President’s Letter: February, 2017

The best thing I can say about February is that football ends this weekend and pitchers and catchers report later this month. We made it out the other end of what has been an absolutely dreary January for weather and complete and utter sunshine deprivation, but I'm cautiously optimistic that spring will be here before we know it.

January was a great month for the Association and I want to share with you what has transpired and what we've got an eye on in the weeks and months ahead.

What's our role?

This is something that the board has discussed on how we as the IACAC fit into the air cargo and international trade community here in Chicago. We feel that the the job that the CCBFA does on focusing on issues impacting Customs brokers, ocean freight forwarders and the import process is exemplary. We have partnered with them on a number of initiatives and will continue to do so into 2017 and beyond.

The place that seems best for us are the infrastructure and customer service issues in and around the airport. The deepening relationship with the Chicago Department of Aviation, as well as the national connections we have made at airlines and handling companies will allow us to work to improve conditions in and around the airport.

Administration change and trade.

With the arrival of a new administration comes new opinions on leadership and policy. I think that in the initial flurry of activity we have seen since the inauguration, our industry must be very carefully balanced on eagerly anticipating the potential benefits of reduced tax and regulatory burdens while watching for potential protectionist trade policies. While the focus may be on imposing burdens on imports, trade is bilateral, and we should fully anticipate that barriers America places on foreign goods coming in should expect the same treatment for our exports going out.

Joint meeting with CDOA, CNS, IACAC.

Lionel Van Der Walt, the head of Cargo Network Services (CNS) in the USA, came to Chicago at the end of January. The IACAC brokered a meeting with him and key members of the Chicago Department of Aviation, including CDOA COO John Leach and Director of Planning (and friend of the association) Adam Rod. Lionel shared some of what CNS has in store and are looking forward to forging relationships with local airports to focus on the importance of cargo to the average airline passenger who might otherwise be unaware of the important commerce traveling beneath their feet or over their heads (for those who live around airports). This will be an ongoing project that may result in some co-branded materials and other awareness pieces, but it is an interesting partnership and opportunity to be certain.

Upcoming events, activities and opportunities.

We had a great January kick-off luncheon for 2017 and are hoping to continue with a very active schedule of events. Among the things we discussed were:

  • Philanthropic activities
  • Greater focus on education, scholarship and opportunities
  • More evening social events so people can leave their offices and not have to come back.
  • Women-only events and activities.
  • Potential tours of the airport and surrounding facilities
  • Furthering and adding vendor partnerships to give our members the feeling that they're getting back what they invested (and more) in an IACAC membership.

Speaking of membership...

Join! Renew! We want you back (and want you in the first place). Membership is extremely affordable, and will provide access to a members-only area of the site which will offer links to vendor partners and opportunities to save your company money while supporting the IACAC. For individuals, the membership is only $50.00 per year; a corporate membership is for up to three people and is $130.00/year. Don't miss the chance to participate. Click the link to join or renew your membership online, or download and mail your application and payment by check today.

President’s letter: December, 2016

This is the final President's Letter that I will be penning for the website. Beginning next month, the new IACAC President, Scott Case, will take over writing this column. Scott was elected President at our elections in November and I trust he will continue the great work of the Presidents who came before him to engage the air cargo community here in Chicago. I will move into the position of Chairman of the Board.

Joining Scott will be Christina Aguirre as Vice President and our three new voting board members, Pamela DeSalvo, Laura Brown and Maureen Schmitt. Non-voting board directors elected this year are Therese O'Sullivan, Herman Ruiz and Pam Parekh. 2017 promises to be another great year for IACAC.

It has been an honor to serve as the IACAC President this year. When you stop and look at the roster of past Presidents, there are many great people who have served the Association. Thank you very much for this opportunity.

Thanks also need to go to our outgoing Chairman of the Board, Jim Wilbrandt and board member Olya Lebedyeva who are departing this year. We thank you both for your service to the Association and appreciate everything you have done.

