After our conversation with outgoing President, Lisa Conway, Skal Philadelphia decided to interview incoming Skal USA President, David Ryan. Skal Philadelphia is thrilled to be able to cover this transition. Here’s what David had to say about his new role:
1. Now becoming Skal USA President, what are key initiatives that you are looking to work on this year? My primary focus in 2020 as Skål USA President will be membership growth. Included in this will be getting Clubs to hold annual membership drives, keenly focus on membership retention and adding new Clubs. I also want to put a sharp focus on PR and raising the Skål brand in the United States to its’ rightful place as the premier travel organization.
2. What are the biggest opportunities facing Skal USA and Skal International right now? Our biggest opportunities are on the Young Skål Professional side – we have a great opportunity to grow our base of Young Skål Professional members and every Club should be actively working on growing their Young Skål Professional base of members.
3. In your experience, what tips and advice can you give to Skal clubs looking to grow and retain membership? Clubs need to provide something of value at their meetings that make members want to join or stay in the Club. Meetings need to be organized, start and end on time, have a detailed agenda and speak to the needs of the members on a professional level. If people are going to give an evening of their month it has to be something that helps them professionally or they won’t come back. It sounds very basic but you’d be surprised how many Clubs aren’t doing the basics well. Clubs also need to always be recruiting potential members – every Club will lose members every year for a variety of reasons – they need to be constantly feeding the pipeline of new members.
4. What is your Skal sales pitch for new members? Join the premier organization and the trusted voice in tourism – and get involved. You will get so much out of your Membership in Skål and it will only enhance your experience if you get involved on the local and national level.
5. What is your leadership style for the Skal USA Board? What excites you most about this incoming board? I will take a collaborative approach – we have a great mix of experience and youth on the Executive Committee this year so it will be great to get some new and fresh ideas to go along with our experienced leaders. It will be exciting to get some new Clubs up and running in 2020 – I have a goal of 3 or more new Clubs next year.
6. What key phrase or lesson will you keep in mind throughout your term? What will keep you focused and grounded in this busy upcoming term year? Key phrase will be – Focus on Membership Growth and Retention at the National and Local levels. The Executive Committee should and will be focused on activities that have the end goal of membership growth. I am honored to have been elected President of Skål USA and I will take this position very seriously and will do my very best to move Skål USA in a positive direction.
7. What do you want to be remembered for during your term? I would like to be remembered for elevating the Skål Brand in the USA to new levels of prominence. I also would like to be remembered for starting several new Skål Clubs in the USA.
8. What is your job outside of Skal? I am a Strategic Account Manager for Classic Vacations – a tour operator based in San Jose, CA.
Thank you to David for your insights! Skal Clubs throughout the USA look forward to your focus of this upcoming year!
Stay tuned for more exciting Skal articles and interviews!