May 2016

From our President, James Enright

To fellow Skålleagues everywhere…  

but particularly in DC.....

I want to take this opportunity to thank our fellow Skålleagues Chris Thompson and Roger Dow for the wonderful hospitality they provided to the Skål DC club at our April dinner meeting. The Brand USA headquarters was an outstanding location, with a wonderful buffet provided to our members and guests.  The presentation by Chris and Roger were just what our members needed to hear, as their work on behalf of the US Tourism industry, is generating business for all of our members around the USA and of course the  DC region.

IPW 2017 will be here before we know it! This provides a great opportunity for our Skål DC members to get involved and showcase our region to visitors from around the world. 

DC Skålleagues all!  Ambassadors Ms. Oliver Wonekha and Girma Birru, with our joint hosts for the evening Chris Thompson, President & CEO of Brand USA and Roger Dow, President & CEO of US Travel Association , with James Enright, President Skål Club of Washington DC.

Skål International has just announced two new membership categories that I want to share with you as follows;


Eligible as members:

  • C.E.O./General Manager of medical facilities (includes hospitals and clinics) that offer overnight, patient care • Medical tourist facilitators (must have proof of accreditation) and medical tourism case executives that are registered with the Medical Tourism Association (MTA)
  • C.E.O./President/Executive Director of medical tourism associations • Managers marketing medical tourism to the travel and tourism industry 
  • Positions of a similar nature to those described in other section and related to medical tourism, i.e. retail travel agents specializing in medical tourism and medical tourism marketing.


Eligible as members:

  • Owner/President/C.E.O./General Manager/Director/Manager of sports venues catering to teams who spectators include visitors travelling more than 50 kms to attend the event
  • Owner/President/General Manager/Director/Manager of sports teams that attract international participants and/or spectators travelling a distance of 50 kms or more
  • Owner/C.E.O./General Manager/Director/Manager of sporting events companies promoting sporting activities, teams and venues 
  • Owner/C.E.O./General Manager/Director/Manager of sports tourism operators
  • Owner/President/C.E.O./General Manager/Director/Manager of sports councils (associations) whose mandate includes the promotion of sports teams, sporting activities, venues or countries.

I hope to see you at the May 18th Auction at the Holiday Inn Capitol by the Smithsonian Museum, US. Capitol and L’Enfant Plaza.

James Enright

President, Skål DC

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

LAST CALL!!    Annual Auction is May 18!!    We have just a few days left to receive donations.  We welcome donation items such as hotel overnight stays in DC and around the country, local attraction packages, local sporting event tickets for the Redskins, Nationals, Caps or Wizards, brunch and dinner certificates, airline and train tickets, international travel options, and always of interest are the wine or liquor baskets of cheer!  Of course, any travel related items are always a great crowd pleaser!  This is our clubs primary fundraising event and the monies raised from this event will support our annual charitable organizations; the Florimond Volkaert Fund,  Tourism Cares and the Joe Neary Memorial (previous Skål member) for the Little Sisters Carmel Piyuma orphanage.  In addition, the funds raised will also assist with administrative costs along  with registration and travel expenses to have Skal Washington represented at the NAASC and Skal International Congresses.   Your support is greatly appreciated AND NEEDED in making this a successful event!

NEW WAY TO CONTRIBUTE TO OUR AUCTION:  We are planning a WINE / CORK PULL which will offer various wine bottles and gift items.   We need donations of unique and varied wines ranging a minimum of $20 value, but feel free to be more generous!  The wine bottles will need to be gift wrapped in tissue paper with a bow.  And feel free to include wine openers, aerators, coasters, wine glasses or fun drinking napkins along with your wine!  All items must be brought to the dinner on May 18 ready to raffle….. please email Carol Betz if you can assist. 

Proceeds from our auction will also benefit the following groups:

*Charitable Sponsorships of Skal Washington

Florimond Volkaert Fund- The fund was set up in 1954, in the name of the acknowledged founder of Skål, to provide assistance to Skålleagues and their immediate families who are in serious need of assistance primarily as a result of catastrophic or unforeseen circumstances.

