Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | February 15.2018

February 14, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

Today: Robert Massoud, The Power of a Mission Driven Business (Rogers)

Next Week: Kengo Osumi, exchange student, (Frago)

Birthdays: Janet Hanson (2/13) and Alyssa Herzog-Melby (2/15)

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:
Penny Hillemann is not from here. I mean not even close. She was born in Nairobi, Kenya to two British civil servants, just as the sun was finally setting on Britain’s colonial empire.

In 1964, when Penny was five, the family moved to the United States and settled in the San Francisco area. Her father worked for the Oakland Tribune as a printer-proofreader. Her mother was a legal secretary and a writer, both fiction and nonfiction. Her enrollment in a private high school academy proved to be life-changing. It put her on a trajectory to graduate from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, to marry a classmate and to earn a law degree from the University of Wisconsin.

She moved to Northfield in 1990 with her former husband, Eric Hillemann, and her daughter, Phoebe. They had two more children, daughter, Hallie, and son, Henry.

Penny worked for WCAL-radio at St. Olaf College until it was sold to Minnesota Public Radio and then worked at Neuger Communications for 12 years as a project manager and writer. During her time at Neuger, she especially enjoyed her work mission-based organizations and walked the talk by serving on the board of directors at Northfield Healthy Community Initiative for eight years, joining the Just Food board in 2012 and now serving as president, and joining River Bend Nature Center’s board in 2013. Last year, she decided to follow her passion for nonprofits and accepted the position of executive director of Northfield Area United Way.

Penny remarried in 2008. Her husband, Dave, manages the Super America on Highway 3. She continues to experience and study the web of life that connects the outdoors and agriculture with food and good health. For the past 10 years, she has authored a blog on bird-watching, gardening and the outdoors, called Penelopedia. Penny also does free-lance science writing.

Virginia Kazcmarek is the executive director of the Northfield Y. The $9.4 million facility is now in its fourth year of operation and is financially sustainable, she reported. It serves some 5,000 members a month, most of who live within a 10-mile radius of Northfield. The biggest demographic is adults ages 24-55 with children.

Virginia has worked for the YMCA for 20 years, 10 years here in Northfield. She is a graduate of St. Cloud State University with a degree in economics and earned her masters degree in economics from the University of Kansas. Before her academic work, she served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

She has two children and two grandchildren.

Guests: Jody Gunderson (Heineman), Bill Kuhlman, president of Minneapolis Rotary Club (Ophaug), Larry Vorwerk (Barry Carlson), Conceiceo Mendonca (V. Dilly), Sherri Meyers (Kazcmarek)

Scholarship Enhancement: Reggie Haslett-Marroquin

If you are interested in volunteering for the Laura Baker Services dinner theater Friday, Feb. 23, see Andrei Sivanich. He needs hosts, servers, and dishwashers.

Carl Caskey needs a couple more members to serve on Local Donations Committee. Most business is conducted electronically. If you are interested, see Carl.

The membership committee will hold an orientation session for new members on Tuesday, March 20, 6 to 6:30 p.m. at Community Resource Bank. We will share the club vision and opportunities to serve on club projects and committees. A light supper will be served.

HELP WANTED: The board is inviting applicants for our club treasurer position. David Wolf is stepping down from the post after five years of service. Don’t hesitate to self-nominate, if you can balance a checkbook. Talk to President Wakely, President-Elect Richardson or Past-President Michelle Lasswell if you are interested.

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:

March 1 — Sera Shin, exchange student (Galdeen)

March 8 — Mary Hahn, Classification (S. Richardson)

March 15 —Pau Ortenberg, Youth Exchange Student (Chavies)

March 22 — Kristi Purcell, Executive Director, Cannon River Watershed Partnership (W. Sivanich)