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Becky Reincke, President
Springhill Suites

Richard Stafford, Vice President
Century Hotels, Inc. 

Ian Black, Treasurer
Brazilian Court Hotel

Jerry Eastep, Secretary
Park Group

Theresa Nix, SIUSA Rep.
Princess Cruises/Cunard Line

Carlos Banks, EST
Pleasant Holidays

Board Members:

Beth Cohen
MSC cruises

Paul Cook
Boca Raton Travel

Mary Sue Jurkowski
Norwegian Cruise Line

Lisa Hamilton
Club Med

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Professionals in Tourism

President’s Letter
January, 2016

Thank you to all of you who joined us for our first meeting of 2016 at the Riverside Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale! Unfortunately, several of our members were dealing with everything from illness to a dog bite but we still had a nice turnout! It was a pleasure to welcome Maria Price from the Atlanta Club who has moved to our area and will transfer to our club.

We started the evening with a moment of silence for Dick Knorpp, former SIUSA Vice President of Finance who passed away on January 2nd. He became a member of our club in December. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

We also took time to remember Jim Ponce, a celebrated Palm Beach Historian, who passed away December 28th at the age of 98. He was a friend of many members of our club and attended many Skal meetings as he supported and loved the hospitality industry.

We recognized our members from Sixt Car Rental who is now a sponsor of Skal International and is offering discounts to Skal members worldwide. Kate and Irina shared info on US locations as they weren’t listed in the SI Newsletter, so please check it out!

The board announced the proposed slate of Officers and Directors for 2016. They are:

PresidentIan Black
Vice PresidentDick Stafford
SecretaryCecilia Hudnet
TreasurerLisa Hamilton
DirectorsPaul Cook
 Paul Cook
 Teresa Nix
 Becky Reincke
 Jerry Eastep
 Kate Merchant
SIUSA RepresentativeCarlos Banks

Voting by members for the new board will be held at the February dinner meeting.

Dick Stafford announced our upcoming dinner on February 16th at the Marriott West Palm Beach. This is always a great meeting so please make every effort to attend. At the February meeting we will also be voting for the 2015 Venue of the Year – the list of monthly venues is attached to this emailing.

Our March dinner will be a very special event. The International Cruise convention that has been held in Miami for years is moving to Ft Lauderdale. The convention is always attended by many Skalleagues from around the world and we will be hosting a special event that they will be invited to. Thanks again to Erica Gregory we will be having a dinner cruise on Windridge Yachts. The details will be announced in the next couple of weeks and posted on Skal International's website. The date is Tuesday March15th – please mark your calendars and as always guests are welcome.

Speaking of attendance, we will be implementing a prepayment and cancellation policy for our dinners and events in the near future. The Board realizes it is difficult for our industry to make plans in advance but our need to make this change is necessary. Most venues need our count by the Friday prior and of course, we can add a few before our meeting but what hurts us are the no-shows and last minute cancellations because we are still expected to pay for those meals. We are going to do everything we can to make this work for all of us.

Our club has submitted our application for SIUSA 2015 Club of the Year and are a finalist for the award. We have also met all of the qualifications again for next year’s Skal International Club of the Year providing we have at least 49 members in April. We currently have 49 members but there may be a few current members that do not renew their membership this month due to work situations. We encourage everyone to bring a potential new member to a dinner and if they join Skal the sponsoring member will receive a $50.00 credit.

Best wishes to our members celebrating birthdays this month:

Lauretta DeMeo  January 7
Dick Stafford  January 10

Don’t forget to give us your great ideas for our upcoming meetings, new venues and events! Your board is here for you and we want to make 2016 the best ever!

Don’t forget to check our website to get more information on our club, pictures and the upcoming Skål Monthly Reception and Dinner Meetings.

Yours in Skål,

Becky Reincke
Skål International Ft. Lauderdale & Palm Beaches