2021 Midyear Conference

Thank you for all of our speakers and attendees at the 2021 Midyear Conference. Click here to view a recording of the event. Passcode: WGK8.sw3

To download the Powerpoint Presentation used: Click here
To view photos from the Kiwanis Club of Nakawa Uganda: Click here
To watch the Roanoke DCON Promo Video: Click here

Saturday, March 6th, 2021

8:30 – 8:55am                         Opening Session – State of the Capital
Presenter: Dennis Baugh, 2020 – 2021 Capital District Governor

Governor Baugh will give the Capital District members an update on his “Spread the Word” campaign including service activities, membership, and programs within the Capital District. A conference workshop overview and the speakers from today’s sessions will be announced. 

9:00am – 9:30am                   Keynote Speaker
Presenter: Dr. Peter Gretz, Superintendent of Middlesex County Public Schools

We’ve all seen or heard the hashtag #kidsneedkiwanis, but what does that mean from the perspective of “the kids”?  Dr. Peter Gretz, Superintendent of Middlesex, VA Public Schools, will discuss his experience in working with Kiwanis and how a Kiwanis club can make a difference by supporting their local school systems. He will also provide his views as to the direction schools will need to take as we come out of the current Covid-19 environment.  Finally, he will suggest ways in which Kiwanis clubs might support their local schools in this process.

9:40am – 10:00am                 Kiwanis is a global organization
Presenter: Albertcook Isingoma, Charter President – Kiwanis Club of Nakawa, Uganda

Learn about our clubs, what we do, and how you can help my vision for Africa to have a District of its own by the year 2022.  We don’t want to just form clubs, but initiate strong and sustainable clubs like my own which is ACTIVE, RELIABLE AND RESULT ORIENTED. Our club’s impact is felt in the following fields: Helping children with cancer, children living positively with HIV/AIDS, the elderly in up country areas, persons abled differently, orphans, single mothers and expectant mothers in the country, paying tuition fees for bright kids who come from humble beginnings but can’t access education, and delivering motivational talks in schools.

10:05am – 10:25am               Of Volunteers
Moderator: Caren Schumacher, Capital District Membership/ Growth Chair

Volunteering has been defined as a voluntary act of an individual or group freely giving time and labor for community service.  Isn’t that why people join Kiwanis, to serve their community?  Members stay engaged in Kiwanis when they see their efforts are improving their communities and making a quantifiable difference in the lives of children.  With COVID restrictions still in place, clubs need to be creative in their thinking, and discover new ways to fundraise and implement service projects.  COVID restrictions will not last forever, so planning ahead for new ways to build hands for service should also be on every club’s “to do” list.

 A panel of Kiwanians from three different clubs – small, medium and large – will talk about their successes pre-COVID and during the COVID pandemic.  Volunteering and membership go hand-in-hand. Clubs need to keep our members engaged so they continue to be active participants in the Kiwanis family.  Caren Schumacher, Capital District Membership Coordinator will moderate the discussion.

10:30am – 10:50am              Dedicated to Improving the World 
Presenter: Chris Frye, Charter Member Kiwanis Next Gen E-Club

Do you ever wonder where our Key Club members go after they graduate from high school?  Well, there are some former Key Club members that are changing and improving the world one project at a time…..just like we thought they would! Join former Key Club President Chris Frye discuss his adventures in the North County (MD) Key Club, University of Maryland college, New York City Mayor’s office, Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans, to his new role at Opportunity Alabama.

10:55am – 11:15am               One Child
Presenter: Cavanaugh Bell

Operation MAGIC…Brainstorming ways everyone can make an impact no matter their age.  Cavanaugh Bell is an 8-year-old Chief Positivity Creator of the bullying prevention nonprofit, Cool & Dope. It takes all hands on deck to help spread positivity everywhere! You can make a difference wherever you live. Every little bit goes a long way in changing the world – one good vibe at a time! Learn about what this dynamo is doing to change his global community.

