Latest SIPR News

Our January Dinner Meeting will be held Monday, Jan. 26, at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in the Penthouse of Banco Popular in Hato Rey  You should be receiving an invitation shortly. Our Dinner meetings  beginning in February will return to our usual schedule, the second Tuesday of each month: Feb. 10; Mar. 10 and April 14. Watch this space and your emails for updates!

Greet Our New Members!

Three new Skalleagues entered our club in December: Israel Calderon, Yolanda Carlo, and Alejando Manzanares. To let them know a little about the club, I sent them this message. They will be officially welcomed and pinned soon!

Dear Skalleagues,

As Skal International Puerto Rico’s representative to Skal USA I would like to welcome our three newest members: Israel Calderon of ICM Global Cuisine, Yolanda Carlo of Carabali Rainforest Park and Alejandro Manzanares of Gustazos.  Their recent acceptance by the Secretariat in Spain brings our total membership to 35 —and there are three more pending members listed on the website! A warm welcome to Skal!

This is a good time to remind everyone just how great our organization is and how much of an honor it is for all of us to belong.  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 and tourism industry. Its members, the industry's managers and executives, meet at local, national, regional and international levels to discuss and pursue topics of common interest. 

 The first Club was founded in 1932 in Paris by travel managers, following an educational tour of Scandinavia. The idea of international goodwill and friendship grew and, in 1934, the “Association Internationale des Skål Clubs” was formed with Florimond Volckaert as its first President, who is considered the “Father of Skål”

Skål International today has approximately 17,000 members in 400 Clubs throughout 80 nations. Most activities occur at local level (in our case Skal International Puerto Rico or SIPR), moving up through National/Regional Committees (Skal International USA or SIUSA), under the umbrella of Skål International, headquartered at the General Secretariat in Torremolinos, Spain.

 Skål International is governed by an Executive Committee of six members, elected by delegates to an annual General Assembly, held during the World Congress, hosted by a different country each year. This allows members first-hand observation of the travel and tourism potential around the world. The 2014-2015 members are President Salih Cene, Antalya, Turkey, VP Nigel Pilkington, Auckland, New Zealand, VP David Fisher, Nairobi, Kenya and Directors, Lou Conkling, Louisville, KY USA, Rafael Millan Perez, Cuernavaca, Mexico and Susanna Saari, Turku, Finland.

Our Vision Statement is to:

Be a trusted voice in travel and tourism

And our Mission Statement is:

Through our leadership, professionalism and friendship, work together to achieve our Vision, maximise networking opportunity and support a responsible tourism industry.

 You can find all this information, including a database of all members and officials on the website, but you should know that currently the International President is Salih Cene, the USA President is Carlos Banks (President-Elect Martha McClintock) and the SI Puerto Rico President is Mickey Espada. 

The key people for us on the international level are Lou Conklin, of the six-member Executive Committee, and Llana Smith, the USA International Councillor. There are 40 International Councillors representing the same number of Skal regions in the world.

The two members of the Secretariat in Torremolinos that we deal with most are Yvonne Mansel, Secretary General Assistant, and Daniel Cevera, Congress Coordinator. (

Yours in Skal,

Ronald Flores, SIPR Communications and SIUSA Rep.


Skal World Congress in Mexico City

(To see photo album, click on the name of the event)

2014 Skal Congress Mexico 16

SIPR President Mickey Espada, Olga and Ronald Flores (Past President and SIUSA Rep.

October 25 to 30, Mickey and Ronald attended the Skal World Congress with Mickey as our club’s delegate. Photos are posted on our FACEBOOK page and HERE.


Skål International 80th Anniversary Celebration, Paris, France

(To see photo album, click on the name of the event)

Celebration in Montmartre 2

From the left: Ronald Flores (Puerto Rico), Nahid Olfati (San Francisco), Carlos Banks (Fort Lauderdale), Frank Klare (Philadelphia), David Fisher (Nairobi) and Mario Hache (Boston). They are sharing a moment in front of the Moulin Rouge in Montmartre during the Skal Anniversary celebration. Nineteen countries were represented and events included tours of the city by bus and by boat, great food (of course), plenty of champagne, and a ceremony placing wreaths on the tomb of Florimund Volckaert, founding presdient of Skal in Paris in 1934, at famous Pierre Lachaise Cemetery in the Bastille. Ronald and Olga Flores from Puerto Rico attended the event.


More Recent Meetings and Events

(To see photo album, CLICK on the name of the event)

March Ikebana

March 2014 Ikebana

April Installation Dinner Meeting


Mickey, Tino, Kenneth, Robert, Iván 

May Intercontinental Dinner Meeting

May 2014 Intercontinental (16)

June Silk Meeting

(Photos pending)

The SIPR June 10 Dinner Meeting at Silk at Doubletree by Hilton was by all accounts a total success. Some 36 Skalleagues and guests enjoyed a Pan-Asian banquet topped off with a succulent serving of Peking Duck! Good wines, great food, spectacular service, gorgeous setting and fine friends—what more can we ask? We especially enjoyed having former Skalleague and President and CEO of Meet Puerto Rico (the Puerto Convention Bureau) back with us again.

August Caribe Hilton 

Our August Dinner Meeting at the Caribe Hilton was a culinary (and amicale) success! It had to be, since it was under the direction of Executive Chef Mario Ferro, the dean of professional chefs in Puerto Rico! How often have we had truffle foam? Three new members were invited to join and we will be submitting their applications to SI soon. To see all the photos CLICK HERE.

Aug. Skal Dinner Caribe Hilton 1 - Version 2

Elegant Setup for the August Dinner Meeting at the Caribe Hilton

Aug. Skal Dinner Caribe Hilton 7

Skalleagues Mickey, José, Robert and Hans-Georg at the Caribe Hilton

September St. Regis Bahia Beach

Skal September 2014 Bahia Beach 1

Some 63 Skal Puerto Rico members and guests attended the September Dinner at the St. Regis Bahia Beach and raved about the food (featured above). About a dozen more stayed on for the weekend outing and, according to all reports, a wonderful time was enjoyed by all. 

October San Juan Intercontinental

(Photos pending)

November Meat Market South Beach/SJ El San Juan

Skal November 2014 6

Ronald, Debbie Arett SIUSA VP Region IV, Mickey 

December 2014 Carabali

A small, but entusiastic group met at Carabali Rainforest Park on Friday, Dec. 19, to

celebrate the holiday season. Photos to come.

© Skal International Puerto Rico 2014