Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, December 23, 2021
Please wear your mask when you enter the Methodist Church
and whenever you are not eating. 


December 23 —
Holiday Meeting and Festivities
This year will unveil a head-to-toe modification of our club’s traditional “Ugly Sweater” contest. On the 23rd, please come adorned with your most beautiful socks and the ugliest headgear you can locate or construct. Also, be prepared to cast your ballot for the beauty-garish contrast!
December 16 — David Anderson
News From St. Olaf
The 11th President of St Olaf College, David Anderson, has been leading the college for the last 15½ years. He and wife, Priscilla, have two children, and grandkids. Priscilla is an author of mystery and children’s books.

St Olaf is flourishing in its Northfield home! Half of it’s employees/faculty live in Northfield. St. Olaf (and Carleton) make an annual contribution to the City in lieu of taxes. This year they donated $80,000.
St. Olaf has also provided land to Northfield Hospital & Clinics, Mayo Radiation Clinic, the Benedictine Living Community and just recently sold 62 acres to a developer east of the hospital for a much needed residential area.

The college has invested in Fairfield Marriott. With all of the visitors coming to town it was a logical investment.

They have offered learning opportunities to local residents (outside of COVID-19 times) and local high school students can do Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) classes there. Over the years, 74 NHS students have taken St. Olaf classes.

St. Olaf leadership participates in a quarterly meeting with with other city leaders (NH+C, STO, Carleton, City, etc.).

COVID-19  has been a challenge but St. Olaf managed.  It is known now that students learn best, need and WANT to be in person! Plus, the college budget doesn’t work without students on campus.

Enoch Blazis, VP of Advancement, who previously served as a Marine (Major rank), led the campus through the COVID-19 strategies, planning, testing, and pivoting. The 2021-22 academic year has been nearly normal, or at least as normal as possible. The college was able to host the 2021 Christmas Festival; 6300 people attended in person and another 6900 others viewed via streaming.
With 3000 students living on campus, many in triple rooms, St. Olaf needed more dorm space. The Ole Avenue Project (see ) provides 440 new beds. On the southside of St Olaf Ave will be a 300-student residence hall, on the northside townhomes will house 140 students. The project is on time and on budget ($60M) and should open in Fall 2022.
To replace the one torn down for the new dormitory, a new President’s house will be built south of Regents Hall (off of Hwy 19).

President Anderson will retire at the end of the 2022-23 academic year. The Board of Regents has formed a search
committee and hired a recruitment firm.

A question and answer session followed.
Notes taken by Carrie Carol.
  • David Anderson, President of St. Olaf College
  • Erin Golden, Director of Public Relations
  • Anna Beckstrand (Bryce Beckstrand)
  • Lynette Peterson, City Clerk (with Ben Martig)
Rick Estenson
Alan Anderson announced that there was an RCAT forum at 6pm, online, involving those who attended COP24.
  • Charlie Kyte gave a history moment about past Rotarian, Bob Lampe.  Announced the Mircado local was open for their final weekend this past weekend.
  • Beth Kallestad, note in Cogwheel, part of Strategic Plan, survey available, please contact Beth
  • Richard Collman, peace and healing service this past weekend.  Get Hats and socks ready for Thursday.  Wigs are allowed.
  • Mark Abbott, Club board report, met on Tuesday, lively meeting, organizations asking for support (Regi, Splashpad, Northfield Shares), will be giving consideration.  Financial, 4 fundraisers raised a net of $55,000.  Budget is now finalized.  Looking for new board members, food shelf help needed on Tuesday.  Moving Strategic plan to get next steps.
  • Vicki Dilley, people of service needed on Tuesdays from 3-7 to help at Greenvale school CAC food shelf. 
  • Carrie Carroll, Interim Director at Northfield Shares, part time temp job for data entry.  See Carrie for details. Hockey playing opportunity announced too.
  • Jim Pokorney, sign up genius for Meals on Wheels, still have 2 slots open!  Challenge to make an applause meter, let’s see what Jim comes up with!
  • Janine Atchinson, heads up…will be seeing opportunities to sign up for hospitality table and serving at the KEY.
  • Jim Pokorney, Jan 12 leaving for S. Africa for 6 months to work in an orphanage.  Can see the Indian ocean from their location on a hill near the Cape.
  • Michelle Lasswell, Middlebury college let out early because of the covid outbreak, so their son, Christopher, is home and doing finals from home.
  • Anika Rychner, Santa is real, Emmitt, Anika’s 11 year old son now knows the truth about Santa AND he learned where babies come from…. A wise household!
December 30 — NO Rotary Meeting
Stay warm, stay safe, we'll see you next year! 
January 6 — Kimberly Smith and Anna Hori
Affordable and Sustainable Housing:
A 20-Year Vision for Northfield
Achieving a stock of housing that is both affordable and sustainable requires a longterm plan, drawing on the best scholarship and practices on sustainable local development. We hope to begin a rich and lively discussion aimed at developing such a plan. Kimberly Smith has taught environmental law and policy at Carleton College for 22 years and has served on the Northfield Environmental Quality Commission. Anna Hori is a senior Carleton College student majoring in Political Science and minoring in Education Studies.  Hosted by Beth Kallestad.
January 13 — Ann Richards
Classification Talk 
Hosted by John Stull.
January 20 —


Find Zoom link here.
Meeting ID: 843 1983 0113
Passcode: 264180
For times, see information below.
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 this early 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 Arrive at the United Methodist Church at 1401 Maple Street. Visit with club members and guests.
Before 12:20 — Pick up your lunch.
12:20 — Meeting begins.
1:15 — Meeting dismissed for all.
  • 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.


Todd Thompson, Club President

Todd’s Two Cents

Happy holidays! I just picked up my daughter at the airport, I have a full refrigerator, I have a few presents wrapped under the tree (I have my tree up). I think I’m ready. Well mostly ready. I still have to get my costume ready for the annual Rotary holiday lunch this Thursday. I have a start as you can see. (I wish I had those calves).  ☺ . 


Feliz Navidad!



  • Blake Abdella, Dec 21
  • Vicki Dilley, Dec 21
  • Bill Carlson, Dec 23
We celebrate
Rotarians around the world. 
Please be sure to watch for and welcome these new members.
Carrie Carroll
Tayler Swanson
  • Northfield Racial and Ethnic Equity Collaborative is asking us all to participate in their short survey. Learn more about the NREEC member organization here. 
  • Meals-On-Wheels needs three more volunteers for the week of December 26. Can you help? Sign up HERE.
  • January 11, 2022, Rotary Board Meeting, see Todd for the link to join.
  • January 13, 2022, 7 pm, DEI meeting, see Beth Kallestad for more details.
  • January 17, 2022 PR and Communication committee meeting, 7 pm, see Vicki Dilley for location.
Do you have something club related to say to fellow members? Try posting it in The Cogwheel. Send your short blurb to
If you haven't yet responded to our RCAT survey, please do so now by CLICKING 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
make it happen again!
These folks helped make the move from the Estenson barn to our new storage location!  
We are so thankful for their
time and effort!
  • Amber Chavie
  • Brent Nystrom
  • Jean Wakely
  • Jesse Steed
  • Jim Loe
  • Jim McLees 
  • John Sinning
  • Mark Abbott
  • Pat O'Neill
  • Rick Estenson
  • Todd Thompson


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.