Peak Season strong

From forecasts around the industry, there is a surprise bump in trucking demand in this last quarter and both air and sea carriers have seen some stability in rates and increases they have put in place have for the most part been holding.

Network, network, network

It was a hallmark of my tenure as President of IACAC, but I am a firm believer in networking. This year alone, IACAC held events at a baseball game, two events at Church Street Brewing and our March Madness event.

This holiday season, it looks like the calendar can get crushed with one association holiday event after the other, but these are great opportunities to keep your business networks active in case an opportunity presents itself personally or professionally.

In 2017, IACAC is going to be working to provide a mix of luncheon and evening networking events. We discovered the crowds we draw for the two events are different and new faces are able to join us more readily at night, and we are committed to cultivate the next generation of leaders.

IACAC Holiday Luncheon

Speaking of networking events, don't miss ours. It's Tuesday, December 13t,h and you can register online here. This event, as well as our golf outing, raise money for our Scholarship Fund. This year we've awarded two scholarships and have invited both of our winners to attend the luncheon.

Don't show up empty handed, either. Bring two things: An item to be raffled off (gift cards, baskets, sporting event tickets...think what you'd like to win) and an unwrapped toy for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive. We're also setting aside $5 from each ticket for our scholarship fund as well.

Finally, don't show up without a reservation. Please. Last year, we had thirty-some people registered and sixty-five people showed up. We were VERY lucky Belvedere could accommodate and feed everyone. That might not be the case this year, plus the size of the room will depend upon how many we give for a reservation count. Just click here to register.

President’s Letter: November, 2016

If you had told me at any point that we'd see baseball on the north side in November, I probably would have expressed my disbelief quite loudly. Yet here we are, the Cubs playing November baseball and a chance to win the World Series. Best of luck to them.

It has been a pleasure to serve as your President this past year and as we come up on our elections this month, I wish our slate of candidates all the best. I am excited at the people who have generously decided to donate their time on behalf of this amazing organization.

With this in mind, I'd like to look ahead to a few things we have on the schedule between now and the end of the year.

Elections luncheon next Tuesday.

That's right, the annual general meeting of the IACAC will be held and we will be holding our annual elections. The event will be held at the Wyndham Garden Elk Grove Village and you can RSVP here. You can also download the ballot at this link, and all members in good standing of the IACAC are eligible to cast a ballot.

For more information or questions about the election, contact Jim Wilbrandt, our Chaiman at jim (at) basicent (dot) com.

Oktoberfest in November on Thursday.

With thanks to our generous sponsor Alaska Air Cargo, we are holding an Oktoberfest in November event at Church Street Brewing Company, the site of our July networking event. The owners have assured us they even kept a few barrels of their Oktoberfest beer squirreled away in the corner for safe keeping and our consumption.

The Toasty Cheese truck will be making an appearance as well.

Thanks to Alaska Air Cargo, our attendees will receive a coupon for a free gourmet grilled cheese sandwich and a complimentary beer.

Don't miss your chance for a great night of networking - follow this link to register.

Scholarship application period extended through November 11th.

One of the hallmarks of the IACAC and the reason we hold events as fundraisers like our holiday luncheon and the golf outing are to raise money for the scholarship fund.

The deadline for submissions this year has been extended to November 11th, giving qualified applicants the chance to submit in time. We will notify the winners within a few weeks and ask them to make their best effort to attend our holiday luncheon next month to receive their award in person.

For more information including eligibility requirements and to apply, visit our website for all the details.

The holiday party is coming.

And with it, we're looking for raffle items and giveaways for our fundraising efforts. Last year we were fortunate to have not only a wonderful selection of prizes and airline tickets and miles, but the bins were overflowing with the gifts that our attendees generously brought to benefit the Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive.

Mark your calendars and watch your inboxes - this year's event will be held again at the Belvedere on Tuesday afternoon, December 13th. Event registration will be open soon.

