Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | January 4.2018

January 3, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018

Today: Pau Ortemberg, our inbound exchange student from Spain (Chavie).

Next Week: Patricia Fenswick, Refugees in the Workplace (Blaha)
Birthdays: Fred Rogers (1/4) and Curtis Tiano (1/6)
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:
Northfield Promise is taking a “collective impact” approach to improve the reading levels of our elementary students. It’s looking to align all of the community’s literacy efforts in service to this goal.

Laura Turek of Northfield Healthy Community (HCI), staffs the reading team for Northfield Promise. She said the program aims to measure what matters, identify best practices and implement what evidence suggests works. Northfield Promise wants all kids to be ready to read by third grade. The team is promoting reading to kids of all ages, making books more accessible to all families, involving the family, mentoring and integrating reading into a wide range of out of school activities.

Northfield Promise has created a number of outreach efforts. They include the Book Bike, a bi-pedal version of the bookmobile; providing books on school buses; a program called Bookends, reading before and after a youth activity such as soccer or dance; and now Breakfast Buddies. Laura is recruiting readers to share stories with kids during their 25-minute breakfast period at our elementary schools. If you are interested in participating, see Chris Weber or contact Laura Turek at
Chris Weber, a native of Chicago and a graduate of St. Olaf, has spent 23 years in the financial services and investment industry. He moved to Northfield with his wife Deanne in 1999 and now works for Community Resource Bank. They have two children.

Chris reminded us that our Literacy Committee began in 2010. Since then we have supported literacy in Northfield in a variety of ways. In partnership with the Early Childhood Coalition we have participated in collecting and distributing books across the community. We have contributed to the Northfield Library’s expansion project and helped underwrite its new bookmobile. Now we are collaborating with Northfield Promise’s literacy team to promote literacy and improve the reading skills of elementary students.

Ugly Sweater Contest: First-year entrant Brent Nystrom, the 29 Cent Santa, bested a field of 15 to win the 2017 Ugly Sweater Contest. The Rotary applause meter narrowed the field to three: Brent, Pat O’Neil and Vicki Dilley. We wished Vicki a happy birthday sent her on her way. And then there were two. Pat, who looked like a walking consignment shop, was nipped at the wire by a reindeer’s nose, and Brent earned the victory lap. But as always, no one’s a loser when you are making memories for Northfield Rotary.

Guests: Sam Richardson (Hillmann), Stacy Longwich and Maria Estenson (Estenson), Jose Martinez, former 2015 inbound exchange student, (A. Sivanich), and Aishwarya Gokhale from India, a former inbound exchange student (Taylor).

Scholarship Enhancement: Shelly Holden

The International Film Forum at Carleton College will focus on focus on ecological and civilization sustainability in a 10-week series beginning Monday, Jan. 8, 7 to 9 p.m. and extending through February. For more information, go to: or contact Alan Anderson.

Nominations for this year’s Rotary Good Neighbor Award are due today. See Erica Zweifel if you have an eleventh-hour nominee.

Rachel Estrella reported that 15 of the 18 candidate for outbound placement next fall were accepted by the district. She thanked everyone who contributed to the interview process.

Jim Blaha invited members to consider attending the “World In Your Lobby: Adventures in Working Across Cultures” workshop next Thursday, Jan. 14. Patricia Fenwick, Refugee Workforce Development Outreach Specialist for the Minnesota Department of Human Services, will speak at Rotary at a workshop immediately following our meeting at the church. If you plan on attending, please RSVP by calling 507-664-3580.

Our own Rick Estenson was named Business Person of the Year by the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce. Congratulations, Rick on a recognition well-deserved.

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:
January 18 — Jenni Ronni, Classification, (Zweifel)
January 25 — Beatriz Rebello, Exchange Student (Stevens)
February 1 — Human Trafficking (Thompson)
February 8 — Penny Hillemann, Classification (Kaczmarek)