History of Chesapeake PETS
Every year in late early Spring, 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 that is designed primarily for incoming club Presidents but includes other district leaders. Chesapeake PETS is a member of the Multi-District PETS Alliance [add hyperlink to www.PETSalliance.org], which is a consortium of the leadership of the multi-district Presidents Elect Training seminars. Founded in 1992, the primary objective of the PETS Alliance is to improve the quality of and to share best practices for training event planning and implementation for Rotary’s future leaders.
Our multi-district Cheasapeake PETS (CPETS) started in Virginia in Spring 2006, when two enterprising DGEs, Jim Probsdorfer (7600) and Burt Lamkin (7610), returned from the Rotary Zone Insititue impressed with a presentation from the Florida PETS organization. They decided to join forces to hold the first multi-district PETS in Virginia, at the Virginia Crossings Resort near Richmond.
In 2007, the second “Virginia PETS” was held there by DGEs Jim Pierce (7600) and Travis White (7610). A representative from D7620, DGE Rich Carson, participated to observe the training, with the potential of having 7620 clubs join the alliance. Over the following two years, the ‘Virginia PETS’ became “Chesapeake PETS”’ to acknowledge the growing alliance of Rotary districts that are situated around the Chesapeake Bay. At that point, D7630 requested to participate, growing the combined PETS to more than 215 Rotary Clubs and requiring Chesapeake PETS to relocate to larger capacity conference venues. Since 2016, CPETS has met at the the larger capacity Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles Conference Center in Chantilly VA.
Several years ago, Chesapeake PETS inaugurated a Presidents Nominee Leadership Academy. A one-day event, PNLA starts club leaders on their path to the presidency a year early and brings them into plenary sessions with all CPETS 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 CPETS Planning Committee meets year round to ensure a successful training experience. All of the Chesapeake PETS leadership looks forward to many more successful events where the most important leaders in Rotary – club Presidents – are trained and inspired to effectively lead their clubs and Rotarians to do more good in the world.