By, Will Kohudic, Editor, Portal
IAM’s 60th Annual Meeting & Expo took place in Atlanta, Georgia from November 2–5. For many of our members, it was their first opportunity in three years to travel to a major industry event and trade show. Although travel visas can still take longer to acquire and not every region has returned to normal, we set a five-year record of 1,739 attendees.
As of the writing of this article, the attendee survey is still open for responses, so it’s too early to print statistics. However, I can share that the comments and responses we got on site were overwhelmingly positive. Everyone was thrilled to be able to get away from video chat and meet with colleagues in person. All of the exhibitors I spoke with are enthusiastic about returning next year, but there is hope for those who want to join them—our expo space in Toronto will be considerably larger than this year’s.
In celebration of IAM’s 60th anniversary, the theme of this year’s Annual Meeting was The Next 60 Years. Often, an anniversary or milestone is seen as a time to look back over past times and events. However, given the current pace of innovation and change taking place in our industry, we elected to dedicate this time to looking forward to the next 60 years.
In every way, this Annual Meeting was structured like meetings held before COVID-19, with a handful of improvements that we tested at the hybrid meeting in Orlando in 2021. New features in the Expo Hall included grab-and-go food and drink available throughout the day instead of scheduled breakfast and lunch hours. We also kept a bar open in the expo hall all day, which proved popular and may be extended next year to include a coffee/tea shop as well.
IAM also retained many of the Annual Meeting safety protocols we put into practice the previous year, including a staffed medical room, freely available hand sanitizer and face masks, and a registration process highly automated to minimize queue times. The registration line on the first morning may have looked intimidating at first glance, but it moved quickly so attendees could begin networking and walking the trade show floor.
The first day of the Annual Meeting began with a Joint Leadership Breakfast for members of the Executive Committee, Core Members Management Board, IAM-YP Management Board, and the IAM staff. The assembled leadership was addressed by IAM Chair Mike Richardson, President Chuck White, and Vice President Brian Limperopulos, and members of headquarters staff presented progress updates about the Association’s finances, programs and services.
This year, we named the expo hall “The Hub” to mark its increasing importance as the centerpoint of the meeting. The main differences from pre-COVID expo hall layouts included multiple smaller lounge areas instead of a single Network Central lounge, and making food and beverages freely available to attendees there throughout the day. The changes proved to be popular, and the expo hall was well-attended over all four days of the meeting.
Our robust slate of learning labs and speaker panels started early on day one. Five learning labs and some specialty group meetings were held throughout the day, the first of which was A Primer on IAM’s New Membership Structure at 11:00 am. Speaker Brian Limperopulos began with a brief history of the membership restructuring initiative and working group, then presented a summary of IAM member programs and services. If you missed this session and want to know more about IAM’s new membership categories, we encourage you to watch the webcast we recorded in May. By the time of this reading, your company will have received its 2023 dues invoice. If you are not happy with your membership category, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find the right one.
At 12:30, the Military Service & Personal Property Shipping Office Insights session started. The panel began with a discussion of the new best value scoring methodology (BVS 2.0), and how everyone’s claim score, delivery score, etc. will be compiled from the previous nine months’ statistics. Many concerns were raised about the new BVS 2.0, including using the current minimum performance score (MPS) in concert with BVS 2.0, and how it could lead to many TSPs falling below the MPS and being placed in non-use. Numerous questions were asked and answered, including, “Do JPPSOs and PPSOs advise their service members about the pitfalls of rogue and criminal movers when they choose to perform their own personally procured move?” The answer is that they do not always advise members to that level of detail, but they can give some guidance including quality assessments of available moving companies.
The IAM Young Professional (IAM-YP) membership was well represented during the IAM 60th annual meeting and tradeshow, with over 50% of the YPs in attendance. The YPs' events began with a membership meeting that included reports from each of the IAM-YP Management Board members. The Management Board shared highlights of the year, including a webinar hosted by YPs on data security, 28 YPs featured in the YP focus issue of the Portal magazine, Next Generation of Leadership is Here, and the virtual Paint & Sip happy hour activity. The election results were announced, with Sheena Kiser (SEACORP) remaining as YP-Chair and Lennert de Jong (Gosselin Group N.V.) reelected to the Vice-Chair position. Following the YP membership meeting, the group walked to Centennial Olympic Park for the YP connect activity. The event provided a teambuilding experience and allowed new YPs to connect with veterans and make business connections in a fun and relaxing environment.
