History of Chesapeake PETS

Every year in late Winter/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 Rotary Multi-District PETS Alliance, 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 p, DGlanning and implementation for Rotary’s future leaders.

CPETS is governed by a CPETS Planning Committee, under CPETS Bylaws as approved by its Board. The CPETS Chair is a Past District Governor who serves a two-year term; the Chair role rotates to each District in sequential order. The CPETS Planning Committee meets year round to ensure a successful leadership development experience for Club Presidents Elect and district leaders including Assistant Governors, DGEs, and DGNs.

The Chesapeake PETS leadership team 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.

Our History

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 a Rotary Zone Insititue impressed with a presentation from the Florida multi-district  PETS organization. The two DGEs decided to join forces to hold the first multi-district PETS in Virginia in 2006 for Districts 7600 and 7610, at the Virginia Crossings Resort near Richmond.

Together We Learn graphic

in 2007, the second “Virginia PETS” was held there by DGEs Jim Pierce (7600) and Travis White (7610). A representative from District 7620, DGE Rich Carson, participated to observe the training, with the potential of having 7620 clubs join the alliance. Over the following two years, ‘Virginia PETS’ became “Chesapeake PETS”’ to acknowledge the growing alliance of Rotary districts that are situated around the Chesapeake Bay. At that point, District 7630 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 – which is centrally located for travel from each of the four districts.

Emerging Leaders Academy

Several years ago, Chesapeake PETS inaugurated a Presidents Nominee Leadership Academy (PNLA).  A one-day event held on the Saturday of CPETS, invited President Nominee club leaders could start on their path to club presidency a year early, including attending the plenary sessions with all CPETS participants for fellowship and to hear outstanding RI speakers.The first PNLA was offered for 20 club Presidents Nominee, who were selected to attend by their DGE.

In 2022-23, a decision was taken to transition the PNLA into what is now called the Emerging Leaders Academy that is designed for any potential club members who might become a future club President. The academy continues to be held on the Saturday morning of CPETS, with participant Rotarians invited by their DGEs.