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Duke Pieper was an elite hockey player at a young age. As a freshman at Hill-Murray High School, he made the varsity of the then-defending state champion Pioneers. Before his first game, he suffered from a brain lesion that altered his life. Given a 5 percent chance to live, Pieper overcame multiple surgeries, paralysis, and nerve damage. In place of his dreams of hockey stardom, Pieper found illness, surgery, infection, paralysis, months of hospitalization, and lingering disability. And yet, by his own admission, Pieper has emerged a better, bigger person.

Duke Pieper, teen hockey player with brain disease
Jan 09, 2018
 
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With the Super Bowl in Minnesota just a few weeks away, there has been heightened attention on sexual exploitation/human trafficking. Campaigns to battle sex trafficking have launched, partly in hopes of leveraging the extra attention that will accompany an estimated 1 million visitors to the state for Super Bowl 52. One campaign, called “I Am Priceless,” is from Minneapolis-based The Link, which provides services and housing for sexually exploited youths. Billboards, bus shelters, radio ads, and a downtown Minneapolis mural will target 10- to 14-year-old girls and boys with the message: “My body is not for sale.” Girls United MN, started at Hopkins High School, has joined in the effort to educate about and prevent sexual exploitation.

Jessica Melnik, Hopkins High School student
Jan 16, 2018
 
Jan 18, 2018
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM
 
 
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Curt Tryggestad, former superintendent of Eden Prairie Schools, took over in August as executive director of the Perpich Center for Arts Education. Tryggestad ran the Eden Prairie system from 2012-2017. Before that, he was superintendent of Little Falls Community Schools in central Minnesota and Esko Public Schools in northeastern Minnesota. He began his career as an instrumental music teacher. The Minnesota Association of School Administrators named him the 2017 Minnesota Superintendent of the Year.

The Perpich Center, which runs arts outreach programs as well as an arts high school in Golden Valley, narrowly survived a legislative inquiry in 2017. The center had been in turmoil since before former director Sue Mackert retired in January. Shortly after Mackert's retirement, the state legislative auditor released a critical report on the center, noting diminished outreach to school districts and low enrollment and test scores at the center's Golden Valley high school.

With a new executive director, Perpich leaders hope the agency will be rejuvenated. “The board members have been working nonstop, and the Legislature and the governor’s office are supporting our work,” Perpich Board Chairman Benjamin Vander Kooi said in a statement. “Next is working with the new [executive director] to create a strategic plan that will carry us forward to even greater success.”

Curt Tryggestad, Executive Director
Jan 30, 2018
 
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Dr. Michael Howell is a neurologist who specializes in sleep disorders. As the Sleep Performance Co-founder, Dr. Howell is an expert on the role of sleep and circadian rhythms in human performance and an internationally recognized researcher and educator. Dr. Howell currently is program director of the Sleep Medicine Fellowship at the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center, Associate Professor and Vice-Chair for Education in the Department of Neurology at the University of Minnesota, and Medical Director of the Fairview Sleep Center in Edina, Minnesota. His clinical interests include sleepwalking and related disorders such as REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, Sleep Related Eating Disorder, sleep seizures, and other violent sleep behaviors.

A prolific researcher, author, and speaker, Dr. Howell has authored or co-authored 35 publications relating to sleep and brain function; given 68 presentations at international, national, and regional meetings; and conducted 61 media (television, radio, and online) spots. He has held elected and appointed offices in the American Academy of Neurology and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Dr. Howell has received several local and national honors including: Best of 2012 Sleep Doctors by Sleep Review Magazine, 2014 Best Doctors in Sleep Disorders by Minnesota Monthly, and Top Doctors-Rising Stars by Mpls-St. Paul Magazine.

Dr. Michael Howell
Feb 06, 2018
 
 
Feb 15, 2018
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM
 
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Lloyd Campbell is a member of the Glenwood Rotary Club and a Past President. He currently serves as the District 5950 Membership Chair-Elect. District Governor Bob Halagan's goal is 50.3% female membership in District 5950. Lloyd will discuss membership strategies for attracting new faces to Rotary.

