January 2016     Happy New Year to fellow Skålleagues everywhere

To fellow Skålleagues everywhere…  

From our NEW President, James Enright

Happy New Year!

I've had the great pleasure of speaking with many of you over the last month or so, to thank-you for your continued membership and support and to ask for your input on how we can increase awareness in our Club and make the overall membership experience even better during 2016 and beyond.

Below are my goals for 2016. I thank each and every one of you for your support to help implement the strategies below and continue the momentum of our club.

2016 Goals:

  • Maintain and expand membership in the Skål Washington DC Club- I am asking each current member to recruit one new member (or more) during 2016. Membership forms available on the Website
  • Young Skål Washington membership – Involve the next generation of Hospitality professionals in our Club; have you thought of rewarding your young colleagues at work, with a membership in YS? Its got to be a major initiative for us all to get New Blood int our organization.
  • Action Committees - I am proposing to introduce several committees into the Skål DC club in 2016 and I encourage you to participate as the Skål DC strength and soul lies in the high quality and participation of its members. More to follow over the coming months.
  • Guest Speakers - Each month I am requesting a club member to be a ‘Guest Speaker’. This opportunity is for you to introduce yourself, your place of business, successes and future opportunities. 
  • Public Relations/Social Media- Consider using the Skål Social Media to help increase your business and visibility. ‘Spread the Word’ in the market place to increase the Skål Washington DC club awareness and the great value of World Wide affiliation.
  • Community Involvement-Support for our local charities

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, January 27th at the Sofitel Washington for our 2016 kick-off dinner.

Please share your ideas for our Club with me. I've already had some great suggestions on various things that we can do to make our events even better.....all ideas are welcome!

Best wishes and Skål,

James Enright

President, Skål Washington                   


Your Officers and Board for 2016

President James Enright

Vice President Eric Pittfield

Secretary Andres Hayes

Treasurer Morgan Maravich

Snr. SIUSA Representative Bill Moyer

Jnr. SIUSA Representative James Deutsch

Executive Secretary Carol Betz

Category Chairs

Membership Bill Croke

Welfare Bob Vaughn

Programs Bill Moyer

Restaurants Andres Hayes

Travel Agents Benita Lubic &

Mary Peters

Transport Chris Seek

Tourism Steve Richer

Public Relations Hugh Barton

Hotels Don Evans

From the Desk of our Executive Secretary..........Carol Betz

We look forward to the 2016 year under the leadership of James Enright as President!  

At the same time, we want to extend a grateful “thank you” to Jim Deutsch as he moves on to become one of our SIUSA representatives.  We appreciate his guidance and diligence representing our club as we celebrated our 60th Anniversary in 2015.  We are surely expecting to have another exceptional year in Skål Washington!

2016 DUES RENEWAL!   Roster updates and payment due by January 20!   Our club dues and final roster are due to SIUSA / SI by the end of January.  Therefore, it is imperative that we have all dues collections finalized prior to submitting our roster.  Any members that have not paid their annual dues nor contacted us regarding their intent to renew will have to be terminated.    Dues can be paid online via PayPal or Credit Card or you can send payment by check, made payable to Skål Washington, via USPS mail to:  Carol Betz, Skål Washington, 12700 Hunting Horn Court, Potomac, MD 20854.

If you are unable to make payment in full at this time, please contact me to advise whether you plan to renew your membership, so we can make necessary arrangements.  We don’t want to terminate anyone, but if we do not hear from you, we will have no option, as the club cannot be responsible for payment to SIUSA without your commitment. 

If termination is submitted, we can reinstate members, once payment has been received.  

