News

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  • 12/16/2013 2:06 PM | Laura Lothridge (Administrator)
    Happy Holidays to All! What a fabulous party we had at the Tradewinds Island Resort! Thank you, George Bentley and your staff for a lovely setting and delicious food. It was a perfect venue for our party, wine pull and auction. Special thanks go to all who donated packages or items and to all who placed the bids and purchased wine pull tickets – We raised over $3,000.00!!!! Wow!!! Let’s do it again next year!

    As we approach the New Year, we do so with reservations (Oh my gosh– another year has passed us by) – with excitement (Wow – what is on the horizon in 2014) and with resolve (to make our life, our families, our business and our Skal club even better).

    After some brainstorming with our incoming President, Dan Peretz – I thought – so what can we do to make our club better and more vibrant?

    Let’s learn from history and from the future – we have such great resources in our membership from those with more than 35 years and from those with less than a year as a member!! We should acknowledge our history, adapt to the current changing environment and anticipate the future – be ready to embrace it in the most positive manner!!!

    With the January newsletter, I am initiating a “Lessons from” column – an interview response from a member the President will select each month to provide their knowledge, impart their excitement and their views of being a member of Skal International.

    We have all chosen to become members of this fantastic International organization – so let’s all step up our involvement and our ownership of Skal Tampa Bay.

    All the best to you in 2014!!!

    Skal,

    Carol
  • 12/03/2013 9:53 AM | Laura Lothridge (Administrator)

    December 2, 2013

    Dear SIUSA Members,

    Earlier today, both of our SIUSA Auditors and the SIUSA President met with our Administrators to review and certify the results of the 2014 SIUSA 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 SIUSA Board members for 2014:

    President
    Carlos Banks
    SI Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beaches

    Vice President Administration
    Martha McClintock
    SI Jacksonville

    Vice President Finance
    Dick Knorpp
    SI Washington

    Vice President Region I
    Ed Davis
    SI Atlantic City

    Vice President Region III
    Toni Koster
    SI Reno-Tahoe

    Vice President Region IV
    Debbie Arett
    SI Atlanta

    Vice President Region V
    Cyndi Golden
    SI Fort Worth

    International Skål Councillor
    Llana Smith
    SI Memphis

    Auditor
    Anthony Cosenza
    SI Chicago

    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.

    Skål,

     

    Tom White                          Rick Adams                       Dave Barela
    President                           Sr. Auditor                        Jr. Auditor

  • 11/25/2013 9:25 AM | Laura Lothridge (Administrator)

    Happy Holidays to all!! As we get ready to give thanks next week for many things – family, friends and colleagues, good health, better business on the horizon and so much more, let us not forget those less fortunate.

    As a reminder – make sure your calendar is marked for the SKAL Tampa Bay Holiday Party on Sunday, December 8 at the Tradewinds Island Resort. It will not only be a festive evening but a great opportunity to do some holiday shopping!!! We will have our popular wine pull and a silent auction for some fabulous items. Please see our auction items here:http://bit.ly/SkalTampaAuction


    If you'd like to spend the night at the resort, a discounted rate of $124 per night (includes resort fee and parking) is available by calling the Tradewinds at 800-808-9833. Please refer to the Skal Tampa Bay rate. 


    Also, it's not too late to donate a gift item! Please email skaltampabay@aol.comif you'd like to participate in our holiday silent auction or donate wine for the wine pull!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all and see you on the 8th.

    In Skal,

    Carol

  • 10/28/2013 9:22 AM | Laura Lothridge (Administrator)
    Greetings fellow Skalleagues!

    DID YOU KNOW??? ... Answer follows a most important thank you!!!

    Thank you goes to Troy Manthey and the Yacht Starship team for a wonderful evening of “Octoberfest” atmosphere with beer tasting and German appetizers before sitting down to a scrumptious  steak dinner, plus I am sure Troy arranged the beautiful weather for our cruise with views of the Tampa skyline at night.  If you did not attend – boy, did you miss a great experience!


    Now the “DID YOU KNOW” answer is that SKÅL International will be honored with the prestigious World Tourism Award for 2013 next month at the World Travel Market in London – we should all be proud that we are members of such an organization and work to meet the lofty standards all the while of building lasting relationships.


