October 2020

HCI Monthly News & Updates
Message from our Board Chair

October brings us many things: hayrides, pumpkin carving, and Halloween!! I used to love getting to create or pick out my costume every year as a kid. Here in Iowa you never know what kind of weather you are going to get for trick or treating on Halloween. More than likely we went to all that work on the costume, only to have to wear a winter coat and hat over the top of it. We didn’t care though; it was all about the candy! If my dad took us out, the goal was to hit as many houses as we could. If the light was on, we were ringing the bell. My mom was a more cautious parent. We only went to the houses she knew. We had to introduce ourselves to each adult that answered their door and of course we had to say thank you before we left, otherwise you could hear her yell from the car window, “What do you tell them?” Mom’s process, although different and maybe a little more embarrassing, still got the job done. (I am cracking up at this memory as I type.)

If 2020 has taught us anything, we need to be flexible to change! Many things change this time of year: time, weather, leaves, reporting... wait? What? With Peer Group being held in February, HCI is changing its annual membership renewal date to September 30 each year. All members will now receive their renewal requests in the month of October. Then we give Tina plenty of time to collect all the information she needs to be ready for conference. Win – Win! What do we tell Tina? (in my best Mom voice)

“Live people ignore the strange and unusual. I, myself, am strange and unusual.”
– Lydia in Beetlejuice


Melanie Davis, CBCD
Farmers Savings Bank & Trust
Vinton, IA
Annual Membership Renewal Date Change

Bankers, we are moving our annual renewal deadline to help us collect your travel reports earlier in the year so we can be better prepared for our Peer Group conference which has moved from March to February. The new reporting period will run from October 1 through September 30, going forward. So when you renew your membership for this coming year, you will only report on 9 months - January 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020. We recognize that very few of you will have trips to report, but please complete the online renewal form so we can make sure your profile is updated and we know of any tours that you were able to complete.

We also know that very few of you have traveled with a PTO this year as a result of Covid-19 related cancellations, so you likely won't qualify for the usual waiver of the $100 annual dues for having 15 passengers on a PTO tour. That is why we are offering a "Covid Special" for your 2021 dues! As long as you renew by December 1, 2020, we will waive the annual dues for the coming year.

Don't miss out on this offer. Complete your renewal online today.

3 Simple Questions

Last month's response
All the respondents to our PTO questions last month have had to cancel or postpone a trip with a PTO, were completely satisfied with the way it was handled by the PTO, and are planning to work exclusively with PTOs going forward. We are thrilled to hear that our members use and love working with our Preferred Tour Operators.

New Questions!
We have three more fun questions for you this month. This time, when we report the responses, we will include your name so we can learn a little more about one another.
HCI Family News

We want to share that Rob Callahan, CBCD from First Midwest Bank in Poplar Bluff, MO lost his father Bob Callahan on Saturday, October 3, 2020. Bob was a 28-year US Army Veteran. Please keep Rob and Donna along with their family in your thoughts and prayers.
Happy Thoughts

We would like to share the stories of good news from our members to encourage and put a smile on everyone's face. Whether you're welcoming a tour group, hosting a club event, breathing a sigh of relief over a positive health report or have news about when your club may begin to travel again. Please send us your short description so we can share it with our members. Tina@HeritageClubs.com

Right now we are excited to let you know that Susan Yarolem of Celebration River Cruise has been hosting some small groups on the river. During our Social Hour this morning via Zoom, we were able to watch her greet a motorcoach as it arrived for their tour! And, Renee Zaiser, CBCD from Two Rivers Bank in Burlington, IA took a personal trip with her friends to visit Sight & Sound Theatre in Branson, Missouri. Ezra Wood was there to greet them with a smile.
We have a few more PTO endorsements to share with you. Club Directors have sent us videos where they share their experiences working with HCI Preferred Tour Operators. Click on the names below to watch.
Ozarks' Kirkwood Tour & Travel

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 ezra.wood@sight-sound.com using WeTransfer.com.

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.  
We haven't forgot about Fall Forum Training. We've just decided to post-pone it this year. We will hold it virtually in January.