Skal USA Updates

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New Orleans, a town full of hospitality and amicale, served to be the perfect setting for the newly elected Skål USA Leadership Team to plan the year ahead. The beginning of a new era for Skål International and its Skål USA affiliate, was very much on everyone’s mind, as we were welcomed by the Crescent City. Perhaps the most important and challenging decade is upon us as Skål membership worldwide, including the USA continues, to decline, clubs are closing and more competition is growing in many seasoned and successful Skål club markets. However, there are positive signs, as the recent Skål International World Congress was a success, meeting host, and Skål USA New Orleans, continues to grow, with almost 90 members. Skål Boston, Orlando and other clubs are reaching record membership levels and nearby Skål Canada is adding members and clubs as well as many European and Asian regions. The new Digital Transformation, years in the planning and development, has been launched by Skål International, with the new Skå website, promising increased communications, consistent branding messages and easier online administration and flow of information. While introduced with many segments not working properly, the Skål International team has made great strides over the past eight weeks to fix the bugs; developing specific training videos, step by step instructions on how club officers and club members can navigate the new Skål website and a responsive help section (entering a job ticket). All of these issues were in the background as the newly elected Skål USA leadership committee began the important task of crafting their scope of work for the weeks ahead during the annual Skål USA Winter Executive Conference Meeting. This year all elected members were present at the conference along with the Skål USA Auditor, JoAnne Ford, Past President Lisa Conway, Skål International Director and past Skål USA President Burcin Turkken and several key members of the Skål New Orleans organization. Hundreds of years of Skål leadership were eager to share new ideas and commit to the future of Skål. Before the serious planning began on Saturday, the time-honored kickoff reception and induction ceremony, sponsored by the host hotel, Higgins Hilton and host club, brought tradition, celebration and great food and drink to the executive committee and Skål New Orleans membership. The ensemble awoke the next day eager to start the day, fresh with positive memories of the night before celebrating will Skålleagues from all over the United States. The day was full of reflection, overviews and evaluation during the first executive committee meeting of 2020. After the meeting was over, a sense of a positive agenda was developing and camaraderie amongst the group was evident. “No drama this year,” exclaimed one of the Skål USA tenured leaders. The next day activities included the first ever full planning session where the executive committee and a few invited quests meet to lay the framework for the beginning of the new decade of Skål USA. Lead by President David Ryan, Dave laid out his top goals for the year knowing that what we decide today, will have implications for years to follow. Following much discussion on the goals, a very detailed discussion followed on the membership status of the organization, club by club, and what procedures, processes, and direct assistance could be helpful to help strengthen the organization. The meeting concluded with Jim Dwyer, VP of Membership, revealing his groups plans and Tom Moulton, VP Communications shared his strategic plan designed to engage the hospitality and travel community outside of Skål assisting the growth of members through new clubs and strong existing clubs. Copies of all of these plans can be found on the Skål website address located below. Be sure to share your thoughts on these plans as they are living, working plans and are constantly evaluated and modified throughout the year.

New Skål USA Webinar SeriesMarch 26, 20202 PM (EST)
The 2020 exclusive Skål USA Webinar Educational Series kicks of March with a conversation with Roger Dow, President and CEO of U.S.Travel Association. More details soon!

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