Kiwanis Woman Breaks Gender Barrier

Sue Petrisin becomes first woman of any large service organization to be elected to serve as president

Sue Petrisin elected as Kiwanis International president (Photo: Business Wire)

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia--()--Sue Petrisin, a 25-year member of the Kiwanis Club of East Lansing, Michigan, is the first woman elected to serve as president of Kiwanis International—or any of the largest service organizations in the world, including Rotary and Lions International. Today, during the 98th Annual Kiwanis International convention in Vancouver, BC, she was elected vice president. She will serve her term as Kiwanis International president during the 2015-2016 Kiwanis year.

“I am deeply honored to be the first woman elected to serve in this role,” Petrisin said. “Kiwanis has always been about inclusivity and service beyond self. But to be viable in our next century, we need to recognize the differences in cultures, generations and technology that determine how and where we will succeed. We need to again focus our time and efforts on the single most powerful expression of Kiwanis life—our clubs.”

Petrisin has served on the international board for the past three years. She also served as the vice chair of The Eliminate Project: Kiwanis eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus overseeing activities for Key Club, CKI, Builders Club, Aktion Club and K-Kids. She is the first person in Kiwanis International’s history to serve as Key Club Governor, Circle K Governor and Kiwanis Governor.

Sue holds a master’s degree in human resources and labor relations and bachelor’s degrees in food science and dietetics from Michigan State University, East Lansing. She is associate director for the Michigan State University Alumni Association. She is active in service to the university and her community.

About Kiwanis

Founded in 1915, Kiwanis International is a global organization of clubs and members dedicated to serving the children of the world. Kiwanis and its family of clubs, including Circle K International for university students, Key Club for students age 14–18, Builders Club for students age 11–14, Kiwanis Kids for students age 6–12 and Aktion Club for adults living with disabilities, dedicate annually more than 18 million service hours to strengthen communities and serve children. The Kiwanis International family comprises nearly 600,000 adult and youth members in 80 countries and geographic areas. For more information about Kiwanis International, please visit www.kiwanis.org.

Contacts

Kiwanis International
Jo Lynn Garing, 317-508-6337
jgaring@kiwanis.org

Release Summary

Kiwanis Woman Breaks Gender Barrier Sue Petrisin of Kiwanis International becomes first woman of any large service organization to be elected to serve as president.

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Contacts

Kiwanis International
Jo Lynn Garing, 317-508-6337
jgaring@kiwanis.org