Event Types

The Silbo Gomero Adventure

DRC Sponsor: Kim Bonnet

In January 2002, then Professor and now DRC member Alan Lerstrom led his first of many Luther College J-Term study abroad classes to the Canary Islands, with his course emphasizing intercultural, nonverbal behavior. Along with the rest of the class, Alan was joined by his wife Edie and current DRC member Kim Bonnet. While in the Canary Islands they encountered Silbo Gomero, which is a whistling language in which Spanish speech is transposed to whistling. Silbo Gomero was later declared a "Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Humanity" by UNESCO in 2009. Alan and Kim will share the details of their experience with the club in the context of traveling abroad shortly after 9/11.

Sep 26, 2017

Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors

DRC Sponsor: Walt Langland

John Logsdon, Chair of the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors, will be on hand to discuss current items and issues of interest to Winneshiek County. DRC member Walt Langland will introduce the speaker and provide some historical perspective based on his experience as a supervisor. Other members of the Board of Supervisors will attend as available. The Board of Supervisors is the policy-making body of the county. It's duties include planning construction and maintenance of the secondary road system; levying taxes to raise the revenues for county purposes; appointing members to various county boards and commissions; and receiving the reports of county officials.

Oct 03, 2017

Tree Planting in the City of Decorah

DRC Sponsor: Kurt DeVore

The City of Decorah Tree Board encourages community residents to plant trees so that future generations may enjoy the benefits of reduced pollution, increased habitat for wildlife, and the conservation of energy from the natural air conditioning and wind protection that a diverse tree cover provides. Decorah City Forester Robin Sailor will speak to the club on local tree planting initiatives, likely including those shaped by local factors such as enhancement of the Trout Run Trail and the emerald ash borer infestation.

Oct 10, 2017
Oct 14, 2017
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Culver's Re-Imaging

DRC Sponsor: Rachel Buresh

From October 8th through October 12th, the Decorah Culver's Restaurant will be closed in order to accommodate the local implementation of a corporate "re-imaging" campaign. Included in that implementation is a considerable remodeling of the restaurant interior. Decorah Culver's owner and operator Lisa Roberson will be on hand a mere four days after the restaurant reopens. She will be sharing the objectives behind the chain's re-imaging campaign and the results of the completed remodeling effort here in Decorah.

Oct 17, 2017

Luther College Football Program

DRC Sponsor: Rachel Buresh

Fifth year Luther College Head Football Coach Aaron Hafner will bring our members up-to-date with all of the happening surrounding the Luther College football program. Coach Hafner took over the Norse program after serving as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for seven years at William Penn University, where he won Midwest League championships in 2010 and 2012 and qualified for the NAIA National tournament in 2012. He was one of three coaches who shared Midwest League Assistant Coach of the Year honors in 2008 and was named the sole recipient of this honor in 2010. Prior to William Penn, he enjoyed several years of success as a high school football coach in Missouri, claiming a Class 4A State Championship in 2000. He and his wife Katy have two daughters, Allie and Andie. Come prepared to ask all your questions about the new blue field!

Oct 24, 2017

Rotary Sponsored Trip to Thailand

DRC Sponsor: Jim Morrow

Natalie Tapscott is a Decorah High School student who contacted the Decorah Rotary Club over a year ago seeking sponsorship of an experience trip to the Country of Thailand. She was able to complete her travel to the far east this past summer. In appreciation of the support provided by our club she is eager to share the details of her Thailand adventure with our members. Please come and see this great example of Rotary enriching the lives of our local youth.

Oct 31, 2017

Perspectives on Reformation Theology

DRC Sponsor: Don Holmertz

In honor of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, Justin Gulleckson and Chad Bird will offer some observations gleaned from their participation in a local book club review of The Theology of the Reformers  by author Timothy George. The book club in which Justin, Chad, and other Decorah Rotarians participate is ecumenical and meets Thursday mornings at T-Bock's. Their interests focus on historically significant books dealing with academic and theological subject matter, such as the works of G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis. The Reformation was the 16th-century religious, political, intellectual, and cultural upheaval that challenged papal authority on the European continent and set in place the global structures and belief systems that define much of the modern world.   

