District Governor-Elect Mark Merriam (Rotary Club of Metropolitan Honolulu) introduced Hawai'i Rotary District 5000 at the 2023 Southwest Presidents-Elect Training Seminar (PETS) over the February 3-5, 2023 weekend in Los Angeles, California. Attended by nine Rotary districts from Zones 26/27, which consists of clubs from Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawai'i, the conference started with Jordan Harrison, as the opening session's keynote speaker to excite attendees for a fun-filled, inspirational weekend. Friday's General Sessions also included talks from Jan. C. Harnik from the Palm Desert Noon Rotary Club and Rotary International Director-Elect, Dan Himelspach from the Denver Mile High Rotary Club.

Bright and early, on Saturday morning, DGE Mark started General Session 3 with his Presidents-Elect walking into the ballroom sharing the gifts of lei and aloha to everyone.

Mark later introduced a highlight reel of Hawai'i Rotary (produced by Hawai'i Incoming Assistant Governor, Ryan Kawamoto from the Rotary Club of Kahala Sunrise)

After the video was shown, Nabil Oudeh from the Rotary Club of Ottawa was introduced as the session's keynote speaker with a inspiring speech of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Later at lunch, Educator and Author, Erin Gruwell shared her story about the Freedom Writers Diary and brought the room to tears sharing her experience with her students and Rotary. Closing out the evening, Rotary International President-Elect Gordon R. McInally from the Rotary Club of South Queensferry shared his vision for a year of creating hope in the world. Hours later, RIPE Gordon and  RIDE Dan would join Hawai'i Rotary in the hospitality rooms learn hula with Past District Governor Sandy Matsui, Rotarians Zeda Medina and Kathleen Merriam.

The weekend conference ended on Sunday with a graduation of the Presidents-Elect by each District and brunch with Keynote Speaker Amy Scruggs.

Visit SouthwestPETS.org for more information about the speakers and events.

Checkout Hawai'i Rotary's Facebook Photo Album from 2023 Southwest PETS