Rotary Club of St. Paul #10
October 5, 2021 Hybrid Inspiration Lounge: "Re-opening Downtown Saint Paul," Joe Spencer, Downtown Saint Paul Alliance
Joe Spencer, President, Downtown Saint Paul Alliance, will join us to discuss #WelcomeBackStPL
We will also be celebrating Club #10 member birthdays for September and October with cupcakes courtesy of David Dominick.
Meeting ID: 825 184 8268

Passcode: 643825

Or, join by Phone:  (312) 626-6799 or (346) 248-7799
Welcome Ruth Petermann!
I am pleased to share that Ruth Petermann will be joining Rotary Club of St. Paul as our new Director of Membership.  Her first day will be October 4.  Ruth comes to Club #10 with deep Rotary experience, including serving as President for Hudson Daybreak Rotary during the 2020-2021 year where she helped the club realize a net increase in membership, even during COVID when many clubs saw decreases in membership.  Ruth has a diverse professional background including serving as publisher for a number of magazines, Development Director for Christian Life Ministries, and Senior Account Executive for the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. Ruth shares her free time with her twin grandsons and cares for her younger brother. She also enjoys running, biking and walking. 

In her role as Director of Membership for Club #10 Ruth will create and implement plans which increase membership and build member satisfaction, engagement and retention. She will work closely with the President and Chair of the Membership and Club Experience Team. 

Thanks to the search committee which consisted of Todd Nicholson, Michael-jon Pease, David Dominick, Laura Nichols-Endres, Ken Crabb, Ken Schaefer and Jason Bradshaw. 

Ruth will be personally introduced at an upcoming noon and 5:01 meetings.  Please join me in welcoming Ruth.
September 28, 2021 Rotary in Review: Greg Mergens
At the noon hour on Sept 28th at the Intercontinental Hotel, President Todd Nicholson opened the meeting.  It was a glorious sunny day and those in attendance enjoyed the podium backdrop which was a panoramic view of the fall day.   In addition, there was a larger-than-normal contingent of online participants.  President Nicholson thanked the hybrid facilitators, A/V Tech Team - David Wolfgram & Paul Meekin
Brianna Vujovich provided the inspirational minute, reading two short poems about the fall season, one by Robert Frost, and then we all joined her reciting the 4-way test.  Beth Naughton introduced visitor Angie Swanson, from the NGO Global Volunteers, who attended the meeting to visit the Club 10 International Service members about a prospective Global Grant concept -- reducing child stunted growth in rural Tanzania.  Scott Van & Bob Cardinal were greeters and Valdi Stefanson, the scribe. 
Jennifer Evers introduced speaker Greg Mergens, owner/broker at Mergens Insurance.  Greg has served individual and companies with advice and products for health insurance for decades now.  In short, the healthcare industry has experienced ever-increasing costs over the past decades, and there is no end in sight.  Health insurance providers face expensive regulatory mandates and their desire to keep up with medical technologies/equipment.  The result is higher premiums for us all.
Obamacare has changed the landscape.  In Minnesota we have the MnSure exchange, which is tiered based on income, but without any asset considerations.  (Many game this system, reporting low income.)  In Minnesota, we have a few very large providers.  Indeed, United Healthcare has more employees than the Sate of Minnesota!
Those who have employer-subsidized health coverage are lucky, because it brings lower premiums and more options compared to a self-employed or early retirement person who needs individual coverage.  Indeed, as Greg consults as a broker, he has consulted with some who plan on a move to self-employment, only to find that health care premiums will be so large that they drop their idea!
Greg regularly recommends adoption of "HSA accounts" - Health Savings Accounts, where personal $ is set aside for co-pays, dental, eyewear and other non-covered expenses. WHY? Well, it's the tax savings.  The pre-tax savings/deductibility means that many receive $ 1 in benefit for a 70 cent outlay.
Deductibles on health insurance policies are rising continuously with health plans: $ 3000 - $ 4000/incident are not uncommon these days.   So, have a "rainy day fund" set aside -- to cover such co-pays.
For Medicare-aged individuals, Greg explained that the federal program was never intended to be comprehensive.  This means that a separate supplementary plan is needed for deductibles, medications, eyewear, dental, etc.  Greg expressed frustration with the many TV ads that invite viewers to call to learn about "new" benefits available to them.  This is nothing more than an invitation for you to receive a phone solicitation from a supplemental plan broker.  (It is illegal to cold-call a customer.  But if you reply to one of these TV solicitations -- watch out).
Greg singled out MEDIGAP policies as a great option for seniors that travel or are snow-birds.  These policies cover "out-of-Minnesota-network" medical needs. 
In conclusion:  sit down with a trusted health insurance broker before you turn 65 years old.
President Todd presented a certificate to Greg Mergens for his presentation and a donation will be made in his name to “Cherish All Children”.
President Todd announced club 10 upcoming events:
- Next Meeting – 501 Inspirational Lounge,  5:01 p.m., Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at University Club.  We will celebrate our October Birthdays w/ cupcakes for the birthday people. Speaker – Joe Spencer, President, Downtown St. Paul Alliance
“Re-Opening Downtown St. Paul”
- Past Presidents Dinner – At the Pool & Yacht on October 7, 2021
Beth Naughton invited happy dollars, and many hands went up. She mentioned an October 4th virtual event - registration is at with the following event code: ROTARYLC21
President Todd adjourned the meeting at 1:15 pm.
Respectfully submitted,
Valdi Stefanson
September and October Birthday Celebration
We'll celebrate September and October Birthdays at the October 5th Inspiration Lounge 
REMINDER: Rotary Flex Members
The Board recently announced that Rotary Flex Members will now be paying their $25 lunch fees onsite instead of being billed afterward. Rotary Flex Membership is the new category comprised of the former
  • Senior Active
  • Under 40
  • COVID Relief Categories.
We will have a Square credit card reader on hand at meetings for your convenience. Checks and cash are also accepted. Please see Jodi at the registration desk on your way in to make the payment. 
Winter Spark - Save the Date
The Winter Spark Gala will be at 5:30 PM on Thursday, Dec 2, 2021 at Dove Hill. Registration will open soon.

