Your Executive Board 2020 Focus

 Your 2020 Executive Board has already been hard at work this past couple of months and we thought we would share each board member's portfolio and focus for the next 10 months.

Peter Morrison

President Skål International

Mª Teresa Díaz Comas, Vice President. Finance & SOPs

Mª Teresa Díaz Comas

Vice President Skål International

Finance & SOPs

William Rheaume - Vice President Skål International. Governance & Statutes

William Rheaume

Vice President Skål International

Governance & Statutes

Fiona Nicholl, Director Skål International. Communications, PR, Social & Digital Media.

Fiona Nicholl

Director Skål International

Communications, PR, Social & Digital Media

Vijay Mohan Raj, Director Skål International. Partnership, Trade Fairs & Events

Vijay Mohan Raj

Director Skål International

Partnership, Trade Fairs & Events

Burcin Turkkan, Director Skål International. Membership Development, Strategy & Innovation

Burcin Turkkan

Director Skål International

Membership Development, Strategy & Innovation

Marja Eela-Kaskinen, International Skål Council President.

Marja Eela-Kaskinen

International Skål Council President

Daniela Otero, CEO Skål International.

Daniela Otero

CEO Skål International

Peter Morrison, President Skål International

The start of 2020 for me has been dominated by the outbreak and spread of Corona Virus or COVID-19. 

Travel restrictions are expected to have a significant impact on the economies, particularly on Tourism, as well as export and trade through out the whole Skål World.

Though WE all must remain very vigilant, WE must also show the rest of the World that WE are the leaders in Tourism and Travel. WE must continue to travel and encourage friends, colleagues, friends of friends  and in fact everyone WE come across to do so safely as well. WE all must spread positivity and demonstrate that WE will travel.

This year WE have National Congresses, Regional Congresses and of course our World Congress coming up - some soon.

Please DO NOT waver. Please attend. Keep Tourism up there as the Number 1 Industry in the world.

As Skål Asia President Sanjay  Datta aptly put last week:

"Let's all resolve to fight the demons which affect the Travel & Tourism Industry, and move towards achieving our Skål Goal of "Connecting Tourism Globally"


Mª Teresa Díaz Comas, Vice President Skål International

Finance & SOPs

During 2020, in my portfolio as Finance Director, we are overseeing a thorough and daily control of the expenses and incomes of our organization in accordance with the budget approved by the General Assembly in 2019 on board ‘The Symphony of the Seas’. All Skålleagues will be able to view the financial reports on a quarterly basis in the ‘Members Only’ section under ‘Documents’

Updated manuals on the different roles on a National and Area Committee as well as Club Proceedings, Protocol manual and current membership categories have all been completed in a user-friendly design. And put on the Skål International website. 

William Rheaume, Vice President Skål International

Governance & Statutes

My Focus for 2020 will be to:

  1. Integrate the By-laws and Statutes to be consistent and correct.

  2. Review and discuss with Skål International’s legal advisors, the actions needed to ensure an effective governance model between Skål International and the Clubs.

  3. Ensure the Secretariat’s staffing level is correct and confirm any responsibility changes in conjunction with the DT.

Fiona Nicholl, Director Skål International

Communications, PR, Social & Digital Media

2020 is already off to an exciting yet challenging start. As Director of PR, Communication, Social and Digital Media, my 2020 focus is:

  • To work with the team in Spain to create high level content and aesthetically designed newsletters and magazines.

  • To ensure that the Skål International brand is used correctly throughout all our digital channels to maintain a high level of brand awareness.

  • Grow our Skål International communications through external media channels.

  • Continue to work closely with the team in Spain to ensure all members have access to the new Skål International digital platform to continue to do ‘business with friends’.

  • Provide assistance and recommendations to our website developers to enhance the features of our digital platform.

  • Work closely with the Oceania Skål to grow relationships and memberships within the region.

Vijay Mohan Raj, Director Skål International

Partnership, Trade Fairs & Events

We are in the second month of 2020 and the year has begun on a disastrous note with respect to Tourism on account of the Coronavirus pandemic which has spread from China across to the entire South East Asia.

As a consequence, it may be difficult for Skål International members across this area towards their business profitability.

However, this year the members would require even more support through networking and coincidentally, we at Skål International have facilitated the same through the implementation of the Digital Transformation Project that will enable an even more efficient process.

My portfolio would involve Industry relations and I hope to create a team from amongst the ISC members beginning the mid year meeting in Ronda to identify the trade association in their respective areas. This would be followed by conducting joint meetings and seminars to deliberate on bringing synergy in their respective trade activity.

My motto is that we as an organisation should be relevant to the business activity in their Area of existence and this can be value add to becoming a Skål International member.

Our presence in Trade Fairs is of prime importance. However, the effectiveness could be enhanced by an opportunity to be able to communicate the benefits of being a Skål International member. I hope to devise better methods and display material to fulfill this requirement.

