Art Riley was elected president of Kiwanis International, Peter Mancuso was elected president-elect and Bert West was elected vice president during Kiwanis International Council, a special meeting of the board of trustees, past presidents, current district governors, the European Federation president and the Kiwanis Asia-Pacific chair. The Kiwanis International Board convened the Council on July 25, 2020, due to the cancellation of the 105th Kiwanis International Convention.
“The events of 2020 dictate that we look ahead with determination and optimism,” said Art Riley, 2020-21 president. “The air of uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 virus demands we examine our values more than ever. In the coming year I will work to transform Kiwanis through membership growth, more focused youth leadership education and greater attention to diversity and inclusion.”
All new officers for 2020-21 are:
- Art Riley, president
- Peter Mancuso, president-elect
- Bert West, vice president
- Kip Crain, U.S. & Pacific Canada trustee
- Chuck Fletcher, U.S. & Pacific Canada trustee
- Michael Mulhaul, U.S. & Pacific Canada trustee
- Michel Fongue, at-large trustee
Trustees from the Asia-Pacific District were elected during the Asia-Pacific District Convention held in Nepal in March. They are Buheita Fujiawara of Tokyo, Japan, and Wilfredo G. Aguilar of Koronadal City, South Cotabato, Philippines.
(Information on all candidates is here.)
Additionally, council voted to memorialize past international presidents who died in the past year, including:
- Ray Lansford, 1984-85
- Frank DiNoto, 1986-87
- Anton “Tony” Kaiser, 1987-88
- John Button, 2014-15
- Florencio “Poly” Lat, 2018-19
Executive Director Stan Soderstrom addressed the challenges presented by the pandemic.
“Our inability to predict where we will be three months from now has never been more difficult,” Soderstrom said. “We are not necessarily in crisis, nor are we in the midst of a calamity or impending disaster. We need to properly assess the environment in which we exist.”
During the evening portion of council, attendees and viewers were able to “Celebrate Great” during two awards ceremonies.
Council presented eight districts with Distinguished Awards for the 2018-19 administrative year, noting that the districts achieved a net gain in membership. There were 433 new clubs formed to help children and communities that year.
Additionally, council presented awards to districts that won the Signature Project Contest and Recognition. Winners are:
Tier I winners
GOLD — Kiwanis Club of Ormond Beach, Florida District, Kiwanis Reads! Summer Reading Challenge
SILVER — Kiwanis Club of Oak Lawn Area, Illinois-Eastern Iowa District, Feed 6 Mega Event
BRONZE — Kiwanis Club of the Adelaide Hills, Australia District, Kiwanis Book Shop
Tier II winners
GOLD — Kiwanis Club of Prescott, Southwest District, Live Annual Auction
SILVER — Kiwanis Club of Ames-Town and Country, Nebraska-Iowa District, Teen Maze
BRONZE — Kiwanis Club of Mansfield, Ohio District, Friendly House
Soderstrom challenged members to be innovative when finding ways to meet, fundraise and support children in their communities. “We may not be able to predict the future, but we can begin to predict the skills we will need to survive and we can recognize that change is on the horizon,” he said.
“It has been a difficult second half of the Kiwanis year,” said 2019-20 Kiwanis International president Daniel Vigneron. “We have lost members to the pandemic and it has not been easy for our clubs to meet. Some of our initiatives have been put on hold, including training for expansion in Africa. I know that coming through this we will be stronger in the future. The transition of leadership to Art Riley and Peter Mancuso will put Kiwanis in a position to move our organization forward.”