For more news and background:

Past Presidents Dinner 2021
Pool & Yacht Club
Oct 07, 2021
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Hybrid Signature Lunch Meeting: Bao Vang, Vice President of Communications for Better Business Bureau serving Minnesota and North Dakota
Zoom & InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront
Oct 12, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Board Meeting
Rondo Center of Diverse Expression
Oct 13, 2021
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Hybrid Inspiration Lounge:
University Club or Online via Zoom
Oct 19, 2021
5:01 PM - 6:01 PM
Hybrid Signature Lunch Meeting: Monica Jones, Program Manager, LifeHaven of Metro Homeless Youth Services, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
Zoom & InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront
Oct 26, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
View entire list
Donate now to the Saint Paul Rotary Foundation
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Rotary Club of St. Paul #10
Todd Nicholson
President Elect
Dave Dominick
Paul Meekin
Heidi Fisher
Laura Nichols-Endres
Immediate Past President
Jason Bradshaw
Director Emeritus
Kenneth W. Crabb, M.D.
Jeffrey Baidoo
Kathy Bjerke
Pat Brault
Rita Dibble
Jennifer Evers
Aaron Gjerde
David Kline
Kenneth Schaefer
Carolyn Will
St. Paul Rotary Foundation
Carla Hauge        
Vice President 
John Chandler      
Sarah Kolar        
Jerry Faletti    
Chuck Whitaker         
Linda Mulhern         
Michael-jon Pease        
Jason Bradshaw
Jennifer Evers        
Member Birthdays
Sarah Kolar
October 7
Elisa Rasmussen
October 15
Patricia (Pat) Hartford
October 18
V. Francis Luikart II
October 20
John Guthmann
October 21
Dion Powers
October 22
David Clutter
October 23
Beth Naughton
November 1
Stephen B. Young
November 2
Robert J. Hoyle
November 4
Donovan Schwichtenberg
November 6
Mary Knudsen
November 6
Todd Lefko
November 6
Sue Katsiotis
November 11
Robert W. Jones, D.D.S.
November 12
Jim Delamater
November 15
Richard H. Zehring
November 15
Cindy Shiely
November 16
Cary Felbab
November 26
Mark Stutrud
November 29
Russell Hampton
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