Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, July 22, 2021


Join Our Thursday Zoom Meeting
Find it here.
Meeting ID: 843 1983 0113
Passcode: 264180
Here is the UPDATED TIMELINE for our IN PERSON MEETINGS and ZOOM CALLS. On some days there will be slight variations, but not for coming on to the call.  
11:45 - Noon — Club Members and Guests are invited to join and go into a break out room for casual conversations.
IN PERSON: Noon - 12:15 — Pick up your lunch at the kitchen window.
12:10 — ALL Zoom callers are invited back together to begin the meeting. Generally, the meeting will begin with an Invocation, the 4-Way Test, introduction of guests and then introduction of our speaker. Speaker and Questions/ Discussion.
12:20 — Meeting Begins.
1:15 — Meeting is dismissed until next week.
    Lisa Maren Thompson
Lisa Maren Thompson — Classification Talk and presentation of Accra South (Ghana) Rotary Banner. Lisa will share her international education leadership journey from Minnesota to Asia, Europe, Africa, and back again, including the influence of Rotary club members in Norway and Ghana. She will also present the Rotary banner of her former club, Rotary Club of Accra-South, to the Northfield Rotary Club. Hosted by Vicki Dilley.


Duane Benson 7.21; Jayne Hager Dee and Linda Willgohs 7.22Steve Underdahl 7.24.

No anniversaries this week.


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. 
RCAT – Call to Action - Power Your Home With Wind
Almost 600 Northfield residents are taking advantage of Minnesota’s wind power by subscribing to Xcel Energy’s low-cost Windsource program. With no equipment needed, Xcel electric customers can invest in renewable energy and lower their carbon footprint. Join your neighbors and sign up today. Visit
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.


Mary Ellen North (Wakely), Doug Scott (V. Dilley), Kirk Muhlenbruck (Estenson) and Barbara Johnson (DeBeau). 


Jack Hoschauer.


The forced resignation of Laura Bishop, former Minnesota Pollution Control Agency commissioner, over Minnesota’s future automobile emission standards was partisan politics at its worst, according to Fred Rogers. Senate Republicans threatened to withhold confirmation because of Bishop’s work setting goals for more electric cars on Minnesota roads. Bishop resigned before the hearing was held. Fred said Bishop’s departure represents a real loss of leadership and a cautionary tale about the damage that can be done by personal vendettas. 


David Wolf is riding (virtually) in his sixth Habitat for Hamanity 500 Bike Ride. He thanks club members for their support. He noted that Rice County Habitat for Humanity has five new units planned for Northfield this year. 

Vicki said the Communications and Public Relations team has several needs as we move into our new year. We need note takers at our meetings and someone to turn out the electronic Cogwheel each week. We also need a program coordinator for our weekly meetings. Amy Goerwitz is stepping away from that position. 

John Sinning, co-chair of the Bike Tour team, said there is also a need for some to coordinate the food for this year’s September 23 event. See him or Don Stager if you can help. 

    Nancy Antoine
Leading Through Trauma — Nancy Antoine, Principal of Bridgewater School and recipient of the 2021 National Distinguished Principal Award. Hosted by Matt Hillmann.

Bridgewater Elementary Principal Nancy Antoine knows what its like to be identified as “the other.”

Growing up in Northern Minnesota as a bi-racial person of color, she was the constant object of racial harassment, contempt and overt exclusion. She got the message. She looked different, and she didn’t belong.

That experience propelled her into a career in education. “I went into education because learning did not have to be that difficult,” she said. “It didn’t have to be scary.”

In her role at Bridgewater, Nancy sees herself as a champion for all 600 kids. She believes every child should have the opportunity to feel they belong, the opportunity to learn, and to have the opportunity to succeed.

Nancy acknowledges that a fair shake for every child is working against history. Even in her present job at Bridgewater, she deals with hurtful messages born of racial prejudice and hate. She resists the temptation to blame and shame, but instead pivots towards education and outreach. “You can’t let them (authors of the notes) win,” she said.

Nancy joined Northfield School District’s administrative staff in 2007. Last spring she was named Distinguished Principal of the Year 2021 for Minnesota. She currently serves on the Northfield Y board of directors. 


   Sherri Meyers
July 29 — Building the Plane While We Were Flying It  — Sherri Meyers, General Manager of Just Food Coop.
How your community-owned grocery store learned to pivot during a global pandemic while simultaneously remodeling the entire store -- and the toll it took. Sherri Meyers is the General Manager of Just Food Coop. Hosted by Penny Hillemann.
   Johnathan Van Roekel
August 5 — USDA Renewable Energy Development Assistance for Rural Businesses and Producers  — Johnathan Van Roekel. This presentation will focus on the USDA Renewable Energy Development Assistance (REDA) program and the Resource Assistance for Rural Environments AmeriCorps program. Rotary Youth Exchange alumnus, Johnathan Van Roekel, the current Renewable Energy Coordinator with Lake County Resources Initiative in Lakeview, OR, is serving two terms with the RARE AmeriCorps program and will present on specific USDA Rural Development programs and the work he has been involved in during his time in South Eastern Oregon. Hosted by Vicki Dilley.
   Lee Runzheimer
August 12 — Monarch Butterflies--Can They Be Saved From Extinction? — Lee RunzheimerHear and see what the local Monarch Butterfly Restoration Program is doing, and learn what more we can do. If possible before the meeting, please watch the 44-minute-long movie Flight Of The Butterflies. It's available for a small fee on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play and more. Hosted by Charlie Kyte.
   Richard DeBeau
August 19 — Everything You Want to Know about Electric Vehicles (EVs) — Richard DeBeauRichard will discuss what the major car companies are doing with EVs, the complete cost of EVs (from mining to disposal) compared to gas, and the upcoming EV car show and drive event. Hosted by RCAT.

Todd's two cents


Todd Thompson,President

Happy July! It is an important month for me, with mine and my mom’s birthdays. I learned from my mom to celebrate the whole month. My mom was the first woman president of the Burnsville, MN Rotary club. 

At our strategic planning session, when talking about priorities and projects, Mark Abbott said: “When I believe in something I champion it, when I believe in something someone else is doing, I support them. (For a project.) If I have no interest or I think it’s not going anywhere, I say good for you, but I’m not really going to get involved. We are people of action. If we take action and we do it, great. But if nobody takes action on an item, then it’s not a priority.” I agree. 

One of our responsibilities as Rotary members is to see a community need or have an idea about helping others or become familiar with an existing rotary project and to take action. Our strategic planning sessions have been very productive, we will be reporting to the club on these plans over the next couple of months, with a presentation in October. My hope is that one of these plans/ideas will interest you or will make you understand that your idea can be done. Bring a proposal to the board (it is not a scary group).

I believe we can make a difference in our own life and the lives of others. Rotary gives us a great opportunity to do this, by befriending each other at regular meetings, working on a fund raiser, carrying out an international relief project, etc. Find your passion and use Rotary to help make it happen!

Strategic planning team leaders/board members: Vicki, Brad, Linda, Dave, Jean, Mark, Beth, Andre, and Kari.

Saludos, Todd

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.