Club President
member photo
With the holidays behind us, the New Year welcomed in, COVID vaccines being administered, an inauguration in less than two weeks and a string of days of above average temps, there's reason for optimism.  That said, there's still plenty of crises and reason for concern on the local, state, national and international level.  Our club continues to flourish, even amidst the chaos, with new member inductions, additional Paul Harris Fellows and generous giving to the Rotary Foundation, PolioPlus and Fast for Hope.  I'm grateful to each of you for your contributions to making our club one we can all be proud of.  Keep up the good work!
Triple Feature Program!
Our January 12 meeting will be highlighted by the induction of Kate Boyer, feature yet another member vocational talk an then topped off with what's sure to be an interesting and informative presentation.  Joan Bachman is scheduled to provide some timely advice with her presentation entitled, "If Only You Would Ask, A Guide to Spending Quality Time."
And Don't Miss the Next Meeting Either!
The Risers take our meeting to another level on January 19th when you'll be treated to a consecutive triple feature.  I've had a request from a visitor from the north to Zoom with us.  No, not Santa or Mrs. Claus, an elf or even the Canadian Prime Minister.  I received the following request from DG Marek...I would like to Zoom into the meeting on Tuesday, January 19th to make a brief presentation.  Should be an interesting way to start the meeting.  You'll then be treated to what's certain to be a timely and interesting vocational panel.  And the meeting will conclude with a presentation by Mary Jane Milano, "The Gift of Organ Donation."
Tax Donation Clarification
Each year as Rotarians begin pulling together information for their tax preparation, questions surface about what are and are not authorized Rotary itemized deductions.  A good rule of thumb would be any contributions made to the Rotary Foundation are appropriate; calendar raffle and dues are not.  Please consult your tax preparation provider or financial consultant with questions or for further clarification.
High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful professions and using your vocational talents to solve problems in society are all part of Vocational Service.  Please click here for more great ideas!
District 5960 Governor Ed Marek
District Governor Marek will deliver his Risers Club Zoom remarks during our regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, March 30.  Immediately following the club presentation, Ed would like to meet with as many members of the Risers Board and Club Support Team Leads as possible.  All members should make every effort to attend the club meeting and club leadership should plan to engage in a conversation with Ed from 8-9 a.m. the same morning.
Please, whenever you complete Rotary-related service projects or activities above and beyond our regularly scheduled meetings, send your hours to Kim Keilholtz at kimdtm@msn.comThose members who have accumulated hours since July 1 and not submitted them to Kim should do so now.  Thank you!
Meals on Wheels Request
Our club's Meals on Wheels Coordinator, Joanne Rosener, has a need and a "Service Above Self" opportunity. With COVID, our service opportunities are somewhat  limited. Meals on Wheels, however, is one ongoing service activity our Club is doing.  Due to some changes in availability of members, we need two persons to assist on the second Thursday and one person on the third Thursday starting January through June.  If you can help, contact Joanne at

If taking on an ongoing assignment is not something you can commit to, please consider signing up for one shift. See below for dates. All shifts start at 11:15 AM and finish at approximately 12:30 PM.
January 14, 21 or 28
February 11 or 18
March 11 or 18
April 8 or 15
May 13 or 20
June 10 or 17
Blood Donation:  A Community Service Opportunity
January is National Blood Donor Month, and as the pandemic continues, there’s a national shortage of plasma needed to help treat COVID-19 patients. To address the need, the Red Cross and the NFL are teaming up to encourage blood donations from people who have beaten COVID-19. Through the initiative, if you donate before January 31, you’ll be automatically entered to win two tickets to the 2022 Super Bowl.  But you don't have to have tested positive to donate blood.  Mayo Clinic's Department of Transfusion Medicine is always seeking qualified donors.  Connect with them if you'd like to help.  Happy donating!
"Skills for Bridging the Divide" Registration is Open
The Ethics Committee of Rotary District 5960 invites you to a Braver Angels workshop on Zoom, entitled “Skills for Bridging the Divide” scheduled for 7:00 p.m., Thursday, January 14, 2021.
We have made special arrangements for Rotarians from District 5960 for this workshop as a follow-up to the “With Malice Toward None” sessions held in November and December. Members are encouraged to bring your friends and family members as well, especially if they are of the other political persuasion.  You may register for the event at...
Getting to Know Rotary International
Over 1200 passionate Rotarians, including our own Joanne Rosener, signed up to listen to John Hewko, RI General Secretary and CEO, share his suggestions on how clubs can survive, even thrive, in the future.  John's video message can be viewed at...
I've had a chance to hear John on a couple of occasions and now listen to this video.  It's worthy of your time.