Member News

Member Dick Knorpp passed away on January 2, 2016 in Naples, FL.  Dick was a member of Skål for 30 years, as well as Past President of Skål Washington in 2004.  Dick also served as SIUSA Auditor for four years and VP of Finance in 2013 and 2014.  He started two travel agencies in the Washington DC area: VIP Travel and Military Travel Corporation.  Most recently he was the Director of Sales with Cruise Vacations International and relocated to Naples about 4 years ago. Funeral services were held in Naples on January 8, but there are also plans for a memorial service to be held at St. Mary’s Church in Rockville, MD in April. We will advise you when we know final details. Dick will surely be missed as a friend and colleagues, both personally and throughout Skål.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Judy, and their family.     

Bob Vaughn, has recently returned home from a hospital and PT stay due to some back complications.  He is taking it one day at a time and continuing to make great progress.  We look forward to seeing him later this month. 

Meet the 

Officers of

Skål Washington 

for 2016

President: James Enright.

James is Manager, Global Sales at HelmsBriscoe which is the leading site selection and meeting management company in the hospitality industry. He works closely with corporations and associations to identify and procure hotels at the greatest value for their meetings and events.

Previously he was Director of Sales with Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide based in Washington DC and was VP of Sales at GLH Hotel.  He was responsible for the Los Angeles and Orange County, CA offices at AlliedPRA, a global leader in the DMC marketplace. Earlier, he worked at Forte Hotels in senior management roles at hotels such as the Plaza Athénée and George V in Paris, and in the United States as Regional Director of Sales in Chicago and Los Angeles.   James has been a Skål International member since 1987 and is Past President (2003-4) of the Skål International Club of Orange Coast, California.  James is a graduate of Shannon College of Hotel Management, one of Europe's Premier Hotel Schools and lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife Lydia and has a daughter Ashley who lives nearby.

Vice President: Eric Pittfield

Eric is Director of Sales and Marketing at the Holiday Inn Capitol, a Donohoe Hospitality Services property. Eric has 20 years of hotel sales and marketing experience with brands including Marriott, Sheraton, and Hilton. Eric joined Skål Washington, DC in 2013 and enjoys traveling, attending sporting events, and experiencing the local restaurant scene. Born in New Jersey, Eric has also resided in Southern California and most recently Philadelphia. A graduate of UCLA he currently lives with his wife in Downtown Washington, DC. 

Secretary: Andres Hayes

Andres has 25 years of experience in Banking and Marketing most of them in the Credit Card Business where he worked for Visa International for 11 years; 7 years in Miami and 4 in London England.  One of the youngest Regional Managers he was selected as one of the key members to open to new Operations Center for Central Europe Middle East and Africa in 1994.  After Visa International he managed two major Card Operations Center in the Americas and Europe as Senior Vice President.  He was the Restaurant Manager for B. Smith’s in Washington DC for 4 years and the GM for The Mansion on O ST. for 2 years (Fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese).

He is extremely passionate about the hospitality industry and always focused in providing the highest level of service.

Treasurer: Morgan Maravich

 Morgan Maravich serves as manager, industry and member engagement, for the National Tour Association. She received her B.S. in Health, Fitness and Recreation Resources with a concentration in Tourism and Event Management from George Mason University in 2009 before becoming the tourism sales manager at Destination DC.  She recently received her Certified Travel Industry Specialist designation from the American Bus Association in January 2015, the Certified Student Travel Professional designation from the Student Youth Travel Association in August 2014 as well as her Certified Travel Associate designation in 2010. In addition to her work at Destination DC, Maravich has been actively involved with NTA, ABA and SYTA. She sat on various committees, which included NTA's Young Professionals Advisory Group and spent time as an associate director member of the SYTA Board of Directors. Most recently, she was elected to serve as the treasurer for 2016 for the Washington, D.C., chapter of Skål International. For 2014, Groups Today Magazine named Maravich one of the Top Ten Next Gens in Group Travel. Additionally, the Washington, D.C. Guild of Professional Tour Guides awarded her as the recipient of their 2015 Tourism Industry Contribution Award. Maravich just concluded a term as co-president for the College of Education and Human Development chapter on the George Mason University Alumni Board. She currently resides in Washington, D.C., with her husband David and their dog Hadley.

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