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Jack Schacht, Joan Varner Were Heroes To Nascent Barter Industry

After working all day to cover the bills, Jack Schacht would sit down at his kitchen table after dinner and work late into the night on his real passion�the barter business. Fighting continual fatigue and the financial needs of the new startup was a mental challenge.

Months later, Vasser-educated Joan Varner heard of the possible business opportunity with Schacht and arranged a meeting with him. It was a leap of faith when she courageously stepped up to the plate and invested the financing needed to jump-start the dream. Thus was born Illinois Trade Association (ITA).

What a unique partnership. Schacht, the ambitious dreamer with his sky-high aspirations and sometimes far-out ideas, was tempered by Varner�s level-headed, always practical, questioning and balanced approach. It was a match built on mutual respect for each other�s contributions...and it has thrived for 24 years.

For decades it was their �lead-by-example� philosophy, which built ITA into the largest independently-owned trade exchange nationwide, that inspired many struggling peers to persevere...staying the course on a roller-coaster-like ride in a young and struggling industry.

In addition, with their large member base, they routinely traded ITA based goods and services to their peers so they could enhance and improve their operations.

Schacht, an aspiring Shakespearean actor while in college, would regularly provide a motivational stimulation to attendees at the industry�s annual conventions. Along with his poignant observations and pithy advice was his upbeat, can-do attitude. �Yes it can be done, but you must catch the fire!� was always his clarion call.

Without a doubt the founders of ITA had an immense and positive impact on the barter industry. Much more than they will ever realize. These two progressive leaders now move onward toward the proverbial sunset, to enjoy the fruits of their achievements.

The industry thanks you, Jack and Joan, for your considerable contributions, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors.