Prior to 1958 a group of Denver travel executives led by Bruce Hamby,
Denver Post Travel Editor heard of an organization in Europe known as
Skål. The “Association Internationale des Skål Clubs” founded in 1932 was
formed to promote international goodwill and friendship among travel
professionals and was highly successful in Europe. These men met several times
exploring options on how to obtain a local chapter of Skal. Finally in 1958 they secured a local chapter in Denver, Colorado. The Charter members of the club were:
Tom Amos Doug Frazier Chet Lubben Joe O'Conner Roger Spahr
Hertz Rent-A-Car D&RG RR Frontier Airlines Santa Fe Railway
Don Auld Bruce Hamby Bob McKenna Charles O'Toole Herb Stancil
Colorado Transportation Denver Post Western Airlines Continental Air Lines Trans world Airlines
Bill Bapstist Harry Haufendick Bob McKenny Pat Oliver Carl Steele
The Pullman Co. The Pullman Co. Braniff Airlines Pam American World Air Carl Steele World Wide Travel
Forrest Blyler Leif Hauge Karl Mehlmann Van D Ostlind Homer Stephens
Rock Island RR SAS Brown Palace Hotel Rock island Line Albany Hotel
Kostas Boudovris Al Hawney Don Menk C. W. Plagemann Amos Sudler
Air France Cosmopolitan Hotel Boulder Travel Agency Burlington RR American Express
Bud Cleghorn Don James Joe Miller Kenn Prosser Eric Vessteegh
Hertz Rent-A-Car Denver-Boulder Bus Co. American Express Greyhound Lines KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Gordon Dahn Ted James Mark Modglin Tony Schoeph Mark Visnak
Frontier Airlines Colorado Transportation Burlington RR United Airlines All Travel Travel
Jo F. Drake Larry Johannsen Joe Moxley Ray Schutte Hal Wright
AAA Travel University Hill Travel B.& O. RR United Airlines
Harold Eno Matt Kramer Willi Mueller Bill Sheridan William Wunsch
D&RG RR Continental Air Lines Piero de luixe Travel Fisher-Sheridan Travel Whitley Travel Agency
Milt Frampton Dave Lindquist Hugh Noell Ed Siemers
Park Lane Hotel Fisher-Sheridan Travel BOAC Union Pacific
Order of Skål Merit
Membre D’Honneur of Skål International
Many of you know Bill Sweet’s history within the Skal organization, yet many of our newer members might
not understand the breathe of Bill’s Skal involvement through the years.
A member of the University of Denver’s School of Hospitality & Tourism’s first graduating class, Bill went
to work for the Brown Palace Hotel shortly thereafter, eventually rising through the ranks to serve as the
Brown’s General Manager & President for many years. Bill joined the Skål Club of Denver in 1963
and served as our President in 1971.
Unlike so many of us in this oganization who have served as a local Skål Club President however, Bill’s service to Skal had only just begun. He served as Regional VP from 1976-80 before moving up the “Officers ladder” to serve as President of all of Skal International USA in 1982-83. During 1984-85, Bill was President of the “North American Association of Skål Clubs” representing over 100 Clubs and thousands of North America Skalleagues.
From late 1985 to 2001, Bill served as “Executive Secretary” for both SIUSA and NAASC combined, and was awarded the “Order of Skal Merit” in 1994. Bill Sweet has been named “Honorary President” for SIUSA as well as for North America, but his most distinguished recognition within the world of Skål was to have been named a “Membre D’Honneur” of Skal International in October, 2003. In the 75 year history of Skå, this honor has only been bestowed on 74 members worldwide, and Bill is one of only 4 elite Skalleagues in the United States to ever be recognized in such fashion!
It is common to invite a “high ranking” Skål leader to do the honors when a Club installs it’s new Officers…Skalleagues, ladies & gentlemen, we would be hard pressed to find a more distinguished Skal official than this man who has so prominently established our Club on the worldwide Skål map…our own “Bill Sweet”.
Of historical note, Bill has attended 26 Skål International Congresses and 31 NAASC Congresses.