Mission

To empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs.

Vision Statement

To be the global leader in community and humanitarian service.


History

In 1917, Melvin Jones, a 38-year-old Chicago business leader, told members of his local business club they should reach beyond business issues and address the betterment of their communities and the world. Jones’ group, the Business Circle of Chicago, agreed.

After contacting similar groups around the United States, an organizational meeting was held on June 7, 1917, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The new group took the name of one of the invited groups, the “Association of Lions Clubs,” and a national convention was held in Dallas, Texas, USA in October of that year. A constitution, by-laws, objects and a code of ethics were approved.

Within three years, Lions became an international organization. Since then, we’ve earned high marks for both integrity and transparency. We’re a well-run organization with a steady vision, a clear mission, and a long – and proud – history.

About Melvin Jones Biography

Melvin Jones was born on January 13, 1879 in Fort Thomas, Arizona, the son of a United States Army captain who commanded a troop of scouts. Later, his father was transferred and the family moved east. As a young man, Melvin Jones made his home in Chicago, Illinois, became associated with an insurance firm and in 1913 formed his own agency.

He soon joined the Business Circle, a businessmen’s luncheon group, and was shortly elected secretary. This group was one of many at that time devoted solely to promoting the financial interests of their membership. Because of their limited appeal, they were destined to disappear. Melvin Jones, then a 38-year-old Chicago business leader, had other plans.

“What if these men,” Melvin Jones asked, “who are successful because of their drive, intelligence and ambition, were to put their talents to work improving their communities?” Thus, at his invitation, delegates from men’s clubs met in Chicago to lay the groundwork for such an organization and on June 7, 1917, Lions Clubs International was born.

Lions Emblem

Gudrun Bjort Yngvadottir

International President Message

Gudrun Yngvadottir, from Gardabaer, Iceland, was elected to serve as first vice president of Lions Clubs International at the association’s 100th International Convention, held in Chicago, Illinois, USA, June 30 through July 4, 2017.

Vice President Yngvadottir is a Biomedical Scientist and has worked in research, education and management. Since 1990 she has worked at the University of Iceland as Vice Director at the Institute of Continuing Education.

A member of the Gardabaejar Eik Lions Club since 1992, Vice President Yngvadottir has held many offices within the association, including district governor council chairperson. She has dedicated her service to children and youth, membership and leadership development, health and wellness, including vision and diabetes, environmental projects and Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF).