| Jun 26, 2021

Peter Mancuso

Katrina BarankoSALT LAKE CITY – June 26, 2021 – Peter Mancuso of North Bellmore, New York, USA, was elected 2021-22 president of Kiwanis International during the meeting of the 2021 Kiwanis International Council today. The council met to elect officers in lieu of the House of Delegates due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, today, the Council elected Bert West, Divide, Colorado, as 2021-22 president-elect. Both will serve a one-year term beginning Oct. 1, 2021.  

trustees electedCouncil also elected Katrina J. Baranko from the Georgia District as 2021-22 vice president who will begin her term October 1. She will serve a one-year term. Three new trustees were also elected to the Kiwanis International Board of Trustees. They are Gary S. Graham from the Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee District, Linda I. Lawther from the Michigan District and Dan Leikvold from the Minnesota-Dakotas District. They will serve a three-year term beginning October 1, along with Hope Markes, elected by the delegates at the 2021 Eastern Canada and Caribbean District Convention in Canada and Eliane Ott Scheffer, elected by delegates from the Kiwanis International-European Federation earlier this year.  

Mancuso, a member of the Kiwanis Club of East Meadow New York, has been involved with Kiwanis since 1987 and has held multiple local, district and international offices. He recently retired as an assistant district attorney in New York. He and his wife, Karen, have two adult children and two grandchildren.  

Bert West West, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Ute Pass/Woodland Park, the Kiwanis Club of Woodlake, California and the Kiwanis Club of ELaMissTenn, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has been in Kiwanis for more than 33 years. He and his wife, Sandy, have two daughters. He has spent his career in the roofing industry.  

This year’s Education and Leadership Conference was held instead of the annual Kiwanis Convention, which was canceled the past two years due to the pandemic. Council met briefly last year in Indianapolis to elect officers. This year’s education conference featured speakers such as Capt. Sully Sullenberger, Kevin Carroll and Rachel Giannini to inspire Kiwanis members to power forward with projects and services to help their communities.  

Leadership seminars on club membership, club improvement and post-pandemic community service were offered, along with education sessions on youth leadership, youth protection, education and literacy and money-making and money-saving events.

“After the difficulties the pandemic presented to volunteer organizations, it was wonderful to see Kiwanis club members who remain engaged and hopeful,” said Stan Soderstrom, executive director of Kiwanis International. “It gave so many of our members — in person and those who attended virtually — an opportunity to exchange ideas, discuss best practices and recommit to helping children in their communities and around the world.”  

The Kiwanis International Board of Trustees in February determined that it would be impossible and impractical to hold a safe, accessible convention for its international membership due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, 2021 board elections were conducted by the Kiwanis International Council to guarantee global representation prescribed under the bylaws and current pandemic restrictions. The Kiwanis International Council consists of the Board of Trustees, past Kiwanis International presidents, current district governors, the Kiwanis International-European Federation president and Kiwanis Asia-Pacific chair.  

Next year’s convention is planned for Indianapolis, the site of the canceled 2020 convention. It will move to Minneapolis-St. Paul for 2023.


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