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Skål USA Journeys
Greetings Fellow Skålleagues,
As the 2015 year comes to a close, so does my term as your Skål USA President.
There are so many successes that we as an organization should be thankful for this year.
First, I would like to congratulate SI Long Island on being recognized at the recent SI World Congress with the Silver Award for increased membership. Many of you may not remember that this club was on the verge of being shut down by SI just two years ago because of only having 11 members, but with the tenacity and leadership of Ken Walles and the SI Long Island board and club members they have reached a total of 67 members in a very short time; Congratulations on this BIG WIN!
Second, congratulations to SI Tucson and SI Ft Lauderdale/ Palm Beaches on their third place award for Skål International Club of the Year! Both clubs have done a great job over the past year with membership recruitment as well as completing the required documentation on time. A number of clubs are making great strides with increases in membership during this quarter; they include SI Boise, Arkansas, Miami and Las Vegas. Keep it up! Remember, each of your clubs could be nominated for Skål International Club of the Year in 2016.
Finally, it was the Skål USA Board’s goal to have increased visibility nationally among high level tourism leaders. This was accomplished through partnerships with USTA, Brand USA, ASTA, ABA, IMEX, OMCA and Tourism Cares. For the first time ever, Skål USA had a booth at IPW and the ASTA World Congress thanks to members of SI Washington. Skål USA was recently represented in London, Ontario Canada at Ontario Motorcoach Association (OMCA) through our continued partnership with SICAN. This was also a first time for Skål to have a booth at OMCA. There are many other organizations interested in welcoming Skål to their events; it just takes time and money to make it happen. I hope the newly elected Skål USA officers will continue with these efforts.
In closing, the past five years have flown by. When I first was elected to the board as Region IV Vice President in 2011, I had no idea I would ultimately become your President in 2015. I know not everyone always agrees on topics or programs and for that I am sorry, but it has always been my goal to give the membership more benefits, more opportunities to become involved, and improved professional communication; these have been accomplished.
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your 2015 president and represent the 2,362 Skål USA members at club events as well as trade shows and most recently the SI World Congress in Spain.
Thank you for this opportunity, I wish each of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and prosperous New Year!
Happiness, Good Health, Friendship, Long Life
All the best and Skål,
Martha M. McClintock
2015 Skål USA President
On the afternoon of December 1st, our Skål USA Auditors and the Skål USA President met with our Administrators to review and certify the results of the 2016 Skål USA Elections. We are pleased to affirm that the election process netted clean results despite several closely contested races and we would like to thank all of the clubs for their efforts and diligence as we got very close to 100% participation in the voting. Congratulations to all of the candidates who ran great campaigns and evidenced the great interest and the depth of talent available in the tourism industry and in Skål.
We would like to introduce your newly elected and re-elected Skål USA Board members for 2016:
SI Orange Coast
Vice President Administration
Vice President Finance
SI Kansas City
International Skål Councillor
SI Fort Worth
Vice President Region I
SI Northern New Jersey
Vice President Region III
Vice President Region V
SI Los Angeles
We look forward to adding these new members to our existing board and to the leadership that they will provide for our organization in the coming year.
What is the Florimond Volckaert Fund?
The Florimond Volckaert fund (FVF) was set up in 1954, in the name of the acknowledged founder of Skål, to provide assistance to Skålleagues and their immediate families who are in serious need of assistance, during times of desperation.
If a Skålleague is in need of help, an application should be sent to either the President of your Club or the Skål USA International Councillor, who will convey the application to the three FVF Trustees. They will assess the request and quickly come to a decision.
All donations to the FVF must be received by Skål USA within the calendar year for which the donation is intended. Donations received after the deadline will be considered and recognized for the succeeding year. We can no longer account for pre-payments or accept payments after the deadline based on when the funds are required to be transferred to Skål International.
The deadline for 2015 FVF contributions was December 1, 2015.
Donations from the clubs help make the FVF viable and able to fulfill its special purpose. We would like to recognize the following for their contributions in 2015: SI Arkansas, SI Atlantic City, SI Boise, SI Boston, SI Central Pennsylvania, SI Charlotte, SI Colorado, SI Fort Worth, SI Hawaii, SI Kansas City, SI Long Island, SI Louisville, SI Memphis, SI Northern New Jersey, SI New Orleans, SI Orlando, SI Raleigh-Durham, SI Reno-Tahoe, SI San Jose, SI Sacramento, SI Seattle, SI Tucson, SI Washington, a personal donation on behalf of Lana Gordon, and a contribution by Skål USA in memory of John McCaul.