Crystal Ball 2021

Predictions for the Economy, Politics, Technology and More

[NOTE:  The following is a sampling of 2021 predictions compiled by Fortune Magazine staff and published in the December edition.  Who knows how many will come to pass, but it makes for an interesting read.]
If you thought 2020 was an unpredictable year, you probably weren't paying attention.  For over a decade, epidemiologists have sounded the warning that a once-in-a-hundred-years pandemic could ravage the planet, and that even the most advanced nations were ill-prepared for the fallout.  In 2021, we will face challenges both familiar and unforeseen - but we will also see shoots of rejuvenation as the world thaws from lockdown.  Here are Fortune's predictions of how the next year will play out.  [Only a few predictions are shared here, many others are noted in the December publication.]
> Wall Street and reality remain out of whack; corporate America will thrive in 2021, but good fortune will not be evenly distributed.
> A likely GOP-controlled Senate, or even a 50/50 split, puts the kibosh on any Biden administration plans to reverse the Trump tax cuts; that should bode well for corporate profits, which are also primed for a major rebound when the pandemic wanes.
> Almost 2.2 million women stopped working or looking for work between February and October, 2020, and it will take years for these women to fully return to the workforce, and even then they will experience suppressed wages and lost opportunities.
> Life on college campuses will look more normal again in the fall - sports, dorms, students - but colleges will be far from free from their financial woes.  Up against declining international student enrollments, state budget shortfalls and an economic crisis, small private colleges and some state schools will struggle to survive.  The average college sticker price will continue to rise.
> Some new faces will emerge in Washington in 2021, but don't expect the status quo to be rocked on Capitol Hill.
> At 80, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has led her party through the hallowed halls of the Capitol Building for nearly two decades.  Now she'll stand at the helm of the Democratic ship for one final voyage across the stormy seas of the Beltway before handing over the rudder.
> Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will ease into the octogenarian lifestyle, and progressive Democrats will soon realize that their torchbearer is likely closer to retirement than another presidential run.  A leadership vacuum will become a real risk, and there are no obvious candidate with the seniority or stature of Sanders.
> The President is having trouble letting go of the Oval Office, but wait until he sees the TV set re-creation.  If there's one thing President Trump is good at, it's entertainment.  In 2021, Trump will partner with One America News Network for a primetime show that will stick it to Fox News.
> Eager to inject an FDR-esque stimulus into the economy as the pandemic rages on, Biden agrees to Senator Schumer and Warren's resolution to wipe away $50,000 of federal debt per borrower and cancel significant student debt.
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman lands a lucrative book deal and manages to publish the account just before year's end.  The memoir immediately rockets up the bestseller list, with a television adaptation to follow.
> It will be a year of reckoning for denizens of the tech industry as their unchecked behavior catches up with them.
> Expect Google to settle the Justice Department's antitrust case as it has in Europe over similar charges.  Consumers will probably get a choice of search engines when buying a new device, and exclusive deals will be out.
> The first folding smartphones had a few things in common besides trying to combine the portability of a phone with the larger display of a tablet.  They were powerful, but delicate, and rather expensive.  Companies are relentless at pushing high-end features down to entry-level models.  Expect at least one company to offer a folding smart phone selling for just three figures.
> Boris Johnson may have once prevaricated about Brexit, but his political identity is now bound to it.  British businesses will soon learn the reality of the project, and it is unlikely to go well.  Expect Johnson's premiership to meet an early end.
> In 2021, Chinese vaccine makers will supply more vaccines globally than Western firms.  Chinese companies Phase III trials are focusing on technologies that won't require as much cold storage capacity, increasing the likelihood that developing countries will be able to support importing and distributing them.
> Surface temperatures across 2020 indicated it was in the running to beat 2016's record, and 2021 could be still worse.
> Telemedicine was always the wave of the future; the COVID pandemic just hastened its arrival.  As hospitals remain overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, many medical centers have had to cut back on procedures that take place on-site.  Don't expect this wave to crest post-pandemic.
> Vaxxers will beat out anti-vaxxers, but narrowly; polls have fluctuated but suggest only 50-58 percent of people will definitely get vaccinated.
> There's a reason you see people wearing face masks in public spaces.  Don't be surprised if face masks remain part of your daily routine and will still be worn on New Year's Eve 2021.
> Expect the Affordable Care Act to live another of its nine lives.
> Next summer will be about celebrating everything we put on hold in 2020.
> In 2021 Jeff Bezos finally uses some of his fortune to get ahold of one of the most valuable franchises in sports, whether it's the Seattle Seahawks or the Washington Football Team.  Either way, he'll cough up a record amount for a sports franchise of any type.
> "Bubbles" set up by the NWSL and the NBA proved sporting events can still be held safely, and they'll be the model for the Tokyo Summer Games.  Expect many drastic changes, including welcoming far fewer ticketed attendees, having athletes quarantine weeks prior to the opening ceremonies and regular testing for the duration of the competition.
> After a year of social distancing and staying indoors while watching death tolls tick up over winter, young Americans need a release.  The widespread distribution of COVID vaccine will coincide with the summer of 2021, just in time for parks across the country to turn into full-on party zones.  Think Woodstock-esque full-time gatherings in public outdoor spaces.
> Following a year of cinema hampered by delays and theatre closings, Academy voters decide the late Chadwick Boseman saved one of his best performances for last and he posthumously wins Best Supporting Actor  at the 2021 Oscars for his role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
> Quinton Byfield, the highest-drafted Black player in NHL history, will star for the L.A. Kings this season and use his prodigious skating skills, quick hands and size to win Rookie of the Year.
> Stocks will keep climbing as new vaccines gradually awaken more industries from their pandemic-induced comas.  But rising interest rates and slowing growth in Big Tech will keep markets out of stampeding-bull territory.
> Even with a full economic recovery, demand for oil won't reach pre-COVID levels, as the work-from-home crowd continues to avoid business travel and commuting.  Demand from emerging markets will keep prices from crashing outright.
> There are currently just four Black men (and no Black women) running Fortune 500 companies, and one of them will retire in March.  Expect modest but meaningful change on that front next year; three Black CEO's will be hired, including one woman.
Supporting the Environment

