The Golden Valley Rotary Club gathered with members of the community to celebrate all things Rotary during the 2020-2021 year. We presented the Citizen of the Year award to Peter Knaeble and the Rotarian of the Year award to Bryan Palmer. Our high school scholarship recipients (Jack Halverson, Kate Larrabee, Kobi Schear, Libby Tonn, Lilly Wright) were honored. Paul Harris Fellows were given for extraordinary service to Michelle Ness and Betsy Anderson. And Michelle Ness, Club President, passed the presidential gavel to Mary Timmons, President-Elect. A great celebratory event in the forty-eight year history of the Golden Valley Rotary Club!
Bryan Palmer has been a member of the Golden Valley Rotary Club since 2015. He has held a variety of leadership positions within the Club such as Contributions Committee Chair, Treasurer, and President. Bryan is an active CPA currently working for Tennant Company, a world leader in designing, manufacturing, and marketing of solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, and healthier world.
Bryan lives in Coon Rapids, Minnesota with his wife, Rachel, and three children: Jackson (aged 4), Bennett (aged 2), and Nelle (newborn). He is a member of the Abraham Lincoln Association, the nation’s oldest and largest Lincoln organization, and a lifelong fan of the Buffalo Bills.
Bryan is being honored with the Golden Valley Rotary Club's Rotarian of the Year Award. The Club has selected a Rotarian of the Year every year since 2000. The first recipient was our beloved Don Anderson. Bryan is celebrated for his commitment, dedication, and continued support of the ideals and principles of Rotary.
Peter Knaeble is a founding member of the Golden Valley Pride Festival, active since 2016. The Golden Valley Pride Festival is the first suburban pride festival in the metro area. As the event’s founder and chair, Knaeble has used the event to lift awareness for and warmly embrace LGBTQ+ residents, friends, and allies. He is also a founding member of the Golden Valley Arts and Music Festival, active for 16 years.
Recently retired from his own civil engineering consulting firm and the owner of a residential land development company, Peter puts those skills to use in the community. He volunteers for Urban Homeworks, constructing low income housing, and with Rebuilding Together, designing and constructing handicap ramps for seniors.
Peter Knaeble has been a resident of Golden Valley for 39 years. He married his Golden Valley High School sweetheart, Robin, 44 years ago. They share three children and six grandchildren. He has Civil Engineering and MBA degrees from the University of Minnesota. Peter’s favorite pastimes are travel, camping, snowboarding, biking, music, couchsurfing, tree fort building, and being Grandpa.
Peter is being honored with the Golden Valley Rotary Club’s Citizen of the Year Award. The Club has selected a Citizen of the Year every year since 1992. Peter is celebrated for his inspired leadership, dedication, and outstanding service to the community of Golden Valley.
Michelle Ness, MSW, LISW, is a licensed social worker who has led the nonprofit PRISM, in Golden Valley, for over 8 years as their executive director. She has served in a variety of leadership roles over the years in programs addressing domestic violence, hunger, housing, immigration, and more. She volunteers with the DHS Performance and Review Council as well as the Rotary 5950 Foundation. Michelle resides in Brooklyn Park with three great teenage sons. In her free time she enjoys gardening, swimming, reading, and laughter around a bonfire.
Mary Timmons has been an active Rotarian since 1994. Originally from Sharon, ND, Mary brings a wealth of experience to her role as Club President: Sr. Management in Pioneer Mutual Life Insurance Co., The Radisson Conference Center, and Office Manager with EXIT Realty Metro. She is an active member of P.E.O., a philanthropic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women; educate women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans, and stewardship of Cottey College, and motivate women to achieve their highest aspirations.
Mary is owner of Timmons Consulting, assisting people with relationship marketing, relocation services, and event planning. She lives in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood of Minneapolis.
2021 Scholarships
Each scholarship is a one year, $1,000 scholarship.  
The parameters for the scholarship selection process are:
  • The student exemplifies “Service Above Self”
  • The student lives in Golden Valley or attended a school in Golden Valley
  • The student plans on attending a two or four-year post-secondary school
  • Special consideration for a student with a family member who is/was a Rotarian, or the student is involved in Interact, Rotaract, Rotary Youth Exchange, or another Rotary program such as Camp Enterprise
2021 Scholarship Recipients
  • Jack Halverson (Armstrong High School), attending University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering
  • Kate Larrabee (Hopkins High School), attending North Dakota State University
  • Kobi Schear (Hopkins High School), attending University of Minnesota at the Carlson School of Management
  • Libby Tonn (Perpich Arts High School), attending Loyola University Chicago
  • Lilly Wright (Armstrong High School), attending Rochester Institute of Technology