Congratulations to the following Skål USA Clubs for being recognized at the SI World Congress for having an increase in membership of at least 10 percent between October 15, 2014 and October 15, 2015:
SI Long Island: 82.35
SI Orange Coast: 58.33
SI Kansas City: 28.00
SI New Orleans: 17.39
SI Santa Fe: 17.39
SI Sacramento: 17.07
SI Myrtle Beach: 15.79
SI Nashville: 15.79
SI Las Vegas: 12.90
SI Fort Lauderdale & Palm Beaches: 12.82
SI Tucson: 12.00
SI Baltimore: 11.11
SI Hampton Roads: 11.11
SI Tampa Bay: 10.91
SI Louisville: 10.00
There are several clubs that are off to a great start for next year, as Skål USA has received over 35 new members since November 1, 2015. Please remember that this is a net increase, so retention of your current members is very important.
A listing of the total membership by clubs is posted on the Skål USA website as of October 15, 2015, and will be updated again at the end of December.
As your clubs hold membership drives, please remember that financial assistance is available from both Skål International and Skål USA. The forms are posted on the Skål USA website.
Several clubs have taken advantage of this program but have filed very late. Going forward, applications for financial assistance must be approved well in advance (minimum 3 weeks prior) of the event and will be paid on presentation of the performance report and the appropriate invoices following the event. This rule must be respected if grants are to be considered.
I will continue to have this posted quarterly so you can easily keep track.
Yours in Skål,
Edward M. Davis
Vice President – Finance
SKÅL International USA
P.O. Box 1709
Atlantic City, N J 08404
Delete Members from the Roster
As a reminder, it is your club’s responsibility to remove those members who have resigned from Skål, passed away, or have not paid 2015 membership dues. Please process these deletions prior to December 31, 2015. In the case of any members who pass away, please also notify the Skål USA offices at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Skål USA will be sending out your initial 2016 dues invoice along with a copy of your current Club membership roster the week of December 28th via email. The more new members who are processed during the traditional dues free period during November and December the better.
The Club’s Treasurer must send on or before January 31, a check, payable to Skål USA, for the Club’s membership dues to Skål USA (including Skål International dues). The check for dues is sent to the Skål USA Administrator.
Your club will be charged for any member who is on the Skål International Directory on February 28, 2016. If a member has not paid their 2016 dues by February 1st, it is suggested to drop them. To reinstate a member who paid late, send an e-mail to the Skål International requesting to reinstate them. There is no need to complete a new application form. Your Regional Vice President can assist you in showing you how to delete members.
New Skål USA Member Benefit: Credit Card Processing
Do you accept credit cards for your Club meetings and events? Prepare to get an additional kick back to jump start your fundraising efforts through SIUSA’s new partnership with CBoss/Redstone.
Don’t have a Club website to run event registrations or accept credit card payments? No problem, CBoss/Redstone will customize an online landing page for you to use to accept your payments free of charge.
Take advantage of the lowest merchant rates on credit cards available! And use those percentage points saved to help a good cause, your local Skål Club.
Any questions? Contact Lydia Taylor. She can be reached at (330) 726-0429 ext. 122 or email at email@example.com, or reach out to Matt Fleming at (281) 381-8258 or email at MFleming@redstonepaymentsolutions.com
Share your community involvement experience!
Please provide the name, dates, and a brief description of the events/causes/scholarships/services that you are involved in via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the eve of the Jubilee dedicated to the Mercy and the Day for Disability, SI Italy President Toti Piscopo presented His Holiness Pope Francesco with a voucher valid for one week of accommodation in the cities of the Italian Skål Clubs for 10 families on behalf of the National Council and all members.
This small but symbolic gesture aims to help restore hope and reawaken the moral values and the common feeling upon which to rebuild a better, fairer global society, and a bulwark against the various forms of malfeasance, terrorism and fanaticism, while respecting ethnic, religious and cultural identities.
Skål USA Partners with Tourism Cares to Sponsor & Arrange Clean Up Teams at Events
Skål USA has entered into a partnership with Tourism Cares for 2015-2016. Tourism Cares is an excellent way to give back to an industry that has so enriched each of us. It is also an excellent opportunity to increase the visibility and footprint of Skål USA around the United States as these events usually draw significant media coverage.