Nov 07, 2017

Update on the Work of the Rotary Foundation

DRC Sponsor: Don Holmertz

DRC member Jeff Tomlinson will update our members about recent activities and accomplishements of the Rotary Foundation. The Rotary Foundation is the non-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs. It is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world. The Foundation transforms those contributions into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. During the past 100 years, the Foundation has commited over $3 billion toward life-changing, sustainable projects.

Nov 14, 2017

Luther College Participation in the Belle II Large Particle Physics Experiment

DRC Sponsor: Don Holmertz

Todd Pedlar, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Physics at Luther College, will be offering our club with fascinating insight into his collaborative work with Luther College student researchers in the Belle II Large Particle Physics Experiment. The research at Luther is part of ongoing work on experiments of the Belle Collaboration, which consists of more than 600 physicists from around the world working together on large particle physics experiments based at KEK, the national high energy physics laboratory located in Japan. Dr. Pedlar's work in elementary particle physics has been supported by four consecutive three-year grants from the National Science Foundation, funding that has allowed him and his students to make substantial contributions toward refinement and extension of our understanding of the strong nuclear interaction, one of four fundamental forces that bind matter together. His work also provides a rare opportunity for undergraduate physics students to become meaningfully involved in data analysis and contribute to the important work of operating the Belle II hardware and software systems.

Nov 21, 2017

Personal Observations of Change in Eastern Europe

DRC Sponsor: Matt Burkey

World traveler, raconteur, and DRC member Ward Budweg will offer his insights into the many changes he observed in eastern Europe during his bicycle adventure in that area this past summer. Previously in this region in 2014, his bike trip this past summer took place from July 19th through September 15th. It included the countries of Bulgaria, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Monte Negro, Croatia, Bosnia Hersgovina, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Romania with Sophia, Bulgaria as the start and finish. Joining Ward on this adventure was his equally adventure-loving spouse Jacky; Jeff Freidhof, Russ Drenth, and Darrel Branhagen of Decorah; Joanne Snow and Mark Hughes of Madison, Wisconsin; and Frank Polari of Thunder Bay, Canada. Join us for a fascinating recap of Ward's amazing trip.

Nov 28, 2017

Humor in Everyday Conversation

DRC Sponsor: Kurt DeVore

As compared to other forms of talk, humor has some unique qualities. It requires a response, its consequences can be denied; it can mean less than and more than what is being said. Humor can establish people's identities; it can define, confirm and solidify the meaning of past, present and future situations by presenting accounts or justifications for actions. It can provide a means of social control, create alternative definitions or reality, and reinterpret past events. DRC member and retired Luther College communications professor Alan Lerstrom will entertain us with examples designed to describe humor as a non-literal form of communication and its use to create amusement, and how it plays a special role in our everyday interactions.

Dec 05, 2017
Dec 12, 2017
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Working Remotely from Decorah

DRC Sponsor: Roger Huinker

Decorah resident Brian Sullivan, his spouse Jennifer, and their four children moved to the area in 2013 from the Twin Cities. Brian grew up in Cedar Rapids, received his BA in Computer Science from Mount Mercy College, followed by his MBA from the University of Saint Thomas located in St. Paul. He is presently employed as an Oracle Developer for the General Mills Corporation, Golden Valley, MN, and works remotely from his home in Decorah. Brian plans to share his unique remote work experience with our members. According to a Gallup survey released this past February, 43% of employed U.S. residents spent at least some of their time working remotely in 2016, an increase of 4% over the previous year. A recent Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs report notes 3.9 million workers, or almost 3% of the total U.S. workforce, worked from home at least half time in 2015.