Lloyd Campbell, Membership Chair-Elect
Feb 20, 2018
 
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The Rev. Dr. Christopher Thomforde​ served as President and Trustee of Moravian College from 2006-2013. He brought to Moravian an impressive record of seasoned and successful leadership in higher education, at colleges and universities. From 2001-2006, he served as President of St. Olaf College. He also directed the development and implementation of an ambitious five-year strategic plan, as well as that institution’s first comprehensive marketing plan. Dr. Thomforde served as President of Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, from 1996 to 2000, where he led efforts to reshape academic programs, revise the college's constitution and by-laws, develop a comprehensive master facilities plan, establish policies for successful endowment management, and restore fiscal responsibility. From 1974 to 1978, he was an assistant chaplain and instructor in philosophy and religion at Colgate University. From 1978 to 1986, he served as pastor at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Dansville, New York, where he provided pastoral care and leadership for his congregation, held leadership roles in regional and synod church affairs, and was very active in community organizations. He also did extensive pastoral work at nearby Attica prison. From 1986 to 1996, he served as chaplain at Susquehanna University and taught in the Department of Philosophy and Religion. Following intensive course work in Mandarin Chinese at Middlebury College, he taught Western languages and medieval European history at Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan, until 1971. A member of Princeton's basketball team, Thomforde was named AP/UPI Honorable Mention All-American in 1969. He received the Franklin Bunn Award for contributions to Princeton University in 1969. During his tenure as Bethany president, he completed requirements for a Doctor of Ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary; he was awarded that degree in 2000. Susquehanna University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 2001. He subsequently enrolled at Yale University Divinity School, where he received a Master of Divinity degree in 1974, with concentrations in biblical studies, church history, and philosophy. Dr. Thomforde earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in medieval and Russian history from Princeton University in 1969.

Christopher Thomforde, past president of St. Olaf
Feb 27, 2018
 
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Days for Girls volunteers and enterprises have reached more than ONE MILLION women and girls around the world who now have more days of opportunity, dignity, and health thanks to Days for Girls menstrual health solutions and education— making sure that every single day of her life counts. When we mobilize girls and women through health and education opportunities, their communities and our world grow stronger. Pads are a simple thing that helps girls go to school and women go to work. Judy Johnson of the Maple Grove Rotary will be speaking about the project which provides a washable/reusable product for use during menstrual cycles, enabling girls and women to attend school/work during menstruation when they otherwise could not.

Judy Johnson, Maple Grove Rotary
Mar 06, 2018
 
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Melvin Anderson, the founder and president of Youth Determined to Succeed (YDS), is a respected leader in youth development and wellness fields. He has led YDS since it's conception in 1999. The former Gopher and Pittsburgh Steelers receiver is dedicated to building a vehicle to help youth and families live vibrant lives. Melvin's unrelenting passion to help youth enhance their lives is rooted in his own experience and credits his life success to the college scholarship he received. Youth Determined to Succeed is about fighting childhood obesity and creating a healthy lifestyle early.

Melvin Anderson, Executive Director
Mar 13, 2018
 
Mar 15, 2018
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM
 
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Steve Solbrack is a 26-year Rotarian in the St. Louis Park Noon Club. He is currently District 5950's Membership Chairman. Steve has held many Club-level and District-level positions over the years. Throughout his Rotary service, Steve has been committed to environmental projects worldwide. He'll provide an update on Environmental Sustainability projects, Tree Planting projects, and Twin Cities Rotary EcoClub.

Steve Solbrack
Mar 20, 2018
 
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Philip joined Twin Cities Rotaract in 2014 and served as president of the club in 2015-16. He currently works at Voya Financial as a Business Analyst where he translates business ideas into working business applications. Philip did his undergraduate degree at University of Minnesota and graduate degree at Concordia University in St. Paul. In the summer of 2015, Philip spent 3 weeks in Brazil first attending the Rotary International convention in Sao Paulo and  then taking part in a Rotary Friendship Exchange with District 4740. In his leisure, he likes going to the gym, biking, and watching sports. Philip is an avid traveler and has visited over 30 countries on 5 continents. He is married to Anika who is also a Rotaractor. Philip is proud to originate from Liberia and has lived in the Twin Cities since 1999.

Philip Kaleewoun, Membership Chair
Mar 27, 2018
 
Mar 29, 2018
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM
 
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Tuesday is Joke Day! Bring your (Rotary appropriate) jokes for some good laughs in celebration of April Fool's Day. Can't find a joke? Never fear; Peggy Leppik has pre-approved jokes for sale!

Joke Day
Apr 03, 2018
 
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SAVE was one of the nation’s first organizations dedicated to the prevention of suicide. Their work is based on the foundation and belief that suicide is preventable and everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide. Through raising public awareness, educating communities, and equipping every person with the right tools, they know we can SAVE lives. SAVE is dedicated to saving lives 365 days a year and their public messages about suicide prevention are distributed across the United States utilizing billboards, TV messages, radio, website, and printed materials. Advocacy for suicide prevention is conducted by SAVE individually and in collaboration with other national groups. Faye Bland, a former member of the Board of Directors for SAVE, will speak on the group's efforts to prevent suicide and depression.

Faye Bland, former board member, SAVE
Apr 10, 2018
 
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John Wetter, President of SpotterNetwork

John is the Technology Services Manager for Hopkins School District and current President of SpotterNetwork. The SpotterNetwork brings storm spotters, storm chasers, coordinators, and public servants together in a seamless network of information. It provides accurate position data of spotters and chasers for coordination/reporting and provides ground truth to public servants engaged in the protection of life and property. He has been with Hopkins Schools since 2006 and has worked in educational technology since 1997.

