History of Chesapeake PETS
What is PETS? In late Winter/early Spring every year, similar President-Elect Training Seminar (PETS) events are held by 550+ Rotary districts in more than 220 countries, bringing together more than 35,000 Presidents-Elect. Although the style, setting, and presentation vary, virtually the same curriculum is offered at each training conference. Several years ago, Chesapeake PETS inaugurated a Presidents-Nominee Leadership Academy. A one-day event, it started club leaders on their path to the presidency a year early and brought them into plenary sessions with all C-PETS participants for fellowship and to hear outstanding speakers.. The first PNLA was offered for 20 Presidents-Nominee, who were invited by their district’s Governor-Elect. The second year, 40 PNs attended the Saturday event.
The multi-district PETS started in Virginia in the spring of 2006, when two enterprising DGEs, Jim Probsdorfer, D7600, and Burt Lamkin, D7610, returned from the Zone Institute in Charleston impressed with a presentation from the Florida PETS, and decided to join forces to hold the first PETS. It was called the ‘Virginia PETS’ and held at the Virginia Crossings Resort near Richmond. The first District Trainers were Randy Lickey and Steve Gresham. It was a grand success and cooperation between the districts was evident. The hopes to ultimately incorporate the other Virginia Rotary District – D7570, and the two West Virginia Districts were dashed in the following year as all three were happy with their arrangements.
In 2007, the second ‘Virginia PETS’ was also held at the Virginia Crossings by DGEs Jim Pierce, D7600, and Travis White, D7610, along with the original trainers. At this time a representative from D7620, DGE Rich Carson, was present to observe the event with the potential of having some of the D7620 clubs join in the following year. In the following two years, D7620 joined forces with D7600 and D7610 and the ‘Virginia PETS’ became the ‘Chesapeake PETS’ to acknowledge the growing arc of Rotary districts around the Chesapeake Bay. Before those two years ended, D7630 requested entrance, pushing the combined PETS to over 215 Rotary Clubs and requiring the ‘Chesapeake PETS’ to relocate to the larger capacity Marriott Westfields in Chantilly.
All in all, the start-up vision has been realized: the dream of a Multi-District PETS came true and the leadership of the Chesapeake PETS looks forward to many more successful events where the most important leaders in Rotary – Club Presidents – will be trained.
2006 Virginia PETs (D7600, D7610)
2018 C-PETS (D7600, D7610, D7620, D7630)
Virginia Crossings Resort, Richmond, VA
Westfields Marriott Chantilly, VA