Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, February 18, 2021

Calling all club members

We have 26 Northfield Rotary Club members that are attending our Vsioning Workshop March 1st and 2nd! That is GREAT! But we need everyone's feedback/input/ideas. So we are asking everyone in the club to take this district created survey to give us this information. I just took the survey, it took about 5 minutes. We need it before Feb 22. Find the survey hereTodd Thompson.


Looking for a chance to dust off your French language skills? Our Rotary club’s project to supply hand washing stations and liquid soap to primary schools in northern Togo has made Togo national television. (Watch it here.) To be fair, the Rotary Club of Tandjouare-Dapaong supplied the notebooks and pens and chalk on their own. The speeches are a little bit pompous and we do get honorable mention near the end. Charlie Cogan.
P.S. The distribution of the food and sanitation kits to the Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps near Kaya in Burkina Faso should be taking place today, as I write. Amazing the impact of a modest amount of money in some contexts. We can hoPe for photos and updates from Burkina soon, In’Ch’Allah! (God willing).


Join Our Thursday Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 853 8396 5788
Passcode: 601997

  Peter Fiekosky

Peter Fiekosky Founder and Chair Emeritus, Foundation for Climate RestorationClimate Restoration: Our Legacy for the Planet.  Hosted by Lee Dilley.

We all want to restore a safe and healthy climate, like humanity has had since the dawn of agriculture and civilization. Explicitly committing to this is what is needed to achieve it, much like committing to the eradication of polio is what Rotary brought to the table there.

Climate Restoration is not a substitute for mitigation (preventing or reducing greenhouse-gas emissions) or adaptation (preventing or reducing damage from global warming)—but a timely and much-needed addition to them. It will allow the world to achieve what climate activists have been working for over the decades: a safe and healthy climate for humanity and the ecosystems we need and enjoy.

MIT-trained physicist and entrepreneur, Peter Fiekowsky is committed to leaving behind a world of which he is proud. This commitment has driven his work on multiple climate initiatives, especially moving beyond net-zero emissions by 2050 to assure restoration of a safe and healthy climate, which means reducing atmospheric CO2 levels to below 300 parts per million.. 

After earning his degree from MIT, Peter worked at NASA’s airborne observatory and then in artificial intelligence (AI) at Fairchild and Schlumberger.  Peter then started Automated Visual Inspection, LLC, which has remained an industry leader in semiconductor defect analysis.

With years in business, lobbying, and advocacy, Peter realized that progress in poverty reduction and other causes would be eclipsed by declining climate conditions. With this in mind, Peter helped launch the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) and continued to take on advisory roles. Through his work leading CCL’s 100 Year Plan Team, he learned that a hopeful and inspiring long-term climate goal could garner unified, urgent support. Ultimately, this climate goal became Climate Restoration, and it inspired the founding of the Foundation for Climate Restoration.

Alyssa Herzog Selby (2.15); Trisha Duncan (2.17); John Stull (2.18); Peggy Prowe (2.19).
Wayne Abdella-13 (2.14.2008); Ryan Blumhoefer-10 (2.17.2011).


Our Rotary Climate Action Team (RCAT) is dedicated to making climate change a strategic priority and to raising awareness, providing education and encouraging individuals and businesses to act in the interest of our planet. 
Climate in the News - In spite of the polar vortex cold sitting on the US, both the Arctic and the Antarctic currently have above normal temperatures!  Increasingly unpredictable and wacky weather is a signature of climate change. 
What We Can all Do - Contact your state reps in support of the Clean Cars initiative, which would clear the path for having many more electric vehicles in MN.  We need to be ready for GM and Ford's new EV models coming soon!
Our Climate Action Statement - Read our climate action statement here.

For additional information about our club’s Rotary Climate Action Team chair, Alan Anderson, at 507-371-4673 or


Thanks to last week's Cogwheel Reporter, Scott Richardson.

Sandy Stabile and Ferheen Abbasi, E Club of Silicon Valley; Tali Levine, Peace Corps recruiter for our area.


Dave Brown reminded members of a special February opportunity to donate to the Rotary Foundation. “Share the Love” is a district promotion to invite donations to the annual fund. Those who donate will receive extra points towards Paul Harris recognition. If you are interested in donating beyond what you may be giving with your monthly dues, you may donate online here or send a check to Dave Brown. 

President Vicki invited members to sign up for Rotary International’s annual convention in June. It will be virtual, so you can enjoy the education and inspiration without packing your bags.

A club strategic planning session will be held Monday and Tuesday, March 1 and 2. President-elect Todd Thompson will be sending a pre-planning survey soon by email.

Beth Kallestad encouraged members to vote for our “Fix the Planet” video in the contest sponsored by Rotary International. Go to to vote.

