Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, July 29, 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.
   Sherri Meyers
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. 


Rotarians around the globe.

Collman, Richard - 14 years; Brent Nystrom - 4.



Don't miss the Vintage Band Festival on Bridge Square this Saturday, July 31st!


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, Vicki Dilley.


Laura Forbes, niece of Janice Lehmkuhl.  


Ann Richards


Todd expressed his gratitude for Jean Wakely and for all of her great work on the Hospitality table.  


Lee Dilley reported on “electrification”, an important environmental improvement, specifically the home water heater. Most of us use gas powered water heaters in our home and since they should be replaced every ten years, on your next purchase we might each consider a heat source water heater.  They are available at Menard’s, Lee brought with him the brochure on the Richmond brand. Heat is captured from the atmosphere and applied to the appliance, which uses no gas and therefore no vetting is required.  Lee reassured Todd he could purchase one that would still allow for those long soaking baths (bubble bath not included, Todd).  


Jean Wakely announced that the DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) book club continues to meet and members and significant others are welcome to join. Here are their meeting details:

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer; Tuesday, September 7, 7:00 p.m. Zoom program. Submit your name to Dorothee Ishler to be on the zoom call for discussion.All Rotarians, Spouses/partners of Rotarians and Friends of Rotarians are invited. Lively discussion. Possible guest speaker that night. 

Quilt Story presentation by Jean Wakely. Women of the Plains (Blackfeet of Northern Montana), Wednesday, September 8, 6:30 p.m.Jean's home at 419 Division Street, Northfield. Contact Jean for Directions and Reservations. All are welcome!  Lively discussion with book notes as well.

John Sinning gave a thank you to Jean Wakely for coming forward as the third chairperson on the upcoming Bike Tour. Jean will particularly oversee the food details. 

Sarah Nathan shared with us the joint effort with Northfield Shares on an expo on electric vehicles event. She said that ‘the car is the classroom’. Come and learn on October 23.

Vicki Dilley announced that more helpers are needed on the PR and Communication Committee, next meeting July 26, 7 p.m. at 714 Highland Avenue. If you are interested in helping this committee, email Vicki at

    Lisa Maren Thompson
Lisa Maren Thompson — Classification Talk and presentation of Accra South (Ghana) Rotary Banner. Hosted by Vicki Dilley.

Lisa Maren Thompson and Vicki Dilley have been friends since 1993 when Lisa was a teacher at Prairie Creek Community School and the Dilley’s daughter was in third grade. They have stayed in touch since then, even though Lisa and Andy, her husband, have travelled to many places in the years since 1993.

Lisa met Andy when they were both students at St. Olaf and the took a term abroad to Asia. After they were married, they joined the Peace Corps and for the first two year they lived in Mauritania and the third year they lived in Gabon. After the Peace Corps they moved to St Paul where both of their sons were born, Espen and Kai.  

Lisa is originally from Indiana and Andy is from Maine.  

Lisa received her Master of Arts and Teaching from the University of St. Thomas and in 2008 they moved their family to South Korea where they taught at Taejohn Christian International School. Lisa taught visual arts and later became the head of the arts department.

Next, they took teaching positions in Accra, Ghana at the Lincoln Community School and were there from 2014-2020. The pandemic forced them to come back to Minnesota where they have settled. In Accra Lisa was also head of the art department and three years in she took over as the pedagogical team leader and over saw the program as the International Baccalaureate (IB) Coordinator.  

Additional leadership training took her to Florence, Italy and this made a big impact on her and her leadership skills to better serve students. She sees the mission of IB and Rotary’s goals overlap in many ways.  

Lisa is currently the Assistant Principal of the Sejong Academy in St. Paul. It is a Korean immersion school and is an IB candidate school. They have students from pre-K to 11th grade and next year they will have a 12th grade.  

Lisa and Andy’s son, Espen, while living in Ghana applied to be a North Star Rotary Youth Exchange student and he lived with his grandparents in Wisconsin during his orientations before going to Norway. The Northfield Rotary Club sponsored Espen. The family went to pick up Espen at the end of his exchange and were touched by the Rotarians and his host families. Upon returning to Ghana, Lisa sought out a club in Accra and became a member.  She transferred her membership from there to here and she greets us from our fellow Rotarians in Accra. A photo was taken of Lisa giving the club flag to President Todd, she will forward this on to Ghana and they will be pleased to see their flag at our meeting.  

Lisa was asked how many languages she speaks and she said she speaks French from living in Mauritania and Soninke, some Norwegian from taking it at St Olaf and some Korean.  

Her assignment as a Peace Corps volunteer was in Agri-forestry, which she had training prior to being sworn in as a volunteer. 

She was asked how she found the Korean school she is working at now and she said it was near their home when they lived in St Paul. Her family now lives in Dundas, where they bought a home and Andy is teaching at NHS.  Both of their children will be at St Olaf in the Fall.  

Lisa reminded us that ‘fellowship is a form of service’ ... something we should all take away from this amazing new club member. I hope you all get the opportunity to get to know Lisa more in and outside of our weekly meetings.  

The entire July 22 meeting can be viewed here.



   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.
   Emily Lloyd
August 24 — LGBTQIAP 101: Past and Present — Emily LloydClub members will leave this session with a clearer understanding of “what the letters mean”, etiquette when interacting with LGBTQIAP people, new trends in coming out (such as age), and a quick grounding in the past to where we are now. Emily is the Youth Services Librarian & Selector at the Northfield Public Library. Hosted by Beth Kallestad.

Todd's two cents


Todd Thompson,President

I am highlighting three things today.

1. Oh my, it’s hot! 

Here is a song to celebrate that, Arrow’s 1982 hit Hot, Hot, Hot.

2. Stillwater Rotary Club’s Bridge the Valley – Bike Rally

Sunday, August 15


Cross the bridges over the picturesque St. Croix River and ride in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. All routes start and finish in historic downtown Stillwater. Routes for all ages and skill-levels: 5, 10, 25, 40, 60, or 80 mile loops (combine the 60 and 40 for a century ride); and one 80 mile gravel route.

3. DEI Book Club (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion)

Did you know we have a DEI book club?  Each month we select a book related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to read and discuss.  You can participate when you have time, or have special interest in a particular book.  You can even join our meeting to listen, even if you haven’t read the book!  All we ask is your interest in learning more about diversity, equity and inclusion.  

Our meetings are held once a month on the first Tuesday of the month from 7-8:30 pm.  We have cancelled the August meeting so there is plenty of time for you to jump on board for our current book, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer.  This bestseller is a “smart, subtle overlay of different systems of thought that together teach us to be better citizens of Earth” according to Kirkus Reviews.  The book will likely appeal to readers interested in taking care of our Earth, as well as those interested in exploring the indigenous culture.  Please consider picking up a copy of the book and joining us for a lively discussion on Sept 7.  See Dorothee Ischler for more info!

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.