April 2018

Message from our Board Chair

Happy Spring everyone!
I returned home from our peer group meeting in Branson totally exhausted and completely rejuvenated at the same time!  I decided this must be the "One Thing" about being part of HCI and attending peer group.  The sensory overload of education, entertainment, fun, and connecting with old friends and making new ones, somehow drains the body, fills up the soul and restarts the driving force that sustains us throughout the year until our next conference. We had a fantastic Fam tour that started our week exploring Missouri, providing not only wonderful destination ideas but an additional opportunity for networking and building relationships.
This was my 15th peer group conference, and I came home with new ideas on how to grow my club membership, prove value to my management, stream line processes and offer new, exciting and fun travel opportunities to my club members.  I appreciate the input of our first time club director and partner attendees and the valuable fresh insights they shared with all of us.

In early May the advisory board will meet in LaVista, Nebraska, the sight of our 2019 conference.  During our meeting we will review the results of this year's conference and begin the planning process for another wonderful HCI experience.  The Nebraska team has great plans for us, so mark your calendars and join us March 11-15, 2019 in the Heartland!
One of my favorite quotes comes from Helen Keller -"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."  When I think of this, I think of HCI!  Thanks to all of you for a great conference, and I am looking forward to another wonderful year on the advisory board.

Val Kelsey, CBCD  

Member Spotlight: Linda James
Landmark Bank
Houston, MO 
After eight years in high-stress positions of loan officer and banking center president at Landmark Bank, Linda James was looking to make a change. She loved Landmark and she loved banking, so luckily the perfect position of Club Director was available. She says, "It is hard to believe that was 10 years ago. It is amazing how quickly time flies when you love your job and have 735 great friends you can spend time with traveling." She says she enjoys her members almost as much as she enjoys her two great grandchildren! Her club is primarily a travel club, though she does plan two annual Christmas parties with dinner and entertainment for the bank's seven locations.

One of her most memorable trips was a fourteen-night Mediterranean cruise with Islands in the Sun. She loved learning about the history and culture of Italy, Greece and Turkey, and their significance in the early Church. It was overwhelming, but rewarding to learn all the information that they took in on each excursion.

Her favorite destination is Alaska, which she has visited three times. "It always sells well," she says. She loves the variety of scenery of this stunning state, from the snow and glaciers to the wildlife to the mountains reflected in the lakes. Alaska never disappoints!

Though she has been an HCI member for years, she had not been able to attend Peer Group until this year. She was excited to join us in Branson at the 2018 conference and found it to be a very good experience from an educational perspective. The knowledge that she gained about using liability waivers to protect the bank, as well as how to negotiate, was "great and very helpful." Additionally, she enjoyed meeting people and making new friends. She likes that it was a smaller group of people, which allowed some great one-on-one exposure. She said everyone was everyone was extremely friendly.

Partner Profile: Historic Philadelphia
Elfreth's Alley
Independence Hall
Philadelphia: America's Birthplace

The Historic District in Philadelphia is where the American Dream was founded. It's where courageous visionaries crafted the model for modern-day democracy that inspires people globally to embrace the power of their individuality and our human potential. In recognition of these world-changing events, Philadelphia recently became the first American city to receive designation as a World Heritage site.

The birthplace of the nation is rich in history - but there's more to it than that. While Historic Philadelphia, an area that spans from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine to Lombard Streets, boasts serious historical cred, it's also home to buzzed-about restaurants, laid-back beer gardens, owner-operated shops, ten hotels ranging from intimate boutique to 365-room properties, and pushing-the-boundaries art galleries.

Within one square mile, visitors will find all of the below and more:
  • Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that changed the world when the fathers of our nation used the location to debate and adopt both the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.
  • The Liberty Bell, a symbol of freedom that predates our nation's birth. Despite being audibly silenced, the Liberty Bell rings out as an inspiring symbol of freedom all around the world.
  • The Museum of the American Revolution explores the dynamic story of the American Revolution using its rich collection of Revolutionary-era artifacts, personal items, letters, diaries and works of art.
  • The President's House, where both George Washington and John Adams spent most of their presidencies before the White House was built in Washington, D.C.
  • National Museum of American Jewish History, the only major national museum dedicated to telling the story of the Jewish people in America from 1654 to present.
  • African American Museum in Philadelphia, where visitors can explore the history and stories of African-American people and those of the African Diaspora.
  • The National Constitution Center, an interactive museum dedicated to the document on which our nation was founded, and the impact different interpretations of the document have had on the nation and world since it was adopted in 1789.
Coming in 2019!
  • At the National Constitution Center, a major Exhibit about the Civil War and Reconstruction.
A great resource for information on the Historic District is visitphilly.com/historic  and suggested itineraries can be found at discoverphl.com/visit/plan-your-trip/itineraries/revolutionary-war-itinerary/

When you are in the planning stages, reach out to the Historic District Expert for customized help designing an itinerary for your groups, Mark Beyerle. You can reach him at historicphilly@specialty-usa.com or (215) 625-7980.
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