I have been a Rotarian since 2010. The East Jefferson Rotary Club is my first club. I can honestly say that I wish I would have joined Rotary years ago.


    I like Rotary's focus on "Service Above Self". This resonates with me, as I am of the opinion that we should contribute to the good of our communities. I am particularly interested in our local communities as a Rotarian.  


    I was honored to be elected  Club President for the 2015-2016 year, which began July 1st, 2015. I'll follow President Ned Luce, and John Erickson will follow me.    


    I grew up in Wisconsin, and met my wife, Helen in high school. I went to Marquette University in Milwaukee, where I earned a BA in History in 1972, and was  commissioned in the U.S. Navy in the fall of 1972 after returning from a South American cruise with the Peruvian Navy. My first duty station, after a series of short technical schools, was a ship in Japan, the first of four forward-deployed sea tours based in that fascinating country over my career.


    Helen and I have been married for 37 years. We were married in Tokyo, Japan, during my first overseas tour. We have two grown children. Our daughter, Katherine, works for Price, Waterhouse from their Chicago office where she was recently promoted to manager. Our son, James, is married to Alice. After a tour in the Marines, a deployment to Afghanistan and promotion to Captain, he moved on to become the facilities manager for a college campus in Asheville NC.


    I served 27 years in the U.S. Navy and retired as a Captain in 2004, having had the privilege of commanding two ships, the minesweeper USS PLEDGE (MSO 492) then based in Seattle, and the guided missile frigate USS RODNEY M DAVIS (FFG 60), then based in Japan, in addition to many others. It was a very challenging and fulfilling life. Apart from service in the Pentagon on the staffs of the Secretary of Defense and the Chief of Naval Operations, I spent as much time as possible on or close to ships and the sea.  It's often not well understood that the United States is a maritime nation, and is dependant on the free movement of goods via the sea. The Navy helps to guarantee that freedom, both for ourselves and for others, and I am proud to have served my country in that capacity.   


    After retirement, I worked for Alion Science and Technology in Alexandria VA for a year. They're a science and technology company, an excellent organization. I was fortunate to work with a great group in their defense support sector. In 2005, Helen and I became "empty nesters", so we moved west and settled in Port Ludlow so that I could attend the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding as a student beginning that fall.


    After three years of training, I was asked to join the Board of Directors in 2010, and in 2012 stepped in as Executive Director. It was both extremely challenging and quite enjoyable. After returning the School to financial viability, demonstrating the School met accreditation standards and doubling enrollment, I resigned in mid-2014 to focus on Rotary and to pursue my own boatbuilding and woodworking projects, of which there are many.        


    At the present time, in addition to Rotary, I am a Board member with the Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Historic Preservation, and am active in the Universal Ship Cancellation Society, one of the nation's oldest philatelic organizations, which focuses on Navy postmarks and cachets. My current boat project is the restoration of our 47-foot wooden cruiser RIPTIDE, which was built in Seattle in 1927.    


    Helen and I enjoy spending time on our 26-foot tug BLUE STAR, living on the Olympic Peninsula, and being a part of a wonderful Rotary club.

Pete Leenhouts - Updated 6/15/2018. Submitted 9/4/2014 (Src)  (PTLeader)
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