The new partnership kicked off November 1-2, 2015 at Williams, AZ, and a recap can be found in the Community Involvement section. This event was part of the Tourism Cares National Park Service Volunteer Program series. This program will continue in 2016 at the following sites:
- Chattahoochee National Recreation Area / Atlanta, GA February 5, 2016
- Mississippi River National Recreation Area / Minneapolis, MN May 20, 2016
- Mount Rainier National Park / WA September 16, 2016
- Ellis Island / Statue of Liberty November 2016
Skål USA has committed to participating at the Chattahoochee and Ellis Island events. Depending on the level of sponsorship interest, Skål USA may consider doing all four events.
The Skål USA Board is asking that each of the 52 Skål USA Clubs donate a minimum of $100 (or more) towards the Tourism Cares initiative. With a high level of participation, we will have enough to participate in all 5 of these events. Skål USA will receive a reduced rate for sponsorship by committing to three (3) events; a membership to Tourism Cares which also offers also our representatives to receive reduced rates to participate at their events.
To learn more about Tourism Cares, visit their website at www.tourismcares.org.
If you would like to register, or have questions regarding how Skål USA and your club can be more involved, please contact SIUSA’s liaison with Tourism Cares, Dave Ryan at email@example.com or 916.752.0187.
Your donation will be recognized on the Skål USA website, in the newsletter and at the NCM, NAASC Congress.
Skål USA Volunteers with Tourism Cares at Williams, AZ
On November 1-2, 2015, Skål USA took part in the Tourism Cares National Park Service Volunteer program series in Williams, AZ. Nearly 125 travel and tourism industry volunteers from 26 states and more than 55 companies rolled up their sleeves in Williams and at the Grand Canyon National Park to accomplish a huge amount of work – saving thousands of dollars in labor and months of time for the City of Williams, US Forest Service and National Park Service.
Highlights from our two days of volunteering include:
- Three major painting projects completed at the Visitors Center, City Hall and Rodeo Grounds – covering nearly 14,000 sq. ft. and using more than 65 gallons of paint!
- 3 miles of trails cleared and nearly 250 invasive trees removed
- More than a dozen large trail marker signs repainted – helping visitors navigate their way through Kaibab Forest trails
- 450 lbs. of micro-trash eliminated from Grand Canyon National Park – that’s an average of 6lbs per participant – and who knows how many California Condors saved as a result
At the end of the two days, nearly $50,000 was donated to project communities in Northern AZ. Check out the Skål USA Facebook page to see more pictures of the event!
Tourism Cares has been very active in 2015. Major accomplishments include:
- 500 volunteers donating $92,000 in labor to destinations in need
- $70,000 provided for talent development
- $100,000 raised for tourism recovery and renewal in Nepal, #GoodTravels research, and so much more.
Skål USA is very excited to partner with Tourism Cares again in February 2016! Please see the Upcoming Skål Event Information section for more information.
Tourism Cares Donations
Skål USA would like to recognize the following clubs for donating a total of $900 to Tourism Cares in 2015:
• SI Albany
• SI Arkansas
• Mr. Forest Cramer on behalf of SI Connecticut
• SI Fort Worth
• SI Northeast PA
• SI Sacramento
• SI San Jose
• SI Tampa Bay
• SI Washington
Skål USA would like to recognize the following clubs for donating a total of $1,336 to support the Pacific Island of Vanuatu and SI Port Villa in the rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of category 5+ tropical cyclone Pam:
• SI Atlanta
• SI Fort Lauderdale & Palm Beaches
• SI Fort Worth
• SI Hawaii
• SI Northern New Jersey
• SI San Jose
• SI Tampa Bay
• SI Tucson
Skål USA would like to recognize the following clubs for donating a total of $1,370 to support Nepal and SI Kathmandu, and the rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake:
• SI Colorado
• SI Fort Lauderdale & Palm Beaches
• SI New Orleans
• SI San Francisco
• SI San Jose
Congratulations to SI Fort Lauderdale & Palm Beaches and SI Tucson for winning third place in Skål International’s Club of the Year competition!
