2020 Imperial Sir, Jeff Sowder

2020 Elected Imperial Potentate of Shriners International

Jeff Sowder

Midian Shrine

Jeffrey L. Sowder of Toronto, Kansas, was elected Imperial Potentate of Shriners International, part of the 12-member body that helps govern the Shriners fraternity, during the Shriners' 2019 Imperial Session held in Nashville, Tennessee, June 30 - July 4. As Imperial Potentate, Sowder will be the highest-ranking Shriner in the world, and serve as President of the Board of Directors of Shriners International and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Shriners Hospitals for Children®.

Sowder was raised a Master Mason in 1975 at Toronto Woodson Lodge #121. He served as Master of his lodge in 1981, 1983, 1991 and 1992. After many Grand Lodge appointments, including District Deputy Grand Master, Area Deputy Grand Master, and Chairman of the Grand Lodge Membership Committee, and serving as an appointive Grand Officer on three separate occasions, he was elected Grand Junior Warden in 1994, and served as Grand Master of Kansas in 1997.

Jeff Sowder Elected Imperial Potentate of Shriners InternationalSowder was raised a Master Mason in 1975 at Toronto Woodson Lodge #121. He served as Master of his lodge in 1981, 1983, 1991 and 1992. After many Grand Lodge appointments, including District Deputy Grand Master, Area Deputy Grand Master, and Chairman of the Grand Lodge Membership Committee, and serving as an appointive Grand Officer on three separate occasions, he was elected Grand Junior Warden in 1994, and served as Grand Master of Kansas in 1997. Sowder is the first Past Grand Master to ever serve as Imperial Potentate.

Sowder became a member of Midian Shriners in Wichita, Kansas, in 1988 and served as the temple’s Potentate in 2004. He is a member of several clubs and units at Midian including the Greenwood County Three Wheeler Shrine Club.

Sowder was elected as Imperial Outer Guard of Shriners International in 2009 and has served on many committees at the Imperial level, including the Pilot Implementation Team, Executive Membership Committee, Building and Equipment, East/West Shrine Game®, Strategic Planning, Donor Relations, TRAC, Ritual, Strategic Planning, and Leadership Training and Education Seminars Committees. He has also been a presenter at the Imperial Membership, Oriental Guide and Assistant Rabban seminars.

Sowder served as the personal representative for the Wichita Scottish Rite Valley in Wichita from 2006 to 2009 and served on the board of the Kansas Masonic Foundation for 25 years, and as its President from 2004 to 2011.

Sowder was born and raised on a ranch in Kansas. He operates four separate agricultural-related corporations, including a 1,000-head cow/calf operation; a retail feed business serving ranchers throughout the Flint Hills of Kansas; a wholesale cattle mineral business with distribution in four states; and a multifaceted agricultural wholesale/retail business in Wichita.

Jeff and Cheryl SowderSowder and his wife, Cheryl, have been married for over 40 years and have two daughters, Stephanie and Lindsay. Stephanie and her husband, Jamie Nelson, live near Toronto, Kansas, with their three children, Corinne, Sutton and Reid. Lindsay is married to John Hill, and they live in Ft. Scott, Kansas, with their sons, JJ and Hudson.