Photo credit: Flickr user Dave Herholz, CC by 3.0

President’s Letter: October, 2016

There is nothing better than knowing that my Sundays are once again free of the border of having to follow Chicago's professional football team. Thankfully the retooled Bulls, the return of hockey (it's an odd-numbered year, so they're in the Cup hunt again) and the potential of an October filled with local baseball will fill the void. As my term as IACAC President nears the end, I am proud of what we've done throughout 2016 and look forward to continuing to work until the new board takes over in December.

September successes

We had two major events here in town that I hope everyone had the chance to attend. Dan Gadow, former IACAC President, current Swissport Vice President and really all-around great guy came and spoke to a crowd of nearly forty people at our September luncheon. I say this with all sincerity, there is a short list of people who have spent their careers in and around this airport who understand its inner workings and Dan is on it. The Chicago air cargo community should be grateful for Dan's leadership and his continued vocal involvement on behalf of companies and their issues.

The Airforwarders Association also held a packed-house event at Coopers Hawk in Arlington Heights on September 21st. The IACAC's Chairman of the Board Jim Wilbrandt participated in a panel discuss that featured Chicago's Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans. It was a pleasure to have leadership from the airport there to discuss our issues and it opens up a dialogue we hope continues long into the future. If you couldn't make it, they've got a gallery on their Facebook page.

October opportunities - IACAC  Scholarship and monthly luncheon

Every year, the IACAC attempts to fund a scholarship for a family member of our individual and corporate members. Last year we awarded three scholarships - we hope to have the same opportunity this year. The page is live to learn more, but the deadlines are October 30th to submit an applicationNovember 15th to be advised, December 13th to be awarded. If you know someone who has a child or grandchild starting college or is in college and would like to submit an application, visit this page on our site for all the details. Candidates should complete the application, answer the three, 600-word essay questions and submit their transcripts.

On October 18th (a week later than usual), we're featuring the annual visit of Brandon Fried of the Airforwarders Association. Forwarders usually feel the impact of a regulatory change (updates to their Security Programs, new CBP procedures) after all the rulemaking and discussions have happened. Brandon and the AfA are in the room, fighting for forwarders to keep those changes from making our lives more difficult and costly. Come out and hear from him in person what is going on with advanced data requirements, what the election could mean for trade and the state of the industry. The registration page is live so go and sign up now.

November stuff - Oktoberfest on the 3rd, Elections on the 8th

Early in November you won't be able to get enough of us still as we have a return to Church Street Brewing Company planned for November 3rd and the event is graciously being sponsored by Alaska Air Cargo. We'll have the Toasty Cheese truck back as well, so if you missed it in July, you've got another shot coming up in November. We decided "Oktoberfest in November" was a great event - because who doesn't love eating & drinking and a good Alpenhorn?

November 8th will be the monthly luncheon where elections for the IACAC Board of Directors takes place. All regular members in good standing for six months are invited to run for one of the director seats and all regular members in good standing are eligible to vote. The IACAC board meets the first Tuesday of every month in the evening and we plan luncheons and networking events as well as raise funds for our scholarship fund through the golf outing and our holiday luncheon. For more information on running for a position on the upcoming board, contact Jim Wilbrandt at jim (at) basicent (dot) com.

Hanjin bankruptcy and peak season

We're certainly seeing reshuffling of cargo on the water because Hanjin's failure at the end of August. With an estimated 20,000 - 25,000 containers per week taken out of service, there have been some GRI's reported by the remaining carriers seeking to impose some levels of rate restoration. The JOC reported a strong August with an increase of 5.6% year-on-year as the peak season approaches. Airlines as well are seeing increased load factors as some cargo trapped on the ocean is moved by air to fill orders.

President’s Letter: September, 2016

And into the final third of the year we go...I'm somewhat in a state of disbelief when I sit down to write this in about another month or so that the baseball playoffs will be upon us. I mean, weren't they just reporting for Spring Training?

There are a wide variety of issues that I wanted to mention in this issue, many of which require linking out to the source material. If you or your company do not subscribe to some of these publications, I encourage you to do so because you'll be well read and ready to discuss the current issues that face logistics and supply chain today and into the future.

