District Governor Joe Sowokinos welcomes you to the Lions 5NE web site!

                                                       

Joe was raised on a small corn farm in Nebraska. Joe graduated from Albion High School and went to college at Wayne State in NE. Joe played football and was invited to a pro-football camp. Instead of reporting, Joe accepted an NIH Pre-Doctoral Grant Fellowship to do graduate work in Biochemistry at the University of North Dakota. If he were two people, he would have done both.

Upon graduation, Joe was hired by the University of Minnesota and used his biochemical training to conduct research into the control of starch-sugar conversion in potatoes used for processing.  In 1992 he received the North American Potato Researcher of the year award.

Joe joined the Grand Forks Red River Lions Club in 1997 and was involved in all club activities and projects. Besides serving as club president and zone chair, he has served on the boards of Dakota Lions Sight & Health and the Lions Foundation of ND.  He is a Melvin Jones Award Recipient. At the 2018 Lions State Convention held in Grand Forks, ND, Joe stepped up to begin his journey to become district governor of 5NE.  He transferred his membership from Red River Lions to the South Forks Lions Club, in 2021.

Joe is married to Janice Sowokinos and has two sons, Frank, and Douglas. He has three grandchildren, twin boys Matthew and Blake, and granddaughter Megan.  Playing handball is one of Joe’s hobbies. He was a past ND State Masters Handball Champion and once placed 2nd in the Canadian National Handball Tournament held in Regina, Saskatchewan, also in the master’s division. His other hobbies include biking, camping, and doing street magic for anyone who will watch.

 

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