. Genetics and early exposure to both “Mr. Wizard” and a chemistry set conspired to make life in science education his destiny.

George and his wife moved to Northfield about a year ago from Moorhead, Minnesota, where for 19 years George served as director of a regional science center at Minnesota State University Moorhead. The 300-acre center sits within a 5,000 acre tallgrass prairie and provides environmental education, teacher education and field and research opportunities in observational astronomy, field biology and geology. George oversaw the center and taught biology and science education methods. He said he thoroughly enjoyed his profession.

Born in Rochester, Minn. on July 1, 1946, George cannot claim to be the first of the Baby Boom generation, but he knew people who were. His father’s work selling windows took them to New Jersey, Vermont and then Dubuque, Iowa during George’s youth. He earned an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree from University of Northern Iowa and later a doctorate from University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. In between he taught high school science — chemistry, physics and advanced biology. He taught for nine years at Emporia State University in Kansas before moving to Moorhead.

George and his wife have two adult children living in the Twin Cities. They were attracted to Northfield because of its proximity to their children and the familiar rhythms of a college town. George was a Rotarian in Moorhead and served as its club president 1996-97.


Jan Stevens is the longest serving woman member of our Rotary club. She joined in 1994. She earned a Phd. in Economics from the University of Illinois some 40 years ago. For the past 27 years, she’s been a realtor in Northfield. For most of her adult life, Jan has been involved in public service, serving on state committees, raising money for nonprofits, volunteering with Northfield Youth Chorus and more. She has been a member of our youth exchange committee since joining Rotary. Her three children were all out-bound students. She believes in our motto of “service above self” and counts being a part of Rotary among her blessings.


Guests: Kris Estenson (Estenson) and Steve Janusz from Healthcare for All Minnesota (Wakely).

Scholarship Enhancement: Erica Zweifel


— A Rice County Habitat for Humanity fundraiser was announced with a musical sampler performed by Sister, a familial female trio. They will be the featured performers at The Grand on Tuesday, Dec. 12. For more information, see Dayna Norvold or visit online at

— Calling all nominations for this year’s Rotary Good Neighbor Award. The award goes each year to a non-Rotarian who lives in the Northfield School District and whose service to the community reflects our “service above self” motto. Nominations are due by Thursday, Jan. 4. Erica Z. says nomination forms can be found on our website or she has some. Recent winners of the award are: Carol and Jerry Gengenbach, Alice Thomas and Judy Dierks.

— Erica Z. said the deadline is nearing for applications to serve on city boards and commissions. If you are interested in serving, please visit the city website and submit your application by Friday, Dec. 1.

— President Wakely reported a good turnout Nov. 15 for District Governor Kyle Haugen’s Tap Tour at Imminent Brewing. Todd Thompson presented on our Guatemalan water project and $281 was raised by passing tip jars around.

— David Brown reported that our club has donated $297,000 to Rotary Foundation.

— Jan Stevens advised us of two Vintage Band events coming up during December. Tuba Christmas, now a Vintage Band event, will be held Saturday, Dec. 2, at Carleton College. The Copper Street Brass, a festival favorite, will be performing Friday evening, Dec. 8, at St. John’s Church.

Our 2017-18 outbound students are:
Madison Asp — Finland

Joan Erickson — Argentina

Annika Fisher— South Africa

Bergen Hoff — Czech Republic/Slovakia

Emma Iverson — Spain

Alex Kovach — Japan

Joseph Kreis — Italy

Benjamin (Ben) Mohlke — Brazil

Piper Nelson — Germany

Jenna Olien — South Korea

Jack Overstreet — Brazil

Gregory Pelletier — Argentina

Espen Richardson — Norway

Elizabeth (Betsy) Schuerman — Denmark

Allison (Al) Weise — Thailand

Coming Up

December 14 — Andrew Ehrman and Betsy Allister, Spring Wind Farm (Morlan)

December 21 — Laura Turek, Northfield Promise Literacy Team (Weber)

December 28 — No Meeting. Holiday Break

December 29 — 501 Social (Wakely)

January 4 — Pau Ortemberg, Inbound Exchange Student (Chavie)