    Dan Peretz, our VP represented us at the SKÅL International World Congress last month and returned with a new perspective on being a member of SKÅL.  The World Congress in 2014 will be held in Mexico City and 2015 will be in Kenya. 


    We hope you are taking the opportunity to explore our new Tampa Bay SKÅL website: skaltampabay.com -


    It is a great new professional look, simplifies our meetings invitations, provides a one-site response form and most importantly, is password protected of our membership information, which was easily accessible on the previous site allowing unwanted or authorized solicitations.  Just take a few moments to set up your profile and you will be ready to go. This is not a change for changes’ sake but rather a change of growth - all to benefit our club and our members.


    Please plan to join us for the November meeting at Splitsville on the 11th.  This is NOT a bowling party - because this is NOT your father’s bowling alley – this is an event!!!  Yes, you will have the opportunity to show off your skills in one of the interesting challenges, but most importantly – come out and enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow members AND our 2nd ANNUAL WINE PULL will occur.  This is the easiest holiday shopping you will ever do – the wine comes gift wrapped and you just purchase a wine ticket, shop and “pull” the wine package of choice and head home ahead of the shopping schedule!!


    See you at Splitsville!


    Yours in SKÅL,

    Carol Eaves

  • 09/25/2013 12:59 PM | Laura Lothridge (Administrator)
    Greetings fellow Skalleagues!

    WOW – did we not have a great time at the Hotel Indigo? Again we thank George Glover and his staff for a fun and entertaining time.  In between all the fun and good food, we welcomed  Stephen Cummings and Jim Caul from the Loews Don CeSar Resort as the two newest members of SKÅL Tampa Bay.  Glad to have you aboard!!!!


    In just over a week and a half, our Vice President, Dan Peretz, will set sail from New York with Skalleagues from all over the world as our club representative at the SKÅL International World Congress.  I know that Capt. Dan will return with a new found knowledge and insight that will benefit our club in the future.   Have fun, Dan!


    In continuing with the topic of World Congress and also our SIUSA annual meeting, these two meetings are the real challenge of not only our club, but all clubs.  We struggle to find the best way to finance this responsibility, represent our club and vote on issues which face the SKÅL International organization and its world-wide clubs. The expenditures required to attend these events average between $2,000 and $3,000 for each meeting. 


    Our board has been seeking additional sources of revenue, other than a local dues increases – so we're turning to you, the members, to support and participate in the upcoming fundraising events:      


    The WINE PULL (very popular from last year) will take place at our November 11th meeting at Splitsville.  Please donate a bottle of wine and if you have connections as hoteliers or restaurants, ask your liquor purveyors to donate a case of wine. 


    SILENT AUCTION will be held during our holiday party onDecember 8th at the Tradewinds Island Resort. Please donate, or ask your contacts, any type of item or service which can be in our silent auction.  Get creative - how about a car wash or massage or pet sitting service – things we all use!! 


    See you next month on board the Yacht Starship for an exciting Oktoberfest cruise hosted by Troy Manthey.


    Yours in SKÅL,


    Carol


  • 09/23/2013 2:11 PM | Laura Lothridge (Administrator)

    Dear Fellow Skåleague,                                                                     23 September  2013

     

    I wanted to take this opportunity to address you and to provide a review of this past year. I served for one year as Director, two years as Vice President, and have now completed my term as your President.

     

    My sincere thanks to you for the confidence you have shown in me and the support you have given me over the years. I am humbled by your trust and am truly grateful to you all. I started on the Executive Committee with a mission which was to ensure that your voice, the member’s voice, be heard by the Skål leadership and the changes you wanted to see be adopted and implemented. This started with the Membership Surveys in 2009 and 2010 and the efforts of the Task Force for the Repositioning of Skål. I am glad to report that the main task is essentially completed and we have made most of the structural changes that the membership was looking for. Of course implementation will continue in the future, but we can look forward to the next decade with a new confidence.

