Gunter Gasser learned about teamwork early in life when he played on soccer and ice hockey teams. Now he’s using those skills to lead one of the world’s largest service organizations, Kiwanis International.
Gunter was elected president of Kiwanis International in June 2013 at the 98th Annual Kiwanis International Convention in Vancouver, British Columbia. Gunter has been a Kiwanian since 1987, when he joined as a charter member of the Kiwanis Club of Spittal an der Drau, Austria, serving as president in 1991-92. He also is a founding member of the Tombstone, Montana, Kiwanis Club and an honorary member of Austria’s Wien-Europe 1 club.
Gunter was born in Vienna, Austria, a small country in the middle of Europe. He currently lives with his spouse, Christiana, in Carinthia, a part of Austria with warm summers and snowy winters. Skiing is his favorite hobby and jokes Carinthian babies are born with skis on their feet. He has a degree in mechanical engineering combined with economics from the Technical University of Graz. Christiana is a retired school principal and past president and charter member of the Spittal Porcia Kiwanis Club.
Elected to a three-year term as a Kiwanis International trustee in 2003, Gunter has served on the board’s communications and conventions, partnership/community and corporate alliances, operations, finance, international relations and executive committees. He has served as board counselor to several districts and was a member of the new worldwide service project task force.
Each part of the 2013-14 Kiwanis theme, “We Build Bridges for Children to the Future,” has a special meaning for Gunter. “We” means it will take teamwork. “Build” stands for result-oriented projects. “Bridges” normally provide a safe path over a difficult crossing. “Children” is the target group. And “future” means projects with concrete solutions and great sustainability. By connecting children to a bright and better life, we will live our organization’s motto of “Serving the Children of the World.”
Gunter and Christiana have one son and one daughter.