Brian's wife Jennifer is owner and operator of the Beyond the Bar Bakery, located on West Water Street in Decorah.


Dec 19, 2017

Federal Tax Law Changes

DRC Sponsor: Roger Huinker

Kelly Brickley is a Certified Public Accountant in the Decorah offices of Hacker, Nelson & Co., P.C. located on Water Street, having joined the organization in 1993. He is a graduate of the Universitiy of Northern Iowa and has extensive experience in individual, trust, partnership and corporate tax preparation and planning. Kelly is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants (ISCPA). He also serves as Treasurer of the Decorah Community School District Foundation. He will be on hand to speak to our club on Federal tax laws and help our members navigate and make sense of the many recent and unfolding changes.

Kelly is married to Katrina Allen-Brickley, Marketing Manager at Decorah Bank & Trust since 1999. They have 2 children.

Dec 26, 2017

Participation in Sister Parish Delegation to El Salvador

DRC Sponsor: Shannon Duncan

Landon Folkedahl, a 7th grade student in Decorah, will be speaking to our members about his trip to El Salvador in July 2017. Landon participated as part of a First United Methodist Church of Decorah delgation under the auspices of the Sister Parish organization. Sister Parish exists to foster mutual understanding and commitment to peace and justice among people in the United States and Central America. This objective is pursued through intentional linking between churches and Christian communities in the United States and in Central America. Delegations travel in both directions with home stays as an essential part of enhancing awareness and understanding and nurturing closer relationships. Landon was a recipient of Decorah Rotary Club sponsorship funding that helped make his trip possible.

Jan 02, 2018

Defense Medical Assistance Team Disaster Response

DRC Sponsor: Larry Grimstad

Dr. Kevin Locke is a member of the Defense Medical Assistance Team for this region and has deployed frequently to support major events and disasters. Most recently he was assisting in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. He will be providing our members with interesting insights into his recent activities and experiences.

Dr. Locke is a graduate of the University of Iowa and completed his residency at Broadlawns Family Practice Residency in Des Moines. He presently serves as a physician in the Mayo Health System specializing in family medicine at the Winneshiek Medical Center Clinic.

Jan 09, 2018
Jan 12, 2018
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Lynch Livestock, Inc.

DRC Sponsor: Shannon Duncan

Erin Golly is employed by Lynch Livestock, Inc., headquartered in Waucoma, Iowa. She will be sharing unique insights into the Lynch Livestock operations and business practices. As a family-owned agricultural business, owner Gary Lynch and his family offer over 90 years of experience in the pork industry. With the constant evolution of modern agricultural, Lynch Livestock seeks to provide exceptional customer service, the latest technologies, and highly resourceful market information to its customers. The company places value in the humane handling and care of all livestock, environmentally sound practices in its day-to-day operations, and substantial philanthropy through the Lynch Family Foundation. Lynch Livestock and its subsidiary companies employ over 600 people and include Lynch BBQ, Premium Iowa Pork, GJL Farms, PCI Advisory Services, American Farmers Insurance, Spillville Mill, Waucoma Tire Company, Wagoner Brothers Repair, Livestock Express and numerous pork marketing locations across the Midwest.

Jan 16, 2018

Aerospace Engineering Experience at Iowa State University

DRC Sponsor: Cindy Schissel

Iowa State University Professor Emeritus and DRC member Jim Iversen will be speaking to our club on his experiences as a Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Iowa State University. During his professional career Jim spent time working for both public and private enterprises. He was an Assistant Drawing Instructor (1952-1953) at Dana College, a Highway Inspector (1953) for the Iowa State Highway Commission, and an Engineering Assistant (1954, 1955) for both the Allison Transmission Corporation in Indianapolis and for Convair in Fort Worth, Texas. He worked as an Aerodynamicist for the Sandia Corp (1956) of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the Douglas Aircraft Company (1958) before being hired by ISU as Assistant Professor (1959-1960) of Aerospace Engineering. At ISU he was promoted to Associate Professor (1960-1969), Professor (1969-1996), and also served as Chair (1987-1990) of the department. In the midst of his teaching duties he was also briefly employed as an Aerodynamicist at the NASA Ames Research Center (1973, 1974) and also for the Boeing Company (1978). He retired from teaching and was named Professor Emeritus in 1996.