     

    I am deeply grateful to my Executive Committee who have worked very hard and supported the changes we have made and will keep us on the path to success. I am also grateful to our Secretary General and to the Secretariat staff who have adopted the changes and taken ownership of the process for change and betterment of the organization. I wish to thank the Honorary and Past Presidents of Skål International who have taken it upon themselves to assist us with a membership regeneration program which will bring great results. Under the leadership of Past President Richard Hawkins, the envisioned regional committees are being organized to galvanize our membership recruitment efforts.

     

    As your President, I have been on the road a great deal visiting Clubs as well as National and Area Committees. Skål International Delhi, Los Angeles and the WTM in London, SI Orlando, New York, SI San Francisco, SI Charlotte, Winnipeg, Tucson and Calgary. The AGM and Congress of the Latin American clubs in Punta Del Este Uruguay. Then on to the SI Australia AGM in Launceston, Sydney, Townsville and Melbourne where I inducted seven new members. Then to Istanbul for the ARENA event and the AGM of SI Turkey. In April it was the North American Clubs at their Congress in Sacramento. Then to Dublin on to the AGM of the UK clubs in Guernsey. Reactivating the Lake Balaton Club in Western Hungary and on to visit the Budapest club. I attended the International Council meetings along with the Executive Committee meetings in Bali. In May I visited SI Chennai and went on to the AGM and Congress of the Asian area in Sri Lanka. In June I visited our head office in Torremolinos, Spain as well as a Membership development event at SI St Thomas. I was invited as a guest of Honour at the India Day Parade in New York in August and given an award plaque naming  Skål at the awards banquet which followed. Then it was on to a visit to SI Atlanta.

     

    On 25th August, Renu & I hosted our annual event at our home for SI Los Angeles to raise funds for our local Skål charity. Earlier in September I visited SI Johannesburg, SI Pretoria, SI Durban, SI Cape Winelands, finishing up at SI Cape Town to attend their 60th anniversary event coupled with the Skål South Africa Bi-Annual event. This week it will be on to the Executive Committee meetings in New York and the 75th Anniversary event of SI New York immediately before the 74th World Congress of Skål International.

     

    During all the visits I have made, I had the pleasure of speaking to our membership about the direction Skål is taking and the vision, mission and branding efforts we are actively pursuing, as well as the changes in the Secretariat and the new membership benefits we were adding. This message has found great resonance with our members and provides great reassurance that we are on the right track.

     

    In the interest of raising Skål’s profile and increasing our footprint in the Travel and Tourism Industry, the Executive Committee, with able assistance from Director Nigel Pilkington in particular, put together statements and position papers on three different areas of concern in our Industry. Human rights in Tourism, Aviation with specific regard to the carbon emission issue and the Airline Passenger duty matter; and Hospitality. We posted these position drafts on the Skal website and asked for your comments. After adjusting these documents in light of your guidance, we issued them to the press as our statements. We have received much press attention and have been invited to be on a panel at the World Travel Market in London on November 6th to speak on the subject of human rights in Tourism. Skål has been nominated for a World Travel Award which is given at the opening day of the WTM in London. I have also been invited, on behalf of Skål, to speak on Peace Through Tourism at the IIPT 25th Anniversary event at WTM on 5th November.

     

    Over the course of the past year, I have had the pleasure of giving many print media as well as television interviews on behalf of Skål. I have issued statements on our Industry as well as on current events such as the deplorable attacks on innocent tourists in Pakistan recently. Our Secretary General has attended meetings of some of the World bodies to which we belong such as ECPAT and we are now truly engaged with the UNWTO of which we are a part.

     

    On the economic front, we have been able to rent out three of the four office units we own in Torremolinos. Thanks to the efforts of the Secretariat staff, they are finally bringing in some rental income. The Seoul AGM had authorized the reduction of the Executive Committee from a contingent of seven members down to six. This should give us cost savings going forward. Additionally, the Secretary General is focused on effecting cost containment practices wherever possible in all the Secretariat’s activities. I have been in the fortunate position to be able to pay my own airfares on all the travel I have undertaken during my time on the executive, hence generating some additional savings.

     

    With much local help, we were able to save most of the land costs related to the EC February 2013 meeting. We have also been reviewing our revenue streams. With the approval of the Active Individual membership program, we are in a position to attract members in areas where we do not have clubs. This category of membership should grow at a good pace in future. The Corporate Affiliate program is also picking up momentum with our relationship with Diversey and Best Western expanding and with Carnival cruise lines coming on board. The Secretary General is conducting a discussion with Sixt car rental to explore additional corporate affiliation opportunities. There are other prospects we are looking at as well. I think you will be pleased with the results of the budget forecasts and the financial modelling efforts of our Secretariat staff.

     

    Membership retention and growth is an ongoing challenge for us all and I am grateful to the Honorary and Past Presidents for their assistance.  We have lost some clubs and some members, but I am glad to report that we are also constantly adding members and adding Clubs. So our appeal as a viable industry organization based on friendship continues to find resonance with potential members.

     

    Membership benefits have been a key area of focus for us. The Benefits sections of the Skål International website should continue to show increasing numbers of offers for Skåleagues by Skåleagues. We were, through the assistance of Task Force Chair, Thom Vincent, and our able Secretary General, able to conclude an agreement with TIS, an interline travel club, which provides great travel benefits for all Skål members. Many of the trips now available with your Skål membership card through this organization, are heavily discounted for our use.

     

    The Secretariat is re-positioning itself as a membership services center instead of a purely administrative body. I am sure you will observe that in the coming months and years. The Secretary General’s job description has been re-aligned to be more in consonance with our changing needs.

     

    We are working towards enhancing our Brand by promoting our Vision statement  “Be a Trusted Voice in Travel and Tourism”.

     

    However, this key objective is our collective responsibility. Please also keep out Our Mission statement in mind, “Through our leadership, professionalism and friendship, work together to enhance our Vision, maximise networking opportunities and develop a Responsible Tourism Industry.”

     

    The Secretariat, the Executive Committee and I have worked hard this past year to live up to the challenges I laid down in my remarks at the farewell event of the Seoul Congress. It has been a long process, but it was important to ensure that the collective will of the membership was recognized and a path forged to the implementation of your guidance. The leadership of Skal is no longer in any doubt as to the direction our members want us to take. We are well on our way on this road, but will need to stay the course to realize our full potential and to achieve our objectives of a better future for Skål. I thank you all for supporting me in this endeavour.

     

    This will be my last communication to you as your President, and I want, once again, to thank each and every one of you who have supported me and made this journey possible. Thank you.

     

    Remember, it doesn’t matter where we are, we are nowhere compared to where we can go.

     

    Thank you.

     

    Mok Singh

    President 

    Skål International

     

     

     

     

  • 09/18/2013 12:00 PM | Laura Lothridge (Administrator)
    Members appreciated the opportunity to purchase a great bottle of wine, already gift-wrapped, for only $10. The wine pull will be held at the November meeting, in plenty of time for those holiday gift exchanges and parties! 
     
    We ask that if you work with wine vendors for your place of business that you ask them to donate a case of wine for this event - ask them to be creative - do a mix and match in varietal and price point (a $15.00, a $40.00, or maybe a WOW $100.00 bottle); we only ask that each bottle be worth at least $10.00 retail. 
     
    If you do not work with vendors, we ask that each member donate what you can; maybe you belong to a wine club or have a few high-end bottles around the house?? Maybe a very rare bottle that could be the featured prize of the fundraiser recognizing the donor?
     
    Please bring your wine to the October meeting or contact me for an alternative.  
     
    Again, thank you all for your help in this important fundraiser for our Skål club. A really fun, yet useful - savory "toasty" prize could be yours!!

    Questions: Please contact Andy Brouillard: abrouillard@pepindist.com


     
  • 09/18/2013 8:40 AM | Laura Lothridge (Administrator)

    Would you like to serve our organization as a board member? If so, we'd love to have you join us! 

    Any active or retired member, who has been a member of Skal for at least one (1) year is eligible to serve on our Board of Directors, which is a two (2) year commitment. 

    Please email skaltampabay@aol.com if you have questions or are interested. 



  • 09/15/2013 5:12 PM | Laura Lothridge (Administrator)


    We will will have our “Give Thanks” wine pull in November– a repeat of our very successful and fun event from last year.  This is your opportunity to do some pre-holiday shopping for those needed holiday gifts.  We also are requesting donations of wine from our members. If you have any questions, please contact our event chair, Andy Broullard: abrouillard@pepindist.com

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