SI Long Island Receives Silver Membership Award at SI World Congress
Congratulations to Skål International Long Island for receiving the Silver Membership Award for the third-largest membership increase in 2015 worldwide at the 76th Annual Skål International World Congress held recently in Torremolinos, Spain. This is their second award in this category, having received the Gold Award last year.
The date parameters used to determine these awards are as close to the Congress as possible, and this year were approximately October 15, 2014 to October 15, 2015. These dates will probably remain the same for next year, as the Congress will start on October 29, 2016 in Monaco.
Skål USA Club of the Year Award to be Issued in 2016
The Skål USA Board has elected to bring back the tradition of recognizing at least one Skål USA Club annually as the Skål USA Club of the Year, starting in 2016. The purpose of the award is to honor the Skål USA Club which best exemplifies the spirit of Skål and has achieved the objectives of the Skål Movement, during the Calendar year. This award will be presented at the 2016 NAASC, recognizing the performance of a club in 2015.
- Payment of Club membership fees to Skål USA and Skål International before February 28 deadline.
- Form 2 (update of Club’s Officers) submission to Skål USA and Skål International before April 15 deadline.
- Paying all invoices in a timely manner
- B2B – Doing business with members: Documentation of business transactions within the club’s members and also with Skål members worldwide;
- B2B in the Community – Hosting or participating in local B2B event(s) that are educational or supportive of the travel / hospitality community;
- Holding Charity or Educational Support/Event (s) – Establishment and support of new or ongoing educational or charitable efforts for the good of tourism or the community as a whole;
- Young Skål – Success promoting the initiative of Skål International in growing the Young Skål effort, in either the student or young professional categories.
The winning club will receive a single registration to the NAASC Congress (in the year awarded) or $1,000 to be used for a club event.
Clubs that wish to be considered for this award must submit information supporting the criteria above to the Skål USA Administrators and Skål USA VP of Administration Toni Koster at SIUSA@buses.org and firstname.lastname@example.org by January 1st. Examples of supporting materials for the last three criteria include flyers, agendas, photos, and recaps of community/charity/educational/Young Skål support events/initiatives organized and attended. Early submissions are appreciated.
SIUSA Young Skålleague of the Year Award to be Issued in 2016
Beginning in 2016, Skål USA will issue a Skål USA Young Skålleague of the Year Award. The purpose of this award is to honor a Young Skål Member that best exemplifies the spirit and values of Skål International.
JUDGES: There will be three Judges, to include a current Executive Committee Member whose portfolio includes Young Skål; a Past Skål International President not from the US; and the ISC Vice President in charge of Committee A which is the Committee in ISC that contains the Young Skål portfolio.
TIMETABLE: Applications should be received prior to the March 1 deadline. All applications submitted will include information collected from the previous calendar year. This date allows for the judges to have at least 30 days prior to the NAASC Congress to determine the winner.
AWARD PRESENTATION: The award will be presented at the next NAASC Congress during the Skål USA AGM. The award will include a monetary check to the Young Skålleague of the Year to help offset travel expenses to the NCM in late summer of the same year to attend the Annual North American Young Skål Symposium. Currently, this line item in the 2016 Budget is $700.
- Young Skålleague (YS) has attended 4 local Skål Club meetings in the past year or at least 40% of meetings held.
- YS must have attended at least one North American or International Young Skål Symposium in the past 2/3 years
- YS must bring at least 2 new YS members into their local Club;
- YS must “quantify” in an email essay/bio at least the following:
- Community involvement and volunteer experience including affiliation with other associations, etc.
- Volunteer involvement in the community
- Work or internship experience in hospitality industry
- Where do you want to be in 5/10 years?
- How has Skål USA had an impact on their achieving any of the above?
- ** This essay/bio should also emphasize what support they expect from Skål USA in their journey up the hospitality ladder.
- YS should submit any additional support information including, but not limited to:
- Letter of recommendation from immediate boss if currently in the hospitality workforce
- Letter from College Professor or mentor if still in college
- Any other information that will give an appropriate overview of their qualities that should present them as a candidate of YS of the Year.
All applicants are required to have a photo and current resume submitted along with the contact information.
Please send your submissions to SIUSA@buses.org.
Featured Club of the Quarter: SI Long Island
Since its inception in 1983, SI Long Island has had many challenges over the years. Despite being in close proximity to Manhattan and within arm’s reach of SI New York, members located on Long Island found a productive avenue to develop business opportunities in their own backyard.