Jean Wakely is looking for Rotarian magazines to insert in Welcome Wagon packets. If you have some, give her a call and she will pick them up.


  Cal Mann

Cal Mann, A Rotarian’s Peace Corps Volunteer Service Adventure in North Macedonia 2017 - 2020. Hosted by Ann Richards.

Cal Mann sees opportunity for synergy between the Peace Corps and Rotary. He’s been involved in both organizations and, with their closely aligned missions, he believes they can enhance each other’s work.    

From his San Francisco home, the retired merchandising consultant told us how he was recalled from his Peace Corps post in North Macedonia when the pandemic hit. He hopes to return to pursue the work he started during his abbreviated tour. That work --- largely with a free legal clinic --- was enhanced by an early partnership with a new Rotary Club in Stip, North Macedonia. 

Cal envisions his experience as a model for Rotary and Peace Corps cooperation. International Rotary clubs can be a source of support and community access to Peace Corps volunteers, while the PC volunteers are uniquely positioned to direct U.S. Rotary resources to “smart” sustainable projects. Back home, Rotary clubs can be a source of support for Peace Corps applicants; returning PCs can be a source for new members and new ideas.

Before the pandemic, the Peace Corps had 7,400 volunteers deployed in 60 countries. Cal is older than most Peace Corps volunteers, but he said the service is open to people of all ages. 

The entire February 11th meeting can be viewed here


   Jennifer Barrientos

   Natalia Marchan

February 25 — Jennyffer Barrientos, Growing Up Healthy Director, Northfield and Natalia Marchan, Growing Up Healthy Director, Faribault, Reducing Energy Burden in Rice County Mobile Homes. Growing Up Healthy, the City of Northfield and the City of Faribault are collaborating to connect low-income, Latinxs residents living in Faribault and Northfield mobile home parks with Xcel Energy's Home Energy Squad initiative and weatherization supplies, in order to help families improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

   Kendall George

March 4 — Kendall George, Information Security Officer for Carleton and St. Olaf Colleges, How to Stop Worrying and Start Cyber. Hosted by Amy Goerwitz. Kendall George is a cybersecurity professional with nearly three decades of information technology experience. He will begin his presentation with a terrifying description of the dangers of the Internet. Then he will provide way too many things you can do to make living in the 21st century safer. More importantly, he'll provide just a few things you can do right away to start worrying a lot less immediately. 

   Sambath Our

March 11 — Sambath Ouk, Equity and Multilingual
Program Coordinator Faribault Public Schools, Overcoming Cultural Dissonance. Hosted by Beth Kallestad. The presentation will focus on uncovering unintentional events that may lead to cultural dissonance and discuss things a community can do to overcome it. The presentation will be told through the personal autobiography of the presenter.

Vicki's Vision

   Vicki Dilley, President

Dear Friends,
I look forward to seeing you on Thursday. 
I am going to write a short blog today. This is week two after my knee replacement surgery and from what I am told, it may be the worst week of them all. Let's hope so. Sleep is my nemesis right now. 
Your Board met last night and we are planning for those days ahead when we might do a bit of a hybrid of virtual and in person meeting. Brad Frago, PEN (President Elect Nominee) is overseeing this advance-planning. Applying what we have learned and likely making our meetings even that much better.
Mark Abbott presented us with some ideas of possible International projects, challenging us always to try to do more. Even during a pandemic we can be looking with hope to the future and know that we are part of the solution.
Andrei Sivanich and Brent Nystrom have their sites in the future too and are asking their committees ... what will our fundraisers look like in the second half of 2021? Your new ideas for fundraisers and thoughts about our current ones are always welcome.  
Jake Conway continues to make it possible for us to keep our finger on the pulse of the needs within our own community and is working with Alyssa Herzog Melby's group as they try to meet local requests as they come in.
Our communications team could use some more helping hands there. No need to be a techy wizz, just a willing helper. Meredith Galdeen has brought much to this committee, but she could sure use some help.
Thanks goes to Beth Kallested's committee and their work on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and her leadership a couple weeks ago when we were introduced to "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man." Some of you noted that you don't ever remember having a discussion about race at a Rotary meeting. Well, pretty sure we will be having more very soon. 
Todd Thompson was not able to be with us at the meeting last night, but I do know he is working on the planning of the details for the Strategic Planning. Please be sure and fill in the survey he sent out and fill in your highlights, etc and we will use these collective thoughts to be an even better club. 
Thank you to Kari Nelson, club secretary, and David Stanford, club treasurer, for your dedication to your tasks to keep our club in good standing. 
We are always happy to see anyone else from the club join us at these meetings. Dave Wolf joined us last night. Thanks for joining us, Dave.
Have a great day and I really hope to see you Thursday!   

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.