April Skål Monthy Report

April 25, 2017

Skål International USA Executive Committee Adopts Four Issues, Focuses on Membership Growth, and Streamlines Agenda for First Time

All members, both auditors, and staff attended a teleconference meeting of the Skål International USA Executive Committee on April 3.

President Holly Powers presided and allowed the first ever use of a “consent agenda” list of items to approve minutes, financial reports, and individual officer reports at the start of the meeting.  All consent agenda items were approved unanimously.  In the future, any items requiring discussion can be removed from the consent agenda.

President Holly Powers

President Holly reported on her meetings in Washington, DC, with travel industry non-government organizations, including Brand USA, and said that Skål would be working hard to become more relevant with these organizations, as it will increase the overall appeal and effectiveness of Skål for our members.

President Holly also reported that she had attended meetings with the mayor of Richmond, Virginia, and a few key individuals to get a new club started there into which remaining members of the soon to be suspended SI Hampton Roads could join.  She acknowledged SI Washington Vice President Andres Hayes for doing the work on setting up the meeting.

Finally, President Holly shared a proposal from SI Orlando to change the Vice President-Finance to a director with the opportunity to serve multiple terms.  After discussion, the Executive Committee modified the proposal to retain the position as a vice president with a two year term and the ability to run again for a total of four years’ service.

Vice President-Finance Alton Hagen

Vice President Alton reported that he had put our general liability insurance out to bid and it is due back in September, as a sound practice even though we have had satisfactory service from the same company for years.

Vice President Alton reported a nomination for a Member of Distinction award under the MOI for Tom White of SI Orlando for his work on the updated bylaws.  The Executive Committee voted unanimously to put this on the AGM agenda, where a majority vote will be required. Tom White will be on the ballot in Toronto, along with Carlos Banks, whom the Executive Committee approved for this award in February.

Vice President Alton recommended the use of advance reimbursements by using credit card billings for expenses incurred prior to an event.

Vice President Alton offered a proposal from AFEX allowing all Skål clubs to lock in Euro or other currency rates of exchange with a commission to Skål International USA.  The Executive Committee suggested that we seek a sponsorship from them and create a special status of “preferred vendor” for companies we use as an organization.

Vice President-Administration Burcin Turkkan will report back on this matter.

Vice President-Administration Burcin Turkkan

Vice President Burcin reported that SI Arkansas and SI Nashville had qualified to be considered as “Club of the Year” with final information due April 24.

Vice President Burcin also reported that club data forms will be established on line, another president’s webinar will be the first week of June (probably Thursday, June 1), the NASC-AGM agendas are being finalized with reports on the consent agenda, and the next EC call will be on May 8.

President Holly suggested that the focus of our AGM should be on membership, communications, and bylaws changes.

Skål International Councillor Cyndi Golden

Councilor Cyndi reported that she had made all of her arrangements, including shots, to attend the Skål International Council meeting in South Africa at the end of April.  She is leaving on April 27 and returning on May 7.  She was encouraged to look for international issues which Skål could support and make it easier to be a member.

President Holly led a discussion on waiving the application fee for returning former members and finding a way to avoid the choice of paying back dues or reapplying from scratch.  She will write up a bylaws proposal on this.

Vice President Burcin asked to Cyndi to share that better communications are needed from Skål International and inquired if there will be any strategic planning on the agenda.

A letter from the Executive Committee, being drafted by Burcin, will be presented by Cyndi at the meeting.

Vice President-Membership Toni Koster

Vice President Toni reported that the latest membership numbers showed a net gain of 32 members since the last report with seventeen clubs showing gains but three with losses.

Vice President Toni described a new incentive program for membership recruitment which will provide a two night stay in Reno for any Skålleague who sponsors a new member who then attends two meetings within the first six months of membership and pays dues.  A further incentive would be for one Skålleague who recruits a minimum of five members who would then receive a non-transferrable registration and airfare of up to $500 to the next NASC, which will be in Mexico.  All of the minimum five members must pay 2018 dues and have joined ninety days prior to the recruitment cut off day.  The recruiting Skålleague can sponsor members to any United States club in either the active or associate category.  If there is a tie for most members, the winner will be decided by a drawing.

There was also a short discussion on whether associate membership should become active membership moving ahead.

Directors-Membership Jim Dwyer and Dave Ryan

Directors Jim and Dave gave updates on several clubs and activities of interest.

Auditor Art Allis

Auditor Art reported on his work on the MOI, a long, non-digital document.  He proposed starting it from scratch and getting it down to less than twenty pages, after which he will put it on the Skål International USA website with an index pending Executive Committee approval.

Director-Communications and Public Relations Steve Richer

Director Steve asked for approval of the four issues recommended by the Advocacy Committee, namely Project Time Off, public private funding for national parks, the trillion dollar infrastructure program, and freedom to travel with security.  The Executive Committee approved this unanimously.

Director Steve reported on an initiative to “twin” US clubs with the nine Skål clubs in India for India-US Tourism Year.  SI Washington has already volunteered to twin with India’s capital club, SI Delhi.

Director Steve reported that he would write a new release of the issues just adopted.  (Completed in early April with significant pickup.) A third release of the year will report on our new relationships with the various NGOs.


Other Business

The club of the year will be awarded a cash prize of $1000.

The next Executive Committee meeting is scheduled for May 8.




Steve Richer

Director, Public Relations and Communications

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