April / May 2022 Issue

Skål USA asks Clubs to donate funds raised for Ukraine to Skål International

We are all heartbroken and horrified by the atrocities happening in Ukraine. SKÅL Bucharest has been on the front line since the beginning as Romania has a direct border with Ukraine. Our Skålleagues there have been fundraising, loading trucks with winter clothes, blankets, sleeping bags, medical equipment, food, and more. Initially, Skål Bucharest was taking donations but they quickly became overwhelmed. Skål International stepped in, put together an Emergency Aid Committee, and opened a special account to gather funds to support their efforts and as many Ukrainian refugees as possible.

The Aid Committee is being overseen by two Skål International Past World Presidents to make sure the funds are distributed properly. They will work closely with Skål Bucharest as the front-line club providing help to refugees on every level, including transportation to neighboring countries to help refugees reach the next point of stay and calling out for volunteers if and when needed.

Skål USA urges any member that wishes to help to make a personal donation to their GoFundMe, and any Club that has raised funds to help with this humanitarian crisis, to send their donation directly to this newly created fund via a direct bank transfer.

Bank Donations

Beneficiary: Asociación Internacional de Skål Clubes - AISC

Bank: Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria


IBAN: ES68 0182 0481 6102 0173 1823

A Message from your President - Richard Scinta

Dear Skålleagues,

There's a lot going on in the world right now, and through this phenomenal organization of ours, we are making a difference. You just read about our efforts to assist the Ukrainian refugees. It's a terrible situation there and thank you all for doing what you can to help. There has been significant support from some of our members and individual clubs. It's great to see Skål lead the way! Our annual NASC Congress in Orlando is coming soon, and I am looking forward to seeing everyone who can make it. Getting back together in person is a crucial step to the travel normalcy that our industry needs! We have a lot of clubs participating, but remember ALL members can attend, and the rate for the congress is the lowest that it has been in many years. Also, pre-and post-nights at the Crowne Plaza near Universal Studios are remarkably inexpensive, so please take advantage of that. 

Thank you for being loyal Skål Members! We have a fantastic group of influential industry leaders in our clubs, and it is at times like these we can genuinely make a difference and make a name for Skål.

See you all soon,


Please Register for NASC

NASC 22 Save the Date ENGLISH.png

NASC will take place from May 13- 15, 2022. There are still a handful of Clubs that have yet to register. Just a reminder that this is a MANDATORY meeting. Skål Orlando has created a flexible and affordable 3 day/2-night Congress, and since it is mandatory, every Club that sends a voting delegate is given a $500 credit to defray their costs. If you have yet to register, please do so here.

Skål New Orleans Raises $5,000 for the Refugees

Skål New Orleans held a raffle at its March meeting at the Jack Rose Restaurant in the Pontchartrain Hotel, with 100% of the funds going directly to the Ukrainian Refugee Fund established by Skål International. A dozen of their 100 members donated prizes to the raffle and the 60+ members in attendance raised $4,100 bidding on them. The next day the Club emailed their membership letting them know what was raised, and an additional $600 was received. Their Club donated $300 for a total of $5,000 which has been sent to the bank of record.

This is the 2nd fundraiser New Orleans has had in the past 3 months. During their Holiday Auction, they raised $8,916 ($1,000 of that was contributed by Skål Boston) with the funds going to the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation. This foundation assists Louisiana’s hospitality employees in the same way that the Florimond Volckaert Fund assists Skålleagues.

Skål New Orleans says their members have always put others first and have stepped up to the plate when asked and are so proud of their team. We couldn't agree more. This is what Skål is all about. Way to go New Orleans! #wearestrongertogether

Kim Priez, Sr VP Tourism, New Orleans & Company, Lois Sutton, Publisher, Where Traveler New Orleans, David Bilbe, GM, Omni Royal Orleans, Stephanie Turner, Sr VP Convention Sales & Strategies, New Orleans & Company

Pamela Pipes, CEO, New Orleans A LA Carde, Greg Hoffman, CAO/CFO Grayline Tours/New Orleans Steamboat Co. Gregory Leighton, CEO/CAO New Orleans School of Cooking, Sandra Dartus, Retired/Associate

Kevin Kelly, Owner,

Houmas House Plantation

Brett Bares, VP Airboat Adventures,

Al Hebron, Retired

Skål D.C. Raises $2,000 at Ukrainian Restaurant

Skål D.C. had their March Dinner at New Heights Restaurant in Washington D.C., and members donated auction items to raise money for the Skål International Ukrainian Fund Bank. The venue was very appropriate, seeing as the restaurant is owned by Olena Fedorenko, originally from Ukraine and a future Skål DC member. Olena hosted the Skål DC members & guests to a wonderful Ukrainian Dinner and created a mini-museum that included the Ukrainian flag and items from her homeland to share. Skål D.C. raised $2,000 for the Ukraine Refugee Fund and inducted two new members that night. Way to go guys!


Skål DC President Randy Herron and Skål DC Secretary and sponsor Kristi Pruitt, Expedia Group inducted Karla Erales, General Manager, Sofitel Washington D.C.

