Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | May 10.2018

May 8, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, May 10, 2018

Today: Sandi Gerdes, Developmental Disability Awareness (Sivanich)

Next Week: Susan Brower, MN State Demographics (Blaha)

Birthdays: Charlie Cogan (5/6), Rick Estenson (5/4), David Halsor (5/7)

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. 

Guests: NHS Rotary Scholarship winner Dalina Haileab and her mother Freweyni Kaleab, Greg Siems (Melby), Judge Tom Neuville (Ophaug), Bob Thacker (Koenig), Steve Hahn (Hahn), Barb Wornson (Hillmann)

Inductions: We were pleased to welcome new members Sherri Meyers (sponsored by Virginia Kaczmarek) and Larry DeFries (sponsored by Mark Quinnell) to the club.


  • Dalina Haileab read a portion of her winning essay on the 4-way test. She will use the Rotary scholarship toward her first year at Carleton next year.
  • Jan Stevens invited any Royal Wedding fans to watch the ceremony at a party at Coldwell Banker May 19th from 4am-8am. Wear a hat and enjoy wedding cake baked from the royal recipe.
  • Robert Bierman announced that Turkey Trot planning begins soon. See him to join the committee and help with this fun annual event.

Scholarship enhancement

Barb Wornson

Last Week: Michelle Lasswell grew up in Silver Lake, Minnesota. Her father died at age 31 when she was just four years old. Her mother raised Michelle and her three older brothers with the support of relatives and friends. Michelle attended St. Ben’s earning undergraduate degrees in English and Government. She then attended Drake Law School in Des Moines. At a clerkship interview she met Brad Frago, who would become her future husband. They were married in 1996 and she worked as a public defender before joining Brad in their law practice. Northfielders since 2001, they have two children Christopher, age 16 and Lauren, age 12. Michelle has been a Rotarian for 8 years and was our club President last year.

Mary Hahn is a native of the Chicago area: she grew up in Hillary Clinton’s hometown of Park Ridge, Illinois. Like Saturday Night Live’s Sally O’Malley, she can now proudly say, “I’m 50!” as of last week. In fact, her friends helped her celebrate with a Sally O’Malley themed party. Her husband Steve is a Professor of American History at St. Olaf, the Chair of the History department, and the creator of Mary’s Power Point presentation. They have two children. Erin, who turned 21 last week, was a Rotary Outbound to Thailand and now attends the University of Michigan. Luke is 18, heads to Japan next year as an Outbound and then will return to attend the University of Colorado. Mary and Steve are rabid Wolverine fans—ask Mary about the time she jumped on someone’s back in a postgame mob after the Fab 5 lost to the Tarheels.

When she’s not cheering for Michigan, Mary is a partner at Hvistendahl, Moersch, Dorsey & Hahn where she specializes in civil and appellate work. She has been there since 2001. In her spare time, Mary serves on the Rotary Critical Incident Team, is a dancer and choreographer for the Northfield Arts Guild Theater and the Paradise Theater, and is a Group Fitness Instructor who sometimes pushes a truck around town for exercise. Her pets Fritz the dachshund and Mystic the horse are also Michigan fans.

Mary’s experience as an outbound parent drew her to join Rotary. Rick Estenson and Vicki Dilley had a big impact on her through their work with Northstar. She believes wholeheartedly in the quote from Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammer, “If all the 17 year olds in the world could go on a youth exchange, there would be no wars.” 

Mary dedicated her talk to the memory of her mother who graduated #1 in her class at Loyola as the only female in 1964. She broke the glass ceiling, becoming the first female partner at her firm. She believed in seeing the world, never being afraid, thinking globally and living with integrity. 

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:

May 17 – Susan Brower, Changing Demographics in MN

May 24 – No lunch meeting, Student graduation party at Rick Estenson’s