Chairman’s Letter: March, 2016

I can definitively say that this is the last one of these you'll see with my name on it. We're electing a new President this month and have a whole bunch of other things going on as well.

Special IACAC Presidential Election.

In November, we elected a President, Sam Krouse, formerly of DGM. By January, Sam had accepted a position with a shipper in Ohio and had left Chicago and the industry and relocated his family out of state. Our by-laws dictated the path we had to follow, so earlier this month we voted to accept his resignation as a board and call for a special election to fill the vacancy created by his departure.

Two candidates have entered their names for consideration, Brian Bartolotta of BCS Placement and Herman Ruiz, Jr., of Channel Distribution. You can read their bios and find out more about the voting process here. We ask that all members take a moment to cast their ballots. Think of it as good practice for later in March for the primaries and in November for the general election.

Luncheon news: March, April and a change in May.

What didn't most folks find under their trees this past holiday season? Self-balancing scooters. Mostly because they either caught fire or the CPSC got their hands on them before Santa could put them under a tree and then the house would catch fire. Importers and Customs brokers draw the most attention from the agency in cases like this, but believe it or not, those of us who carry, transport or store these things have been dragged into the discussion as well.

Without making everybody's heads implode from a regulatory onslaught, we've asked Guadalupe Whyte, CPSC's Compliance Investigator, to come and tell us just what they do, how they do it, how we're involved and give us some great examples about their enforcement activities. We'll be at the Wyndham on March 8th and attendance is limited to the first forty registrants. Don't miss your chance - seats will go quickly.

In April, we are thrilled beyond words to feature Bruce Campbell, Chairman, President and CEO of Forward Air Corporation. Bruce has been with them for more than two decades in a number of capacities and oversaw their acquisition of Towne Air Freight. Details to follow, but mark April 12th on your calendars.

Finally, starting in May, we've increased the price for walk-ups to our luncheons to $35.00 from the current $30.00. We have had a number of embarrassing situations in the past several years where we relay the number of online reservations to the venue only to have the number exceeded by two or sometimes three times. This really makes me mad. We look foolish to the hotel, we look foolish to the speaker, we inconvenience everybody by making a room more crowded and worst of all, we run the very real risk of running out of food.

The board voted to implement a change beginning in May that walk-ups without a reservation will now pay $35.00 to attend. We could have gone higher, but wanted to make the point to people that all you have to do is register. You can still pay at the door, but make a reservation to let us know you'll be there. Reservations stay open till midnight the day before, so it really isn't that inconvenient to take two minutes to share your planned attendance with us.

Tentative annual March Madness outing back in 2016.

We've done it the past few years with the Young Freight Forwarders Association (YFFA) and it has been a tremendous amount of fun. Continue to watch our site and your inbox for the details, but we're planning on holding the event on Thursday, March 17th.

Golf Outing confirmed and sponsorships selling quickly.

Tuesday, August 9th - we've even got a placeholder page here on the website. We've got multiple sponsorship opportunities including breakfast, lunch, the beverage carts, holes and this year plan to offer a whole-hole sponsorship package that includes the chance to be on the tee with a table and chairs and have a flag with your logo for the hole as well.

The Golf Committee is also looking for help as well to solicit sponsors, promote the event and help execute a lot of the behind-the-scenes planning including securing items for the luncheon raffle that benefit our IACAC Scholarship Fund.

To participate, send me an email and we'd be happy to have your involvement.

IACAC Special Election – March 8, 2016

The IACAC Board of Directors, in accordance with the association by-laws, is holding a special election to fill the vacancy of the office of President that was created when Sam Krouse resigned shortly after his election. Sam left the industry and took a job in another city.

We have two candidates who have declared for this special election, Brian Bartolotta of BCS Placement and Herman Ruiz of Channel Distribution.

Their biographies are reprinted below:

Brian Bartolotta

Brian has been a member of the IACAC for several years and has been very active in the international transportation and logistics communities and associations including the CCBFA, IACAC, the Traffic Club of Chicago and the CSCMP.

Brian is currently President of BCS Placement, which focuses on recruiting, education and consulting for the international transportation, freight forwarding, air cargo and logistics industries.

Brian has consistently increased revenues annually for BCS since 1997 and has advised and implemented successful growth strategies for other local private corporations. He has very strong business contacts including Fortune 500 executives and professionals.

By leveraging his diverse business network and analyzing social and data trends, Brian’s contributions will include increasing IACAC membership, IACAC revenues and participation.

Brian attended the University of Illlinois at Urbana-Champaign where he majored in Economics. Brian was an Evans Scholar, a full tuition scholarship based on academic and scholastic performance. Brian was also a member of the Illinois Men’s Wrestling team.

Mr. Bartolotta is active in several local charities including the Special Olympics. He is married with three children, ages 10, 8 and 5.


Herman Ruiz

Herman Ruiz, Jr., began working for the airlines in 1966 with Flying Tiger Line and in 1968 moved to Airlift International working in STL/IAH/SFO/LAX and IND. While with Airlift, he was their Chief Cargo Agent then Cargo Supervisor. He later moved to being a loadmaster working on MAC flights out of Travis Air Force base (SUU). He moved back to Chicago to work for Air Wisconsin International setting up their Road Feeder Service within the Midwest. He also worked for Airmax then moved to Alliance Airlines to handle their cargo claims and teach their hazmat classes.

He moved to International Express to run their bonded warehouse and handle ocean imports and exports. From their he moved to Gotoh Distribution and ran the FTZ, Bonded warehouse and G. O. department.

He then left to work for Garrison CFS and ran the Bonded warehouse and G.O. Department working with the rail lines and steamship lines.

He now works at Channel Distribution Corp. working in sales and running the Bonded warehouse and G.O. Department. He also teaches G.O. Classes for the industry working closing with CBP.

Herman is active with the Knights of Columbus, Boy Scouts of America and the American Legion along with the IACAC.

He is a past President and Chairman of the Board of the IACAC.


Members in good standing are eligible to vote in the election, including those who have joined since our last election in November, 2015.

There are two ways to vote:

  1. Click here or on the picture of the ballot to download and submit your ballot to me no later than midnight, Monday, March 7th.
  2. Attend our March luncheon on Tuesday, March 8th to tender your ballot in person. Click here for more details and to register to attend. Seating is limited.

The ballots will be counted and the winner announced at the conclusion of the March meeting.

Click here to download the special election ballot for IACAC President.
Click here to download the special election ballot for IACAC President.