Jim's main research areas include wind tunnels, Aeolian processes, aerodynamics, and geophysical fluid dynamics. Many of his published writings deal with Aeolian processes, or wind generated geologic processes, such as the drifting of snow and sand, sand storms, and wind-generated erosion. Of particular interest were his studies of the Aeolian processes taking place on the surface of the planet Mars. He is coauthor, with Ronald Greeley, of the book Wind as a Geological Process (on Earth, Mars, Venus and Titan) (call no. QE597 .G7 1985).

Jan 23, 2018

Luther College Center for Global Learning - J-Term 2018

DRC Sponsor: John Moeller

The Luther College Center for Global Learning (CGL) provides a variety of international experiences to connect the Luther community in educationally meaningful ways with the larger world. The Luther CGL assists all Luther students in undertaking a meaningful off-campus experience through their support of year-long, semester, January Term (J-Term), and summer courses with the stated goal of at least two-thirds of Luther students engaging in a credit-bearing, international experience prior to graduation. They provide support for students and faculty as they undertake a wide range of international experiential learning opportunities, including internships and research, student-teaching and practica, service-learning, and athletic team and music ensembles tours.

Throughout the Month of February, a weekly series of presentations by Luther College students recently returned from several J-Term international trips sponsored by the CGL will provide our members with informative and thought-provoking insights into their travels and experiences. During this presentation selected Luther College CGL staff members will provide a framework for the student presentations to be given later with general information on the CGL off-campus J-Term studies and the motivations behind them.

Feb 06, 2018

People and Parks: Pastoralism and Conservation in East Africa

DRC Sponsor: John Moeller

Luther College students, having just returned from their Paideia 450 trip to Tanzania, Africa will share their experiences with our club. The People and Parks: Pastoralism and Conservation in East Africa course of instruction examines the tensions between the national parks movement and pastoralist societies through the lens of the Maasai people of northern Tanzania and southern Kenya. Of particular interest is how wildlife conservation efforts and ecotourism have impacted the relationship of the Maasai to their environment, in turn causing rapid cultural change such as shifts from herding to agropastoralism and wage labor; modification of coming-of-age rituals; and increasing adoption of formal modes of education and Christianity in place of or alongside traditional modes and beliefs. From bases near the city of Arusha and the small town of Moduli, the students studied “traditional” Maasai culture and examined the ways in which the Maasai of northern Tanzania are adapting to changing social, political, economic, and environmental conditions.

In advance of this presentation, you may wish to follow along in real time with the students through their online blog. It is available to all by using the following link:


Feb 13, 2018

In Frankenstein’s Footsteps: The Keats-Shelley Circle in London, Geneva, and Italy

DRC Sponsor: John Moeller

Mary Shelley composed her famous novel Frankenstein (1818) amid a whirlwind of personal turmoil, important friendships, and significant travel. The Luther College students engaged in the course In Frankenstein’s Footsteps: The Keats-Shelley Circle in London, Geneva, and Italy, having recently returned from their J-Term travel to Europe, will share with our members their experiences in retracing the path of Mary Shelley's  journeys from childhood to Frankenstein. They visited sites associated with her and her circle—including John Keats, Percy Shelley, and Lord Byron—in London, Geneva, Venice, Florence, and Rome and investigated the relationships between an author’s historical and imaginative realities.

