Lion April 2014 : Page 42

Lion on the Beach San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Host USA/Canada Forum

USA/Canada Forum Beckons

Take your pick: Puerto Rico’s lush rain forests, glistening white sand beaches, warm tropical climate and a bevy of historical architectural attractions that draw more than 3.5 million tourists every year. There are so many excellent and exciting adventures awaiting those who visit “the Isle of Enchantment” that it’s nearly impossible to name just one reason to visit. In fact, here are 10 reasons Lions should attend the 2014 USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum in San Juan from Sept. 11 to 13.

1. Sun and beaches
2. Historical Old San Juan and sightseeing
3. Shopping with savings on world famous brands
4. Impressive and relaxing resort hotels
5. Affordable accommodations and great cuisine
6. Awesome venue—the Puerto Rico Convention Center
7. Before- and after-forum cruises (optional)
8. Wonderful people
9. Continued new and improved leadership training, including expanded seminar times
10. Receiving the perfect leadership building blocks for your future

It’s appropriate that Lions will hone their leadership skills in Puerto Rico since this idyllic island has attracted great leaders for centuries, beginning with its discovery in 1493 by Christopher Columbus on his second journey to the “New World.” Under the leadership of Juan Ponce de León in 1508, Spanish conquistadors arrived and began colonization. Ponce de León became the island’s first governor and is entombed in the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista. There is no charge to visit this beautiful example of Old World architecture. You can freely tour this celebrated cathedral first built in 1521, destroyed by a hurricane and rebuilt on an even grander scale in 1540.

Old San Juan is a treasure trove of Puerto Rico’s rich history—more than 400 buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries have been restored as shops, restaurants and other attractions. This area is easily walkable, but be sure to bring comfortable shoes to navigate the cobblestone streets. With an average temperature of 80°, the tropical marine climate produces some spectacular scenery. Don’t be surprised if you run into a coqui, the island’s tiny frog that many consider an unofficial national symbol. They’re everywhere and they’re harmless.

U. S. citizens who travel directly to Puerto Rico don’t need a passport, but it’s recommended to carry a government- issued photo ID such as a driver’s license and/or a birth certificate. U.S. currency is the standard and electrical outlets are the same as in the States, so there is no need to purchase special adapters.

The forum celebrates its 38th anniversary in style in the Dr. Pedro Rosselló González Puerto Rico Convention Center in Isla Grande, San Juan, the largest such facility in the Caribbean and considered the most technologically advanced in Latin America. There will be more than 75 seminars and 13 simultaneous sessions. One of the most dynamic sessions will focus on how to attract and engage younger members; another will discuss how Leos are the “building blocks” to future club growth.

Past International Director and Forum General Chairman Ron Duffe emphasizes, “There will be three days of learning, beginning on Thursday with a Rally for Leadership and Membership, GLT and GMT meetings and a separate orientation session for first-time attendees.”

In addition to 2014-15 International President Joe Preston, several past international presidents and directors will serve as moderators and presenters. Seminars range from A to N, not quite Z, but covering a host of critical topics in between. Beginning with Adjust your Leadership Style to Fit the Situation to New Women & Family Membership Insights & Initiatives, attendees will learn exciting new ideas to invigorate their clubs and leadership styles— numbers nine and ten on the list of reasons to attend the forum. Number eight—wonderful people—is another compelling reason to share the adventure with Lions who have the same motivation and values you do. Toss the remaining reasons into the mix, and the 38th USA/ Canada Lions Leadership Forum is the place to be from Sept. 11 to 13. To learn more or register, visit

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