This Week at Rotary
 
We Meet at Noon on Thursday
April 22, 2021
IN PERSON at the HOLIDAY CENTER
(Also Via Zoom)
 
Plated Meal Served
(Zoom Meeting Opens at 11:45)
(Link Sent Thursday Morning)
 
John Magas
Superintendent, Duluth Public Schools
 
Leadership and Change
The pandemic has forced us to think about teaching in new ways. We must make the best of what we have learned to improve the way we do business. This year our District begins a five-year strategic plan to incorporate hard-won understanding to shape a bold and bright future for education in Duluth.
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By:  Rob Hofmann
 
With more Rotarians becoming vaccinated Club #25 is seeing an increase of in-person attendance and seemingly fewer Rotarians on Zoom. Thanks to a recommendation and demo by our friends from Harbortown Rotary, a new meeting technology was unveiled – The Meeting Owl Pro - that provides 360-degree views and better audio for those who zoom which in turn makes the zooming experience more communal than ever before! With a ring of the Rotary Bell, President Dean Casperson extended a warm welcome to all and asked all Rotarians to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and the Rotary Four-Way Test. 
 
Today’s Rotary Refection was offered by Jeff Iisakka who demonstrated his connection to today’s speaker Zack Filipovich by sharing that he and Zach’s mother were 1977 classmates at Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis! Jeff Iisakka continued with connecting Rotary’s Core Values of service, fellowship, diversity, integrity, and leadership to values shared by our best public officials who serve in local government. We expect them to lead by example, “do the right thing” – even if that requires making hard choices between what constituents want and what is best for the community.
 
President-Elect Chana Stocke kicked off our Fellowship Report by dropping $2 into the Golden Can to celebrate the State Title win by the Hermantown-Proctor girls hockey team Mirage – congratulations! President-Elect Chana Stocke then updated us on recent strategic plan discussions. Our Club will continue a hybrid meeting model using the Owl 360 technology. President Dean Casperson announced District 5580 has provided a $400 grant toward the purchase of an Owl with the remaining $600 paid by the Club.
 
 
Meet your new Owl – what a hoot!
 
Grants committee member Jim Schwartz presented a check for $2,000 to Amber Sadowski, Community Development Director of Life House. A longtime recipient of Rotary grants, Life House will use these funds to provide better nutritional meals to the young people they serve. Life House holds a special place among Rotarians of Club #25 as many Rotarians serve meals during Thanksgiving and lend a hand during graduation. These kids are survivors who have escaped abusive situations, sex trafficking, chemical abuse, and much more. Rotarians are always pleasantly reminded that their hard work in fundraising goes to such a great cause as these kids!
 
 
President Dean Casperson, Amber Sadowski and Jim Schwartz
 
Today's speaker, Councilperson Zack Filipovich was introduced by Past Assistant Governor Al Makynen. In 2013 at the age of 23, Zack was elected to the Duluth City Council and in 2016 became their youngest President. Now in his eighth year of service, he is the most senior member of the City Council.   Currently, he serves as the Secretary for the Duluth Economic Development Authority and represents the City on the Metropolitan Interstate Council and Visit Duluth.  Zack’s other job is in the Finance Department of the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District, and in 2020 he became a Certified Management Accountant.
 
Zach credited retired business school dean and current Rotarian Kjell Knudsen for generating the spark that led to public service. While a student at UMD, Zach participated in an annual Duluth Days in Saint Paul where he was further inspired by Duluth Chamber of Commerce’s David Ross to meet face to face with state politicians to press policy matters that impacted UMD and Duluth. This experience launched a career of service.  Although Zach feels being a councilperson is truly a fulfilling and honorable job, it does come with challenges. A “balancing act” where he is expected to lead on issues while being the voice of his constituents. There are pressures to be sure – pressure coming from colleagues, pressure coming from constituents, and the greatest pressures coming from himself!  Zach relies on staff for some support, yet he relies on himself to dig deep with researching every issue that comes before the City Council. Always in a learning mode, Zach enjoys taking on new challenges in his City Council role and that as a member of the Public Utilities Commission. Although this will be his last term in office, Zach will remain in Duluth working with the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District. Perhaps someday we will call Zack a fellow Rotarian in the very near future?
 
Zach Filipovich with Darlene Anderson