Over the years, SI Long Island has gone through a variety of transitions during the roller coaster of economic variances, the Gulf War, 9/11, and a new age of technology. Our re-birth began approximately 3 years ago with a challenge for the dwindling membership to be creative, search out opportunities for change and be open-minded, whereby, nothing is impossible. Our industry has changed dramatically since the club’s inception. We’ve turned around our membership approach, acquired new members that have decision making authority, and scheduled our venues at convenient times and locations for all to ensure maximum attendance. Membership has increased from 10 members a few short years ago to a current average of 80, half of which are Young Skål members.
One of our most recent meetings took place at Spirit Promise Ranch located in Riverhead, Long Island. This is a facility that takes in horses in need of rescue, kindness and affection that they deserve at their time of retirement. The meeting was successful with all funds raised going to the Spirit Promise Ranch. It was a great experience for all in attendance. Our club plans on additional sponsorships going forward in 2016.
Primary Focus for 2016: For the year ahead, our primary focus is to continue to build an effective membership and to compliment, not compete, with the various organizations that may share the same goals within our industry. With the rapid growth we have experienced, we must maintain a well-organized structure for communication and cooperation throughout the membership. Currently, we have two colleges involved with Young Skål, with two more on the horizon. It was realized years ago that many college graduates leave Long Island due to the lack of opportunity along and the high cost of living. Similar problems are apparent throughout the country. Part of our goal is to be a voice to reckon with when it comes to the aspirations of our Political Appointees that need to address housing and career development for our Youth.
Chosen Goal: Our goals were obvious, either we re-develop our objectives to grow and develop, or we dissolve SI Long Island. Fortunately we chose the former, since the value has been redefined. As a result, new life, new ideas, and more importantly, new members have been brought to the organization. We can expect the momentum to continue for the New Year ahead.
Club’s Success: As our club has achieved the Skål Gold Award in 2014 and Silver Award in 2015, our clubs success can be attributed to a renewed commitment with the energy to boot. We’ve returned to a good mix of hospitality and travel members to add value to our membership. Overall teamwork among the Board and its members has displayed an attitude for success.
Challenges: Primary challenges have been coordination to maximize attendance. Convenient locations along with day of the week compatible with members work and travel schedules. Changing old habits had taken some time, but eventually overcome with time. As they say, “if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got”. If we didn’t change, we wouldn’t have a Long Island Club.
Differences: Our club makes every attempt to make meetings interesting throughout the year. We mix up the venues with a variety of events planned in an effort to attract varying interests. If it clicks well, we develop solid membership.
Other Club Advice: Listed above we have summarized what we have done to turn around to a positive direction. I would suggest a review of what you’ve been doing and take members advice into consideration, don’t alienate anyone. Mix things up to create new interest. Bring in various industry speakers that add value to the meetings along with possibly securing additional membership as a result.
Keys for New Members: Skål!! Friends doing Business with Friends… That says it all to acquire members that you would never have thought may yield good results. Take stock in your friends along with industry associates that you communicate with.
Community Involvement: Exposure and involvement with complimenting organizations, i.e.: Visitor and Convention Bureaus, Chambers of Commerce, Travel Organizations etc… Reciprocal memberships add to value, involvement and knowledge. Reach out to the local colleges and get involve with their hospitality programs that will only enhance their curriculum and education, not to mention the opportunity for interns hence, potential long term employment.
November 17, 2015
Presented by Jennifer Ackerson, Nicholle Fearon, Alexandra Pick, and Cynthia Pisco from SI Long Island; Burcin Turkkan from SI Atlanta; and Adrius Valiulis from SI Toronto.
View the Recording!
Finding ways to engage the younger generation is a challenge that nearly all organizations face. As you learned in a previous Skål USA webinar, millennials have different wants, needs, and desires, and organizations must adapt and be responsive in order to remain relevant in the future. Skål International has taken a terrific first step with the formation of Young Skål, but Skål clubs can certainly take it upon themselves to create initiatives that will further incorporate millennials into the membership. Several clubs in the US and Canada have set an excellent example with their efforts to get younger people engaged. Skål USA invited representatives from several clubs to participate in this webinar and share the keys to their success. Click the link above to view the recording and find out the keys to recruiting and empowering Young Skål members!
April 16, 2015
Presented by Ronald Flores, SI Puerto Rico
View the Recording!
