April/May Issue 2021
Skål's Executive Educational Webinar Series Continues in 2021
When the Skål USA Executive Committee met up for their first meeting of 2020 in New Orleans, they kicked around a variety of ideas on how they could best engage the membership and came up with the idea of a webinar, just beginning to be used by the industry. They decided to put together a series of executive educational webinars featuring tourism NGO chief executives. They asked Skål DC member Roger Dow, President, and CEO of US Travel Association, to kick off the series in late March. Little did they know how much the world would change in the next few months before that webinar took place. Their prescience put Skål USA in the perfect position to fulfill their mission of providing maximum networking opportunities, career development, and business growth through leadership, trust, and friendship while supporting a responsible travel industry across all sectors of tourism, at just the right time. 

“A Conversation with Roger Dow” took place on March 26, 2020, and the timing was ideal. The majority of the country had just shut down due to the pandemic. To have an opportunity to speak with the chief advocate of the travel industry and fellow Skålleague from Skal Washington DC at the beginning of the most challenging time our industry has ever faced was exceptionally well received. Over 150 people around the world logged in, and the Skål USA Executive Educational Webinar Series was born. 

“The goal with these webinars is to provide relevant content to our membership to help them with up-to-date information, trends, and leading industry information from across all sectors,” says Director of Membership Morgan Maravich. Skål members come from all aspects of the travel industry, and participants log in from around the world, so Morgan makes sure she finds a variety of speakers to offer something for everyone. “I choose the speakers based on what is going on in the industry,” she says.

The series continues to gain steam in 2021. We have already hosted several successful webinars on continuing education, sharing ideas about how different clubs were getting creative with their meetings during the pandemic, an interactive conversation with the CEO of Tourism Cares, and an update on the Conference industry from IAEE President David Dubois.
NEXT UP: Pauline Frommer, Editorial Director of Frommer's Guidebooks - April 14th EST
Pauline Frommer, Editorial Director of Frommer's Guidebooks will share what changes she's seeing in the market and other issues that will shape travel going forward on April 14th. Register here.
Well-known panelists are scheduled to appear for the rest of the year, sharing their expertise with the members and taking the time to answer questions. “Our goal is for every Skålleague in attendance to take away one nugget of information they can use or share as well as a new resource in the industry on the topic, and that’s the success of the series,” says Maravich. All webinars are free and open to the public and are archived afterward on Skål USA’s website and our YouTube page.  
Carol Hansen of Skål New Jersey's has story chronicled in new book
Carol Hansen has been a member of SKÅL New Jersey for many years. When she was 22 years old she was a flight attendant for Flying Tigers Airlines. For years she has told us about her flight that went down in the North Atlantic. 

In late September 1962, the dramatic ditching of Flying Tiger flight 923 riveted the world. But it was soon eclipsed by the harrowing Cuban Missile Crisis in October. After someone made off with all the official U.S. records, the story was swept into the dustbin of history. Until now: Tiger 923’s pilot’s son-in-law has written a book. By all accounts, it could be the next Unbroken.
 
But why on earth would Skål highlight a tragedy like this? Wouldn’t this put another damper on travel and tourism, that has already been decimated by COVID-19? That’s an understandable initial reaction.  But the fact is that Tiger in the Sea highlights Skal’s core goals of promoting Professionalism; Global travel and tourism; and  International fellowship.
 
Professionalism in how flight attendant and long-time Skål New Jersey member Carol Hansen’s heroics helped ensure that rather than a total loss of life, which all the so-called experts said “should have happened,” most people survived; many living unexpectedly joyous lives. Global travel and tourism in how the book reminds us that flying today is 100 times safer than it was in 1962. International fellowship in how a neutral Swiss grain freighter captained by an Italian skipper led an ad hoc consortium from 9 countries which contributed 61 aircraft and ships to the search-and-rescue of a commercial plane that was mostly carrying young paratroopers who’d just graduated from the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne’s Jump School. Many survivors and rescuers have kept in touch for nearly 60 years. The story is worth the read.
 
