Valeria Gringeri of Bergamo, Italy, was appointed to the Kiwanis International Foundation Board of Trustees in July 2012. She served as 2009–10 governor of the Italy-San Marino District. Her husband, Pietro Grasso, is a former Kiwanis International trustee and also a past governor of the Italy-San Marino District.

A native of Bergamo, Valeria joined Kiwanis in July 1993. She served as club president in 1999–2000 and lieutenant governor during the 2006–07 administrative year. In both positions she was the first female to serve. The following year, she was appointed Chairperson Women Italy, and then became the district’s first female governor in 2009–10.

Valeria and Pietro have two children. On weekends, daughter Licia and Valeria welcome to their home children who are in temporary custody. Some of the youth, who range in age from two to six, are adopted. “They are children who love us like family,” explains Valeria.

Her interest in helping others extends to the Kiwanis International Foundation as she is both a George F. Hixson and Walter Zeller fellow. “I believe that the existence of the Kiwanis International Foundation, especially in this time of economic crisis, is of vital importance to this world,” she shares. “The foundation extends financial aid where it is needed, where sometimes the institutions or governments can’t do this.”