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10/07/2008

IRTA�s 29th Annual Convention Deemed Complete Success

(BarterNews thanks David Wallach, IRTA President,
for the content of this article.)

More than 95 members of the modern trade and barter industry traveled from all parts the world to attend and participate in the 29th Annual IRTA Convention. The event was held September 22 - 24 at the sprawling, beautiful 63,000-acre Westlake River Ranch and Resort, located 75 miles north of Orlando, Florida. Those in attendance included representatives from Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Singapore, New Zealand, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Canada and the United States.

Highlights included:

         Keynote speaker Catherine Austin Fitts. who is the founder of Solari Investment Advisory Services and former Assistant Secretary of Housing, as well as a Federal Housing Commissioner during the George H.W. Bush administration. Catherine received a standing ovation for the delivery of her keynote address, wherein she detailed the current state of the global banking and financial systems and why current market events should increase demand for both local and network barter exchanges along with alternative currencies.

         Community currency movement representatives were present to participate in forming the new Community Currency Council. The committee is chaired by IRTA Global Board Member Richard Logie and will seek to work directly with IRTA, to further unity and sustainability within the movement. Annette Riggs a recognized leader of the community currency movement led a well attended and educational seminar titled �Community Currencies and Sustainable Businesses.�

         All of the seminars were created, written and presented by IRTA members in the spirit of sharing information with others. The exceptional presentations were well attended, educational, entertaining, and informative. In addition to the contribution by Annette Briggs there was �International Modern Trade and Barter� chaired by Reiner Husemann, �Sales Techniques� moderated by Ron Whitney and Gary Fields, �Media and Swipe Card Technology� by speaker Kent Strong, �Trade Brokering using Project Management� put on by David Wallach and Sally Selbman, �Certified Trade Broker Training� was provided by Steve Acerra, �IRS and TIN Matching� by Ron Whitney, and �How to Grow your Business� moderated by Greg Esh.

         Newly elected to the IRTA Global Board of Directors were: Mary Ellen Rosinski of Tradesource (USA), Perry Constantinides of Barter Systems Inc. (USA), Don Mardak of International Monetary Systems (USA), and Darius Brzozowiec of BCI (Poland). The Global Board elected Mary Ellen Rosinski as treasurer and Gary Fields of NuBarter (USA) as secretary

         The Barter Hall of Fame Award is the highest honor the Modern Trade and Barter Industry can bestow. The award recognizes individuals of the highest professional character and ethical conduct who are regarded as indisputable leaders of the industry. This year M. Sirri Simsek, CEO of Turk Barter (Istanbul, Turkey), was the 2008 inductee and graciously received his award during the recognition banquet, the final event of the convention.

         An IRTA Outstanding Achievement Award for Bob Meyer publisher of BarterNews was approved by the IRTA Global Board of Directors in recognition of his more than three decades of dedicated service and support of the industry. Bob is a member of the Barter Hall of Fame and is acknowledged as a true barter pioneer. He continues to shape and define the industry. Bob was unable to attend this year�s convention because of complications in his ongoing struggle with cancer.

         IRTA Merit Awards are bestowed each year to recognize those individuals who have served IRTA and the barter industry by giving unselfishly of their time, effort and creativity, above and beyond the call of duty. Reiner Husemann received the Paul St. Martin Distinguished Service Award, Karen Welch accepted the UC Champion Award, and Elizabeth Powell took the Top UC Broker Award. 2008 Barter Ambassadors Awards went to Mary Nove, Karen Welch, Kim Strabley, Rachel Taylor, and Maurya Lane. Sponsor Awards included platinum to Don Mardak - IMS, gold to Bob Bagga - BizXchange, silver to Scott Whitmer - Florida Barter, bronze to Bill Bailey - BBI, and the 2008 Barter Congress Award to Harold Rice - American Exchange Network

         The 2008 IRTA Video Awards is a new program that recognizes outstanding video productions created by industry companies. All attendees were eligible to vote for their favorite in five categories. �Best Vintage Video� went to Metro Trade, �Best Other Than English Video� to Tradex Mexico, �Best Most Educational Video� to International Monetary systems, �Best Most Entertaining Video� to BizXchange, and �Best Video of Show� to NuBarter. (Look for these and other videos coming soon at www.irta.com.)

IRTA�s financials were reported in good shape with a balanced budget, cash in the treasury and little or no debts, either trade or cash. In order to keep up with the ever rising costs of doing business, the Board is however always looking for additional revenues.

With that in mind, the IRTA Global Board of Directors approved a new Non-Industry Category of membership designed to attract large national and multi-national companies into association with IRTA and Universal Currency members. The board also put into place the IRTA barter consulting service that will assist larger foundations and companies to interface with the barter industry

Looking forward, the IRTA Global Board of Directors is considering an ambitious, far-reaching slate of goals and objectives for 2009. They include continuation the very effective Operation Outreach program, the formation of a Speaker�s Bureau, creation of a Cooperative Industry Advertising Campaign, and Development of Lesson Plans and Syllabuses for presentation in economic departments of business schools, universities and colleges.

During his State of IRTA presentation, IRTA President David Wallach declared, �The future is bright and 2009 will prove to be exciting and productive year for IRTA and the entire Modern Trade and Barter Industry.�



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