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IRTA Completes Record Year

(This article was submitted by Ron Whitney, Executive Director of IRTA.)

There is no question that 2011 was a very good year for the International Reciprocal Trade Association. We have enjoyed a number of triumphs and successes, however, along with these achievements, 2011 presented substantial challenges as well. Most notably, in May we lost our dear friend and greatly revered president and leader, David Wallach.

Although we lost his daily guidance, IRTA has not lost his vision nor the momentum achieved by his guidance. David believed it was IRTA�s unequivocal destiny, as the world organization for the modern trade and barter industry, to enlighten businesses across the globe to the profit producing benefits that the barter industry provides. He realized that by utilizing the non-productive assets of excess inventory and/or capacity, our industry will undoubtedly raise the standard of living for everyone.

The IRTA Global Board of Directors is proud to report the many highlights of 2011:

         IRTA membership grew over 20% both in North America and globally. This growth was achieved during the most difficult economic climate the world has faced in many years.

         The 2011 IRTA convention was a huge success! Held in a luxurious four-and-a-half star all-inclusive resort in Mexico, this convention saw record breaking attendance and included a number of highly informative and educational seminars that were praised universally by the attendees.

         Thanks to the very active Membership and Universal Currency Committees, both IRTA and UC exceeded revenue projections for the year.

         The Global Board worked diligently and developed a �Conflict of Interest� section for the organization�s bylaws.

         IRTA has committed funds for the implementation of an aggressive and multi-faceted social media program that we look forward to seeing develop in the coming year.

         The Global Board wrote and passed a new, tougher, and clearer �Code of Ethics and Conduct� for the organization.

         IRTA Executive Director Ron Whitney, attended the roll-out of the City of London�s study, �Capacity Trade and Credit,� and through Mr. Whitney, helped contribute to the research in the study�s developmental stage.

         IRTA retained a new public relations consultant in anticipation of substantially increasing industry recognition in the press worldwide.

         Universal Currency set an all-time annual trading record, as well as a record setting number of trade exchange participants.

         IRTA worked meticulously to keep in close contact with the U.S. Attorney General and the IRS in regards to the Liberty Dollars verdict. Executive Director Ron Whitney was proactive in preventing any harm from coming to the modern trade and barter industry. In order to increase awareness, IRTA issued a press release on this matter.

         The IRTA library has archived a number of informative materials, dating back to 1979, concerning the industry and the organization. This considerable collection has always been available to current IRTA members for their use within their organization, but was made more accessible via a new tab on the IRTA web site.

In closing, the association would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our current and future members for their contribution in making 2011 a record-setting year for IRTA and UC. The organization as a whole has shown exceptional growth and strong financials which support future growth for all members.

We have seen an improving environment that we anticipate will encourage many more businesses to utilize barter as a part of their business plan. There have been a growing number of start-up trade and barter groups, as well. This growth is encouraging to us, however, we are concerned that the new exchange operators will not understand the challenges they will face and the resources they will need to obtain in order to achieve profitability.

In order to prevent potential challenges, IRTA welcomes trade exchanges, corporate trade organizations, and community currencies to affiliate with IRTA and the �Code of Ethics & Conduct� of its members. IRTA wishes to share its accumulated knowledge from model contracts to accounting standards with all participants of the industry.

Mr. Whitney is confident that new members will quickly learn what our current IRTA members already know: IRTA is not an expense nor a cost, but rather an investment in their business, that pays significant financial and professional dividends.

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