President’s Remarks 


Skal International Puerto Rico

New President’s Remarks

April 15, 2008

La Concha, A Renaissance Resort, San Juan, Puerto Rico

I feel like I just won an Academy Award! My good friend Lizette Perez—who introduced me to Skal a few years ago--asked me to make my message brief—so I wrote down my comments and I’ll read them quickly!

Skal International was founded in Paris almost 75 years ago to promote friendship among managers and executives of the travel & tourism industry worldwide.

The idea of an organization whose main purpose is friendship was unusual, perhaps, but it worked. Today there are more than 25,000 Skalleagues in 500 clubs in more than 80 countries.

What does the Skal Club in Puerto Rico do? We have dinner and drinks together in San Juan once a month, get together once or twice a year with our continental Skalleagues, and attend an annual Congress in places like Thailand, Turkey and Taiwan.

In Puerto Rico, we promote tourism through public service campaigns and raise money to help hospitality students and needy children. We network, we sample San Juan’s tourism venues, we talk a lot, but mostly we have fun.

The Puerto Rico Club was founded almost 50 years ago on April 8, 1959. The roster of Skalleagues who have guided this club is long. I would like to thank each one of them--those who are no longer with us and those who are still going strong--for their pioneering leadership and enlightening example, but I promised to be brief!

I do want to recognize such tourism luminaries as Fergie Ferguson, David Mari, Fred Dieterle, Miguel Domenech, Hugh Andrews, Carlos Diago (president in 1983), Clive Banfield, Richard Abati, Mike Benitez, Horst Sicher and Mark Stevensen. These Skalleagues have set the example.

I’d especially like to thank Roy Brown, president in 1974, that was 34 years ago!  Thank you Jose Forastieri, a gentleman who presided 21 years ago in 1987 and still faithfully guides the board, Keith Olson, our leader 18 years ago in 1990, and my friend Bruno Calenda, who was president 15 years ago in 1993.

I want to thank the youngsters—the presidents that I have served with on the board—Maritza Toste, Linda Wheeler, Jose Campo, Irene Castillo, Joanne Ferguson and Hans-Georg Rohrbein.

I want to thank Manny and Nora Casiano, who have sponsored me in Skal since I was first accepted into membership, and who have constantly supported the club in their publications.

Finally, I want to mention an honorary Skalleague, my wife Olga, who has been my unfailing companion in Skal and in life.

My agenda for this year is simple: To keep the spirit of Skal alive and well in Puerto Rico; to organize a fantastic 50th anniversary event, to advance our Hospitality Student Fund, and to do everything I can with the new board to continue the good work of Hans and all my predecessors.

Thank you!

Ronald C. Flores Sr.

© Skal International Puerto Rico 2020