The Gimlet
Volume 108 #35

This Week at Rotary
March 2, 2023
For Those Attending in Person
Buffet Lunch
(Zoom Meeting Opens at 11:45)
(Link Sent Thursday Morning)
Holiday Inn Downtown
Daniel Fanning
Vice President of Policy and Strategy, Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce
Chamber Foundation Initiatives for 2023
Chair of the Day Renee Mattson
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Steve Yorde
President Barb Perrella brought together attendees on a cold, blustery February day which some had wondered whether the meeting would even be held.  White-outs were prevalent in areas mostly east and south of Duluth.  Yet, our fearless leader “plowed ahead” and welcomed all who were gathered in the Holiday Inn for an interesting program about the goals of Northspan’s Welcoming Community initiative in northeast Minnesota.  President Barb Perrella led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and Rotary’s 4-Way Test, “of the things we think, say and do.”
Rotarians Pledging Allegiance
Past Assistant District Governor Phil Strom’s Rotary Reflection followed up on what we do as Rotarians each week by welcoming visitors, students and guests.  But do we sit at the same table with the same group of people each week?  Do we engage with those we don’t know?  Are we open-minded, positive, accepting and tolerant with those who are new to our community?  Do we invite them to consider Rotary?  He cited Rotary’s name and challenged us to do one thing each week…rotate!
President Barb Perrella then introduced our guests, including Judy Rogers who shared her famous pizzelles, Amber Lewis (Northspan speaker and spouse of Skyline Rotarian David Lewis), Andy Thielen (Wayzata Rotarian and former member of our club), Alex Tessier and Patty McGaffey of Oneida Realty, guests of Steve LaFlamme.
Jerry Thoreson
Jerry Thoreson contributed $100 to the Golden Can in recognition of Destination Duluth’s 2022 data. "The purpose of Destination Duluth is to inspire and educate people about the quality of place of Duluth, thereby shaping the city and region's positive growth," according to Thoreson. In 2022, they had a record-breaking 100 million views on Facebook and Instagram and their website, averaging 250,000 views per day.  Compare these numbers with 2021 results: 52 million views, averaging 1 million per week. Their posts encourage visitors to stay in our hotels, shop in our businesses, and see attractions like Bentleyville (their Bentleyville posts had 3 million views). Destination Duluth's ultimate goal is for people to choose Duluth as their #destinationforLife.  Thank you and congratulations, Jerry!
Amber Lewis, Northspan
Chair of the Day Elizabeth Simonson

Chair of the Day Elizabeth Simonson introduced Elissa Hansen (president and CEO of Northspan) who in turn introduced her colleague and co-presenter Amber Lewis.  Northspan is a non-profit 501(c)4 organization that provides business management consulting services to clients in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.  They presented population data showing that between now and 2028 (and 20 years beyond to 2048), the population of Northeast Minnesota will change dramatically.  There will be fewer White and more Black, American Indian, Hispanic, Asian and Native Hawaiian populations.  This data set the stage for Northspan’s “Welcoming Community” initiative which will advance our region’s efforts to be more inviting and welcoming, and more responsive to seeking inclusion, equity and civic engagement.  It was noted that communities focusing on these “welcoming initiatives” are more economically competitive and their populations are growing! 
To increase the sense of belonging of underrepresented community members and trust between people from different backgrounds and lived experiences in Northeast Minnesota.
Rural Duluth and Grand Rapids were cited for their respective broadband initiatives.  Community advisory groups began meeting, often in small groups in breweries, to define “what is welcoming.”  Recommendations included positive interactions with neighbors, public and civic representations of diversity, creating spaces of belonging and inclusivity, and clean and well-functioning community infrastructure.  Northspan’s action plan includes community meetings and education, a recognition that we must recognize that diversity will continue to grow, and an understanding that a more generous, inclusive, welcoming and engaged community will help eliminate “opportunity gaps” and enhance efforts to strengthen local economies.
The 50/50 drawing was won by Jay Ott.        
(L to R) Elissa Hansen with Amber Lewis from Northspan
This Week's Meeting
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Holiday Center Great Lakes Ballroom
200 W. Superior St
Duluth, MN
United States of America
Come join us and bring a friend for a great soup and salad bar and program!
Venue Map
Venue Map
Mar 02, 2023
Chamber Foundation Initiatives for 2023
Mar 09, 2023
Newly elected and direction of the department
Mar 16, 2023
Off-Site Bethany Crisis Nursery
Mar 23, 2023
His Hike to Everest Base Camp
Mar 30, 2023
Climate Change and the Near Future for Duluth and Superior
Apr 06, 2023
Stress Reduction Through the Lens of Adversity/Resilience
Apr 13, 2023
Off Site - Tour of West Theaters
Apr 20, 2023
student led meeting
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Rotary Board of Directors
Rotary Office
Mar 15, 2023 4:00 PM
Rotary Board of Directors
Rotary Office
Apr 19, 2023 4:00 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Deb Ellingsen
February 1
Zach Walters
February 4
Renee Mattson
February 7
Geiger Yount
February 8
Reid Sheldahl
February 10
Justin Terch
February 12
Sheryl Homan
February 12
Steve Hadley
February 16
Mike Murray
February 23
Join Date
Elaine Hansen
February 3, 2000
23 years
Douglas Erickson
February 4, 1999
24 years
Zach Walters
February 4, 2019
4 years
Jerry Thoreson
February 5, 2020
3 years
Al Makynen
February 9, 1989
34 years
Branden Robinson
February 14, 2008
15 years
Dale Johnson
February 14, 1974
49 years
Jon Helstrom
February 16, 1984
39 years
Gary Bubalo
February 17, 2000
23 years
Kjell Knudsen
February 18, 1999
24 years
Darlene Anderson
February 21, 2008
15 years
Mary Niemeyer
February 22, 2018
5 years
Katrina Pierson
February 24, 2020
3 years
Stacy Oltmanns
February 25, 2019
4 years
Jim Schwartz
February 26, 2004
19 years
Official Publication of
Rotary Club of Duluth
207 W. Superior St.
Suite 201
Duluth Minnesota 55802
Rob Hofmann
Darlene Anderson
Rob Hofmann
Al Makynen
Traci Marciniak
Phil Strom
Steve Yorde
Jerry Thoreson
Rotary Office Hours:
By Appointment Only
Until Further Notice