11:20am – 11:40am               And One Community
Presenter: Eric Lamb, Division 9 Lieutenant Governor and Chair of the Capital K Family Taskforce on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Why is Diversity in our organization important? And how do we become ONE while being diverse? Kiwanis must learn, adapt and change to our ever changing world in order to remain relevant. We all want Kiwanis to be a force for good in our communities and working together while understanding our differences can help us function as ONE unit and change the world for the better.

11:45am – 12:05pm              At A Time
Presenter: Christine Johnson, Division 5 Lieutenant Governor

When Christine Johnson moved to the Capital District from New Jersey, she had an idea – why not combine Kiwanis service with a hobby that people love? She started Karwanis events and fundraisers specifically geared to car-enthusiasts. During her session, Christine will be discussing Division 5 Karwanis events and the steps that she took to get all of her Clubs involved in this new and exciting type of club.

12:05pm – 12:30 pm               Break To Get Lunch

12:30pm – 1:30pm                Spiritual and Human Values Fellowship
Presentation: Honoring and Remembering our Kiwanis Family That Has Left Before Us

1:35pm – 2:05pm                  Closing Keynote – A Look Into the Future:  What Kiwanis Might  Look Like as it Relates to our Mission Statement
Presenter: Katrina Jones Baranko, Kiwanis International Trustee and Board Counselor to the Capital District

Today you have heard speakers discuss our Kiwanis Mission: “Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers, dedicated to improving the world, one child, and one community at a time.” Our mission hasn’t changed, but the Kiwanis organization must change to keep up with the needs of our community and it’s members. International Trustee Katrina Baranko will share her insights with Capital District members on the future of our organization.

Confirmed Speakers

Dr. Pether Gretz is in his 5th year as Chief Executive Officer for the Middlesex County Public Schools and is responsible for the implementation of School Board policy and daily operations of the school division.  As the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Gretz provides support to all instructional areas and ensures that all students have an opportunity for success. Prior to coming to Middlesex in 2016, Dr. Gretz was the Assistant Superintendent of business operations for Goochland County schools. Prior to that, he served as director of instruction in Buckingham County. He also has been a language arts teacher, director of student services, and middle school principal. He is an adjunct professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and James Madison University. Dr. Gretz is an honorary member of the Kiwanis Club of Middlesex. Dr Gretz, his wife, Sara, and four children reside in Middlesex County, Va.


Katrina Baranko is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Albany, Georgia.  In 2018, she was elected to a three-year term as trustee of Kiwanis International. She is serving as the 2020-2021 Kiwanis International Board Counselor to the Capital District. As Trustee, Katrina has served on the Membership Committee, the Service and Partnership Committee and as Vice Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee. Katrina has been a member of Kiwanis for 27 years and served the Kiwanis Club of Albany as distinguished president and secretary. At the district level, Katrina was a distinguished governor, lieutenant governor, a member of the finance committee and has been parliamentarian. She is a George F. Hixson Fellow and a Walter Zeller Fellow. Katrina was The Formula chair for the Southeast Area and the Georgia District. Katrina holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Georgia State University.

Albertcook Isingoma [Teacher/Lecturer/Human Resource Manager] holds Masters’ degree(s) in Educational Administration & Management and Human Resource Management from Makerere University.   A specialist in Children Rights, Child Protection, Public Administration & Management, Accounting/Finance, Strategic Procurement & Logistics Management he advocates for the rights of children and for persons with disabilities.

Since joining Kiwanis in 2018, he has served as a member, club officer, leader and district builder for the following Kiwanis clubs in Uganda- Wakiso, Nakawa, Lira, Mpigi and Kasese (both charter in progress) and Likasi in Democratic Republic of Congo as he looks to achieve his vision of establishing the Africa District of KI by the year 2022.

Caren Schumacher was born in Washington, D.C., and lived in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs until she and her husband relocated to Williamsburg, VA 21 years ago. Her career was spent as a National Trade Association Vice President of membership, marketing and communications. In 2018, Caren retired from her 16-year tenure as the Executive Director of the Historic Virginia Land Conservancy.

