2015 President’s Remarks



Skål International Puerto Rico

Annual Installation Ceremony


New (2015-2016) President’s Remarks & Closing:


Good Evening and thank you Ronald, thank you Mickey and thank you to all Skalleagues.  As you all know SKAL is a professional organization of Tourism Leaders around the world, promoting Global Tourism and Friendship.  It is the only international group uniting all branches of the Travel & Tourism Industry.  Our Vision is to “Be a trusted voice in Travel & Tourism”.  Our Mission is “Through our Leadership, Professionalism and Friendship, work together to achieve our Vision, maximize networking opportunities and support a responsible tourism industry”.


For this year 2015-2016 our New Board of Directors will focus on three (3) main and basic initiatives directly extracted from our Mission:


1)    Achieve our Vision: “Be a trusted voice in Travel & Tourism”

2)    Maximize Networking Opportunities

3)    Support a Responsible Tourism Industry


The way we will be approaching this three (3) initiatives will be as follows:


Initiative #1: Be a trusted voice in Travel & Tourism

TRUST forms the foundation for effective communication, member retention and motivation and contribution of discretionary energy, which is the extra effort that people voluntarily invest in life, work or at any organization.  When trust exists in an organization or in a relationship, almost everything else is easier and more comfortable to achieve.  With that in mind, we want to accomplish the following:

a.     Meet with the Deans of the Universidad de Puerto Rico and Universidad del Este (Carolina), Pontifical Catholic University (Ponce) and Universidad InterAmericana (Fajardo, Ponce and Mayaguez) to discuss strategies on how SKAL can support and help to develop those future professionals for our Travel & Tourism Industry.

b.    Meet with the Presidents and CEOs of the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association (PRHTA), Meet Puerto Rico (Previously known as the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau-PRCB), Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization, among other well-known Travel & Tourism organizations to actively participate and collaborate in some way with their initiatives and plans for the year.


Initiative #2: Maximize Networking Opportunities

Networking is a major aspect of our organization and through the years we have held monthly dinners preceded by one (1) hour reception.  For many Skalleagues, the short reception and long sit-down dinners have not provided sufficient time for networking.  To maximize networking opportunities, for this calendar year 2015-2016 we will be having six (6) of our traditional dinner meetings and four (4) new networking receptions where members, potential members and guests can meet and mingle freely.  We will also have three (3) optional self-funded outings, better known as “La Fiesta del Sorullo… Cada cual trae lo suyo”.  For translation to English please ask Robert Rodriguez.


We are currently in the negotiation process with all the venues and establishments, but our calendar plan of Dinner Meetings, Receptions and Self-Funded Outings for the year is as follows:


April 2015                  -           Laurel Restaurant (Reception & Dinner Meeting)

May 2015                    -           Intercontinental Hotel (Networking Reception)

June 2015                   -           Fogo de Chao (Reception & Dinner Meeting)

July 2015                    -           Castillo Tours Catamaran Experience (Self-Funded Outing)

August 2015              -           Blue Martini (Networking Reception)

September 2015         -           Dorado, Ritz-Carlton Reserve (Reception & Dinner Meeting)

October 2015             -           Princesa Restaurant at Old San Juan (Networking Reception)

November 2015         -           Gran Melia Hotel (Reception & Dinner Meeting)

December 2015          -           Villa Flores Experience (Half Day Self-Funded Outing)

January 2016              -           Rosa Mexicano or SeraFina (Reception & Dinner Meeting)

February 2016            -           Nordstrom Bar at Mall of San Juan, Caribe Hilton or Mist Bar

at Water Club Hotel (Networking Reception)

March 2016                 -           Chef Calderon (Reception & Dinner Meeting)

PENDING                -           Site-Inspection “Hard-Hat” Concept Visit to the “largest

monument in the American Hemisphere” and Arecibo’s soon to be newest Tourism Attraction, the Columbus Project, owned and led by our SKAL Member Mr. Jose Gonzalez Freyre (Self-Funded Outing).


54% of all our 2015-2016 events will take place at a venue or location owned or managed by a SKAL Member, which means we are providing our members with the opportunity to showcase their Restaurants, Hotels or Facilities. 


All Receptions and Dinner Meetings will take place the second Tuesday of the month, with the exception of the September and November events, which we will move them to a Friday so that members can extend the experience and potentially stay at the Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve and Gran Melia.  The specific weekends for the Catamaran Experience, Villa Flores Event and Site-Inspection “Hard-Hat” Concept Visit to the Columbus Project will be latter shared with everyone through our www.skalpuertorico.com website.


Initiative #3: Support a Responsible Tourism Industry

SKAL International is committed to playing a pro-active and co-operative role in the equitable development of tourism for Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and the World.  We have entered an interactive age where a new generation of responsible travelers is influencing our markets and dictating what products and experiences it wants to buy.  These responsible travelers are seeking real, meaningful and authentic experiences and are in tune with responsible lifestyles practices such as the use of alternative energy, buying fair-trade “local” products and experiences and supporting community tourism.


SKAL Puerto Rico wants to support responsible Tourism which, by definition, is “tourism that promotes responsibility to the environment through its sustainable use; responsibility to involve local communities in the tourism industry; responsibility for the safety and security of our visitors and responsible government, employees, employers, unions and local communities”.


Our SKAL Motto is “Doing Business among friends” and we want to achieve this by bringing our official Toast “To Fellow Skalleagues Everywhere… Happiness, Good Health, Friendship, Long Life… SKAL” to life actions and execution in line with the initiative of supporting a responsible tourism industry.


Through Happiness              -           We want to actively promote the value of the products

and services of our members to the industry.


Through Good Health         -           We will maintain our members well informed and up to

date with regards to the changes in the Travel & Tourism Industry on a local, national and international scenario and which directly affect our Island “Puerto Rico”.


Through Friendship             -           We will live our motto “Doing Business among friends”.


Through Long Life               -           We are to establish specific strategies to grow the

organization and its membership and strengthen the business relationships among all members and friends.


We are a professional organization of Tourism Leaders around the world, promoting Global Tourism and Friendship.  Evidence of that is the professional relationships and businesses that have developed, evolved and materialized from our solid friendships.  I wish to close the night with just mentioning a few businesses we have been able to accomplish through the friendships formed thanks to SKAL, so that we all can understand and better value what we are here for…. “Doing Business among Friends”:


-       Expo Gallery (Kenneth Cintron) and Bacardi (Ivan Puig)

o   Ticket Center & Tour Desk Construction

o   Remodeling of the Entrance to Bacardi Corporation

o   Referral Business - MMM Healthcare (Mariel Moreno) which generated other projects for Expo Gallery 


-       Front Of House (Illyak Negroni) and Intercontinental Hotel (Felix Mulero)

o   New porcelain, glass & silverware equipment for Hotel Banquet Department


-       ALM Emporium (Angel Luis Marrero) and Several SKAL Members have done business and he now represents and sells or manages online their products and services


-       MABUDEG (Mickey Espada) which was key in growing our membership during the last two years and many of those members are in some way or another doing business with MABUDEG.


This is what SKAL International is all about…


-       “Doing Business Among Friends”

-       “Being a Trusted Voice in the Travel & Tourism Industry”

-       “Maximizing Networking Opportunities among its members”

-       “Supporting a Responsible Tourism Industry”


I want to say thank you to everyone for the opportunity of becoming President of this prestigious international organization and I want to wish everyone Happiness, Good Health, Friendship, Long Life and a wonderful night…. Thank You!


© Skal International Puerto Rico 2020