Peak Season: Flat.

Both the Journal of Commerce and the Wall Street Journal have opined that flat is the new peak. If that's the case, then logistics companies are going to have to change their business models to support year-round revenue generation rather than counting on a bump between now and the holiday season.

Amazon is coming to town...

They're all around us now, actually. In Crain's, it was announced this week that a third Amazon facility is planned for south suburban Monee, joining two facilities they've got under construction in Joliet and Romeoville. And congrats are in order to Ken Ryan and his team at Rockford Airport who've landed a daily Amazon freighter that could balloon to as many as five flights per day.

September events: Dan Gadow and the Airforwarders Association

We'll have more details on Dan's featured presentation at our monthly luncheon which will be held on Tuesday, September 13th, in the coming days. Just get your calendar marked for it. The big event, though, surrounds the quarterly Airforwarders Assocation board meeting that will be held in Chicago on September 20th followed by a night of discussion about air cargo issues in the Chicago market. In what can only be termed a coup, the AfA have landed Ginger Evans, Chicago's Aviation Commissioner, as a speaker and participant. If you're interested in sponsoring the event which is targeted at freight forwarders, or you want to attend, check out more on our website.

Calling all scholars...

September is also the month when we will open for nominations and applications for our annual IACAC Scholarship. Last year three worthy recipients shared several thousand dollars for their education. As a reminder, the scholarship is open to immediate family members of IACAC individual and corporate members. Got a kid going to college? Spend $50 or $100 on a membership for a chance to get them money for school.

"It's cold in Chicago" isn't a valid excuse.

You'd have to be blind or not spend any time driving around any part of O'Hare to notice the construction that seems to be happening at every turn. IDOT and the Illinois Tollway's plan for western access to O'Hare (and a western bypass around said airport) are under siege because the Canadian Pacific Railroad have backed out of an agreement to sell a portion of their yard to the Tollway Authority for the western access project. Greg Hinz has been covering it beautifully for Crain's and you should read what is happening and hope that both sides can come to their senses and the bargaining table because the delays and additional costs would dwarf whatever price the railroad sets for the property.

October events include an Oktoberfest!

For certain we're going to have the inimitable Brandon Fried and his traveling road show from the Airforwarders Association in to talk about what is happening with regulators in DC. There are all kinds of things to talk about like IACSSP Change 6, canines, ACAS and more. Brandon's event is usually one of the more well-attended we put on each year, so don't forget to mark your calendars for Tuesday, October 11th.

We're also finalizing the details on an Oktoberfest back over at Church Street Brewing Company, the site of our successful July social event. The tentative date is Thursday, October 20th at Church Street in Itasca. Watch this space for the full details when they're announced.

President’s Letter: August, 2016

Welcome to August. I like to think we're deep in the heart of the summer (and it has been a warm one to date, certainly) but judging from my television and the sale fliers starting to appear in my mailbox, I apparently need to get to planning the return to school of my kids later this month. Before we start having thoughts of classrooms, though, there are bigger and better concerns for our IACAC members and I wanted to share those with you today.

Last reminder: The golf outing is on August 9th.

Honestly, I know we've been drilling it into everybody's heads and we hope you're not utterly sick of hearing from us.

This is an important event because it's one of our two major fundraising activities throughout the year that raises money for our annual scholarship fund that awards money to students continuing their education. I won't bore you with the details, you can go here to read them and register, but join us to golf. If you can't join us to golf, join us for lunch. If you can't do either of those, donate something that we can raffle off to help our recipient(s) defray the cost of their education. We're not putting anybody through Harvard with a full ride, but we can certain help them with books and materials for a semester or two.

Watch this space for the IACAC Scholarship applications and questions.

Our Scholarship Committee Chair Olya Lebedyeva has come up with the list of questions for our applicants and our goal is to follow the same calendar we did last year calling for applications later in August and accepting them through October. We will announce and present the winners at our annual Holiday Luncheon.

PSS and forecast from Asia.