A member of the Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg for the past 20 years, Caren has served as club President and on the club’s Foundation Board. She is a two-term LTG, served as Capital District Public Relations Chair,  and is currently the Capital District Membership Coordinator. Caren is also a member of the recently chartered Capital Legacy E-club.

Volunteering has always been a priority for Caren, who also serves on various Boards beyond Kiwanis.  She is a past recipient of the Reston Citizen of the Year Award and received the Fairfax County Citizen of the Year Citation for her work as a founder of the All Night Graduation Party program. 

Caren has been married to Ed (also a Kiwanian) for 53 years, and they are blessed to have three grown children and six amazing grandchildren.

Chris Frye is the Director of Portfolio Development at Opportunity Alabama. Chris leads OPAL’s deal scaling work and provides technical assistance to projects across the state of Alabama while continuously growing OPAL’s real estate and operating business project portfolio. Prior to joining OPAL, Chris was a financial analytics consultant for a New Orleans-based marketing firm as part of the Venture for America program, a two-year entrepreneurship fellowship where participants commit to spending two years working at a high-growth company in an emerging startup ecosystem. He has also worked in the Office of the Mayor of New York City and built houses for Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans. Chris earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and has been fortunate enough to live in some of America’s greatest cities: Baltimore, Washington D.C., Brooklyn, New Orleans and now Birmingham. 

He is a native of Glen Burnie, MD and graduated from North County High School in Anne Arundel County, where he was the chartering Key Club President and Lt. Governor for the Capital District.  He is a new member of the NextGen Kiwanis E-Club in the Capital District. 

Cavanaugh Bell is the 8-year-old Chief Positivity Creator of the bullying prevention nonprofit, Cool & Dope. With a mission to end all bullying worldwide by 2030, Cool & Dope creates family volunteer and activism opportunities to empower youth to speak up and to speak out. For the pandemic, Cavanaugh used his life savings to make care packs for senior citizens and was able to quickly mobilize global donations to create the Love is Greater Than COVID-19 Community Pantry that has served 12,000+ people since April 2020, including sending $32k of critical COVID supplies and food to the poorest community in the Nation, the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Cavanaugh has been awarded a Congressional Certificate of Recognition by House of Representative David Trone, been named a 2020 CNN Young Wonder and the National Action Network’s 2020 MLK Award Recipient as well as has had his work acknowledged by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, President Trump, and Vice President Kamala Harris.


Eric Lamb is a native of Charlottesville Va and has lived there his entire life.  He started his career as a teacher and then was promoted to a school administrator in a public school that was the hub for special needs and international students.  His last year in the school system his school had 47 different native languages represented. Eric also has degrees in Sociology, psychology and Restorative Justice. Eric has mediated everything from small civil matters to helping restore peace in a family after a brutal murder.  He has dedicated his life to service and to asking the difficult questions of why and how.  Why are things done this way and how could things be done better.  He is often accused of being “an out of the box” thinker.   Eric joined Kiwanis 5 years ago and  served as club president for 2 years and is in his second year as Lt. Governor.


Christine Johnson is the current Lieutenant Governor in Division 5. She grew up in Monmouth County, New Jersey and received her Bachelor’s degree from Georgian Court University. She was a Merchant Services Specialist at Ocean First Bank. After her husband retired after 47 years as a steamfitter, they moved to Virginia. Christine is enjoying her custom baking business and devoting time to Kiwanis, an organization near and dear to her heart.

During her tenure in Kiwanis (since 1995), she has brought her own spin to the organization with creative fundraisers and service projects. While serving as President and Chartering member of the Lakewood, NJ Kiwanis Club, she started a “Kiwanis Klowns” project. Members of the club ‘clowned’ a partner organization events and fundraisers. Christine led training sessions to help other clubs begin clown projects of their own. Christine now leads Division 5 and has started popular “Karwanis” events that bring together Kiwanis and car shows. Christine says, “I was meant to help our clubs rebuild their communities stronger than ever” after this pandemic.

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