This week at Rotary
Thursday June 13, 2024
For Those Attending in Person
Lunch Buffet
(Zoom Meeting Opens at 11:45)
(Link Sent Thursday Morning)
Holiday Inn Downtown
Dan Hartman
Executive Director of Duluth Entertainment Convention
What to expect from the DECC in 2024 and beyond
Dan Hartman is often defined by his passions. These include his affection for sound public policy, creative marketing, producing memorable events, and his love for Northern Minnesota, particularly Duluth.
Today, Dan's long-term goal as the Executive Director of Duluth Entertainment Convention Center is to use its nine venues to enhance the region's economic health. By increasing the number and scale of activities throughout the year, the DECC will draw more people and dollars to our economy.
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Anthony Nordan
President Gary Melander rang the Rotary Bell and led us in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the Rotary Four-Way Test.
President Gary Melander calling us to order.
Rob Hofmann provided this week’s Reflection with two stories. One story was that of a time when a neighboring Rotary Club bought $70,000 in silver coins abiding by the Four Way Test. Their plan was to mint for Polio Plus and then sell them at a Rotary Convention to help reach Rotary International’s fundraising goal. Much to everyone’s chagrin, Rotary International announced that it had successfully reached its goal just moments before the start of the convention. (bad timing?).  The good news is that any remaining – unsold silver coins will be donated to one of the Twin Port’s local Rotary Club foundations.
The second story was about the 80th anniversary of D-Day (Operation Overlord and Neptune) and how this country has changed since June 6, 1944, in particular the party platforms of the Democratic and Republic parties. Rob had a 12-page document that laid out the party platforms—i.e. aspirational goals—of each party from June and July of 1944. Some of them have been accomplished in the 80 years since, and other unrealized aspirations sound far too familiar to our times.
Rob Hofmann shares couple of stories
We did not have any guests this week.
We had a few self-reports this week. Celebrating Matrimonial Bliss:  John Ohman announced that he had celebrated his 55-year anniversary. This caused Jack Seiler to speak up and announce that he had celebrated his 41st anniversary on Tuesday. There was some murmuring about people comparing how long they had been married after these two mentioned these milestones.
We received two pieces of correspondence from outside organizations. One came from the Marshall School robotics team, which placed third in the Minnesota state competition and thanked Rotary for supporting them. The second piece of correspondence was from The Salvation Army, which thanked Rotary for their $14,000 donation during the March Food Drive.
Dan Maki presented two service projects to the club for which he needed volunteers. The first project was cleaning up the North Shore Drive section that Rotary has adopted. The second was helping to paint at St. Ann Assisting Living. They have an outside wall they need painted and have asked for volunteers to help. Please speak with Dan Maki if you have time and are able to assist with these projects.
Dan Maki needs YOU to sign up!
Geiger Yount announced a gun control forum at the Pent Paddle on Monday, June 10, from 3 to 5 p.m. The objective of this forum was to foster communication and dialogue around the subject of gun control. It is being hosted by Brave Angels, previously known as Better Angels. This organization seeks to depolarize hot-button topics and permit dialogue to occur.
Zach Walters was presented with a Rotary “Service Above Self” award for outstanding work as a Rotarian. He has done a magnificent job recruiting and welcoming new members into Club # 25. Thanks to Zach Walters, our club is growing!
Zach Walters congratulated by President Gary Melander
President-Elect Elizabeth Simonson made the last announcement: President’s Night for Gary’s year of service is Thursday, June 20th, starting at 5:30 p.m. It will cost $60 per person. The event is expected to end around 8 p.m. and be a ton of fun. Please RSVP ahead of time. As a reminder, there will be no meeting on June 20th because this event will take the place of that meeting.
President -Elect Elizabeth Simonson
Presentation: Destination Duluth Part 2
This is a follow-up presentation to the original Destination Duluth presented earlier this year by Jerry Thoreson. Destination Duluth has been pushing forward with its mission to show what Duluth has to offer. He provided us with impressive stats that show people are interested in all the things that Duluth has to offer. Thousands of people come to the Destination Duluth website and social media accounts every day to see what is going on. Destination Duluth was ranked in the top 10 social media tourism platforms in the country in engagement according to
Jerry Thoreson has mentioned how photos can evoke feelings and trigger memories. He proceeded to show many of the photos that the photographers working with Destination Duluth had taken. People were polled regarding these photos. 55% say these photos influenced their decision to go to Split Rock Lighthouse, 46% say they were influenced to go to Bentleyville, 62% to go to Canal Park, and between 37-44% were influenced by Destination Duluth to hike a Duluth trail, visit Glensheen, and  Enger Tower Park, and 62% stated they were influenced to go ship watching. People are interacting with Duluth and making decisions based on what they see. 
There are several writers for Destination Duluth. These writers work to create articles focusing on Duluth businesses and organizations that people can visit while in Duluth. Sheryl Jenson is the Arts & Entertainment Editor and Andrea Busche is the editor for the Eat & Drink Duluth initiative. These are done in coordination with their major partners to help unveil what many opportunities Duluth can offer new families - either families moving to Duluth or visiting for a short period.
Partners Destination Duluth works with are extensive: The major attractions such as the DECC, Glensheen, Great Lakes Aquarium, North Shore Scenic Railroad and others. Foundations and businesses such as  Dale and Betty Sola Foundation, South Pier Inn, Destination Duluth is partnering with Essentia in their talent recruitment, with hopes of doing the same with Cirrus, Enbridge, and City of Duluth. With these partners, Destination Duluth has been able to showcase what the community of Duluth has to offer. From places to relax, to eating, to housing, and to work.
The photos shown during the presentation were all taken by photographers who provide them for free. Destination Duluth links back to all the artists to help show off local talent. Many of these photos are awe-inspiring and display the beauty that can only be found in and around our community—beauty that is both man-made and natural. To conclude with the words of Jerry Thoreson, “A photo is worth a thousand people.”