The Journal of Commerce reports that as retailers are gearing up for the 2016 PSS that rates on the Shanghai Containerized Index are ticking upwards. Bill Mongeluzzo reports that while the bumps in volume are not what they were during peak years (as much as a twenty percent increase in volume), retailers will still move their high-value merchandise through West Coast ports for the transit time savings it affords them versus an all-water service to the East Coast and then a return westward by rail or truck.

The importance of being active (in your networks).

As the owner of a logistics placement firm representing both employers and recruits, I stress to both sides of the equation the importance of keeping things current. Employers need to be sure their job listings are accurate and timely, otherwise individuals will feel dismayed and not trust a company who is misleading in their hunt for people. For recruits, network, make connections and stay engaged in discussions. Carve out some time each day to work through your professional social media channels, sharing things that are interesting or making new connections. Heck, if you attend any of our networking events and come home with a pocket full of business cards, you should be trying to connect with those people as soon as possible after meeting them. Add to that network because you never know when you'll need it.

Stay current because there's always an M or an A right around the corner.

M = Merger, A = Acquisition. If you've been through one (or more), you know what it is like to come out on one side or the other. Maybe your position gets retained, maybe it is eliminated because the other company's department is superior or doesn't need double the headcount. According to consulting firm PwC, while M&A activity was off in the first quarter of this year, they anticipate that low oil prices will continue to free up capital to pursue opportunities throughout the rest of 2016. You can read the story in American Shipper.

President’s Letter: July, 2016

We've reached the crest of 2016 and are now moving into the second half of the year. We're not wasting any time here at the IACAC and hope that you're half as excited about what we've got on our plate as I am. Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

June CNS event

On June 16th, CNS, the US arm of IATA, came to Chicago to educate air freight forwarders about eAWB adoption. Starting August 1st, airlines here in Chicago are going to be pushing for as many shipments to be tendered with electronic MAWB's as possible. Thanks to our efforts and those of the CCBFA, we registered 150 people for the event and just over 120 people were in attendance for the half day event.

It was a privilege to open the event. Thanks as well to IACAC Board Member Scott Case who helped put it together, locate the venue and was the featured keynote speaker before handing it off to the team from CNS.

Between our pictures and theirs, we've brought them together into a gallery you can look through here.

AirCargo 2016 in Phoenix a success

Brian Bartolotta and Melissa Gallardo at AirCargo 2016I had the pleasure of attending the AirCargo 2016 conference in Phoenix earlier this month and between the sessions, the networking events and the great number of exhibitors in the hall, the more than six hundred people in attendance took away a TON over those three days.

July 28th networking event at Church Street Brewing Company

We had such a great time and turnout at our March networking event around the college basketball tournament that we're doing it again. This time, come join us July 28th from 6 - 9 PM at Church Street Brewing Company. There's no charge to attend, just bring yourself, your business cards, and a taste for great craft beer.

More details including an RSVP will be coming to the site shortly - stay tuned.

IACAC Golf Outing August 9th - Calling all golfers and sponsors

Our annual golf outing is coming up in a little over six weeks and we are thrilled to be back at the Bridges of Poplar Creek. This event is the highlight event of the association outing circuit each year (or so we think) and the proceeds benefit our IACAC Scholarship Fund.

Golf registration is only $125.00 for single golfers and $400.00 per foursome. Can't join us for golf or not a golfer? We'll see you at lunch for only $35.00!

Click here to register for the IACAC Golf Outing!

We're still looking for sponsors and raffle prizes as well to give away during the luncheon. For more information about becoming an IACAC Golf Outing sponsor, download this flier.

Airline tickets up for grabs at IACAC Golf Outing

As of June 29th, we've got a commitment for tickets from:

  • Lan (courtesy of Progressive Transportation)
  • Air Canada
  • Southwest

Stay tuned because we're still feverishly working the phones and email to try and secure more. The IACAC Golf Outing is one of the few events left for forwarders to win tickets from our valued airline partners.

 

 

President’s Letter: June, 2016.

