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Bert West elected 2022-23 president of Kiwanis International

Jennifer Morlan | Jun 11, 2022

election web photo


Bert West of Divide, Colorado, U.S., was elected president and Katrina J. Baranko of Albany, Georgia, U.S., was elected president-elect at the 2022 Kiwanis International Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. Lee Kuan Yong, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, (above) was elected vice president. All begin their new terms on October 1, 2022.

These three Kiwanians were elected trustees for the United States and Pacific Canada Region:

  • Steven R. Ingram, Valparaiso, Indiana, U.S.
  • Gary Jander, San Diego, California, U.S.
  • Jackie Sue McFarlin, Othello, Washington, U.S.

Trinidad "Toto" Pamintuan Gonzales of Pampanga, Philippines, was elected during the Asia-Pacific convention in March to represent the Asia-Pacific Region as a Kiwanis International trustee.

Kiwanis International-Europe held its convention in May and elected Vincent G. Salembier, Kooigem, Belgium, as trustee.

For the first time since 2019, the House of Delegates voted on proposed amendments to the Kiwanis International Bylaws. These amendments were approved:

Protection of Kiwanis Name and Marks: This amendment, submitted by the Kiwanis International Board of Trustees, will provide stronger protection of the Kiwanis name and marks and reduce liability risk exposure for Kiwanis International, clubs and districts.

Designation of Kiwanis International Officers: Submitted by the board of trustees, this approved amendment will reduce liability for the organization and members who hold key leadership positions by reducing the stated officers of the corporation to just president, president-elect, vice president, immediate past president, and executive director. It will also give the board authority to designate other corporate officers as deemed necessary.

New Member Add Fee: This board-submitted amendment updates and clarifies the language with no change to the meaning or implementation.

Club Status to Propose Amendments and Resolutions: This amendment, submitted by the board, clarifies that clubs must be in good standing to propose bylaw amendments and resolutions to be considered by the Kiwanis International House of Delegates.

Emergency Conditions Adjustments: This amendment, submitted by the board, updates provisions regarding emergency conditions in light of lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Voting Process to Elect Kiwanis International Vice President: This approved amendment revises the election process for Kiwanis International vice president to allow delegates more options if no candidate receives a majority vote on the first ballot.

Basic Structure Governing Comprehensive Bylaws Revisions: This amendment will allow the organization to undertake a comprehensive review of its governing documents and make appropriate adjustments. A comprehensive review of Kiwanis International Bylaws has not been conducted in more than 30 years. In tandem with this amendment, the delegates approved that revision of the Kiwanis Bylaws will be considered at the 2023 Kiwanis International Convention.

Lieutenant Governor Election Criteria: This amendment, submitted by the Illinois-Eastern Iowa District, will allow a member from outside a division to serve as lieutenant governor if no one from within the division is willing or able to serve.

The following amendments were not approved in the House of Delegates:

Remote Voting for Kiwanis International Business: An amendment that would have allowed secure remote voting for Kiwanis International candidates, amendments and resolutions, beginning with the 2023 convention, did not pass. The board submitted this amendment, citing lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, including that clubs and districts were able to conduct much of their business, including voting, by remote methods.

Prohibition on Purchase of Alcohol: This amendment was submitted by the boards of the Eastern Canada and the Caribbean, Illinois-Eastern Iowa and Missouri-Arkansas districts. It would have prohibited the use of any Kiwanis International revenue, including membership dues, fees or non-dues revenue, to purchase alcohol for or by Kiwanis International Board members or staff or their spouses or companions.

Prohibition of Purchase of Airfare: This amendment was submitted by the boards of the Eastern Canada and the Caribbean, Illinois-Eastern Iowa and Missouri-Arkansas districts. It would have prohibited the use of any Kiwanis International revenue, including membership dues, fees or non-dues revenue, to purchase first- or business-class air tickets for the Kiwanis International Board members or staff or their spouses or companions.

Family Membership Status: This amendment was submitted by the Pacific Northwest District and cosponsored by the New England and Bermuda, Ohio and Texas-Oklahoma district boards. It would have designated a new family membership status that provides a 50% discount on Kiwanis International dues and fees for qualifying members. Clubs could have used this new status only if the club's district first adopted a family membership discount option.

A man wearing a sports coat, jeans and a cowboy takes a selfie on a stage. Bert West, the 2022-23 president, is a third-generation Kiwanian. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Ute Pass Woodland Park, where he has served three terms as club president, two terms as division lieutenant governor and one term as governor of the Rocky Mountain District. He was elected as a trustee of Kiwanis International in 2016. He and his wife, Sandy, have two daughters, both of whom are members of Kiwanis clubs.

Katrina Baranko has been a member of Kiwanis for 28 years and served the Kiwanis Club of Albany in the Georgia District as distinguished president and secretary. She has served on the Membership, Service and Partnership, Audit and Finance, and Leadership Development and Education committees and is a Certified Club Leadership Trainer. She and her husband, David, have one son, a daughter-in-law and one grandson. She will serve as president in 2023-24.

Lee Kuan Yong joined Kiwanis in 1993, served as a Kiwanis International trustee in 2011-14 and was the Asia-Pacific chair in 2016-17. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Kuala Lumpur in the Malaysia District and Eye of the Tiger eKiwanis Club in the Illinois-Eastern Iowa District. He has served as president of the Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation. He and his wife, Kon Cze Yan, have two sons and one grandson. He will serve as president of Kiwanis International in 2024-25.

The 2023 Kiwanis International Convention will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., June 21-24.  

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