Get to know your fellow Rotarian, Ron Hanson!



1.  My Background

I’m Ron Hanson from Cloquet, MN.  I've been married to my wife Kathy for 37
years, and we have two sons: Ryan, 34, and Aaron, 32. Born and raised in
Hibbing, I graduated from Mankato State with a Bachelor of Science in
Business.  We went back to the Range and were married right after college
graduation. I was 23 and needed a temporary job to make some money to live
on while I went in search of my presumed career. A family friend from our
church got me a job in construction in the fall  of 1975. It was a huge
project building the third phase of MinnTac.  I was originally supposed to
be a rodman on a survey crew, but when that was delayed and with my strong
mathematics background, they put me working on quantifying project
blueprints in the field office. I was quite good at this and apparently
more valuable to the company (ABI Contracting) performing that task. As the
project kicked off, I found myself a field engineer at the world’s largest
taconite plant and worked in that position for three years. I was then
transferred into the main office and became an Estimator and Project
Manager for seven more years with them.  In 1985, via a headhunter, I
fortunately found my home with Boldt, a company that was in alignment with
my personal morals and ethics, a rarity in the industry. I started
laterally as a project manager, then assistant manager and finally as
Executive Vice President and General Manager of Minnesota Operations in
1996, the position I've held ever since. Thirty-seven years later, I find
myself still at my “temporary” job after college and wouldn’t have it any
other way.

 I joined the Cloquet Rotary club in 1992, and have been the club Secretary
for most of that time and also the club Historian. I served as club
President from 1999-2000. I originally joined Rotary, I think as many
others do, for the business networking opportunities, ultimately to
discover the personal satisfaction in the aspect of service that comes from
being a Rotarian.

Personal Hobbies/Interests:  The duties and responsibilities of my job
often does not allow enough time or flexibility for any routine or many
outside interests. I golf once a year and I fish once a year, both for
business reasons. My life, or lack thereof, seems enmeshed in the work. But
in freak instances, when I do find time and weather permits, I do like to
go kayaking. I also have discovered a fondness for wine (and wine
tastings), hopefully someday to reach hobby status. I have even started a
small vineyard in my backyard.

2. What does Rotary Mean to you?

It means there mercifully is an established and tested structure and
approach to service, that ensures your personal efforts toward service are
best deployed and made completely worthwhile both locally and

3. What makes a good Rotarian?

Service first, not networking; service second, not lunch; service third,
not just a reason to get out of the office.

4. How would you summarize what Rotary is to a new Rotarian/or
someone considering as you should join rotary?

There is a volunteer in all of us just waiting to get out. Wouldn’t you
want to unleash that volunteer where it can do the most good. Rotary has
proven itself to be that “most good”. Rotary is an opportunity for anyone
to advance their quality of living. You suddenly see the forest for the
trees; what initially may have felt like work, no longer is, but becomes
something totally self-fulfilling.

5. If there was one thing you could do to help improve our club, what
would it be?

I would promote the solidifying of relationships with new Rotarian's while
never taking for granted the more seasoned. Pay attention to every member
in the club, not just the ones you may like sit with each week. Hallmark
moment: Encourage new Rotarians, but remember the old; one is silver, the
other is gold.