Posted by Mark Weber

Kent Whitworth, Director and CEO of the Minnesota Historical Society: Update on Minnesota Historical Society

Kent Whitworth, director and CEO of the Minnesota Historical Society, provided an update on the organization’s work and impact when he spoke to the Eden Prairie A.M. Rotary Club on June 4.
Kent comes to MHS from the Kentucky Historical Society, where he was executive director, but explained that his mom is a third-generation Minnesotan so his roots here are strong.
He covered some of the exhibits, programs, curriculum, partnerships, and heritage preservation of the Minnesota Historical Society and urged everyone to take advantage of the state’s more than two dozen historical sites, including the Twin Cities’ own Fort Snelling at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers because it holds so many interesting stories beyond being a military installation.
He’s also a big proponent of National History Day, a school program that typically involves about 25,000 students each year as they taken on the challenge of researching and telling an important history lesson. Minnesota often boasts national winners in this program.
Kent noted that there’s a “tension” that naturally accompanies our study and discussion of history – a tension between local vs. global, past vs. future, and more. But he encouraged us to “embrace those tensions” and occasionally be uncomfortable with history, because it very often leads to greater understanding and appreciation.
You can find out much more about what’s going on at the Minnesota Historical Society by visiting


Please remember we’re at PROP on June 11 for a light breakfast and tour; bring cans of tuna for PROP’s summer food program. There’s no meeting on June 18, as many will be participating on the Lake Minnetonka boat cruise the evening of the 19 th . The June 25 meeting spotlights the club’s transition in presidents, from Matt Crane to John Crudele. There’s no meeting on July 2. Everyone needs to find a volunteer slot for the Vino Classico fundraiser on Oct. 5; this is our major fundraiser of the year and has a direct impact on the club’s ability to award grants in the community. June represents the final push for this year’s donations to The Rotary Foundation; contact Dan O’Brien for more information. 

Spotlight on Craig Blixrud

The club has two members named Craig who hail from Alexandria, Minn., and one of them gave his vocational on June 4: Craig Blixrud. (Craig LaCount is the other.) Craig B. attended the University of Minnesota, where he studied mechanical engineering. He had a 20-year career at Honeywell, where he met his wife Susan. They have four children and two grand-daughters. Craig has been in A.M. Rotary ever since Ron Ringling twisted his arm. Today Craig is active in residential real estate, so if you are in the market to buy or sell a home, well …

Happy Fives

We’re happy and we’ll happily pay to share our stories. Steve Cwodzinski is happy to prove the naysayers wrong and argue that the recent Minnesota legislative session was successful, just as the not-very-transparent Continental Congress’ work was productive. Prafulla Vegunta is happy to pay for his absence this morning at the check-in table. Dan O’Brien is happy to have participated in the club’s recent outing to J. Carver Distillery in Waconia.