March 2017

Fellow Skålleagues

A message from Skål International, Washington DC President, 

James J. Enright

We had a wonderful dinner at the Fairmont Washington, D.C Georgetown, where our member Shane Krige, General Manager and his team did an outstanding job. Please visit the hotel when you have a chance, as it looks spectacular after the new renovations. We had our first Guest Speaker of the year; Cait DeBaun. Her photo is  among  February's Gallery on the Website and here's a summary of her presentation

Presentation by Cait DeBaun -Director Communications, 

Project:Time Off at U.S. Travel Association, 

America is at a critical crossroads: either change our behavior and remove barriers to taking time off, or continue down the unsustainable path that has led to a stockpile of 658 million unused days and countless unintended consequences.

In 2015, American workers reported taking off just 16.2 days, almost a full week less compared to the pre-2000 average (20.3 days). We call this America’s Lost Week. The growing stockpile of unused paid leave is contributing to worker burnout and even larger balance sheet liabilities that directly affect a company’s bottom line.

With more than half (55%) of employees leaving days unused, America’s no vacation tendencies have created a stockpile of 658 million unused days. What’s worse—employees forfeited 222 million vacation days in 2015. These days could not be rolled over, could not be paid out, were not banked, or used for any other benefit—they were purely lost. These days add up to $61.4 billion in forfeited benefits across the workforce. 

Compared to previous Project: Time Off research, the challenges facing American workers have lessened slightly from 2014 to 2016. While the numbers are moving in the right direction, there is still vast improvement that needs to be made before we can proclaim the beginning of a real cultural shift in the workplace.

Unfortunately, our work martyr complex is reinforced by company culture, chiefly poor communication around time off. Even though senior business leaders overwhelmingly recognize the importance of using time off, nearly two-thirds (65%) of employees say their company says nothing, sends mixed messages about, or discourages using their time off.

The Opportunity

Beyond the personal and professional benefits, the economic opportunity of Americans taking time off is noteworthy.

The more than 650 million unused vacation days represent billions in lost economic potential.

Had Americans used the vacation time they earned in 2015, it would have meant $223 billion in spending for the U.S. economy. Servicing the needs of those unused vacation days would have created 1.6 million jobs, resulting in $65 billion in additional income. If Americans were to just use one more day, it would be $34 billion in total spending for the U.S. economy.

Skål DC needs to spread the word, if for no other reason than it will benefit us personally and our business.

Thank you Cait; we very much enjoyed and learned from your presentation!

Click HERE for more information

Skål  International, Application

Please complete the form, print and sign it and mail to Carol Betz.

The above headings are hyperlinks to those particular pages on our web-site. For help on any of the above topics, please click on that wording, while online

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

Membership Renewal Thank you for submitting your 2017 renewal dues in a timely fashion!  We are very thankful that you have renewed your membership and hope you find Skål Washington to be a valuable resource for networking and business.  Our club is looking forward to another great year and we are hoping to submit Skål Washington for Club of the Year !   Our meetings this year will have speakers from time to time along with special events and designated spouse events.  Please continue to check the Skål Washington website for updated information.  If you have any ideas or suggestions, please reach out to me or one of the board members.


2017 AUCTION -    Skål Washington will once again be holding its Annual Auction and Fundraising Event in May!   Our event is both a silent and live auction!  In order to make this event a success, we need your help with donations.  Please start thinking about something you could provide whether it be a restaurant gift certificate, hotel overnight stays, spa packages, DC sporting event tickets such as Redskins, Nationals, etc., wine gift basket or other variation, theater tickets, or even a Keurig!   And remember, the donations do not need to be local to DC, they can be anywhere!  Perhaps you have a beach house you rent out or a cabin in the woods?  Why not offer a weekly or weekend rental?   The funds raised through our auction are used to support our charities including the Florimond Volkaert Fund for Skål members around the world that may need assistance, Tourism Cares, Joe Neary Charity (fellow Skålleague) supporting a children’s home in Sri Lanka as well as our club costs for sponsoring prospective new members and subsidizing some of our special events.   If you have any questions, please contact Carol Betz, Executive Secretary, , via email. We look forward to having your support again for this exciting event!

IPW 2017, June 3-7 in Washington DC!!  International Pow Wow, hosted by US Travel Association (now referred to simply as IPW 2017) will be coming to DC!  Skål Washington is planning to host an event for fellow Skålleagues attending IPW so please plan to attend our event as well.  More details will follow soon! 

Recent Happenings of our DC Skålleagues

Skål Scholars

Under Chris Seek’s chairmanship, Skål Scholars is preparing for another great year. Read all about it on our Website or by clicking Skål Scholars 2017

Many of last year’s Industry Hosts were so impressed with the program and the quality of our The Scholars that they signed-up for this year already, but I’m sure Chris will want some more coverage. Any Volunteers?

This Month's Skål DC Event

Reception & Dinner at 

The Dupont Circle Hotel 

Hosted by :

Mark Roche-Garland 

 General Manager

Time & Location:

 Monday, March 20th, 2017

Reception 6:00 PM

Dinner 7:00 PM

There will be a short presentation by Destination DC  during Dinner


The Dupont Circle Hotel 

   1500 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036

   Phone:  (202) 483-6000

Parking $10 per car, with validation

Dupont Circle Metro - Red Line 

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