More information can be found on the book’s website: http://www.tigerinthesea.com
Skål Southwest Florida uses meeting to entice new members!
On March 24, Skål Southwest Florida had an in-person meeting at the award-winning “The Real Macaw” Restaurant and Bar, a Key West-inspired eatery that has been a favorite spot for over 28 years. President Jack Wert welcomed members and guests and invited the restaurant owner, Siobhan Cleveland, to join the club, and she agreed. President Jack introduced Skål International Councillor Holly Powers as an honorary member of Skål SWFA for her hard work to establish the Club and asked her to give the Skål Toast. Guests included John Ruzich, International Skål Senior Auditor, and several Skål Long Island members. Skål Southwest Florida has been meeting in person since last May and focuses on supporting small privately-owned restaurants in the Naples area.
Photo L to R: Ken Walles, Bozena Krasnicki, Skål Long Island, Holly Powers, International Skål Councillor, Skål Boston, Skål SWFA President Jack Wert, John Ruzich, Skål International Senior Auditor, Skål New York.
Save the Date for our Upcoming Presidents Webinars
An email invitation will be sent to each Club in advance
North
Tuesday, April 6th at 3pm EST
Albany/ Upstate New York
Baltimore
Boston
Central PA
Long Island
New Jersey
New York
Northeast PA
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh
Washington, DC
West
Tuesday, April 20 at 4 pm EST
Anchorage
Hawaii
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Orange Coast
Portland OR
Reno Tahoe
Sacramento
San Francisco
San Jose
Seattle
Midwest
Thurs, April 22nd at 4 pm EST
Arkansas
Chicago
Columbus
Kansas City
Louisville
Nashville
New Orleans
Phoenix
Tucson
Santa Fe
Boise
Thank you to all those that attended the South Webinar last month
REMINDER: The Skål USA NCM will be held virtually May 20th at 1:30 pm EST
Tourism Diversity Matters Launched to Inspire and Create Change For Tourism and Events Industry with Skålleagues in key roles
Tourism Diversity Matters was created earlier this year to foster diversity, equity, and inclusive leadership throughout the industry.   Elliott L. Ferguson, II President and CEO at Destination DC I Washington DC on his appointment as Chairman of the Board. Skal Philadelphia past President, Greg DeShields, Executive Director at PHLDiversity Multicultural Affairs Congress has been named Executive Director, and Skål DC member Roger Dow, President & CEO at U.S. Travel Association is a member of the board.
Read the article "Convention Centers Play A Nobler Role Beyond Economic Impact" in this month's Venue Professional

Tim Hemphill from Skål International New Orleans wrote an article entitled "Convention Centers Play A Nobler Role Beyond Economic Impact" that was featured in the March/April edition of Venue Professional. Click here to be taken straight to the story.
Do you know a member that has recently received a promotion or has been recognized for doing something extraordinary?
If so, we want to share that news with everyone! Email your news item to [email protected], Attn: Movers & Shakers.
Tune in to our New Member Webinar
April 15th - 3pm EST
Skål has so much to offer its members. Don't miss our New Member Webinar to make sure you are getting everything you need out of your membership. Sign up for the webinar here.
Don't miss our upcoming Facebook Live Sessions!
The first Monday of every month the Skål USA Executive Committee will host a Facebook Live to let you have a fully interactive session with our speaker -- and answer any of your questions. This month catch VP of Membership, Tom Moulton on April 5th at 3 pm EST. Log onto FB to participate.
  News from Skål International
The 2021 Quebec World Congress has been postponed to Dec. 9 – 13, 2021
Skål International Digital Membership Card
Skål International has replaced their actual membership card this year with a Digital Card, which you can easily download on your smartphone. To access the Digital Membership Card, members need to log in to the Skål International website. If a member wishes to print their Digital Membership Card, they can download a PDF version directly from the application.
April 28th is World Skål Day
As you might know, April 28th is World Skål Day, when we celebrate the birth of our organization. This year, however, the Skål International Executive Board has decided to extend this celebration for the entire month of April. SKÅL!!!
In Memorium
We bid adieu to Skålleagues we have lost recently
Skål USA Journeys is the bi-monthly official publication of Skål International USA. A special edition will be sent to the membership when there is breaking lightning news to share. We want to share your news with SKÅL members across the country. If you have breaking news or Club news for the newsletter, please send them along to [email protected].
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Skål USA Journeys & Lightning News Editor
Pam Davis, Vice President PR and Communications, (808) 225-8299