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 July 2009

July '09 eBuilder Front Page

VICTORY IN NASHVILLE!: Capital's Jerry Peuler Elected Kiwanis International Trustee at 'Music City' USA Convention!

Plus, 2009 Kiwanis World Service Medal Awarded to Capital Nominee Gray Heppner

Photo Essay & Story By Past Governor Bob Cressy

Dateline:  Kiwanis Convention 2009, Nashville, June 25-28th

The 94th Annual Kiwanis International Convention in Nashville "Music City USA" was one of the most important and productive conventions for the Capital District in recent memory.   Past Capital District Governor Jerry Peuler (right) was elected International Trustee from Region 1 (United States) by the delegates and COL Donald Gray Heppner was awarded the prestigious "2009 World Service Medal" by Kiwanis International.  Colonel Heppner was nominated by the Kiwanis Club of Lynchburg, Virginia, for his medical research on a cure for worldwide malaria.

Please see the separate story and photos in this issue on Colonel Gray Heppner, M.D. receiving this important distinction and the Capital District's behind the scenes successful promotion of this world-wide life-saving project.  Inspiring!


Our first story is that our own Capital District Past Governor 2001-02 Jerry Peuler was victorious as a candidate for International Trustee for one of three positions in a field of five nominees from Region 1 (U.S.).  It was a long and hard charging campaign by Jerry and his team.  The full support of the Capital District was vital.

What do I mean by "vital"?  Well, our district elected Jerry as our candidate at the 2007 district convention in Rockville, then the international planning and campaign began.  Of course we were ready to support our candidate, but in Nashville you must demonstrate district support with strong attendance and firm conviction.  Other districts and delegates can quickly tell if you're really behind your nominee. Capital demonstrated that with over 215 members present at least and had among the highest percentage of attendees of the large districts.  Well done!

WE know Jerry but others did not know him as well.  We had to 'sell' him to other delegates at the international level.  Very professional campaign literature was designed by Jen Dugent, Kiwanis Club of Tysons, with a new approach of colorful, graphics with friendly, short messages highlighting Jerry's accomplishments beautifully.  One piece told of his Kiwanis record: Past Distinguished President and Lieutenant Governor, then Governor and several KI committee assignments.  Judith, his wife, was highlighted of course, then in the second flyer had his professional credentials and record.  It was easy to read, to present and to talk to by supporters.  Thanks, Jen!

And it's vital that the Capital District membership be there in Nashville, on the ground.  Drumming up support was the role of our On-To-Nashville Convention Chair Nancy Cressy.  For four months the convention was promoted at all eight Regional Mid-Winter Conferences.  It sure was enthusiastic and FUN as 'Miss Nancy' and 'Billy-Bob Nelson' (Willie's long lost cousin) traveled the district and surprised folks with their chats and singing 'On The Road Again'.  Beautiful!  You must see the photos, at least.  Good job, Nancy ... Billy-Bob, too, if I can say so.


Back to a tradition, we had our third annual district dinner at Nashville's famous Wildhorse Saloon on Second Avenue's music strip.  When you're in a new city you just gotta partake of the local culture.  In Nashville, its music, music, music ... Blues, Bluegrass, Country, and pop ... and the food like Nashville BBQ, fried pickles and more!  There were 155 CDK delegates and guests at the Saloon decked out in Jerry buttons, stickers and pins on Thursday night getting charged for the campaign.  Even Billy-Bob Nelson was there!

Throughout the four day convention there were member forums on growth, SLP services support, maximizing leadership, exhibits, breakfasts, luncheons ... and, whew, "Volunteering: The heart of Kiwanis".   Friday morning was 'Meet the Candidates'.  Jerry did a great job.  Voting was done electronically for the first time very successfully and, yes, we are trainable. 

The winners for Kiwanis International Trustee for a three year term are:

  1. Jerry Peuler - Capital District
  2. Pam Fleming - Alabama District
  3. Stewart 'Stew' Ross - Minnesota-Dakotas District

Of course, the top positions were also elected:

  1. Paul Palazzolo, International President  - Illinois - Eastern Iowa District
  2. Sylvester 'Sly' Neal, President Elect - Pacific - Northwest District
  3. Alan Penn, Vice President - Ohio District

Congratulations to all the victors and thanks to all candidates who competed so enthusiastically for these prestigious positions of leadership.  We all enjoyed the fellowship, admired the dedication of Kiwanians, were impressed by the speakers, and, oh yes, really enjoyed the Grand Ole Opry.  

Thanks to the International Convention Committee for a most memorable event.  Start planning now for Las Vegas 2010!  Congratulations Jerry and Gray! See KICON photos!

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