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

Hello, my friends! I hope this finds you well as summer is coming to an end. It has been a long summer and a short summer – so here is the long and the short of it:

As you start to look at 2021 and 2022 – think of booking with HCI PTOs… exclusively! You will be glad you did! We brag all the time how much we love our PTOs but here is the why:

HCI Preferred Tour Operators have continued to work during this covid travel shutdown, especially for our HCI bankers. They have been joining in on our rally calls, listening to our needs, frustrations, and concerns. They have been working to find ways to make our position as a club director a little easier to handle with all of the changes that keep coming at us. Working on altering their tours to accommodate smaller groups with the same exciting adventure. They have been working, even though they have not had any trips happening. All for us! They know us and they know our needs. PTO could stand for Personal Tour Operator, or Private Tour Operator.

So, I am reaching out to all of my banker family; Let us show our love in return for our HCI PTOs, they deserve it! 

“Family… a group experience of love and support.” - Marianne Williamson

Together we can!


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

4 Simple Questions

This month's issue of our Newsletter is focused on the incredible work our PTOs have done to help our bank club directors manage the Covid-19 challenges. In that spirit, here are 4 survey questions we are asking about your interactions with PTOs this year:
Thank you for considering our PTOs for all your future club travel!
Here are the responses to the August questions. Thank you to our respondents. Sounds like you're staying busy and enjoying some fun and interesting hobbies and books!!

What new hobby have you picked up?
  • Learning how to stay occupied during quarantine
  • Stand-up paddleboarding
  • Mexican Train (game), Biking
  • Sewing and baking
  • Healthy cooking
  • Gardening
  • Organization - EVERYWHERE and EVERYTHING
  • Lots of reading and Netflix
  • Gardening has become a bigger focus and joy!!
  • Working with buttons - lots of crafts on Pinterest
  • Bingeing on movies
  • Finding alternative news sources
  • No new hobbies but enjoying my usual.
  • Reading
  • Bicycling up to 15 miles in 1 1/2 hrs
What new books have you read?
  • No new books - crochet a lot!
  • "Where the Crawdads Sing"
  • "Becoming", M Obama ; "You Can't Do It Alone", M Whitesell
  • Everything from Ashley Farley
  • "Uncommon Service"
  • "Where the Crawdads Sing" - HIGHLY RECOMMEND
  • "Outlander" series
  • "Decluttering at the Speed of Life" by Dana White
  • Lots of mystery series, currently based on quilts
  • "American Dirt"
  • "The Hidden Life of Trees"
  • "Educated", Tara Westover
  • "Where the Crawdads Sing"
  • Too busy riding my bike and being outside
What new recipes have you tried?
  • Chicken, walnut, grape & cranberry pasta salad
  • Chicken, peppers, potatoes,onion kabobs on grill
  • Sourdough Bread
  • Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
  • Will try making pickles since I took up gardening
  • Seared Scallops (: YUM
  • Several Crock-pot recipes
  • Homegrown tomato sauce!
  • Summer vegetable recipes-slow cooker soup, zucchini
  • Brussel sprouts
  • BBQ Tacos
  • Blue Cheese Potato Salad!
  • Blueberry Streusel Bread
  • Many muffins new recipe each week
Happy Thoughts

Several of our club directors have sent us videos where they share their experiences working with HCI Preferred Tour Operators. Click on the names below to watch.

Love using HCI's Preferred Tour Operators?
Send us your video testimonials

It's easier than you think.

  1. Record a short message on your phone.
  2. Send the file to using

Whenever you have a chance, please record your own personal testimonials about your experience using our Heritage Clubs PTOs during Covid. Tell us an experience you had with a PTO that helped you manage the Covid travel problems.We are trying to separate our PTOs from the rest of the tour operator world by showing how well they have responded to everything including cash refunds where requested.

We want to use these stories in our Peer Group marketing and to encourage your fellow and new directors to book their tours with our incredible PTO members.

  • Please provide testimonials of your experience using the PTOs during Covid. Be as detailed as possible and feel free to incorporate humor and sentiment! Everyone loves to laugh and feel a tug on their heart strings 😊

  • Feel free to give a shout out to HCI for providing amazing resources which include our 8 PTOs.

  • Don’t pay attention to the length of your video. Take your time and share your experience to the best of your ability, in your own words and cadence. 

  • In addition to your detailed testimonial(s), please provide some “quick-bites”. Things we hear often such as, “I can’t imagine NOT using a PTO” or “Heritage Clubs is a family”. These can be easily incorporated into videos and promotions later on.

  • Make sure that you have good lighting - you want to be facing the light source - and be aware of any background noise that could be distracting or make it difficult to hear your voice.

  • When recording yourself, make sure you are taking the video horizontally.

 For assistance, contact Ezra Wood by email or call 417-379-4709.  

A Word of Encouragement

On March 27th, I wrote a memo to all our members regarding what was happening with the Coronavirus and how it was impacting every one of us. At that time, we were very uncertain what the rest of 2020 would look like, and we are still uncertain. What I said then, still applies now 4-1/2 months later:

The HCI family is.... a family. As a family, we care about all of our members and their families and their customers. We know that the professionals we meet and get to know at Peer Group conference, in our offices and online care about each other and want each other to succeed and to be safe.
When Bankers, Partners and PTOs do business together, we do it with respect, care and understanding that the future for all of us includes each other.

And now as we look forward to 2021 and the return of travel, we have created a conference theme that is sounding familiar:

The word "together" has never felt so important. Our families, our friends, our business acquaintances and the friends we have not yet met all around the world need to all be thinking of each other, embracing the need to protect our world community and
band together for the benefit of us all.

Ted Nelson
HCI Executive Director