History of Florida PETS
The 2017 edition of Rotary Florida PETS will be the fourteenth multi-district PETS in our state and the seventh in which all eight Rotary districts participate and collaborate in its planning.
The Time Was Right for a Multi-District PETS in Florida
For decades prior to the formation of a multi-district approach to training presidents-elect, districts conducted their own PETS with their governors-elect using Rotary's PETS Planning Guide. From time-to-time some districts would pair-up to conduct the training.
In 2004 Past District 6950 Governor Milt Jones, who was also a past Rotary International director, led the effort to form a multi-district Florida PETS. The new training organization brought together seven Florida districts at Orlando's Marriott hotel near the airport. In 2006 all eight districts created attendance numbers so large for the hotel that a new venue was needed. Florida PETS then moved to Orlando's Doubletree Resort and Spa. Five years later Florida PETS outgrew the Doubletree conference facilities. In 2012 the seminar moved to the Buena Vista Palace adjacent to Disney Village where PETS had a multi-year commitment. During 2017 the Doubletree Resort developed new and larger function facilities, which allowed Rotary Florida PETS to return to that venue in 2018.
Neither First Nor Last, Either
This isn't to say the concept of holding a multi-district PETS originated in Florida. Rotary districts have been teaming in this fashion for over 25 years with our neighboring districts in Maryland among the first.
The power and efficiency of a multi-district effort brings much to this critical event that few, if any, districts have ever looked back.