June 2020
HCI Monthly News & Updates
Message from our Board Chair

Is it summer yet? We were just together 3 months ago, and it seems like forever! I hope you are finding creative ways of getting through these longer days. A few weeks ago, I surprised my husband with a unique date. We ordered curbside from a steakhouse and went to a local park. Sit at a picnic table? NO, that is silly. We got out of the van, and climbed into the back seat, flipped down the DVD screens and enjoyed our dinner and a movie, COVID style. We laughed at the reactions of people who were walking by, but we did not care. No laws were being broken, and quality time together was achieved. We were making the best of this time, which made for a great memory! 

The HCI Advisory Board met with the Contingency Council to discuss the future of Peer Conference. Again, no laws were broken. We stayed safe and met through Zoom and it was a successful 2-day meeting. The consensus from everyone was that meeting in person was the #1 choice. There were several discussions on different possible scenarios, along with backup plans if this all continues - all great ideas. The Advisory Board will look at all the ideas and discuss them further at the meeting in July. We hope that by February 2021, we will ALL be together again, in person!

Keep smilin’ (and stay legal)!

“A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest man” – Roald Dahl


Melanie Davis, CBCD
Farmers Savings Bank & Trust
Vinton, IA
Ask the PTO Webinar

If you missed the Ask the PTO webinar that took place recently, you can now view it online, as it is posted on the HCI Facebook page or at this link.

The topic is Safety, and the panelists share what tour operators and their partners are doing to make it safe for Group Travel tours to resume following the Covid-19 outbreak.

Here's what some of our members had to say about it:

"PTOs brought up some things that I had not even thought about." -June O'Hanlon, Cadence Bank (Macon, GA)

"Even as a DMO, this webinar was good for me to hear what tour operators are doing as we begin to reopen." - Jessica Weishahn,Visit Omaha (NE)

"As club directors, we do our research, but we rely on the expertise of our PTOs. This webinar was very informative." -Diane Susong, CBCD, Home State Bank (Crystal Lake, IL)
Lois Dunbar announces her retirement

As I am writing this, I have been working from home for 51 days, and sheltering in place four less days. I am also retiring in 52 days, after 23 years in banking and 22 years as a program director.

I fully expected that the last few months would be busy with visiting, reviewing and updating all of the regional leaders. I expected to have a little sadness with the departure but I also expected a good deal of excited anticipation for “my next adventure”.  I told my supervisor I knew it was going to be strange, but this is just downright weird!

My years as a program director have been fun, educational, and fulfilling. I’m appreciative of all the opportunities I’ve had to travel and it’s been a joy to travel the world with our bank’s customers. I’ve learned, along with the customers from all our educational sessions, and laughed, and cried, and hugged at our various other encounters. It’s been a joy to get to know the customers and become friends with so many of them. As I retire, that it is my greatest sadness - that I will not see the customers on a regular basis.

HCI Peer Group meetings have always been my annual shot of adrenaline. Not only have I come home with fresh ideas but a sense of renewal as well. Being with people “who speak your language” and who “really know” what you do is priceless. The educational aspects and resources of HCI are invaluable; as is the support and help of the partners, DMOs and staff. Working with my fellow leaders, developing friendships, and networking throughout the years have been extremely important and vital.

I’ll miss you all. Please let me know if you are traveling alone or with a group in the Springfield area. I’ll meet you for lunch or just to say hello and give you a hug. I can be reached at loisdunbar0210@comcast.net or 217-971-0211 after July 1, 2020.

Lois Dunbar
Voyagers Coordinator
Prairie State Bank & Trust
Springfield, IL

Rally Calls
We have enjoyed getting together every few weeks to share concerns, strategies and best practices with each other on our Rally Calls. We invite you to attend our next one on Thursday, June 11 at 10 am CT . This will be an All-Member call.

Purpose of the call: It's June! Are we coming into the light yet?
1. What states and countries are looking like as they are starting to open?
2. Are Banks actively booking 2021 dates now?
3. Are there any last minute opportunities for 2020 our banks should consider?

Simply dial 877-256-0794 to participate in the conversation.

Check out HCI's Covid-19 Response page for summaries of previous calls and more.