Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, October 14, 2021
Please wear your mask when you enter the Methodist Church
and whenever you are not eating. 


Find Zoom link here.
Meeting ID: 843 1983 0113
Passcode: 264180
11:45-12:10 — Opportunity to visit with fellow zoomers or check in with the people at the tech table. 
(You don’t have to join at this time if it is not convenient.)
12:10 — Settle in for the meeting to begin.
12:20 — Meeting begins.
1:15 — Meeting dismissed for all.
11:45-Noon — Club members and guests are invited to visit with each other.
Before 12:20 — Pick up your lunch.
12:20 — Meeting begins.
1:15 — Meeting dismissed for all.


Susan Hvistendal
October 14  Susan Hvistendal
Northfield's Oldest Building, the Lyceum
Local historian and author Susan Hvistendahl will speak about Northfield's oldest building, the 1857 Lyceum at 109 E. 4th Street. The building still stands today as a testament to the social and intellectual pursuits of Northfield's pioneers. Hosted by Jean Wakely.


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

Bernie Reese (Reese), Jane Bartho (Peterson), Kathy Eckstrom-Ames and Eric and Kari Johnsrud (DeBeau), Bo Aylin (Weber), and Kirk Muhlenbruck (Antoff).

Chris Weber


President Todd gave a shout-out to Jesse Steed for visiting with him in his driveway. (Who knew that’s all it takes to get a moment of gratitude?) Todd enjoyed the relaxed, informal exchange.

  • Brent Nystrom 4-Way Taste co-chair, reported that the Taste Team had a debriefing meeting and decided to move the 2022 event back to July, its original calendar slot. They also have 2021event t-shirts for sale for $10.
  • Jim Loe, Turkey Trot chair, said planning is in full swing for this year’s in-person event. We already have five runners registered, thanks to Jim and his family. We will be giving you an opportunity to volunteer to help with the Thanksgiving event. To participate in the run, see registration information in right column.
  • Northfield Chamber of Commerce is raffling off a 2021 Jeep Cherokee Trail Hawk this fall. Tickets are $100, and there are 20 other fabulous prizes. For more details CLICK HERE.
  • Janine Atchison asks that nobody leave. We can’t find the Rotary banner that each week announces our meeting site. We are putting our best people on the case. If you have a clue, please share it with Janine.
  • Don Stager, co-chair of the Bike Tour, said t-shirts are still for sale at $10.
We ran out of time for happy news.


October 7  Matt Hillmann, Ed. D.
What's Next for Northfield Schools? 
As he manages a pandemic, a commitment to student success, and a troubling reckoning with social inclusion and racial equity, Matt Hillmann, superintendent of Northfield schools, subscribes to the Stockdale Paradox.
It is a psychological survival technique popularized by Jim Collins in his book “From Good to Great.” It goes like this: To survive in tough times, you must confront the brutal reality of your situation, and then move forward with optimism.

The paradox is a theme that ran through Dr. Hillmann’s “state of the district” address. Whether it is learning outcomes, fiscal stewardship, or equity, he’s determined to face facts and move on from there. Here are some takeaways:

COVID has been challenging, but because of protocol established in consultation with local experts, cases this year have been minimal and fewer staff and students have had to quarantine. He encouraged us to obsess less on what students have lost during the pandemic and think more about the skills they have learned.

--- There have been successes. Northfield has been financially stable despite persistent under-funding by the state, and the district delivered a new elementary school and other important construction projects for $2 million less than what voters approved. One hundred percent of kids in Early Ventures, a pre-K program, were pronounced “kindergarten ready.” Northfield was one of only 55 communities across the country and the only district in Minnesota deemed a “bright spot” by Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

--- Dr. Hillmann is grateful for community partnerships. He mentioned Rotary, Northfield Promise and Northfield Hospital & Clinics, in particular.

--- Equity work is a marathon and the challenge is to sustain the momentum.

--- He said enrollment is dropping as past demographic studies predicted. Housing is the main impediment to reversing that trend.

Dr. Hillmann called on all of us to combat the misinformation campaigns — many deliberate which challenge community cohesion and thoughtful problem-solving.


