December 2021/January 2022 Issue
A Message from your President - Jim Dwyer
Well! We’re heading into the last month of the year. What were you doing last year at this time? If you were like me, you were regretting that you wouldn’t be visiting friends and family over the holidays. Hopefully, for us all, there’s a bright light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. The pandemic is certainly not over, but we are getting together again. Our Skål clubs have been meeting in person, and I’ve been lucky enough to have been invited to some “in-person” meetings. Smiles, hugs, and pure joy!
Congrats to all of you since we have not only maintained our membership numbers this year but have grown. We’ve done a remarkable job engaging our members either virtually or live. We found and have used Zoom more creatively than we could have imagined. And, why not keep using it because it has made our Skål world smaller and more inclusive. Many clubs are using it to stay in touch with their “twin” clubs. Others to grow their network. It’s a good thing!
For the first time, we’re using Zoom to meet the candidates running for Skal positions. We’ve never been able to do this before and most likely will do it every year from now on. The candidates will no longer be faceless names who you’ve probably never met. Now you’ll see them and hear from them before the election and find out how they plan to guide Skal moving forward.
Finally, thank you for your help and support through another trying year. Keep in mind why we belong to this great organization. Friendship, Friendship, Friendship!!! And look beyond your local chapter! You have friends everywhere. Reach out to an Skål member anywhere, and you’ll find a friend.
Enjoy the Holidays, stay safe and well, and hopefully, our paths will cross very soon. - Jim Dwyer
On behalf of the entire 2021 Skål USA Executive Committee - Happy Holidays!
We would like to extend our thanks to Jim Dwyer, Tom Moulton and Morgan Maravich who are all stepping off the board after many years of service. Morgan, a member and past president of Skål Washington DC has served as Director of Membership for the past 2 years. Tom, a member and past president of Skål Tucson, has served on the Skål USA Executive Committee for 7 years as the Regional 5 & 6 Vice-President (3 years), Vice-President of PR/Communications (2 years) and Vice-President of Membership. Jim, a member and two-time President of Skal New Jersey, has served on the Executive level as VP Region I, Director of Membership (2 years), VP Administration, VP Membership, and of course, as President. Skål international USA is better for their service. Thank you all for your years of dedication.
On January 1, 2021, Skal Miami had a grand total of 18 members. Things were not going well, and only 14 had paid their dues. Their president, Karin Andersen, assembled their board, made a membership plan, and they got to work. Boy, did it work! As of November 22, 2021, Skal Miami reported that they had 68 members! Remarkable! Inconceivable! Miraculous!
Through hard work, enthusiasm, and determination, they achieved what some thought impossible. Skål Miami has added 50 new members during the pandemic. Karin says, "Resiliency, commitment and connecting people in our hospitality industry for new opportunities, kept us going during the pandemic. Besides some new collaborations we encountered so many new friends who enjoy being together and learning what the industry and their peers have to offer. SKÅL International is one of the best global networks in our industry."
Karen has also taken the time to work with other clubs in trying to build their membership. She and her board are shining examples of Skål at its finest. Networking, support, camaraderie, and friendships are great foundations to build upon and are the foundation of what Skål is. Bravo to Karin and Skål Miami!
Congratulations to your New 2022 Skål USA Executive Committee!!
The votes are in! Below please see your next Skål USA Executive Committee. Congratulations to all that ran!
President: Richard Scinta, SI Orlando
International Skål Councillor: Holly Powers, SI Boston
Vice President Administration: Alton Hagen, SI Kansas City
Vice President Finance: Arthur B. Allis, SI Tucson
Vice President Membership: Karen Trevino, SI Arkansas
Vice President Public Relations and Communications: Pam Davis, SI Hawaii
Skål USA Internal Auditor: Steven Rodriguez, SI Tampa
Skål Boston Gives Thanks and Gives Back this November
A group of nearly 90 Skålleagues gathered at the iconic Boston Park Plaza in late November to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season and for the first time, work together to give back to community. Members and guests worked together to assemble over 500 bags of essential supplies that would be donated to Boston’s Healthcare for the Homeless and their patients.
Efren Aponte, Skål Boston’s 2021 treasurer spearheaded the event. He said the idea was inspired by the annual December meeting, where the club has a heavy charity focus. He asked himself “instead of giving back once a year, why don’t we do it more often? I did a lot of research on different organizations around Boston. Skål is an organization and a leader within the city and the hospitality industry. I believe it is important for us to include the homeless community in our charitable efforts as a part of our city. As a destination we need to be a part of the solution.”