The next session, Military Spouse Perspectives on the DoD Moving Process, began at 2:30. The first item that came up for discussion is the use of Air Tags in personal property shipments. From the spouse’s perspective, these Air Tags can help provide reassurance in the event of the unexpected, and promote honesty and transparency in the process. Claims came up next, as a major stress for service members and families. As with any service, a move process may not go smoothly, and the spouses provided their first-person account about the stresses they and their family faced in those instances. The purpose of these sessions is for client and service provider to learn from one another and hopefully prevent or handle these situations better in the future. One key point made was the comparison of the DoD moving process to corporate relocation, with the latter characterized by fabulous communication and white glove service. It was noted that her corporate move happened in the non-peak season, while the move she compared to it happened in the middle of peak season. During that particular military move, she felt the packers were rushed and focused solely on military requirements. In the comparison, she likened corporate moving to a relationship, with DoD moving being more of a transaction with a checklist.
At the same time, there was a learning lab titled Leading Multinational Movers Navigate the Future of Mobility. Panelists gave perspectives on soft (administrative) costs involved in shipments due to restricted shipping and container availability, stating that shipping company technology is often not up to date, and that automation and AI can increase efficiency. Automation will also improve the move coordinator’s job when they can spend more time interacting with customers instead of on administrative tasks, ultimately lowering service costs, which increases profitability. It was also noted that automation coupled with remote work could potentially increase the difficulty of hiring people; some cultures prefer working in an office and are more relational in their approach to work. Other topics included diversification by hiring from within, continuous training, and attracting younger workers who are invested in technology and the environment.
The first day of IAM Learning Labs closed with the Mobility Sustainability Coalition Info and Q&A Session at 4:00. This panel, composed of leaders from IAM, FIDI, and Worldwide ERC, began with the assertion that we must come together in meaningful ways to embrace sustainability. The topic is too complex for any one company or association because we’re all interconnected. As associations, we can help all of our member companies find the way. Because of this, all three organizations plus EURA, the Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC), and the Corporate Housing Providers Association have chosen to band together and solve this problem collectively. The group’s work began with a survey conducted last month; almost 500 responses came back, with most companies either not knowing how to begin or having just taken the first steps, with EU sustainability reporting requirements taking effect very soon in Europe. The requirements will affect the largest companies in January, and will expand to include all companies in three years; the U.S. SEC is developing a similar initiative. The goal of this coalition is to develop standards to achieve measurable progress and results. Customers are beginning to ask what companies are doing to reduce their carbon footprint, and these standards will pay off in meeting those customer expectations. A roadmap will be ready in the next month and a half, and the coalition will provide education and guidance for their members.
Also at 4:00 pm, the U.S. Domestic Asset-Based (DAB) Mover Management Board (DMB) held a DAB Mover Group Meeting. The meeting was open to all Annual Meeting attendees and was very well-attended. The session was hosted by the DMB Chair (Chris Lantz, Bekins Moving Solutions) and Vice Chair (Lakelan Fennell, Suddath). These gentlemen introduced the rest of the DMB members and provided a quick update on IAM’s efforts to establish the DAB, as well as a look back of DMB efforts over the past year and an update on focus areas in the coming year.
The rest of the DAB session was a panel discussion that focused on diversifying your DAB Mover business. Lakelan Fennell moderated the panel, and it included experts who’ve made significant steps in diversifying their moving businesses. The panelists included Mark Chesser of Conser, Jon Minor of Apple Moving, and Jimbo Loftin from Coleman. Alongside their insights, the crowd was actively engaged, and many offered their own insights and thoughts on the topic.
The DAB meeting was a great success. It gave attendees insight as to efforts of the DMB over the past year, and the diversification panel highlighted a topic of concern we’ve heard from many DABs. Listening to DAB movers and their concerns is exactly why IAM set up the DAB Management Board; and providing learning opportunities like the business diversification panel is one example of what the DAB works to accomplish throughout the year.
