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11/18/2008

IRTA President David Wallach Takes East Coast Swing

What began as a trip to Rochester (NY) to oversee the movement of the International Reciprocal Trade Association headquarters office from that city to Portsmouth (VA), evolved into a ten-day visit to several east coast commercial barter industry members for David Wallach, IRTA President.

�Initially, he had planned traveling from San Francisco to Rochester to assist in the oversight of the IRTA headquarters move� said Ron Whitney IRTA Executive Director. �We subsequently determined that it would not only be very cost effective but extremely productive for Dave to visit various east coast industry members delivering IRTA�s message of unity, education and self regulation.�

After his arrival in Rochester on November 4 and aiding with the preparation for the move, Wallach met with barter Hall-of-Famer Steve Webster. They discussed the status and direction of the Modern Trade and Barter Industry. �I came away from our conversations impressed as always with Steve�s knowledge, insight and vision, for our industry,� related Wallach. �Steve feels that the industry and IRTA are proceeding in a positive and correct direction.�

Wallach also toured Rochester�s IMS Barter office, speaking with several individual employees. it was noted that the office had both a high morale and a very competent staff. �Myles Webster demonstrated the IMS operating software�s ability to track client projects, explaining that project management was the key to increasing their clients� use of barter currency,� disclosed Wallach.

From there Dave traveled to Maine to visit the Trade Exchange, a 300 member single office exchange located in downtown Portland. Natalie Ladd manages and operates the company almost single handedly, having only one part-time assistant. �Natalie is a wonder, last month she not only did all of the trade direction, but she signed up nine new client members,� marveled Wallach.

Boston was his next stop; there Dave was hosted at the home of his longtime friend Allan Hackel. �Allan is a true pioneer of our industry; he practically founded corporate barter and he holds almost every industry honor including IRTA�s Barter Hall-of-Fame,� observed Wallach.

Although he could have retired years ago, Allan is in his office and working before any of his staff arrive in the morning, and is still at it after they go home. He loves his work and is very involved in the day to day operation of his company which is very competitive in the corporate barter arena. �I totally support the renewal of the Corporate Batter Council,� declared Hackel, �and feel that IRTA is leading the entire barter industry where it needs to go.� A true family business Allan�s staff includes his son Peter and daughter Jody.

Also located in Boston is New England Trade, owned and operated by Gary Oshry and Ken Meharg, which has over 1000 active members. Wallach met with Gary and Ken primarily deliberating the acquisition of new client members, with a focus on lead generation. �Keeping your sales staff in front of potential customers is the single most important factor in client acquisition,� Wallach elaborated. �They are definitely on the right track for growth in their market.�

Another Boston area exchange he visited was Barter Connections, with about 400 members owned and operated by Ken Barron. As Ken is not presently a member of any industry association, Dave chatted with him about the many benefits of joining other industry leaders in supporting IRTA and its industry goals, code of ethics, and mission. After the meeting Ken agreed to submit his application for IRTA membership.

New York and a meeting with IRTA member Alan Elkin, CEO of Active International, the world�s largest corporate barter company, was the last stop on the swing for Dave Wallach. Both Alan and his partner Art Wagner are in the barter Hall-of-Fame, and legends in the corporate barter industry. During the hour-and-a-half session with Elkin and Dayna Frank, a full range of topics were examined including effective use of IRTA�s Universal Currency, renewal of the Corporate Barter Council, and more effectively interfacing the corporate sector with the retail sector of the modern barter industry.

Elkin definitely has committed himself to the renewal of the Corporate Barter Council, and plans to become personally involved by attending meetings of the Council. Action items were put in place during the meeting to follow up on, along with other matters. �In my view the world�s present economic situation provides an excellent opportunity for our industry to demonstrate how business can effectively profit from their excess business capacity and under utilized assets,� asserted Alan Elkin.

(The International Reciprocal Trade Association (www.irta.com) is a non-profit organization committed to promoting just and equitable standards of practice and operation within the Modern Trade and Barter Industry and Alternative Capital Systems, as well as raising awareness and value of these processes to the entire worldwide community.)  



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