It is finally safe to say that after what has been a remarkably miserable Spring weather-wise, we're out the other end of it. I decided the picture of the lawnmower was best because, well, I've become best friends with it over the past month or so. We've got a regularly scheduled weekly appointment, although that could easily be twice-weekly if I had the time. But summer's here, we (IACAC) aren't slowing down any time soon, and I wanted to take a few minutes to share the things that are important to the Association and you, our members, in the coming months.

AirCargo 2016: June 8 - 10; will YOU be there?

I will, and in fact my company will have a booth in the exhibition hall. The conference is jointly presented by four key air cargo trade associations; the Airforwarders Association (AfA), the Air-Expedited Motor Carriers Association (AEMCA), Airports Council International North America (ACI-NA) and the Express Logistics Association (XLA). It will be at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, Arizona, and is a worthwhile event to attend. The nearly six hundred air cargo professionals who have already registered to attend will hear great sessions on things like drones and driverless trucks, an SSI-only session with a representative from TSA in Washington to ask pointed questions about security programs and the whole thing will be keynoted by Ray Thurston who started a company called SonicAir and led him ultimately to be CEO of UPS Worldwide Logistics for a period of time.

Don't miss out; registration is still available. If you're a member of one of these four associations, there might still be member discounts available; check with them. Otherwise visit aircargoconference.com to register.

eAWB education and training June 16th in Schaumburg.

The IACAC, along with the CCBFA and CNS are proud to be co-hosting a training session on e-AWB that is sponsored by United Airlines. Beginning in August, airlines at ORD are going to push to receive as many export air waybills electronically as possible. In order to educate the trade community on eAWB and better understand how it works and what is coming, CNS (the US arm of IATA) are offering a free half-day training at the Schaumburg Corporate Center (thanks to IACAC member and sponsor Roanoke Trade for helping to secure the space) on June 16th from 8 AM - 12:30 PM.

If you're unfamiliar with eAWB, how it works and whether you and your software provider can transmit this data to carriers, you will not want to miss this important session. To register or for more information, visit this link with CNS.

The eAWB training session will be our June event in lieu of our usual luncheon event since it's only two days after when we would have had our luncheon.

IACAC Golf Outing open to golfer registration - plenty of sponsorships still available.

It's getting close! Sure, you can go and play Bridges of Poplar Creek by yourself or with somebody else, but it won't be near as fun as doing it with us on August 9th. The registration is now open for golfers and we've kept the pricing identical to last year. For only $125.00 per golfer (or $400.00 per foursome), you will receive continental breakfast, an eighteen hole shotgun scramble, cart and lunch. That's a heck of a bargain, and in the coming weeks you'll be hearing about those great sponsors.

Speaking of sponsorship; there's a reason we do this other than wanting to spend a nice August day outdoors. The proceeds from the golf, sponsorships and prize raffles at lunch benefit our IACAC Scholarship, which last year awarded over $4,000 to three worthy recipients. We want to do the same thing this year, and you, yes you can make that happen. For more information about sponsoring or donating raffle items, download this flier.

If you have any questions, email our Golf Committee chairman Jim Wilbrandt at jim (at) basicent(dot)com.

President’s Letter: April, 2016

It's spring, we're days away from Opening Day and it's time for some introductions.

Hello, everyone. Thank you to those who participated in the special election earlier this month. I would like to thank Herman Ruiz who also put his name forth for the election. Herman has been an important and involved member of the IACAC for many years and I sincerely appreciate his service.

My name is Brian Bartolotta and I'm the Managing Director of BCS Placement. I am fortunate that many of our members are also my company's clients, so I look forward to having a chance encourage many of you to take the time to get involved in this great organization. I'll also be pressuring my non-member clients to join as well, because I believe that ours is one with tradition and history on our side.

Why I ran for President.

My vision for this organization which is in its 61st year is one of growth locally and nationally. We have a strong and diverse membership of airlines, warehouses, truckers and forwarders. We all have issues that are important to us and we should be working together to improve the air cargo community here in Chicago.

