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09/25/2007

IRTA�s 28th Annual Awards Ceremony

The International Reciprocal Trade Association held its 28th Annual Convention in Savannah (GA) Sunday, September 9, through Tuesday, September 11, 2007. Highlights from the Awards Banquet as follows were provided by IRTA.

Barter Ambassador Award is given to those members who have made an extra effort to introduce new members to IRTA. This year�s recipients are Harold Rice of American Exchange Network in Kansas City (MO) and Reiner Husemann of Euro Barter Business in Germany.

The Certified Trade Broker Program, also known as the CTB, has been a cornerstone of IRTA training and education. The candidate this year is Elizabeth Haire of Citizens Match.org in Florence (MA).

IRTA has an extremely dedicated CTB Program teacher in Steve Acerra from Florida Barter. We wish to thank him for his dedication to this program and for instructing the CTB training and testing for IRTA �U.�

This year we are starting two awards that UC (Universal Currency) will give each year: one recognizes a broker within a member exchange and another that recognizes an exchange owner.

This year, there was one particular broker who gave special time and attention to UC. The UC Broker Award went to Ben Quandt from Bartercard United Kingdom.

He was selected by UC as a broker who first and foremost exhibits professionalism as well as provides outstanding follow up on requests, protects the integrity of the currency by researching not inflating offers and takes the initiative to enter the offers on the UC system on their own, develops and shares creative ideas to close or save a deal, and generally has a positive attitude at all times. For example, when he was put in charge of the Bartercard UK UC account, he initiated $30K in sales in 90 days � mostly in travel to London and Ireland.

The UC Exchange Owner Award, which recognizes trade exchange leaders for their special attention and actions that support UC, was awarded to Michael Touma of BBX in Australia.

IRTA�s Platinum Sponsor, for the second year in a row, went to Sirri Simsek from Turk Barter in Istanbul. This is the highest sponsorship that IRTA makes available. In her presentation Krista Vardabash disclosed, �I expect to see you in the IRTA Hall of Fame very soon, and wish to again extend my heartfelt gratitude to you and to Turk Barter.�

The IRTA Silver Sponsor was awarded to Ian Jones of BarterXchange Singapore. This is the first year that BarterXchange participated in the IRTA sponsorship program, helping the IRTA brand become recognized and respected in Asia.

For sponsoring the IRTA �U� Library/Internet Caf� and making it a true hub of activity, IRTA thanked Gary Field of NuBarter in Savannah (GA) for his generosity and support.

Many of us remember Paul St. Martin as a person who stood as shining example of selfless contribution of his time and talents to benefit the industry, he went above and beyond the call of duty in service to IRTA.. It is this quality that embodies the following award appropriately named The Paul St. Martin Distinguished Service Award.

The following three special people exemplify this type of commitment and service to IRTA:

Lois Dale of Barter Advantage in New York City.

As president of IRTA, Lois has stepped-up to the plate in many ways. One occasion was especially notable...she attended The 2006 Global Entrepolis conference in Singapore where she conducted training sessions, spoke to media, and educated business people on barter and IRTA.

David Wallach of Commercial Currency Consultants in San Rafael (CA).

Not long ago, David adamantly stated that what IRTA needed was a program to be put into the hands of members to help them educate their communities on the important role of commercial bartering. He had in mind what that project would look like, and set out to obtain testimonials from exchange owners around the world to use in the DVD that he has produced.

Gary Field of NuBarter in Savannah (GA).

There a long list of things that represent the above and beyond efforts of Gary as it relates to the successful execution of this conference, and the 5 year anniversary of his trade exchange this week. This award recognizes both of those things. He has passed the critical 5-year point for any business and cultivated a strong membership base. Additionally, Gary hosted the IRTA conference this year and sponsored the Internet Caf� � making NuBarter the newest exchange to ever take on that challenge.

IRTA�s Outstanding Achievement Award honors individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the barter industry through management techniques, education, client services and marketing/sales. The two recipients have definitely made a positive impact on the barter industry.

Don Mardak from International Monetary Systems: in New Berlin (WI).

Many of his peers recognize the value, from the favorable exposure his company has created, for the commercial barter industry within the public financial markets. In doing so, he has captured public and private interest for our industry in the form of capital and national recognition.

Napoleon Ares from ITEX Montreal in Quebec, Canada.

His efforts with the Canadian government have yielded positive exposure for the barter trade industry by working with the Industrial and Consumer Department of the Quebec Provincial government to educate them on the value of barter trade, especially for new business.

The IRTA Hall of Fame is the highest honor IRTA bestows. It recognizes individuals whom the Hall Of Fame Inductees feel are regarded as �indisputable leaders in the barter industry.�

What makes an indisputable leader? Someone who has been in the barter industry for at least 10 continuous years and has made universally recognized and specific contributions to the barter industry as a whole. Above all, inductees must be regarded in the industry as highly professional and ethical.

This description is just not big enough to adequately describe the person who we induct tonight to the IRTA Hall of Fame:

Art Goehring, Hall-Of-Fame Inductee.

He is the retired founder in 1976 of Tradecorp, a highly successful trade exchange with 1,500 members in Columbus (OH), Dayton, and Cincinnati markets. He sold his exchange to IMS several years ago.

There was also a surprise award from IRTA, a big hunk of gleaming black marble, for one of a kind leadership, dedication, vision and creativity. It was titled the Krista Vardabash Award and presented to a very deserving Krista Vardabash, Executive Director of IRTA, on the eve of her retirement from the association.


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