This Skål International United States of America (Skål USA) webinar is intended to help equip you with the tools to help you get your message out better. Public relations can be an essential function that Skål USA clubs can harness to help you get new members. Don’t miss out on hearing new ways to connect to your members, the media, prospective members and other clubs!
In Case You Missed It: Skål USA Webinar: Selling to Millennials
June 30, 2015
Presented by Charlie Funk, SI Nashville
View the Recording!
As we continue to bring in the next generation of young professionals into the working ranks as well as the bulk of our customer base, we need to understand their motivation – needs and wants. This emerging group is very unique in their interests, communication methods and reference points. In order to better incorporate them into Skål as well as leverage their increasing buying power, we must first try to understand and relate to their lifestyles and career concepts as well as how to reach them and get them to engage.
Skål USA Winter Board Meeting to Take Place on January 8th in Louisville During 2016 ABA Marketplace, Will Assist with Skål Member Development
The American Bus Association’s Marketplace will be coming to downtown Louisville on January 8-12, 2016 at the Kentucky International Convention Center. ABA Marketplace is an annual event that brings together more than 3,500 members of the motorcoach, hospitality, travel, and group tourism industry to kick off a new year of business opportunity and growth. An active, vibrant forum of buyers and sellers where business gets done, Marketplace offers a year’s worth of sales meetings in just one week through more than 140,000 pre-scheduled appointments and delegates returned to their offices with an average of $78,440 in booked business. What a return on investment!
With legendary networking and social events, attendees often turn conversations from the conference floor into long-term business relationships. This event epitomizes the maxim “doing business among friends.” The Skål USA Board will meet on January 8th at the Brown Hotel in Louisville for its winter meeting and once again, Skål USA will have a visible presence on the Marketplace networking floor in the thick of the delegates.
The Skål USA booth at Marketplace is a gathering place where all Skålleagues can feel welcome to stop by and will also serve as a rallying point for the recruiting efforts of new Skål members. At last year’s event more than 90 prospects expressed an interest in Skål. This year is a special one, as it is the Louisville club’s 50th anniversary.
We encourage you to register for and attend the ABA Marketplace. Come out and support your Club and build your business! http://www.buses.org/events/event/marketplace-2016/registration.
If you would like to support Skål USA by volunteering at the booth during Marketplace, please contact Toni Koster at email@example.com by December 22nd.
NAASC Returns to the United States in 2016, Will Take Place on June 9-12 in Boise, Idaho
The North American Alliance of Skål Clubs (NAASC) is a regionalized meeting of the largest organization of professional tourism leaders (16,200 members) around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry. Its members, the industry’s managers and executives, meet at local, national, regional and international levels to discuss and pursue topics of common interest.
The meeting will rotate for 2016 to the United States, and the 55th NAASC Congress will be hosted by Skål International Boise, June 9-12 at the picturesque Riverside Hotel. Click here for more information and to register.
For 2017, the 56th annual NAASC meeting will be hosted by Skål International Canada.
2016 Skål USA National Committee Meeting Site Selected
SI Arkansas has been selected as the host for the 2016 Skål USA National Committee Meeting (NCM). The meeting will take place September 8-11, 2016 at the Wyndham Riverfront in North Little Rock, AR. Registration will open in January 2016. Click here for more information.
2017 Skål USA National Committee Meeting and Winter Board Meeting RFPs Are Now Out for Bid
Skål USA is now accepting proposals for the National Committee Meetings and Winter Board Meeting in 2017. The Skål USA Board has determined that the NCM should not be held earlier than eight (8) weeks prior and no later than four (4) weeks before the SI World Congress each year and will also include the North America Young Skål Symposium.
Skål USA aims to rotate the meetings among the regions to showcase different clubs, help with membership recruitment, and even out the travel burden for attendees.
If your club is interested in hosting the NCM or Winter Board Meeting in 2017, please email your proposal to Toni Koster, VP Administration at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Skål USA Board will select the winning bids for 2017 at the board meeting in Boise. The board will select location of board meeting, and the membership will select the site for the NCM during the AGM.
Please plan to budget as a Club for this meeting as Skål USA is required to hold this meeting and we would love to see more clubs represented and members in attendance. Moving forward, the Skål USA Board has decided that it would be appropriate for the Skål USA membership to consider the proposals for future NCMs and vote on future locations during these meetings.