Tourism Cares - Tourism Cares preserves and enhances the travel experience for future generations. We channel the philanthropic passion and commitment of the travel industry to protect and restore valuable destinations we all care about—and to support those destinations as engines for prosperity, civil society, and pride in their communities. Our domestic programs focus on industry-wide volunteer events, capacity building for the nonprofit stewards of tourism sites, and scholarships and mentoring to support a talented workforce. Globally, our efforts include corporate social responsibility partnerships, strategic investments, and advocacy and education across the travel industry.

Joe Neary Memorial Charity / Carmel Piyuma Convent, Carmelite Sisters - The Joseph T. Neary Memorial Charity was founded in Colombo, Sri Lanka in November 1990 during the 51st International SKAL Congress to provide for the relief from suffering for some of Colombo’s poor, inner-city children and to assist a small group of Apostolic Carmelite Sisters in providing nursery and pre-school day care facilities for these children from ages 4 months to five years.  The Carmelite Sisters now operate three project sites/homes for the children and are improving their livelihood and education opportunities. 

Member Updates and Regional News

There will be a Memorial Mass for Dick Knorpp, a Past-President of our Club, at 10 am, Friday, May 13, 2016 at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 520 Viers Mill Road, Rockville, MD 20852. 

Dick passed away on January 2nd of this year in Naples FL after a long illness.

Golfers Get Ready

Baltimore Skål Club has challenged DC Skal to a Golf Match this summer. Nothing has been finalized yet, but, as a start, we need to get a team together and I want to hear from All Golfing Members, with a view to arranging a small afternoon tournament, from which we'll finalize who will be on our team.

All interested Golfers, please email me at

It was great to see Bob Vaughn back at last month's Board Meeting and dinner. Bob continues to get stronger every day and is delighted to be fully involved again in his Board Member role

The Baltimore Club's Annual Crab Feast will be on Wednesday August 17th at 2070 Kurtz's Beach, Kurtz Avenue, Pasadena MD 21122

Maybe we beat them at Golf during the day and drink their beer at night???? Just a thought!!!

Skål Scholars Mentorship Program

We’re delighted to announce that we are launching a Pilot Mentorship Program this summer for students studying Hospitality Management at local Colleges. The Young Skål Committee are seeking three Skålleagues to act as Mentors and eight Skålleagues to volunteer a half day of their time to meet with and introduce their particular business to the students. The eight businesses (Industry Hosts), ideally will be as different as possible, within the range of business that we have within the club; Travel Agency, Hotel, Tour Operator, Catering Company, Tourist Attraction, Meeting Planner, Ground Handler, etc

The Program is planned for a week in late August, during which the students will visit the eight businesses, meet with their Mentors and write a paper on the different aspects of Hospitality that they’ve seen during the week.

The committee is made up of Niamh Tallon, Dupont Circle Hotel (Young Skål), Stuart Levy, George Washington University, Chris Seek, Solimar International and Bill Croke, Helvick Hospitality.

This is your chance to pay-forward and share your knowledge with the next generation of our industry. Please consider joining us as a Mentor or as an Industry Host. To do so, please drop me an email at 

Sponsorship Program

Chris Seek is also busy on helping get our Sponsorship program off the ground, with more details available over the next month or so. The program will recognize those host restaurants, hotels and businesses that support our Club throughout the year, as well as affording other companies, that may not have that opportunity of hosting us, the chance to purchase such exposure.

This Month's Skål DC Event

Wednesday, May 18th 


Holiday Inn Capitol 

Hosted by:  

 Eric Pittfield 

Director of Sales & Marketing


Members, Prospective Members  and Invited Guests  

A 3-minute walk from the L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station

Self Parking at Hotel after 5pm is $11

Time & Location:

Reception - 6:00 PM

 Dinner - 7:00 PM


Holiday Inn Capitol 

   550 C St SW
Washington DC 20024

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