We should also reach out in all directions to other associations; CCBFA, ITA-GC, ITCC, the Illinois Trucking Association and others whose livelihoods depend upon a strong and growing air cargo industry.

We face issues here in Chicago that affect us directly, but sometimes the challenges we face are being repeated in other cities or on a national level. It is with this in mind that I look forward to engaging with organizations such as the Airforwarders Association or other air cargo associations around the country to network and share resources, tips and ideas. I encourage all of you when you travel to other cities to check in advance if your travel coincides with the meeting of a local air cargo association. It is a tremendous networking opportunity as well as a chance to learn something about the local marketplace.

I also want us to be more social. Last week we had a tremendous turnout for our March Madness event held with YFFA. We need to add more of these to our calendar, and surprisingly there are many great venues surrounding the airport where we can gather and share laughs in a relaxed and social setting.

If you have any questions or wish to reach me, feel free to contact me by email at bbartolotta (at) bcsplacement.com.

I look forward to working on your behalf and hope to see as many of you as possible at what will be a feature lunch event on April 12th with Bruce Campbell of Forward Air. Make your reservations today.

Chairman’s Letter: February, 2016.

This is a bit of a departure from our normal format and I was pressed into service to write this again. Fortunately, I had twelve months of experience in 2015, all of which are still fresh in my mind. So without any further ado...let's get to it.

IACAC Presidential Election.

Sam Krouse who this great Association elected in November of last year has tendered his resignation to the board. He accepted a job out-of-state and out of the industry and he and his family are relocating. We wish Sam the best and this came as a surprise to all of us. We have consulted with Michelle Mejia, counsel to the Assocation (more on that later), and we must hold a special election for the office of President.

We have two candidates who have declared their interest, Brian Bartolotta of BCS Placement and Olya Lebedyeva of SEKO. Both are members in good standing and eligible to run for the position and we are very excited that two tremendously qualified candidates have put themselves forward to serve the remainder of Sam's term. If Olya is elected, this will open up an additional position on the board that will also require an election.

If you're interested in running for the President, please send me an email by February 9th.

We will be posting a link to the ballot on the site and emailing members that link in the coming weeks. We ask that if you are not going to attend our March luncheon event that you please submit your ballot to me by email as per the instructions.

February event: Networking!

Let's face it, when we're not trying to take business from each other, we love to get together and break bread and share a drink or two, right? Well, we normally do a January networking event, but thanks to the success of our January luncheon featuring Jason Allen of U.S. Testing and Michelle Mejia, we pushed the networking event to this month. Reviews were positive of the Wyndham as a venue, and we're going to be hosting our networking event there. Watch for the email invite and details in The Pallet and through our various social media channels.

Introducing...Michelle Mejia!

At the January board meeting, we voted to accept Michelle Mejia of Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg as IACAC Counsel. Michelle has done great work with the Chicago Air Cargo Congestion Forum and will provide us with legal support for issues that the board faces. More importantly, she is available to you, the IACAC member, for issues that you're having with regulatory bodies or other agencies. We are focused on bringing value to our membership in 2016, and Michelle is a first step towards that. If you would like to learn more about Michelle, here is a link to her bio on her firm's website.

Sponsorships available on iacac.com and at our Golf Outing.

Our website generates a lot of traffic - nearly a thousand page views per month. It is a great opportunity for a company seeking to promote their company to the air cargo professionals in Chicago and elsewhere who pay attention. We have opportunities available throughout the site, whether on our home page or interior pages. In fact, we've created a sponsorship page where you can look at the options and pricing and contact us for more information.

We've not yet opened registration to golfers, but know that the annual IACAC Golf Outing will be on Tuesday, August 9th. We are soliciting sponsorships now and several are limited so get on the one you're interested in today. This year we are limiting the number of hole sponsors and will also be offering flag sponsorships. You can have your company's name and logo on one of the eighteen flags for only $75.00. When we're done playing, the flag is yours as a souvenir of the day.

For more information about what is available and to secure your early sponsorship, visit the event page for the Golf Outing.