The New Members, First-time Attendees and Volunteers Reception began promptly at 6:00 pm in the ballroom lobby and terrace area. New attendees were afforded the opportunity to meet and greet IAM staff, volunteer leaders and distinguished guests. Immediately afterward, the Opening Reception was held in the ballroom. Food stations of all descriptions were sprinkled throughout the room, drinks flowed, desserts were plentiful, and members were able to relax and socialize together in an informal atmosphere.
The night didn’t end there for everyone, however—this year featured a new social event, the Official IAM Afterparty benefitting Move For Hunger, presented by Cornerstone Moving & Storage. The Afterparty, hosted by the U.S. Domestic Asset-Based Movers (U.S. DAB) group, was held in the International Ballroom from 9:00 p.m.–midnight. All proceeds benefit IAM’s charity partner Move For Hunger in their mission to end hunger and food waste. The Afterparty was also the site of the first-ever IAM Rock, Paper, Scissors (RPS) tournament. Congratulations to tournament champion Chris Duello of Western Express, who won a free four-night hotel stay for the 2023 Annual Meeting in Toronto, and bragging rights to the title of Best RPS Mover In the World.
Day two of the Annual Meeting began at 9:00 am with a buffet breakfast and the IAM General Session and President’s Address in the Centennial Ballroom. IAM Chair Mike Richardson (Senate Forwarding, Inc.), kicked off the session and gave special recognition to all of our valued sponsors and exhibitors.
Mike introduced Maria Andrea Rodriguez (ABC Cargo Logistics), President of the Alan F. Wohlstetter Scholarship Fund, and welcomed her to the stage. She began by talking about the new Industry Training Program (ITP), and encouraged people to apply for the training awards that remain available. She recognized the awardees of the 2022 scholarships and this year’s recipient of the Jackie Agner Award, Jane Carol Bunting of Daycos, for her efforts on behalf of Move Out ALS. She then thanked this year’s donors to the AFWSF and welcomed Georgia Angell and Don Goldberg to the stage to hand out big $5,000 checks from Cartwright International, Deseret Forwarding, Island Movers, National Van Lines, and Ann Wohlstetter and Lee Tsangeos. Don Goldberg’s Memorial Day Match and Gridiron Forwarding concluded the donations with a big check for $10,000.
IAM President Chuck White returned to the stage and introduced Adam Lowy, Founder and CEO of Move For Hunger, who talked about the previous night’s Opening Reception Afterparty, which benefitted his organization. Adam started Move For Hunger 13 years ago after seeing food thrown out when people relocate. Food waste and food shortages are two major problems worldwide. With 263 participating members, the IAM network has provided over 3,757,000 meals over the years. In 2022 alone, 42 members helped to feed 204,510 people. The winner of this year’s IAM Mover of the Year is The Paxton Companies. Freddy Paxton accepted the award, thanking Paxton’s team and their families for their high level of involvement in fighting food insecurity.
Next, White brought the Chair of the IAM-YP group, Sheena Kiser of Seacorp, to the stage in order to present this year’s Rising Star Award. This award honors a YP member who exemplifies the YP mission and vision and has made an impact on the YP community and the industry through mentorship, positive role modeling, committee work, and involvement with IAM charitable activities. It also comes with the benefit of a free year of membership in the IAM-YP. Out of seven remarkable nominees, Francesco Argiro of Bliss Moving and Logistics was selected. He thanked his family and his team for helping him reach this moment and inspired the room with his speech.
White then introduced Georgia Angell, Chair of the IAM Leadership Alliance Committee. She introduced the New Leadership Training Program and presented the nominees of the Excellence in Leadership Award. The winner, Simon Hood of John Mason International, could not make it to Atlanta due to the birth of his son, Alfie James Hood, the day before. Congratulations, Simon!
Chuck White began his State of the IAM address by recognizing the IAM staff and describing the new membership categories for 2023 and beyond, and how we arrived at the names and value propositions for each of the new categories. He encouraged members who haven’t yet selected their new category to do so, and described the process of how companies who don’t submit a choice will be sorted into the new categories.
