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Professionals in Tourism


Beth Cohen, President
MSC Cruises

Mark Flager, Vice President
SilverSea Cruises Ltd.

James Hansen, Treasurer
Hyatt Place, WPB

Paul Cook, Secretary
Boca Raton Travel

Richard Stafford, SIUSA Rep.
Century Hotels Inc.

Board Members:

Teresa Nix
Princess Cruises/Cunard Line

Paul Alterman

Jawayne Keiser
Intercoastal Consultants Group

Gail Gruenbaum
Travel Guard

Executive Secretary/Treasurer
Carlos Banks
Pleasant Holidays

Skal Calendar

President's Letter
February, 2012

Greetings Fellow Skalleagues! 

Happy Leap Year! Leap Day is February 29, which is an extra day added during a Leap Year, making the year 366 days long – and not 365 days, like a common year. Nearly every 4 years is a Leap Year in our modern Gregorian calendar. Leap Years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the sun. It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days (a tropical year) to circle once around the Sun. If we didn't add a day on February 29 nearly every 4 years, we would lose almost six hours every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days! Well, enough about that...

If you weren’t with us at the West Palm Beach Marriott last week, you missed an AMAZING dinner. I have been a member of Skal since 2007 and I have to say, that was the best dinner I have ever had! The Chef and his talented staff treated us like Kings and Queens. One course after the other was better than the last. The Marriott has its own garden and the ingredients were organic and picked fresh from their own garden. The dishes were made from scratch including the homemade pasta and sausage. You would never believe you were eating at a hotel property, but dining at a 5-star restaurant. Our own new Skalleague Cheri Rutledge, General Manager of the Marriott, was a wonderful host for the evening. Please consider enjoying dinner at the Marriott’s restaurant, Bistro Ten Zero One. You won’t be disappointed!

We also had some guests that joined us for this fabulous dinner: Andrew Garnett, President and CEO of Special Needs Group and Special Needs At Sea, Jim Smith from JIMSMITHCTIA, Inc., Jan West, our fellow Skalleague from Skal of D.C., Terry Sam, Director of Sales from the Holiday Inn Palm Beach Airport Hotel & Conference Center and a special friend from my days at the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ian Black, Director of Group Sales at The Brazilian Court Hotel & Beach Club.

All in all, a great evening! Please join us in March when we go to Tropical Acres Steakhouse (Tropical Acres Steakhouse) in Ft. Lauderdale and recently re-opened after renovations due to a fire. Recently voted one of the top steakhouses by Channel 10 in Miami and winner Best of City Search 2010, be sure to mark your calendars for this one!

Oh, and by the way, just a little folklore that goes with Leap Year. According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Bridget struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every 4 years. This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap Day balances the calendar. So, just a heads up guys...

Cheers and Skål!


Beth Cohen,President
SKAL Ft. Lauderdale & Palm Beaches


Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 – Tropical Acres Steakhouse – 2500 Griffin Road in Ft. Lauderdale, 333123
Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 – 2012 Installation of Officers – TBA

Contact any one of your Board members to share your ideas and suggestions for the Club. Don’t forget to check our website to get more information on our club, pictures and the upcoming Skål Monthly Reception & Meeting.

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Members who wish to have a link put on the website to their business can do so by sending a ‘live link’ to .

Members who have had a change in email address are requested to contact Paul Cook at to inform him of those changes.

Other changes (address, phone, etc.) should be made on the SKAL website, with a copy to Paul Cook.