Category: Chapter News

New Member Spotlight: Drew Bekius

Joined HumanistsMN: I moved to the Twin Cities from Chicago in October 2018 and started getting active in the local humanist community soon thereafter. Joined HumanistsMN in July 2020.

Profession/Residence: A former evangelical pastor, I served in nonprofit leadership roles and in personal coaching for a little over 20 years. I now work as a financial adviser to nonprofits and other high-impact professionals. I’ve also written a couple books and live with my two teenage daughters in St. Louis Park.

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I Remember Otto 

Paul Heffron

Otto Link, a longtime HumanistsMN member, died in May in California. For inspiration by the life of an outstanding humanist, I encourage you to read the obituary just published in the StarTribune. I remember Otto in the many conversations we had at meetings, Winter Solstice parties, banquets, and picnics.

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HumanistsMN Elects Four Board Members

HumanistsMN elected four people to fill two-year, at-large positions on the Board of Directors at the annual meeting on May 11.  Seth Engman, Christine Retkwa, and Marcy Woodruff were reelected to their second terms and John Walker won his first term.

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HumanistsMN Moves to Online Gatherings

By Audrey Kingstrom

HumanistsMN has gone viral! Well, in a manner of speaking. As most of you know by now, in this era of social distancing,  we have stopped meeting in person and are offering a good share of our programming online.

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Paying Your Dues Just Got Easier

HumanistsMN has worked hard to keep your annual membership dues affordable and easy to pay. We have now introduced two options to make payments even easier and more affordable. For all HMN members (excluding Student and Trial members): If you pay your annual dues online, you can now choose to have your membership automatically renewed on your anniversary date each year. No more having to add this to your “to do” list, trying to remember to do it, and filling in all the details again!

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In Memoriam: Dick Segers

Harlan Garbell

As many of you know by now, our friend and long-time HumanistsMN member Dick Segers died last week in an automobile accident. Although I was not a close friend of Dick’s, I did have many occasions over the years to be in his company at HMN meetings and other events, including his several appearances at my Coffee and Current Events Meetup group.Colorful and articulate, Dick had a unique view of the world around him.

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New Member Spotlight: Tanner Firl

Joined HumanistsMN: December 2019, after the Festivus for the Rest of Us event. Profession: I work in the software industry doing a mixture of data engineering and data science. How he discovered us: Meetup recommended some of HumanistMN’s events to me.

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New Program Aims to Promote Humanist Connections

By Audrey Kingstrom

HumanistsMN has started a new program designed to offer more opportunities for connection within the humanist community. In recent years, we have offered an ever-increasing number of programs, but some members and friends seldom meet. One person might be interested in one program, and someone else in another, that meet on totally different days, at different venues.

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Member Spotlight: Our In-House Creative “Star,” Seth Engman

By Audrey Kingstrom

Many HumanistsMN members may not know Seth Engman, but he played a huge part in the success of our organization’s re-branding initiative last year.  This involved creating a new logo, tagline, t-shirts, bumper stickers, business cards, and other materials.

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New Member Spotlight: John Walker

Joined HumanistsMN: July 2019

Profession/residence: I can go by several different titles depending on whom you ask. Generally, I say I’m a software developer. To those who know the buzzwords, I’m a DevOps Engineer. To those who really know what’s up, I’m an Infrastructure Engineer. I live in Edina.

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May 2019: Annual Meeting and Board Election

The HumanistsMN membership elected a new board at the May annual meeting, including a new president, Harlan Garbell, and vice president, Suzanne Perry. Nick Haylund and David Guell were re-elected treasurer and secretary. Two new at-large members, Jerry Smith and Mitch Thompson, joined the board, and Ellie Haylund was re-elected.

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New Member Spotlight: Katherine Johnson

Joined HumanistsMN: April 2019

Profession/residence: I’m a Licensed Psychologist who specializes in crisis intervention. I’ve worked for Curry County (Brookings, Ore.), Atascedero State Hospital (San Luis Obispo, Calif.), Canvas Health, North Memorial, and Abbott Northwestern, among others. I’ve also done a lot of volunteer work, including at the Walk-In Counseling Center. I’m currently doing telephonic counseling and crisis intervention for a multinational organization.

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In Memoriam: Greg Hart

By Harlan Garbell

As many of you know, HumanistsMN member Greg Hart died in early June. At a humanist memorial service shortly afterwards, many of his friends described a quiet, unassuming man who always stepped up when something important needed to be done. Personally, I will miss Greg terribly. His sweet nature, intelligence, and commitment to humanism always made me feel comfortable in his presence. 

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New Member Spotlight: Meet Mary Brill

Joined Humanists of Minnesota: August 2018.

Profession/residence: Retired oncology nurse. After becoming a nurse at age 50, she worked at Abbott Northwestern Hospital for 20-plus years. She has lived in the Minnetonka/ Eden Prairie area for a long time.

How she found us: The American Humanist Association website.

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New Member Spotlight: Meet Ed Caldie

Joined Humanists of Minnesota: February 2019.

Profession/Residence: After retiring from a lengthy career in architectural design, I have recently directed my pursuits toward the mastery of creating fine art. Family (and especially grandchildren) lured me back to Minnesota after a 20-year hiatus from winter. Phoenix was my home until this past year when I moved to Woodbury.

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