Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, September 23, 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-NoonClub members and guests are invited to visit with each other.
Before 12:20—Pick up your lunch, please wear your mask until you sit down to eat. When you are not eating, please put your mask back on.
12:20—Meeting begins.
1:15—Meeting dismissed for all.


Rick Heidick
September 23Rick Heidick
Fast for Hope and the Water Project
Rick will update us on how our district Fast for Hope program has led to our current water project in Nicaragua and explain how we are using district and global grants to help us bring water to a rural community of about 120 families. Rick is the chair of the district Fast for Hope Initiative. Hosted by Michelle Lasswell.
Ryan Blumhoefer, September 21
Brad Kmoch, 2 years
Ruth Anna Miller, 26 years
Greg Carlson, 31 years
September 25, Bike Tour
--Volunteer at the Bike Tour
   BASE OPERATIONS - Activities and roles at the Middle       School
   AID STATIONS - Supporting riders at the Aid Stations
   SAG DRIVERS - Providing rides to those that need one
   FRIDAY NIGHT PREP - Food prep and Sign Slammers         (posting signage for each of the routes)
--Buy Tickets for the  Bike Tour


Thanks to last week's Cogwheel reporter, Vicki Dilley

Jeff Middleton from Nashville, Tennessee (Rychner)
Laurie Williams
We are thankful for all of our many blessings.
  • Brent Nystrom reminded us about the 4-Way Taste, held on September 16th.
  • Matt Hillmann invited us to come to the Open House for the 5 new or newly-renovated school buildings on Thursday, September 23, from 4-7 p.m., with a ribbom cutting at the new Greenvale Park building at 6:30 (see invitation on right).
  • Jack Hoschouer thought that we should not have to show proof of vaccination at our meetings since we are Rotarians and follow the 4-Way Test.
  • John Sinning reminded us that the Club Bike Tour, September 25, is just around the corner and they are still in need of volunteers. You can sign up here for that help. See above for Opportunities to Serve.
  • Brett Reese gave a shout out to John Sinning, Don Stager and Jean Wakely for chairing the bike tour together. Last year the bike tour raised $10,000 from sponsors and this year they have $13,000 in pledges! Next year the bike tour will be a part of the Triple-T Sponsorship (Taste, Tour and Trot).
  • Jim Loe reminded us that the Turkey Trot is coming up and we should use this opportunity to showcase Rotary to more folks in our community!
  • Ann Richards celebrated finishing the entire Superior Hiking Trail, bit by bit over time. She was happy to occasionally have walking partners; several were club members. 
  • Melissa Hansen's daughter graduated from NDSU last December and now has a new job with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  
  • Matt Hillmann reported that the Northfield Schools welcomed students back last Thursday and what a joy it is to have students back in the buildings. (We are thankful to have Matt at the helm!)
  • Vicki Dilley gave a shout out to her husband, Lee, on their 43rd anniversary.
  • Beth Kallestad also is celebrating a wedding anniversary, 22 years. Her son is also soon to turn 16.
  • Eric Runestad reported that Carleton did 3,000 Covid tests as school started back up and there was only one case of a positive test!  


Eric Runestad
September 16  Eric Runestad
Classification Talk: A Winding Path of Purpose and Micro-adventure
Fred Rogers introduced Eric, since Eric replaced Fred at Carleton college following Fred's retirement.  
Eric comes from an academic career background as his dad was a college professor, his mom was a musician. Later in life his dad joined Rotary and Eric saw how meaningful it was to him. 
Eric was born in Nebraska, he completed his undergraduate work at Concordia, Moorhead. He was taught early to live his passions. He sang for the Concordia choir where he received a business and math degree. After college he moved to Iowa City and lived with his brother.  
While spending a decade in Minneapolis he worked for the Minnesota ACDA, a great non-profit involving music. He did a lot at this job and learned a lot. This was an important time as he bought and renovated his first home, got married and they had their first child.  
After this, they moved to Wisconsin where he worked as a music educator and did work he really believed in. Their son was born in Wisconsin. 
He then shifted his work to his alma mater in Moorhead where they lived for 6 years. From there they spent 3 years at the State University in Marshall as the business director. The next 5 years were at Luther College.  
In July 2020 they moved to Northfield, Minnesota where it feels like home. 
Eric's daughter, Ella, is a sophomore at Luther and is a joint Spanish and music major. Eric's son, Leo, is an 11th grader and avid soccer player. Eric's wife, Anna, is reinventing herself at this time, she is involved with things at church.  Her career has been in working with children in the ECFE program. She finds her joy working with children. 
Eric's micro-adventures include: skiing, fostering kittens, laying hens, hosting exchange students, and being out in the wild. They have two dogs. His hobbies include back country hiking, golf, fair-weather bike commuting, reading, piano, music, fishing, birding, yoga, skiing, exercising, hiking, home improvement, watching soccer and football.
His professional responsibilities include being Vice President of Carleton and treasurer (Chief Business Officer)
He asks himself, Why this work? It is mission driven and values alignment drives success through collaboration, equity, sustainability, inquiry, learning, service and integrity.
Eric is an excellent fit for Northfield Rotary.
Here is a link to his powerpoint.
(Note: we do not publicly link to Classification Talks in our newsletter, but if you wish to see the video please request link from
Questions asked:
Eric was asked about the new Carleton president and he said he enjoys working with her, feels this is good to have a fresh new start and is hoping this proves to be a better year.
He was asked how Covid affected the staff at the college and he said there has been many resignations, leaving many openings. It has been hard on everyone as many folks could not work remotely.
Carleton has a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050 and the baseline looks like they are at about their 2030 goal and they wonder if their goal is aggressive enough.
Where is his sports allegiance? Gophers and Nebraska Huskers.
How does he use humility in his professional life? Good leaders bring humility by shining the light on others, lift others up. 
Who is Eric's favorite composer? Jake Runestad, Eric's 3rd cousin.  


Benjamin Hauser
September 30  Ben Hauser
PerspectivesA classification talk
Follow Ben Hauser's journey to Northfield, MN which started from a small dairy farm in a little village in South Korea. He will share what he has learned and the different perspectives he's been able to experience as he had to learn a new language and culture at the age of 7  and return to his land of birth at the age of 27 where he had to relearn a language he had completely forgotten as well as the culture. Hosted by Jesse Steed.
Matt Hillmann
October 7  Matt Hillmann, Ed. D.
What's Next for Northfield Schools? 
Superintendent Hillmann will provide an update about what is on the horizon for Northfield Public Schools. Matt will host himself.
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.
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.

Todd's two cents

Todd Thompson, Club President
The Four-Way Taste was a big success last Thursday! What a lovely evening of camaraderie, fine beverages, perfect weather and good music! It was great to see all the flags flying and to see people smiling. Thank you Brent Nystrom and Anika Rychner for spearheading this exciting venture in our club.
We are still working on safety measures to implement. Look for the serving of food to be a little different today. Please send me more ideas/suggestions.
Bike tour this Saturday!!! See you there!
Click on invitation to enlarge


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 –The world's climate scientists have put out a new sobering report we should all read, if we want to try to preserve a livable world for the future.  See attached link.
Our Climate Action Statement - 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


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.