This Week at Rotary
 
We meet at Noon on Thursday
September 29, 2022
IN PERSON ONLY
At
Historic Union Depot
Parking is available behind the Depot off 4th avenue. 
We need a head count so please be sure to sign up.
 
  
 ALL ABOARD!!
Lake Superior Railroad Museum Tour and Lunch
Our club meeting last fall at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum was so much fun that we're going back!  Arrive around 11:45 for a self-guided tour of the museum and a buffet lunch.  Executive Director Ken Buehler will regale us with stories about the museum and the rolling stock.  We'll then have an opportunity to tour a train car not normally open to the public.
 
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Traci Marciniak
 
In the Holiday Inn’s Great Lakes Ballroom, President Barb Perrella rang the bell and called the meeting to order. Rotarians recited the Pledge of Allegiance and the Four-Way Test.
Past President Dean Casperson
Past President Dean Casperson provided the day’s reflection which highlighted the impact the Duluth Airport Authority and the Duluth International Airport have had on the community, as well as on the vision and activities of Rotary Club #25. Club #25’s strong history of service above self reaches beyond our Duluth community, including many humanitarian trips throughout the world requiring international travel originating from our local airport.
Rose Committee Co-Chair President-elect Gary Melander
Rose Committee Co-Chair President-elect Gary Melander announced Past Assistant Governor Phil Strom continues to hold the leadership position of the largest number of roses sold this year—an amazing 197 dozen! The Rose Sale goes through October 6, so everyone should do their best to continue to sell roses in person, as well as through the Rotary Rose Sale website. Club members are encouraged to sign up to distribute roses at various sites on October 14. It’s fun and a great fellowship opportunity!
President Barb reminded everyone that next Thursday’s October 6th meeting will be hosted at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in the Historic Union Depot. Lunches will need to be ordered in advance, so it is important to sign up if you are planning to attend — which you should, as it will be the first meeting with Junior Rotarians since prior to the pandemic. Let’s have a large crowd to welcome the students back!
Jerry Pelofske
Jerry Pelofske put the call out for volunteers to ring the Salvation Army bell at local Super One stores on December 9 and 16. Two-hour time slots are available at the Kenwood store from 10 a.m. – noon or 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. All other stores are noon – 2 p.m. Contact Jerry for more information or to sign up.
   
  Past President Sandy Hoff       
 
Tom Werner, Executive Director of the Duluth Airport Authority  
Chair of the day, Past President Sandy Hoff, introduced Tom Werner, Executive Director of the Duluth Airport Authority. Tom’s career with the Airport Authority began 23 years ago, and since stepping into the Executive Director role in 2012, Tom has overseen $96,000,000 in infrastructure improvements at the airport. Tom recently led the development of Duluth International Airport’s Vision 2040 master plan, which includes additional infrastructure and property development sure to position the airport as a leader in the coming years. Tom retired from the Army Reserve after a 20-year career which included deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and the honor of receiving a Bronze Star Medal.
The Duluth International Airport is a significant economic driver for our community. In 2019, the airport had a $760.6 million-dollar economic impact and provided 6,230 jobs related to the infrastructure improvements occurring at the airport. The Duluth International Airport makes up 76% of the economic activity generated by out-state airports (out-state = does not include the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport) within the state of Minnesota.
While the COVID pandemic negatively impacted airlines and air travel, the Duluth Airport Authority and the Duluth Airport retained a solid cash position, retained staff, and continued to provide continuity of service required for an international airport whose largest consumer group is related to general aviation.
 
The impact of the pandemic on airlines has caused large numbers of airline pilots to retire and increased significant cost-cutting measures. It is estimated that airlines will be short 12,000 pilots next year. The challenges airlines are facing have affected the number of seats available in 2022, resulting in a 36% decrease in the number of passengers that can be served at the Duluth International Airport. To fully recover, business travel will need to resume to pre-pandemic levels, leisure travel must remain strong, and new pilots must be enlisted and trained quickly and cost-effectively.
The future $163 million dollar infrastructure investment will allow the Duluth International Airport to anticipate and prepare for business growth in the region, create new business models to accommodate changes in passengers travel habits and choices, and prepare for new technology as it relates to aircraft takeoff and landing. Physical changes include more pavement for runways, a new air traffic control, as well as increased hangar space to accommodate general aviation consumers.
The 50/50 pot was $20 dollars and President-elect Gary Melander was the big winner—again.
 
(L to R) President Barb Perrella, Speaker Tom Werner, Past President Sandy Hoff
 
(L to R) Past President Bill Gravelle, Jerry Pelofske, Mike Murphy, and Dan Dock
 
(L to R) Past President Chana Stocke, Traci Marciniak, Holly Mirau and Stacy Oltmanns