About Us

Hi! My name is Gerald Peterson and I am the founder and director of Applied Character Training.

From my experience at home, along with fifteen years as an elementary teacher and coach, I’ve concluded that the primary reasons for failure or success are linked to personal character. In most cases it is not a lack of cognitive ability, but rather a lack of character that brings about conflict, frustration, and ultimate failure in the classroom and in life. In contrast, good character, demonstrated through qualities such as diligence, initiative, self-control, and forgiveness, is consistently found at the root of achievement. Good character breeds success!

In 1995, while seeking training and resources for character development, I was introduced to Character First!  This organization, headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was developing character building resources for every sector of society including family, schools, businesses, and government agencies.

After receiving “Character First! Education” and “Character First! Business” certification I initially determined to focus my efforts and energy on building a strong foundation of character in my own life and that of my family. Over time I began to understand the principles that govern character development. I also learned many specific character qualities that I could apply in my own life and teach my children. With a sincere desire to assist others and support the character education efforts of Florida schools, I resigned my teaching position in 1997, launched Applied Character Training, and began teaching and encouraging good character in elementary schools. Character First! has provided the primary source materials utilized by Applied Character Training.

Applied CHARACTER Training (formerly Character Pitch, Inc.) is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening children, families, organizations, and communities by promoting, encouraging, and teaching principles of good character. We are a Character First! resource provider and network with similar organizations including LIFE Leadership, Strata Leadership, the Character Training Institute, the Character Council of Florida , the Lee County School District, the Character Council of Palm Beach Gardens, and the Character Council of Collier County.

Applied CHARACTER Training is available to assist and serve you by providing school assemblies, training, speakers, programs, and resources to develop and strengthen good character. We are also seeking individuals and organizations that will to partner with us and make a financial investment in reshaping the character of their communities. Call today (239-479-3700) and let’s discuss the all benefits and possibilities that come from applying principles of good character!

Grateful to Serve,

Gerald Peterson


The Peterson Family

The Peterson Family


Applied CHARACTER Training Leadership Team:

President and Executive Director:

Gerald Peterson

Board of Directors:

Virgil Klunder

Cynthia Peterson

Jonathan Blikstad

Steve Rogerson

Felice Gerwitz