In addition to opening their hearts, members were encouraged to open their wallets and over $3,300 was collected to support the event. Beth added “a thank you to our members for their ongoing generous contributions.”
Club President Beth Stehley and Treasurer Efren Aponte
Prospective member Renee Parks, VP Mary Chin and board member Trish Berry.
Members celebrating their hard work with over 500 bags assembled for donation
Skål Hawaii Finally Meets In-Person!
Living under some of the strictest guidelines in the country, Hawaii was only able to pull off one small outdoor meeting over the past 22 months before the City shut down any possibility of in-person meetings again. Last month, they were finally allowed to hold a small get together at an indoor restaurant. Rules mandated that only two tables of 10 could get together, so many members were unable to attend, but it was a great kick-off to resumption of normal activities, as Hawaii lifts most of those restrictions on December 1st. The last Club around the country to get back into the swing of things... Hawaii is finally back!
Heidi Richards, Ted Sakai, and Dave Evans
Guest Kamile Kahalewai and Rachel Lii
Nadine Murata and Ryan Nagata
Skål New Orleans: 71 Years and Still Going Strong!
Skal New Orleans's October met recently at the Louisiana Children's Museum with over 60 members in attendance. They pinned 3 new members bringing their total membership count to 93 with two more prospective members in attendance. Skal New Orleans is celebrating their 71st year as a Club with Skal International and growing every day!
President Shelly Pigeon with John Boyd
President Shelly Pigeon with Lisa Blount
President Shelly Pigeon with Cathryn Giff
Website Update: Still Missing Pics from a Few Clubs
Boy, this website project is HUGE! The project is moving along, but we're not quite there yet. Thank you to all the Clubs that have sent along a photo for the page that lists all the USA Clubs, but we are still missing a few of yours.
Remember - The picture must be a scenic image without people. Please do not submit pictures of your Club members. It should be a landmark that identifies your city... say the Golden Gate bridge for San Francisco - or something along those lines. We were able to find an appropriate image for most of the clubs that did not submit anything, but still seeking images from the following clubs.
RDU/Central North Carolina
Have you checked out the Skål USA Career Center?
Jobs for Skål Members... from Skål Members
members post for FREE!
ALl SKÅL USA Members can post jobs for FREE on the SKÅL USA Career Center through the end of the year. To take advantage of this limited-time offer, please use promo code FREEPOST during checkout
What better way to celebrate the holiday spirit, than by spending time with your fellow Skålleagues and Christmas shopping via their silent auctions! Both Skål New Orleans and Tampa Bay have special Christmas fundraisers coming up that they would love everyone to attend. Can't attend Tampa Bay's event? President Steven Rodriguez would be more than happy to act as your proxy on some pretty amazing hotel deals.
Skål New Orleans Christmas Fundraiser
Skål Tampa Bay Live Auction
EVERYONE WELCOME TO ATTEND!
Please join us if you can
STILL LOOKING FOR THAT PERFECT XMAS GIFT?
Skål Tampa Bay has put together an extensive list of items to bid on. Please email Steven Rodriguez for information on what's available and how to bid.
Don't forget to register for NASC
The 2022 NASC Congress,“Fun In The Sun For You Orlando 22”, will be held May 13-15, 2022. After two long years of being apart, Skålleagues from across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico will get together to conduct business among friends, network, and have fun!
Clubs booking the full Congress and staying at the host hotel with a delegate attending NASC will receive a $500 credit for attending. If you haven't registered yet, please consider doing so. Can't wait to see you!
Winter Executive Committee Meeting
The Winter Executive Committee meeting will be held in North Little Rock, January 27th & 28th, 2022 in conjunction with Skål Arkansas 50th Anniversary event, Friday, January 28th. All Skålleagues are welcome to observe the Executive Committee meeting. The audit will precede the EC meetings on Wednesday the 26th. Events will be held at the Wyndham Riverfront Little Rock.
Mark Your Calendars for December 9th
This year Skål International has decided to hold their AGM virtually again. It is imperative representatives from every US Club have representation on this call.
Please mark your calendars for December 9th, 2021 at 11 p.m. EST. More information will be sent as it becomes available.
Let's Get Social Together!
Please help us cast a wider net to get the word out on your behalf. Is everyone in your Club following us on social media? We need everyone to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. The more people we get following - the better for all. Log on and get social with us!
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 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.
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