White discussed a number of IAM’s products and services, beginning with our new IAMTrusted Moving Company designation, which recognizes IAM member companies that have made significant investments in their business to promote a culture of competence, knowledge, and conscientiousness within their staff and wish to display a tangible commitment of their trustworthiness to their industry colleagues. He then spent time on news about the U.S. DAB Mover Group and our new Leadership Alliance Learning Program, developments regarding our Code of Ethics, and a renewed focus on volunteerism in IAM for the coming year.
Speaking about the industry at large, White spoke about the upcoming Global Household Goods Contract (GHC), which is a multi-year contract worth 20 billion USD. He stressed the importance of this development to the whole membership, as it is very possible that the awardee may grow its business into further government branches and eventually corporate relocation; it’s a contract that could impact the entire global moving and forwarding industry, and everybody needs to be aware of its potential.
White also touched on the topic of sustainability, and the fact that IAM has joined a coalition of six industry associations to focus on the environmental aspect of ESG. This group of associations is working now to create a proactive roadmap forward to find the right way to guide our members, rather than do so reactively after government bodies create standards.
2020 and 2021 were tough years financially for the association just as for our members, White said, but we’re back on solid footing and we appreciate everything our members have done to support IAM, and we look forward to seeing everyone again in Toronto, Canada, October 9–12, 2023.
Chuck White briefly left the stage, and then returned in what looked like a hazmat suit. He welcomed Jane Carol Bunting from Daycos to talk about her charity work with Move Out ALS, raising funds for research at moving industry events. Because we raised $3,000 right there at the Annual Meeting, we got to see Chuck White covered in shiny, glittery pink slime.
The day’s first IAM Learning Lab began at 11:00 am: the Federal Agency Household Goods Expert Panel. There, five experts from government moving programs discussed a wide range of issues including new initiatives in GSA’s CHAMP Program, which are being implemented in an effort to promote sustainability, virtual move surveys, and better regulation of suppliers. They pointed out that GSA is not yet moving toward digital inventories, and that Department of State (DOS) has made several adjustments due to global events, though volume remains steady at an elevated level. Other topics included port congestion, the ongoing supply chain crisis, DNA (determination of non-availability of U.S. flag carriers); conversations on why requests for DNA aren’t granted more liberally, and cases where a DNA might be appropriate.
Another panel, Corporate Clients Imagine Moving Services of the Future, was held concurrently, with corporate global mobility managers discussing their vision of moving and relocation in the near future. Leaders from corporations that move thousands of employees each year agreed that generally, offering a lump-sum allowance for moving is a bad idea. Having the employee make all of the decisions involved in the move isn’t the best use of employee’s time, and expenses increase as soon as anything goes wrong, whereas HR professionals can handle the process more smoothly and efficiently. Also, now that the worst of the perceived difficulties of COVID are past, customers are becoming more difficult to please. They agreed that destination agents can provide better services by setting expectations for things like the home search proactively, and that collaboration is key from initiation through final delivery. They also talked about opportunities in today’s market, how they qualify service partners, and how the pandemic has shaped their relocation policies.
The IAM Core Members Meeting opened at 1:00 pm, and featured a special panel session called Looking at The Future of Global Mobility, with executives from leading RMCs. Though the speakers were different, they agreed with the previous session speakers that lump sum amounts not going as far as they used to, and that people need more support in their moves. They noted that some companies are moving to a hybrid model where there is a lump sum allowance, but the company also provides some core services in the move. When asked by Charles White, “How can the industry fulfill IAM’s vision of moving becoming the easy part?” they had several answers. Delays and driver shortages make it difficult, but better communications can help the process and help set realistic expectations. Technology can be integrated where it is truly helpful, such as apps for clients to self-manage and keep information instantly available during the move and seek expert service on demand. Consolidation among RMCs continues, they noted, and there’s no telling how many companies there will be in future years. Demand for corporate moves remains high, though, and there is still pent-up global demand for roles that cannot be performed remotely, such as in the medical professions. It was also shared that manufacturing roles are beginning to return to the U.S. as companies begin to “re-shore” operations to mitigate future risk.
