Skål International elects Annette Cardenas as first latina President in landmark governance reform

President-Elect Annette Cardenas brings a wealth of experience and a rich professional background to her new role. Her theme for 2024, “Building Bridges for a stronger Skål International” reflects her commitment to strengthening connections and promoting solidarity among Skål International members globally.

In a historic move that underscores its commitment to diversity and progressive leadership, Skål International announces the election of Annette Cardenas from Panama as its President-Elect, the first latina to ascend to the presidency in the organization’s 90-year history. This groundbreaking event coincides with the implementation of Skål International’s new governance model, marking a significant evolution in the organization’s structure.

The transformative new governance structure, ratified at the 2022 World Congress in Croatia, emerged from former 2022 Skål International World President Burcin Turkkan’s presented vision and the unwavering efforts of the committees she spearheaded. The approval process involved extensive work and global dialogue with Skål International leaders, culminating in a consensus that led to the transition from the traditional 6-member Executive Board to the current 14-member board. This change represents the most significant governance shift since Skål International’s founding and reflects the organization’s dedication to embracing representative and forward-thinking leadership.

“The introduction of the new governance model and the election of Annette Cardenas as President-Elect are both milestones in the journey of Skål International,” said Juan Steta, Skål International World President 2023 who prepared the organization for the transition into the new governance in 2023. “Annette Cardenas’s vision for 2024 is to build bridges among Skål International continents, fostering an era of increased collaboration and unity across our diverse membership.”

In line with the new governance model, the following officers have been elected to serve on the Board:

Vice President: Denise Scrafton, Australia, Region 12
Director Region 1: Andres Hayes, USA
Director Region 2: Marc Rheaume, Canada & Bahamas
Director Region 3: Enrique Flores, Mexico
Director Region 5: Toni Ritter, Germany
Director Region 6: Sonia Spinelli, Switzerland
Director Region 7: Bertrand Petyt,  Northern Europe
Director Region 8: Jose Luis Quintero, Southern Europe
Director Region 9: Asuman Tariman, Turkiye
Director Region 10: Mohan NSN, India
Director Region 11: Kitty Wong, Asia
Director Region 13: Bruce Garrett, Oceania
Director Region 14: Olukemi Soetan, Africa

“I am deeply honored to be elected as the first latina President of Skål International and to lead the Board that reflects our global presence,” said Annette Cardenas. “Together, we will embark on a transformative journey that respects our rich history while embracing the future with open arms and a spirit of inclusiveness.”

Skål International invites all members and partners to support the new Board and join in the collective effort to advance the organization’s mission in this new governance era.

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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