Although Skål International has signed agreements and is already listed out the Trade Fairs we are participating my focus would be for local Skål Clubs to be proactive in their area with other Industry Associations.

The membership demographics are mostly skewed and dominated by a few categories. In actual practice, we seldom have members from 36 categories that are eligible to be part of the fraternity.

I plan to educate the clubs on these aspects and hope to bring synergy amongst the Skål Clubs as true representatives of the Travel and Tourism Industry in their area of activity.

True friendship is to bring about Happiness and Prosperity for all and my focus would be in that direction.

Burcin Turkkan, Director Skål International

Membership Development, Strategy & Innovation

I am very excited to serve as your director responsible of the Membership Development, Strategy and Innovation portfolio. Although I was unable to travel to Christchurch due to a recent severe sports injury I had, I was able to attend the 3-day meeting sessions in full via Skype. The meetings went very well and were full of discussions of new ideas/projects along with how to execute them in the next twelve months. I am very happy to share with you the 2020 Membership Development Plan I have prepared that is approved by the Skål International Executive Board for implementation. The plan is prepared to reach the goal of Membership Retention and Growth using Innovation.

In this plan you will find the followings:

  • Analysis of Retention

    • Why Retention Fails in Some Clubs

    • How to Succeed in Retention

  • Membership Growth Plan – Strategy & Innovative Suggestions

    • Growth Incentive Programs

    • Growth with Sponsorships

    • Growth Through Business Networking Platforms/Technology

    • Growth by Starting new Clubs

    • Growth Through Trade Shows

    • Growth Through Increased Membership Benefits

  • Suggested Agenda for SI to Follow

Skål International will be following this plan and set agenda to develop strategies and support our Clubs on a global level. Our purpose in sharing this plan is to advise you on what is planned to be executed by Skål International. Please review and advise if you have any further suggestions to be considered in the plan. With this we hope that you prepare your own annual plan, knowing what is coming up globally and setting up your Club’s goals for 2020.

In a few days, you will receive information on the Incentive Program that Skål International will be rolling out to support new member recruitment. We are very excited and believe that this Incentive Program will be creating a true win-win situation for all. In the second half of the year, there will be a second Incentive Program that is planned to be rolled out that will again support membership recruitment. The goal with these incentive programs is to activate our members local and global business network and benefit from it while creating a win-win situation for all parties involved.

All of us on the Executive Board believe that we can achieve our goals if we work together with YOU all as a team. The entire Skål International Executive Board and I are here to assist you with any questions, concerns and plans you have for your club and membership growth. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time; we are here to assist you

Marja Eela-Kaskinen, International Skål Council President 

International Skål Council will start 2020 by looking at finalizing the integration of Young Skål into general membership categories. The work is already on the way and will be finalized before summer.

We have also taken the task of simplifying the Congress Manual and identifying the essential pieces for a Skål International World Congress.

Our task list for 2020 also includes a new, enhanced Greeter Program, a unified look and feel for Trade Shows globally and fund collecting for the Membership Development and Florimond Volkaert Funds.

Integrating the Speakers’ Bureau to the new database and putting avetting system in place is also ongoing and we hope to see this finalized within the next few months.

All these tasks were identified at the Executive Board Meeting in Christchurch in January. In addition to these, the Council is working on updating and collecting information to help the Executive Board and the staff in Torremolinos. Most of the tasks mentioned above will get their closure at the Council Mid-Year Meeting in Spain at the end of April, so make sure your Councillor is there to represent you!

Daniela Otero, CEO Skål International

These are the strategic guidelines and operational action plan for 2020:


  • Complete the first stage of the Digital Transformation and carry out a successful adaptation at a global level.

    • In the first quarter of 2020, work will be conducted to refine and configure the new tool.

    • A training plan in use of the new tool will be created for officers and members in general.

    • Finalise the website in Spanish and French

    • Work will be conducted on producing websites for clubs that need them.

    • Work will be conducted on optional upgrade packages for clubs and CN so that they can optimise the basic benefits provided, if they so wish.

    • In the second quarter, the potential modules and/or functionalities to be added in 2021 will be assessed and their costs will be calculated.

  • Seriously address the legal framework for the organisation.

    • Need to conclude the revision of the SI Statute and Regulations.

    • Adjust the Club and CN statutes accordingly.

    • Revision of the Handbooks for internal use.

  • Membership: halt the loss of members at the global level and start a growth trend.

    • According to the latest analysis of the membership area, the objective should be fixed on retention, which is the greatest problem today, as we are more successful in uptake.  

    • Regarding the development of and impetus for new areas, it is recommended to established specific cities or areas. We will be able to work more proactively in the prearranged areas of strategic interest.

  • Search for external resources to finance the development projects.