Also at 1:00 pm, the International Shippers Association (ISA) held its annual board and membership meetings. As per the ISA By-Laws, Charles White, IAM President, will serve as the ISA Managing Director (Ex Officio). Terry Head will continue to support the ISA Board and Membership as the ISA Association Representative.
Core Member Elections
The Core Members Election proceeded by slate with no nominations from the floor, and votes were cast. Positions elected this year were:
Core & Supplier Member Representative: Boris Populoh, Unirisc, Inc.
Core & Supplier Member Representative-at-Large: Catherina Stier, Harsch, The Art of Moving Forward
Non-US Core Member Representatives:
Ido Barner, AGS Worldwide
Ben Scheiner, Global Relocations Ltd.
ISA Board of Directors Elections
The ISA Board of Directors Election proceeded with a motion presented and passed to accept the Slate as presented, as there were no nominations from the floor. Positions elected this year were:
Chair: Adam Hall
Vice Chair: Jim Nance
Secretary: Lucrecia Sikora
Treasurer: Lisa Williams
Member-at-Large: Jacob Pieroni
ISA Chair Adam Hall had announced earlier that Han Helders was resigning from the ISA Board, and he thanked Mr. Helders for his two decades of service in a variety of capacities, including as ISA Chair, along with his numerous contributions to the growth and success of the organization.
A highlight of the meeting was an analytical recap of the 2021 ISA Patronage Dividends totaling $650,000.00, which the ISA Board had approved and was distributed to the participants in the ISA Military/Government Group back in mid-September. A total of 135 individual dividends were distributed with the average dividend for 2021 being $4,814.81 and the highest dividend just over $35,000, which brings the total cumulative amount returned to Members being $4,094,481.00 since ISA began returning dividends to the Membership in 2003.
The next session began at 3:00 pm: U.S. TRANSCOM Personal Property Update. The panel discussed possible next moves for TRANSCOM as the GHC takes effect. Many changes will be coming over the nine-month transition period; with the contract expected to start after peak season 2023. TRANSCOM understands there will need to be strong collaboration between HomeSafe, DoD and small businesses to make it work effectively for all. They noted that they intend to continue to improve DP3 on behalf of the DoD personnel who will still move under DP3 until the transition to the GHC is completed. TRANSCOM believes the changes to the 2023 DP3 business rules will keep companies focused on on-time delivery and claims, and not just customer satisfaction surveys. They talked about the user interface for BVS (best value scoring) 2.0 and how TSPs should be able to review their data prior to the score being final. TRANSCOM staffers also covered the new shared performance scores; the new CSS process; and the new claims score included in BVS 2.0, just to name a few of the topics covered. There was also lively discussion on whether electronic inventories will be required in DP3 for 2023. It was noted that final business rules were due by November 14, but as of this writing on 1 December, the final rules have not been posted; and therefore we aren’t sure whether electronic inventories will be required in 2023.
The day’s final IAM Learning Lab was The IAM Leadership Alliance Presents “The Transformative Power of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)”. It began at 4:00 pm with the founding members of the Leadership Alliance Project sharing their visions for the group and its mission to be a council based on inclusivity and unity. They spoke about developing core values of inclusiveness; honesty, open communication, unity, and respect for all. They also discussed upcoming webinar topics, speaker requirements, future leadership courses, and ways to promote awareness that in our industry, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is needed now more than ever. Not just for its own sake, but because it brings tangible organizational benefits, like competitive advantage.
At 5:00, the learning lab transitioned into the Leadership Alliance Reception to give presenters and attendees an opportunity to gather and continue the discussion in an informal setting.
Day three began at 9:30 am with the Ocean Freight Update: The Latest on the Shipping Reform Act and FMC Regulations. Karyn Booth, Partner at Thompson Hine, presented a thorough review of current developments concerning the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) of 2022. She began with factors leading to OSRA 2022: COVID impacts and economic lockdowns; supply and demand imbalance; worker shortages; skyrocketing spot rates; and high costs coupled with poor service. Disruptions to cargo delivery networks led to business interruptions and a lack of commercial options, with carriers unwilling to honor contract and commitments or negotiate solutions. OSRA 2022 was signed into law on June 16 and was self-executing, meaning that it took effect immediately. It addresses ocean carrier operating practices to and from U.S. ports, but is not in itself a fix for port congestion and supply chain disruptions.