New Rotary Focus:  Supporting the Environment

The Rotary Foundation Trustees and Rotary International Board of Directors have both unanimously approved adding a new area of focus: supporting the environment.

More than $18 million in Foundation global grant funding has been allocated to environment-related projects over the past five years. Creating a distinct area of focus to support the environment will give Rotary members even more ways to bring about positive change in the world and increase our impact.

RI President Mark Maloney says that during his travels around the world as a Rotary senior leader he encountered many Rotary members and Rotaractors who advocated for the environment to be an area of focus.

“I believe strongly that our Rotary Foundation programs now have a valuable added dimension to our efforts,” says, Maloney.

Foundation Trustee Chair Gary C.K. Huang says that with the global population reaching near eight billion, protecting the environment is increasingly important.

“It is time for us to use our collective resources to invest in a smart and efficient way to protecting our environment,” says Huang. “We are qualified to take this initiative because we are a global group of problem solvers with diversified talents.”

In 1990-91, RI President Paulo V.C. Costa made the environment one of his primary causes, creating the Preserve Planet Earth subcommittee, which looked at ways clubs and members could conduct environmental initiatives.

“We have finally caught up to Costa [his vision],” says Past RI President Ian H.S. Riseley, chair of the Environmental Issues task force, which championed the new area of focus.

“As a lifelong environmentalist, I’m delighted that our great organization has recognized that the environment is a worthy and appropriate destination for our project activity,” says Riseley. “This is an exciting moment in Rotary history.”

Supporting the environment becomes Rotary's seventh area of focus, which are categories of service activities supported by global grants. It joins peacebuilding and conflict prevention; disease prevention and treatment; water, sanitation, and hygiene; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; and community economic development.

Grant applications for projects will be accepted beginning on 1 July 2021. Gifts and commitments from Rotarians and others will be sought to provide global grant support for the new area of focus.

More information about this new cause will be announced soon.

It's Not All Bad News!

It's Not All Bad News:  10 Good Things to Come Out of 2020

[The following was taken from an article of the same name in the latest Minnesota Sheriffs' Association newsletter.]

While 2020 has been a most challenging year, and COVID-19 has flipped the script on normal, it's not all bad.  In not particular order, consider these 10 Good Things to come out of 2020.

Good Hygiene Habits - We are all benefitting from a renewed emphasis on the importance of proper and frequent hand washing and germ mitigation.

Community Spirit - Despite the fact that many people are shut away in their homes, many communities have never been closer.

Appreciation for Essential Workers - Supermarket cashiers, stackers and delivery drivers are not generally thought of as heroes.  But COVID-19 has highlighted the essential roles played by key workers we depend on.

Drive-in Movies are Making a Comeback and Drive-in Concerts were Born - Many of us remember the good old days at the drive-in.  Now a new generation is getting the opportunity to take in a movie or even a live performance from the comfort and safety of their automobile.  You can even go to drive-in church now.