Skål USA Partners with Tourism Cares to Clean Up the Chattahoochee River
Join Skål USA just outside Atlanta, GA on Friday, February 5. Volunteers will spend a day on the Chattahoochee River – helping National Park Service staff to clean and protect the river and its surrounding network of trails and outdoor space. This recreation area makes up for 2/3 of all green space in the Atlanta area – so preservation is vital!
Volunteers will clean debris and litter from the river on land and by boat, pull invasive common ivy and plant native species, as well as help to maintain the trails used by millions of visitors each year.
The cost to Skål USA members is $130, a savings of $10 per person with our membership. Space is very limited, so register early by contacting Region III RVP and Community Involvement liaison for Skål USA Dave Ryan at email@example.com
Past Skål Meetings & Events
2015 Skål International World Congress
The 2015 Skål International World Congress took place in Torremolinos, Spain from October 28 through November 1, and a total of 295 were in attendance. Skål USA had 29 delegates representing clubs from all five regions in the United States.
During the General Assembly, the 2016 Executive Committee was elected.
- President: Nigel Pilkington, New Zealand
- Senior Vice President David Fisher, Kenya
- Junior Vice President Susanna Saari, Finland
- Senior Director Rafael Millan Perez, Mexico
- Director Lavonne Wittmann, South Africa
- Director Jason Samuel, India
Other business during the General Assembly included a discussion on the proposed statue changes by the European Group; all were voted down. The Executive Committee term of office has been extended from 5 years to a maximum of 6 years; the Directors position has been extended to maximum of three years.
Hyderabad, India was selected for the 2017 SI World Congress location; Monaco was reconfirmed as the host location for the 2016 SI World Congress.
Congratulations to the following Skål USA delegates who were recognized during the Gala:
- Lou Conkling – Member D’honneur
- Martha McClintock – Certificate of Appreciation
- Burcin Turkkan – Certificate of Appreciation
- John Ruzich – Certificate of Appreciation
- Steve Richer – Certificate of Appreciation
Skål USA Exhibits at IMEX America in Las Vegas
A new facebook page has been created to highlight upcoming meetings in the region and share additional pictures from meetings and events!
- December 15th: SI Philadelphia will be at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1100 Arch Street, at 5:30 pm, $45. Contact Frank Klare, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- December 17th: SI New York will hold its event at the St. Regis Hotel, Two East 55th Street at Fifth Ave, $125 per person. Confirm by December 11 at nyskal.com/events.
- December 19th: SI Washington will hold its annual holiday dinner at Ritz Carlton Tysons, starting at 6:30 pm. Skålleagues and one guest are $95 each, additional guests are $105. Make reservations at skaldc.org.
SI Atlantic City Membership Drive
SI Atlantic City was pleased to hold a new member recruitment cocktail reception on November 19, 2015. In spite of terrible weather conditions and a number of no-shows due to weather, SI Atlantic City was able to host a great event.
After viewing a short video explaining the many benefits of becoming a Skål member, SI Atlantic City was pleased to present Mr. Brian Moore with a scholarship check. As is our tradition, each year SI Atlantic City offers scholarship checks to college students pursuing degrees in hospitality and tourism.
During the cocktail reception, guests were provided a Skål pamphlet and membership application along with many laughs and stories of previous Skål events enjoyed by the club.
SI Atlantic City was fortunate to get 4 new members as a result of their efforts. Additionally, several of the invited guests that could not attend due to inclement weather requested invitations to future meetings to experience the club.
SI Chicago October 19th Meeting – Tocco
SI Columbus Membership Drive
On Wednesday, November 18th, Skål International Columbus held a Membership Drive meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Downtown Columbus. They combined the Membership Drive with a wine tasting. Prospective members were encouraged to attend to learn more about Skål while tasting some great wines and enjoying some fantastic food. Skål USA President Martha McClintock attended the event and helped recruit some new members. SI Columbus was very encouraged by the positive response they received from their current and prospective members, and will try to make this an annual event.
A new facebook page has been created to highlight upcoming meetings in the region and share additional pictures from meetings and events!
A new facebook page has been created to highlight upcoming meetings in the region and share additional pictures from meetings and events!