In advance of this presentation you may be interested in checking out the course blog from their travels, available using the following link:


Feb 20, 2018

Working Japan: Religion and Corporate Culture in Japan

DRC Sponsor: John Moeller

Luther College students, having just returned from their Paideia 450 trip to Japan, will share their experiences with our club. The Working Japan: Religion and Corporate Culture in Japan course of instruction explores the history and structure of Japanese religions and culture as well as their impact on communication processes and ethical decision making within and among business. Can Buddhist and Confucian values that shape Japanese culture be reconciled with the notions of success and profit? What is the role of social relationships in business decisions? What values does the stratification of relationships and communication reflect? These students have examined how history, economics, politics, society, and culture fuse to frame a business environment that can extract sizable direct and indirect costs. They also explored business settings and religious institutions during their travels in order to increase the understanding of governing principles as well as the practice of Japanese culture and communication processes.

In advance of this presentation you may be interested in checking out the course blog from their travels, accessible using the following link:


Feb 27, 2018

Introduction to the PIVO Brewery and Blepta Studios

DRC Sponsor: Kim Bonnet

Craig Neuzil, a retired U.S. Air Force Communications Officer and his spouse Sara, an artist specializing in majolica ceramic tiles and batik eggs, are owners and proprietors of the recently opened PIVO Brewery and accompanying Blepta Studios in Calmar. Craig and Sarah have offered to give our members an overview of their new, unique, and thriving business. They both grew up on farms in Winneshiek County. Craig's Air Force career had the couple living in various locations around the world for over two decades but they've always considered northeast Iowa their true home.

For an initial "taste" of their presentation feel free to check out their comprehensive website at http://www.pivoblepta.com.

Mar 06, 2018

History and Memory of the Holocaust

DRC Sponsor: Kim Bonnet

Kristin Davis is a native of Washington, Iowa and a senior at Luther College majoring in Social Work. She recently accompanied fellow Luther College History 299 students on a January-Term course in Europe and plans to share, assisted by a couple of her classmates, her amazing experiences with our club.

The History and Memory of the Holocaust course of instruction immersed students in the history of the Holocaust and the ways in which it is distinctly remembered in different European nations. The students examined the interrelated individuals, institutions, historical events, and ideologies that contributed to the state-sponsored murder of six million European Jews. They considered the ways in which this historical event has been remembered and commemorated, and the role this remembrance has played in the creation and recreation of national identities. Through the examination of museums and memorials the students compared the national histories entwined in the history and remembrance of the Holocaust, highlighting similarities and differences, and providing them a complex understanding of this historical topic.

In advance of this presentation you may be interested in checking out the course blog from Kristin's travels, accessible using the following link:


Mar 13, 2018

Gundersen Global Partners Vision Initiative 2018 Trip to Nicaragua

DRC Sponsor: Jennifer Gipp

From January 16-23 this year, a team from the local Gundersen Clinc traveled to Matagalpa, Nicaragua. These annual trips under the auspices of Gundersen Global Partners provides comprehensive eye exams and glasses to rural Nicaraguans who do not have access to this level of care. Our club sponsored current Optometry Resident George Bouras and one of the local Optometry Interns, Murphy Grotewold, with $500 grants in order to faciliate their participation on this trip. They will offer a presentation and will discuss the work they did while in Nicaragua.

Global Partners-Nicaragua aims to improve the health of the people and their communities in the Matagalpa region of Nicaragua by promoting education and collaboration with Nicaraguan medical providers to improve access to vital healthcare. The program also supports changes that are seen as valuable by the citizens of the region and can be sustained by their own efforts. Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, second only to Haiti. Most of the country is mountainous and rural, making it difficult for people to access needed services and opportunities. The state of Wisconsin and the Coulee Region, in particular, enjoy a long history of partnerships with Nicaragua, making it a natural fit for Global Partners.

Feel free to visit http://www.gundersenhealth.org/foundation/programs-events/global-partners/nicaragua/#Why-Nicaragua for more information about the Global Partners projects.

Mar 20, 2018


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