John Wetter, Hopkins Schools Tech Services
Apr 17, 2018
 
Apr 19, 2018
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM
 
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Heart Safe Plymouth

Norm Okerstrom and Russ Carlson will give a presentation with a brief AED demonstration (automated external defibrillator)

The Rotary Club of Plymouth has partnered with Allina Hospitals and Clinics to begin a new signature project called Heart Safe Plymouth. The goal is to make the community a safer place to live, work, and play in Plymouth, Minnesota. The core of the program involves the following:

  • Educate and train on the emergency treatment of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) by providing CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) training to individuals and organizations in the community.
  • Encourage and assist with the acquisition of AEDs so the community has more of them readily available if needed.
  • Get AEDs in the community listed on the National AED Registry so their location is available to 911 operators.
Norm Okerstrom and Russ Carlson
Apr 24, 2018
 
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Richard (Dick) Middleton presents “The History of the American Flag,” American history through original, rare American flags.

Dick was born and raised in Kansas City and earned Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Kansas State University in Computer Science and Statistics. Because of his education in the burgeoning field of computers, Dick was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army and selected to be an instructor at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY shortly after graduation. For Dick, the concept of patriotism is not something that is reserved for national holidays or military ceremonies, rather, it has remained one of the overarching principles that have guided his life since the time he stepped on the West Point campus. Dick has done extensive research on the American flag and presents on the flag and other topics relating to U.S. history throughout Minnesota.

Richard Middleton
May 01, 2018
 
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Lexi Reed Holtum, Executive Director, and Frank Hennick, Administrative Assistant, Steve Rummler Hope Network, will speak about the Opioid Epidemic.

The mission of the Steve Rummler Hope Network is to heighten awareness of the disease of addiction as it relates to the physical and emotional burdens of chronic pain and to improve the associated care process.

Lexi Reed Holtum, Executive Director and lobbyist of the Steve Rummler Hope Network, has been with the Network since its inception. Lexi was instrumental in the passage of Steve’s Law and the 2015 appropriation enabling first responders to have the resources they need to implement the law. She is also responsible for the creation of the Network’s Overdose Prevention Program and for fostering partnerships between hospitals, treatment and sober living facilities, and communities to reduce opioid overdose deaths. In addition to the contributions Lexi makes in the state of Minnesota, she is also a sought-out speaker and advocates federally. Lexi’s testimonies in Washington DC offer necessary perspective to agencies like the CDC, FBI, DEA, and FDA in order to push for necessary changes to our country’s current prescribing practices, treatment of addiction, and available resource. Lexi is a person in long-term recovery from the disease of addiction, she is the proud mother of one child, and she was Steve Rummler’s fiancé.

Frank has a passion for writing and editing, with several years of experience working with nonprofit organizations. He served in the Peace Corps for two years, teaching English to students of all ages in Macedonia. Frank has a Bachelors of Arts in International Studies and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Frank also has a Masters of Arts from the University of Michigan.

Lexi Reed Holtum of the Steve Rummler Hope Network
May 08, 2018
 
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Connie Roehrich joined the Affinity Plus Board of Directors in 2008 and most recently served as Board Chair. Roehrich worked for the MN Department of Corrections for over 30 years; she served as a warden at three different correctional facilities over the past 20 years. Roehrich has been a member of numerous criminal justice organizations and currently is involved with MN Partners of the America, working closely with the correctional professionals in Uruguay, South America. Roehrich has a Bachelor of Science degree from Bemidji State University in social work and a Master of Science degree from Mankato State University in sociology.

Connie M. Roehrich
May 15, 2018
 
May 17, 2018
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM
 
Nick Vilbas, Executive Director
May 22, 2018
 
Vocational Tour
May 29, 2018
 

John Mackey has spoken on many occasions on the topics of credit, FICO scoring, and debt collection defense. Said Mackey, “There is so much misinformation on credit, credit scoring, and debt collection that has been perpetrated by our professional institutions, credit bureaus, and advertisements. Nobody recognizes what the truth is anymore. Credit is one of the most important factors in American’s lives now. It determines where we live, what we drive, and how much we pay for items, even items that don’t even appear on the credit report (mobile phones, for example). We are penny wise and pound foolish and how we purchase items. I am here to shed light on the truth.” Mackey is founder of creditGeni.us, Master Credit Solutions, US Credit Project, and Give Me Credit Media. John is a former radio show host of “Give Me Credit”, heard both locally and nationally. Author of the current book, "Debt Collectors: Lies, Damn Lies, And Deceit", currently being sold on Amazon and Barnes & Noble online.

John Mackey
Jun 05, 2018
 
Jun 21, 2018
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM
 
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