Rotary Southwest PETS, President-Elect Training Seminar – Preparing to lead the Magic of Rotary

Mar 1, 2024 | PC Community

Photos by Barry Villamil and Nathan Kam

Video by Barry Villamil

I am so proud and extremely grateful for the opportunity to represent the Rotary Club of Pearlridge (RCOP) at the 2024 Southwest PETS, President-Elect Training Seminar earlier this month in Los Angeles, California. As the President-Elect (2024-2025) for the RCOP, I traveled to L.A. to join other President-Elect Rotarians from Hawaii District 5000, as well as from other Southwest USA Rotary Districts. Around six hundred Rotarians came together to take part in the 3-day seminar held at the Los Angeles Airport Marriot Hotel.

It was a wonderful training seminar with sessions scheduled throughout the 3-day training that prepared President-Elects for their upcoming Presidencies and responsibilities while leading and building the future success of their Rotary clubs. It was a great experience attending the seminar sessions with other Rotarians from all around the Southwest and the bonds and friendships made along the way. We also shared breakfast, lunch. and dinner in the main ballroom that gave us all another opportunity to mingle and share a meal while listening to incredible quest speakers with our new Rotarian friends.

One of the highlights of PETS came on Saturday as Hawaii District 5000 Rotarians presented PETS participants with lei during breakfast. Six hundred lei were given throughout the ballroom with the spirit of Aloha beaming from the smiles that resonated throughout the room. The lei giving preceded a powerful and enlightening speech by Hawaii District 5000 District Governor-Elect Ted Fagle, followed by a world class video featuring District 5000 clubs and their many accomplishments through community service projects in Hawaii.

On Sunday, the last day of PETS, after our last training session, Hawaii District 5000 President-Elects were presented their PETS Certificates of Completion. It was another proud moment shared amongst fellow Hawaii District 5000 President-Elects and District Governor Mark Merriam, District 5000 District Governor-Elect Ted Fagle, 2025-2026 District Governor nominee Nancy Cabral, Past District Governors Naomi Masuno, Roz Cooper, and Sandy Matsui, Assistants Governors, and other Hawaii District 5000 officers/members and supporters.

It was an amazing Southwest PETS experience that was uplifting while expanding our vision and mission of service to mankind that Rotary International through its global outreach of serving those in need through heartfelt dedication, time, energy, resources, and love for one another that shines from our Rotarian hearts and souls.

I began my Hawaii District 5000 journey with the Rotary Club of Pearlridge fourteen years ago as the club’s Public Relations Chair and also serve today as the RCOP Rotary Youth Interact Leadership Director.  As President, I hope to expand our Free Dictionary 5000 Project that currently provides 750 third graders and their teachers representing 15 elementary schools in Pearl City and Aiea with free dictionaries sponsored by the RCOP. I would also like to concentrate our club efforts of meeting a goal to expand our Rotary Youth Interact Leadership Program from three schools in Pearl City and Aiea to six schools.

Led by RCOP Community Service Chair/Treasurer Lasar McCabe, our green, sustainable efforts will continue to grow and flourish with our community partners while perpetuating the Hawaiian culture through the RCOP’s work at the Puuloa Springs Native Hawaiian Garden located along the Pearl Harbor Bike Path and historic Pearl Harbor shoreline in Pearl City/Hawaii.  

The RCOP will also implement new community service projects that partner once again with our Aiea and Pearl City schools, community organizations, corporate, government agencies, and community volunteers. The RCOP will also continue to provide financial support with our corporate sponsors for our Pearl City and Aiea public and private schools to help offset expenses for educational and extracurricular activities.

At PETS, we formed an instant camaraderie and bond between fellow President-Elects from Hawaii District 5000. It was very encouraging to see that the future leadership of District 5000 is bringing a younger, dynamic demographic to compliment the experienced” Hanahou” President-Elects with some of them serving their second or third terms as a club President. 2024-2025 club President’s are as young as 21 years old. Pretty cool!

Following our Certificate of Completion Ceremony on Sunday, we all expressed our desire to stay in contact with one another and coordinate joint club meetings and partner on events/community service projects together. I am definitely all-in and looking forward to building our clubs relationships and partnerships with creative ideas to better serve communities in Hawaii and around the world.


2024-2025 Hawaii District 5000 Club Presidents will lead the year’s theme: MAGIC OF ROTARY. I am so excited to deliver the MAGIC OF ROTARY with fellow and dedicated RCOP members and all our friends and partners to better the world we live and thrive in.