Joan Janusz
October 21  Joan Janusz
Health Care for All
Over the last 30 years, health care costs have skyrocketed. Many Americans can't afford health insurance, a third of GoFundMe campaigns raise money for health care costs, and two-thirds of personal bankruptcies are a result of high health care debt. Learn more about these issues and a possible solution that bases health care costs on a patient's ability to pay. Joan is a retired public health nurse and a former Director of Public Health Nursing for Rice County. Hosted by Barbara Wornson.
Sarah Nathan
Sarah Nathan
October 28 — Sarah Nathan
Classification Talk: Everyone can be a philanthropist
A self-described "pracademic", Sarah will share components of her philanthropic autobiography as it influenced her career in the nonprofit sector, through the world's first school of philanthropy, and ultimately to the public face of philanthropy at Northfield Shares. Hosted by Jim Loe.
Michael Leming
November 4 Michael Leming
Building an Orphanage in Northeast Thailand for 69 Tribal Orphans
The Thailand Children's Home has served the poorest Thai orphans for 30 years. Recently Westerners acquired their land and the Children's Home has had to start over again. Michael and his wife Ann Leming have worked in rural Thailand for 32 years and have sponsored three International Global Rotary Grants for Thai Tribal Children. Hosted by Vicki Dilley.
Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin
November 11 — Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin
Re-Engineering Agriculture
Learn about the importance of regenerative agriculture and how Reginaldo ("Regi"), the owner of Salvatierra Farms, uses his land to educate and train people how to run their own agricultural businesses. The unique training platform Regi developed serves as a pathway for large-scale impact across Minnesota, the Midwest, nationally and even internationally. Regi's land-management innovations improve water quality, restore soil health, and restore native flora and fauna, all while generating a significantly higher value than traditional cropping systems. Regi will update us on the impact that this way of farming is already having and the tremendous momentum building around his system. Hosted by RCAT.


Do you know someone who would be a good speaker for our club meetings? In-person speakers are preferred. Please send their name, possible topic, and contact information to

Todd's two cents

Todd Thompson, Club President
Fellow Rotarian Alan Anderson taught my Physics class at Bemidji State via ZOOM this week. I was on the ZOOM call but really didn’t have to do anything. The topic was climate change. Alan gave an excellent talk about the causes and solutions of this problem. I had some things planned for after Alan’s part of the presentation, but after he was done, I canceled the rest of the class because I wanted to leave the students with Alan’s message because it was so powerful.

It’s great having the good friends that I have in our Rotary club. I feel like I am part of a force that can do bigger and better things than I can do myself.

  • Limit of 4 people per table.
  • Wear masks when not eating.
  • No group singing.
  • We require attendees to be vaccinated. Rotary International is a big supporter of vaccines. 
  • If you bring a guest, make sure they are vaccinated.
  • If you are not vaccinated, we still value you and your membership, and we have hybrid meetings so you can join our Thursday meetings on ZOOM during the pandemic.
Richard DeBeau — Oct 11
Kelly Dennis  4 years
Todd Thompson  10 years
Barry Carlson 11 years
Please review and update your personal data on Clubrunner, our club app. CLICK HERE to login to our website. You can also download the free Clubrunner app to your phone to keep our club directory close at hand.
Do you have something club related to say to fellow members? Try posting it in The Cogwheel. Send your short blurb to
The Northfield Rotary Thanksgiving Turkey Trot is back! So gather your flock and get ready to trot on Thanksgiving morning, whether in-person or from afar. Rotary invites all runners and walkers to mark their calendars for this traditional Thanksgiving morning event.
Registration is just $25 for in-person and $29 for free-range participants. To register yourself or your team CLICK HERE.
Please note, if you wish to receive an official 2021 Turkey Trot shirt be sure to register by Friday, November 5th
For additional details on this year's event, you can visit the Northfield Rotary website
ReCharge Northfield Invitation
Click to enlarge


Please help us learn how our members take care of the environment. If you haven't yet completed the RCAT Sustainability Survey, CLICK HERE. 
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. 
Read our climate action statement HERE.
For more information about our club’s Rotary Climate Action Team contact our chair, Alan Anderson, at 507-371-4673 or


The 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.