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
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.