August 2019
HCI Monthly News & Updates
Message from our Board Chair

Hot! Hot! Hot! Touring this time of year can pose a challenge for us as tour directors. I just took a group of 28 over to the Manchester, IA area for the day, and it was one of our cooler days, a chilly 88 degrees! We had a few stops that were going to be in the open air, no air conditioning, along with some walking. I was pushing water every time I talked to them. One customer sternly said she didn’t want to drink too much otherwise she was having to use the restroom all the time. I smiled and replied, “I’d rather you have to pee than pass out!” Always a good time.

Speaking of a good time, make sure you check below for some great opportunities:
1) Participating on a task force! Tina is looking for a few more to participate on each task force. If this is something you have done and would love to do again, or if you have never done so, it’s a great experience! See below for more details.

2) Fall Forum Training. This is a great day for directors to come together and take part in some education that can be applied to both our jobs and personal lives.

3) Continue that growth and join us for Peer Group in Independence, MO! Registration is now open and we would love to see a record-setting attendance this year!

I hope the rest of your summer is Hot! Hot! Hot! while you stay Cool! Cool! Cool!  

Melanie Davis, CBCD
Farmers Savings Bank & Trust
Vinton, IA

HCI is excited to announce the date and location of our 2019 event. Make plans now to attend this one-day training session. We will be covering a topic that many people at Peer Group asked for - LEADERSHIP.

Join us in Altoona, Iowa on Friday, November 8, 2019.

Watch your email for registration information in the coming weeks.

We still need a few more people on each task force. The time commitment is just one hour each month from August through January when you dial into a toll-free conference call line. Click here for the dates and times that each conference call will take place.

We still need people for the following task forces:
  • Banking Task Force - Event Planning - How to plan an event at the bank
  • Travel Task Force - Creative Marketing - Concepts that will help name and market a tour
  • Veterans Task Force -Update the Glossary of Terms
We need Bankers and Partners alike. So, if you would like to be a task force member, send an email to Tina Goeske and let her know if you have a preference for which one you'd like to be on.

Did you know that there is a place to reach out to fellow directors for advice, or to promote a networking opportunity, or to ask how to play a specific game? Check out the Members Forum for recent uploads to help others or to add your own questions.
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The HCI 2020 Peer Group Conference will be held in Independence, Missouri
February 24 - 28, 2020

Member Spotlight
Randy Calaguas
First Citizens Bank
Mason City, IA
The Heritage Clubs program was founded in 1980 by First Citizens National Bank in Mason City, Iowa. When O. Jay Tomson and Colin B. Robinson launched their club, they never dreamed this program would be the beginning of an amazing heritage of innovative travel resources, education and networking for club directors everywhere. Today, the First Citizens Heritage Club is managed by Randy Calaguas. She started at the bank five years ago after responding to an ad in the local paper. With a background in travel, Randy’s unique experiences made her a perfect fit for the job. She had worked as a concierge before becoming a corporate travel planner. She also had worked for a regional airline where she sold tickets, loaded luggage and even de-iced the plane. Talk about hands-on travel experience! She says, “It gave me a lot of insight into the ins and outs of airline travel, and I have a little bit different perspective than some of my club director peers who started out in banking.” Joyce Walker is a banker who became involved in the travel club. She and Randy work closely together on club events: Joyce plans the day trips and overnight trips, while Randy plans the extended tours. They also host a few different events each month, like movies, crafts and seminars.

“This is the best job ever because people are going for leisure travel so we get to have fun and sightsee together. They’re much more relaxed than the business travelers I used to work with, plus we have a fantastic group of customers who tour with us. They make my job easy! And,” she says, “every day I get to make people’s dreams come true. What more could you want from a job?!”

 “I feel so blessed to be able to see and do so many amazing things, and to experience them with such great people.” She has a million great memories, but Randy particularly enjoyed the unique experience of the Military Tattoo in Edinburgh, Scotland. She did this tour with Globus, and it was so popular with her members that they did it a second time the following year. They have a few more tours schedule with Globus (South Africa and an Avalon cruise) and a Colorado train trip with CTN Travels next year.

Randy has found her relationship with HCI to be very valuable, and is always encouraged by her attendance at Peer Group. “I think HCI offers great resources for club directors – tools for networking in order to get new ideas from the other club directors and trip ideas from the PTOs.”
Partner Profile
Islands in the Sun Cruises & Tours
Russ and Susan in a Culinary Class on an Oceania Cruise
Windstar Star Breeze anchored in Geirangerjford, Norway
Russ and Susan at Briksdal Glacier near Olden, Norway
Since their first Peer Group conference in Galveston, Texas in 2006, Russ and Susan Rosenberry of Islands in the Sun Cruises and Tours have been providing HCI members with amazing cruise experiences on rivers, lakes and oceans throughout the US and around the world. They have been to every continent and have personally sailed everything that they sell, so they have the experience and expertise to help your club go wherever you want to go on the best sailing ships in the world.

Amber Thomas, CBCD from Central Bank Illinois in Geneseo has been using Islands in the Sun for 6 years. She is looking forward to the Seine River Cruise in France this September. Amber wholeheartedly recommends Russ and Susan: “I can say so many good things about Islands in the Sun! They not only gave us a wonderful cruise package, but they went the extra mile to customize the tour for our group and have added in several optional tours including a 9-hour excursion to the Normandy Beaches. They even created a unique itinerary for one couple who wanted an extra-special experience. They are delightful and easy to work with. They provide simple, clear rosters that are constantly being updated. They always respond quickly even though they are traveling often. They always have an answer for me, and never make me feel that I am bothering them with all my questions. They do great travel shows. They’re very down to earth and with their vast personal experience, they have all the answers to my customers’ questions. They really do sail what they sell.”

Cindy Blaine, CBCD from Farmers Savings Bank in Traer, Iowa, agrees: "Our first time using Islands in The Sun was in 2009 for a Panama Canal Cruise, and we have been using them ever since. They do a great travel show to help you promote your tour. I have never had a problem with getting in touch with them with questions. It doesn’t matter if we are gone on tour or they are out on tour, they have always responded back to me in a timely manner, 24/7. Susan is very detailed oriented. The paperwork to submit customer information, from deposits to final payment is easy breezy.  Love working with Russ & Susan!"
A recent trend in cruising that Russ has noticed is the desire for taking more intimate tours. Companies like Oceania Cruises and Windstar Cruises offer ships and yachts that hold from only 150 passengers up to 1,200 – as opposed tothe large cruise ships with 3,000 + passengers. So, if you have club members who want to travel in a more relaxed way to places the larger ships can't offer, you can provide them with some amazing opportunities for very intimate itineraries.

Bank club directors are more than just customers to the Rosenberrys, says Russ: “Our customers become our friends. It’s really a neat business because we are able to get to know people from all parts of the country.” They have visited all different parts of the country while meeting with club directors. “We love being able to help them promote their trips, make sure they are successful and that their customers are happy in the bank club – so it’s a win/win/win.” Let Russ and Susan help you build a successful club with happy members.  Contact them to book a cruise today!