OSRA’s purpose is to ensure an efficient, competitive and economical transportation system, encourage development of efficient U.S. liner fleet, and promote the growth of U.S. exports.
At the same time, Chuck White held an invitation-only session where the Department of State could meet with their TSPs and answer questions about their programs and processes. Much of the discussion centered around U.S. flag carriers and Determination of Non-Availability (DNA), especially the effectiveness of real-time emails while the shipment is live in port. The automated DNA process works smoothly; finding a vessel to move the shipment is usually the hard part. Other discussion topics included Required Delivery Date (RDD) extension requests, rate filing, and requests for pricing when building rates, which is complicated by market volatility and determinations of rate reasonableness.
At 11:30 am, the Hall of Honor Recognition Ceremony and Luncheon was held to recognize inductees into the IAM Hall of Honor. Due to the disruption caused by COVID over the past two Annual Meetings, inductees from 2020, 2021, and 2022 were all celebrated in this ceremony.
The 2020 class included Georgia Angell of Trellis Vine Consulting, Jeff Coleman of Coleman World Group, and Marc Smet of Gosselin Group. The 2021 class included Joëlle Castro of MOBILITAS Group, Wladimir Alvares de Mello (deceased) of Metropolitan Transports, and Michael Fergus of SIRVA. This year’s inductees are Adam Lowy of Move for Hunger, Eric Lim of Asian Tigers Singapore, and Lucrecia Sikora of SIRVA. Video tributes for each inductee were shown, and we were pleased that many of them (or a family member) were present at the event and were able to speak to the membership and receive their awards.
Also honored at this year’s luncheon were Steve Lewis and Rick Curry, both of whom passed away this year. Rick Curry had worked in the industry since the 1960s and was active as an IAM volunteer and leader for much of that time, including eight years on the Executive Committee and three years as Chairman. He was the first and only Chair of the IAM Ethics Council and had played a key role recording the history of IAM through his participation with the IAM Looking Back initiative and as a member of the Hall of Honor. In 2017, he resigned from the Selection Committee and was immediately selected to be one of the inductees. This year, we also lost Steve Lewis, a long-serving industry veteran who, among his many accomplishments, helped to develop the FIDI Professional Cooperation Guidelines, led the Moving and Mobility Standards Alliance Steering Committee, and served as Chair of the Hall of Honor Selection Committee and member of the IAM Ethics Council.
Each honoree received a crystal award, a Hall of Honor lapel pin, and a certificate of induction. Their full Hall of Honor biographies can be found in the September/October issue of the Portal magazine, as well as on the IAM website. The Hall of Honor was established in 2008 to pay tribute to industry leaders whose careers reflect exceptional and distinguished service to their companies or the Association, or who have worked to elevate the industry as a whole.
At 2:00 pm, the Risk Management and Claims Panel began. The panel consisted of individuals from the industry and from the DoD Military Claims Offices. They reviewed the latest military claims trends, including a lengthy discussion on mold in DoD shipments. Overall, it was agreed that the mold identification and remediation process needs to be streamlined for improved service. When a mold situation is identified in base housing, MCOs are required to react. The TSP must prove the mold did not originate with them, including all documentation back to the origin of the shipment. The best practice is to not pick up any shipment that has mold; if you do, remediation becomes your liability. You do not have to pick it up, despite any pressure put on you to do so. There should be a set standard of reasonableness on how long it takes mold to grow and who might be responsible, but currently, if mold is found, you need to find experts who will testify how long that mold took to grow before it came into your possession. Other topics included high-value inventory and notices of loss or damage, and how changing to digital forms has proved hard transition for military members, as current electronic forms don’t always include the necessary contact details and other information. The panel was packed with useful information and the discussion with the audience was lively.