Olena Fedorenko speaking about the troubles her family currently living in Ukriane are facing. Also pictured are Past Presidents Morgan Maravich (2019) and Andres Omar Hayes (2018) with his back in the photo.

Skål DC President Randy Herron inducted Sherry Abedi, Area General Manager at Viceroy Washington DC/Hotel Zena alongside Skål DC Secretary, and sponsor Kristi Pruitt from Expedia Group

Skål Boston Hosts Special Installation Luncheon

Skål Boston got together at the Boston Harbor Hotel for an unforgettable luncheon to hear from their outgoing President of the last two years, Beth Stehley, as they welcomed their 2022 board that sees Mary Chin at the helm.

Left to Right:  Stephanie Pappas (Treasurer), Joe Mellia (Board-at-Large), Beth Stehley (Immediate Past President), Marianna Accomando (Board-at-Large), Kevin Panetta (Vice President), Mary Chin (Newly Installed President 2022), Efren Aponte (Secretary), Erin Gilroy (Board-at-Large), Trish Berry (Assistant Secretary/Treasurer), Dennis Graham (Outgoing Auditor), Carrie Campbell (Board-at-Large / Membership Chair)

Skål Hawaii Meets Maskless!

It's been a long two years, but less than a week after the State of Hawaii dropped the last of its COVID restrictions, Skål Hawaii was finally able to get together without their masks on – at a buffet no less! At their first in-person meeting since restrictions were dropped, Skålleagues gathered at Prince Waikiki's signature restaurant 100 Sails, featuring an elevated buffet complete with sushi chefs – all things that have been on pause in Hawaii during the past few years. Members donated gift cards to raffle off to raise funds for Ukraine and were all smiles as they celebrated a return to normalcy in the Islands.


Napili Kai Beach Resort General Manager Gregg Nelson with Past President Jennifer Chun, Director of Tourism Research at the Hawaii Tourism Authority


Patrick Kozuma, General Manager at Aston Waikiki Beach Tower with Elton Murata, President of Nett Distribution who donated gift cards to raffle off for the Ukraine fund.


Simeon Miranda, General Manager of the Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk shown here with Robert Small, President of Host Publishing and HTA's Jennifer Chun.

Please Share Your Event Info on Facebook

Is your Club having an event that you'd like to share?

Took some great pictures you want people to see?


Please post them to Skål USA's Facebook yourself.

We will approve them as soon as possible.

Skål Boston's Charity Auction is now Live!

In addition to donating $1,000 to the Ukrainian Refugees, Skål Boston is dedicating resources to continue their annual fundraising efforts for worthy organizations as well. Their current online auction is going on now and will be live until April 11th with some incredible prizes available. Monies raised will benefit the New England Center and Home for Veterans.

See what they are auctioning off here.

What is Skål? #IAMSKAL!

Now more than ever, the fact that Skål prides itself on uniting one another across the globe and working together through friendship, is so very important given what's been happening in Ukraine. Seeing how Skål Bucharest jumped into action, immediately followed by Skål Clubs across Europe is inspiring, then Clubs that are too far away to have boots on the ground began the drumbeat to raise funds to support the clubs that are through monetary donations. Though our normal goal is to unite and promote tourism around the globe, members around the world rallied together to do what they can during this difficult situation. This is the epitome of what Skål stands for. Skål works together. Skål works to unite. This is Skål. You are Skål. We are Skål!

It's time the rest of the world learns what Skål is. The next time someone asks you what Skål is, there is only one answer... I AM SKÅL! The more videos we have the better – so we can link them all together – the way Skål is linked together across the world. The next time you have a moment, please film a brief 25-second video telling the world.... #IAMSKÅL!

Please post your I AM SKÅL video on social media and be sure to tag all videos with the hashtag #IAMSKAL so we can see it and share it.

Please keep videos to around 30 seconds and post them online. Feel free to post them to the Skal USA Facebook page, tag us on Instagram and Twitter and LinkedIn. We will post all videos on our YouTube page. Please tag all entries with the hashtag #IAMSKAL. Let's let the world see who Skål really is!


News from Skål International

April 28th is Skål International World Day. Join President Burcin Turkkan and the Executive Board for a live toast from their mid-year meeting in Málaga, Spain. 

REGISTER HERE for the 1st Zoom session at 3:15 AM EST

REGISTER HERE for the 2nd Zoom session at 10:00 AM EST

Did you know more than 34% of our membership is comprised of women?

Don't miss the latest issue of Tourism Now - there's a great article featuring 23 women from around the world that are leading Skål International today.


We bid adieu to Skålleagues we have lost recently

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2022 Hashtags

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#IAMSKAL #skal2022 #wearestrongertogether #SkalForUkrainians

Skal USA Website Link

Skål USA Journeys is the bi-monthly official publication of Skål International USA. A special edition will be sent out when there is breaking 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 to info@SkalUSA.org.

Skål USA Journeys & Lightning News Editor | Pam Davis | Vice President PR & Communications | (808) 225-8229