Region IV Holiday Events
- December 14: SI Tampa Bay will hold their Holiday Party and Fundraiser / Silent Auction At TPepins Hospitality Centre
- December 15th: SI Raleigh-Durham will hold their Holiday Dinner at the Hilton Garden Inn Southpoint, Durham
- December 15th: SI Charlotte will meet for a luncheon at Maggiano’s
- December 16th: SI Ft. Lauderdale-Palm Beaches will hold their Holiday Dinner Party and Auction at Benvenuto Caterestaurant
- December 17th: SI Atlanta will hold their Christmas Luncheon at Maggiano’s Cumberland
- December 17th: SI Jacksonville hold their Holiday Dinner at Flagler College in the Solarium
- December 18th: SI Miami will hold their Christmas Gala Dinner & Auction at Riviera Club, Coral Gables
Region V Holiday Events
- December 16th: SI Los Angeles Holiday Luncheon at Lawry’s – 100 N. La Cinega Blvd., Beverly Hills
Bill Sweet Celebrates 52 Years as a Member of SI Colorado
Skål International Colorado is proud to announce that beloved member William C. Sweet has officially surpassed 50 years of membership in Skål International!
Bill Sweet joined SI Denver in 1963 while serving as Executive Assistant Manager of the historic Brown Palace Hotel; by April 1964 Bill was already active as the Chairman of the Entertainment Committee and as the saying goes…the rest is history! What came to pass over the ensuing 50+ years was an unbroken commitment not only to the local club, but also to what today is known as Skål USA and the greater Skål movement worldwide.
Bill served as SI Denver President in 1971 then was elected to the position of Regional VP. He became President of the North American Association of Skål Clubs in 1984-85 leading an organization of more than 100 clubs across Canada, Mexico, the USA and Affiliated Clubs of the Caribbean.
From 1985 to 2001, Mr. Sweet was the Executive Secretary for both Skål USA and NAASC. After being awarded the “Order of Skål Merit” in 1994 and later named Honorary President for both Skål USA and NAASC he was recognized within Skål with “Membre D’ Honneur” in 2003.
SI Colorado celebrated Bill’s 52 years of service at the annual Christmas Dinner on Thursday, December 3, 2015 at the Brown Palace Hotel & Spa.
SI Colorado Toy Drive
SI Colorado collected a large amount of toys for Brent’s Place, Children’s Hospital Colorado approved Safe-Clean housing facility for immune compromised patients and their families. Thanks to all members for the support.
SI Los Angeles/Orange Coast Joint Meeting
A joint dinner meeting with the Orange Coast Club was held on Wednesday, October 14, at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. It was a farewell to past President Bernhard Clever who moved to St. Augustine, FL. Orange Coast President Phil Campanelli presented a special plaque to Bernard. Some 50 members attended. The Queen Mary served an outstanding dinner.
To place a jewelry order using a credit card, fill out and submit the order form on the Skål USA Shop web page (https://skalusa.org/skalskal-usa-shop/). There will be a link at the bottom of the order confirmation page to pay by credit card rather than receive an invoice. Please click this link and fill out the form, selecting the “Other” box and entering “SIUSA Store” into the text box. You will only be charged once for your order. If you choose to pay by credit card, you will not receive an invoice.
Skål USA Shirts
Skål USA shirts with the official Skål logo are available from Land’s End. To place an order, visit the Skål USA Shop at www.siusa.org/siusa-shop and click the “Shirts” tab. On this page you will find a link with step-by-step ordering instructions as well as the link that will take you to the Land’s End site to make a purchase. If you have problems ordering, please contact Matt Manousoff, Skål USA Administrator at 202-218-7246 or SIUSA@buses.org.
On August 1, 1965, Peter Filthian joined Skål International Hawaii. The membership turned their August dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House into a surprise celebration for him honoring this very special anniversary as many familiar faces joined in the fun to commemorate the occasion.
Mary Lou Lewis reminisces that she has known Peter since the summer of 1956, during her first trip to Hawaii when she was visiting her then fiancée and Peter was the manager of the Kona Inn. Her (now) father-in-law, Dudley Lewis, was a good friend of Peter’s and an avid fisherman, and they met during a fishing trip. It’s all about anniversaries for Peter as of late, as in 1959, Dudley and Peter started the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, which recently celebrated its 56th successful year.
Peter’s assistant, Sharon Mori, wishes him congratulations and states that over the past 10 years, “He allowed me to grow in my position… always encouraging me to learn and have confidence in myself and my abilities.”
Congratulations Peter! Please enjoy a few pictures from the event below!