Restaurants are Sharing Their Secret Recipes - From McDonalds Egg McMuffin to IKEA meatballs, Panera Bread pastries to a Disney Dole Whip, a number of formerly best-kept recipe secrets have been shared by their sources, so we can enjoy their staples in the comfort and safety of our homes.

Animal Adoptions are Up - Shelters across the country are seeing an increase in pet adoption applicants.  Animals in need are finding forever homes.

Corporations are Stepping Up - Major companies such as 3M and Apple pooled resources or shifted production to make millions of personal protection equipment items.  Ford, GM, Tesla and other automobile manufacturers were able to make ventilators and other medical devices.  Distilleries around the country, large and small, have used their resources to produce badly needed hand sanitizer.

Virtual Access to Culture and Nature - You can visit the Met in New York, take in Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum or the Louvre in Paris, virtually tour national parks and zoos, and even go on an expedition to Mars, all without leaving home.

Board Games, Puzzles and Books - The board game, jigsaw puzzle and book industries are all reporting increased sales.  A new generation is discovering the old family and household standards as more people are enjoying family time - unplugged.

More Community and More Caring - Stories abound of communities coming together, serving one another and rallying to meet needs among society's most vulnerable.  (Think Rochester's Together and the City and County Caring Funds)

Office Attire Changes - Sweatpants, t-shirts and pajamas...need we say more?

Rochester Rotary Risers Recognized at District Event
On Tuesday, June 23, 2020, Rotarians from District 5960, which covers south east and east metro Minnesota and western Wisconsin, met virtually for the 2019-20 District Awards Happy Hour.  Clubs were recognized for their efforts in various categories and based on the size of the club – Large, Medium Plus, Medium, or Small – as part of the District’s Awards Program.
The Rochester Rotary Risers Club was responsible for submitting examples of their efforts against a checklist for up to six categories – Club Service, Community Service, International Service, Public Image, Vocational Service, and Youth Service. The submissions were then judged by Rotarians from Clubs in a different size category to keep the voting objective. The Rotary Club of Rochester Rotary Risers was in the Medium Plus size club category.   
After the tabulating, the club received several awards for its efforts, including the District Governor's Citation, 3rd place in Club Service, 1st place in Vocational Service, and 3rd place in Community Service! The Club has been focusing on Vocational Service through vocational talks, Rotation Days, vocational programs, a vocational workshop, and recognition of a community member with a Paul Harris Award for being a Rotarian at heart. The Club has also been involved with and sponsored community programs like the Jeremiah Program, that helps families move from poverty to prosperity two generations at a time, and Cradle to Career, that focuses community resources on programs that make a difference in the lives of children and young adults in reaching education goals and eventually employment.
About Rotary and District 5960
Rotary’s vision is “Together we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change, in our community, across the globe, and in ourselves.” We do this through a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Our mission is to advance world peace and understanding, good will and peace through improved health, the support of education and alleviation of poverty. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Within District 5960, which includes much of south east and east metro Minnesota in addition to 6 counties in western Wisconsin, there are 63 clubs focused on humanitarian service. Locally, the Rotary Club of Rochester Rotary Risers members provides both hands on skills and financial support for sustainable projects to improve our community. Our work improves lives at both the local and international levels including our continuing work toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit ( or
The Awards Happy Hour reception was recorded and can be viewed here:
Club Information
Rochester Risers
Service Above Self
We meet Tuesdays at 7:00 AM
Hilton Garden Inn
225 S. Broadway
Rochester, MN  55904
United States
DistrictSiteIcon District Site
VenueMap Venue Map
Meeting Responsibilities
Greeter 1
LaPlante, Kristi
Greeter 2
McNeil, Joel
Program Coordinator
Cantlon, Matt
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Ari Kolas
January 8
Beth Sherden
January 18
Dean Stenehjem
January 21
Join Date
Ari Kolas
January 18, 2000
21 years
Jerome Ferson
January 26, 2017
4 years
April Sutor
January 31, 2017
4 years
Janet Swanson
January 31, 2017
4 years
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Community Service Team Lead
Vocational Service Team Lead
Club Service Team Lead
International Service Team Lead
Rotary Foundation Team Lead
Past President
Fundraising Team Lead
Human Trafficking Officer
Rotary Classic Event Liaison
Youth Service Team Lead
Literacy Team Lead
Social Team Lead
President Elect Nominee
Membership Team Lead
Public Image Team Lead
Club Administrator
Russell Hampton
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