Another Learning Lab, IAM Trusted Moving Company: Transforming Trade Relationships, began at 2:30, presented by Ray daSilva of Mobility Exchange. Ray presented a deep look at the new IAMTrusted Moving Company (ITMC) designation and its benefits. Achieving the ITMC qualification demonstrates a higher level of commitment to professionalism in the moving industry, including a commitment to training and ongoing learning with a minimum of one credentialed staff member at all times. For example, in the event of a dispute with another IAM Member, ITMC companies commit to abide by the IAM Issue Resolution System process, which provides all members a more proactive and constructive way to register complaints with other members. The next edition of the Portal magazine will focus on this innovative and transformative new program, so stay tuned.
At 4:00 pm, the DAB Mover Group presented How to Implement Electronic Inventories at Your Company, featuring a panel of industry leaders and experts who examined every aspect of when, why and how to implement electronic inventory (EI) systems. Areas of concern in selecting a system include whether the user interface is available on a smart phone, its availability when there’s no internet connection, and how to manage the inventory control of the system-related hardware. The best and most productive ways to train crews to use EI were discussed, including training one or more staff as super users who can train and support others. Other important aspects discussed include the level and availability of tech support, flexibility of form fields within the system and ability to embed photos, and the ease of reporting and processing claims.
Later that evening, the YP Social Mixer began at Guardian Works, a former perfume factory that has been repurposed into an events space with several bars, a dance floor and a large, open-air patio. YP members, guests and IAM staff arrived early and in numbers. Drinks were plentiful, a food truck served wood-fired pizza, and the DJ soon had the dance floor filled. It’s hard to do the scene justice with just a few photos—for many YPs, it was their first chance to get down in a long time due to COVID, and it was an evening well-spent making up for lost time.
The final day of the Annual Meeting began when the expo hall opened at 8:00 am, featuring breakfast food and refreshments which remained available until the expo hall officially closed at noon.
At 9:00 am, the Governing Members Meeting was called to order. In his opening remarks, IAM President Chuck White talked about IAM’s challenges and successes over the past year, along with the status and future plans of IAM’s programs and affiliate groups. Committee reports were presented by the committee chairs, with updates about their program areas.
Governing Member Elections and By-Law Voting
The Governing Members Election proceeded by slate with no nominations from the floor, and votes were cast. Positions elected this year were:
Chair: Mike Richardson, Senate Forwarding, Inc.
Vice Chair: John Burrows, DeWitt Moving & Storage
Stephan Geurts, Jr., GovLog, N.V.
Adam Hall, Coleman Worldwide Moving
Jake Pieroni, Central Van Lines
Susan Staszewski, National Van Lines
Governing Members also voted on amendments to the IAM By-Laws to reflect the new names of the membership categories, to specify that individuals are not eligible for corporate membership in IAM, and to broaden the definition of what being a member in good standing means. All of the By-Law amendments were passed, and you can read them here:
The final session of the Annual Meeting, Lithium Batteries in Personal Property Shipments: What Movers Need to Know, convened at 2:00 pm, and consisted of representatives from the Department of Transportation’s Transportation Safety Institute (TSI). The primary topic of discussion was the DoD draft requirement for moving lithium batteries in personal property shipments. These regulations are applicable to any person in the custody chain who causes the transport of lithium batteries, including pre-transportation functions. The regulations will allow transport of lithium batteries up to 100 watt-hours per item, depending on packaging and mode of transport, using the formula volts * amps = watt hours. Service personnel, government employees and contractors all need compliance training before the regulation comes into effect. For the safest movement, lithium batteries should be shipped at a “balanced charge” level, not full or drained, and preferably shipped with equipment, because integrated safety features can help the battery to not overheat when installed. Batteries shipped by ground, sea and air are all subject to different restrictions. Until DoD implements their policy, movers can still refuse to ship batteries like any other hazardous materials.
At the end of the final day, the Closing Reception, Dinner and Entertainment began with a reception in the ballroom foyer. IAM President Chuck White welcomed members and guests to the ballroom, where the stage had been set for a funkadelic 70s music and dance extravaganza. The costumes, lights and sounds were solid gold, and the hits just kept on coming. A fabulous dinner was followed by dancing on this final evening with friends and colleagues, and most attendees stayed until the very end. We thank you for joining us as we set a course for the industry and the association for the next 60 years, and we look forward to seeing all of you next year at our 61st Annual Meeting & Expo in Toronto!