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Business report IAM 2014

Nov 17, 2014
Steve Jordan attended the IAM conference in Orlando for The Mover. The opening presentation summarised new initiatives and events from the world’s largest moving organisation. Here are the highlights.


AFW Scholarship Fund

New students and donators to the Alan F. Wohlstetter Scholarship Fund were acknowledged at IAM by Heather Engle, the organisation’s president.  The fund was named after the founder of the Household Goods Forwarders Association of America (HHGFAA).

Heather said that since 2004 the fund has made $5,000 awards to 62 students to encourage them to study transportation.  Ten new awards were made in Orlando.

All funds are donated by IAM members in either bronze, silver, gold or platinum categories with the platinum category representing a donation in excess of $5,000.  During 2014 there had been a total of 40 donations allowing the fund to continue its aim of awarding up to 10 scholarships every year.

Applications for scholarships are accepted from IAM members, their employees and their dependents. Anyone interested should go to and look under the ‘affiliates’ tab.


IAM honours Randall Groger and Paul Klien

The IAM Hall of Honor started in 2008 as an initiative to commemorate, to pay tribute and celebrate the contribution made by individuals in the moving industry. In 2014 Randall K. Groger and Paul Richard Klien were added to the existing list of 42 people to have been inducted since the start of the programme.

Randall Groger served on the IAM Executive Committee for 10 years leading the Association through its name change from HHGFAA and the restructuring of its membership categories. He served 30 years’ in the moving industry working especially in the defence and government sectors and is currently owner of RKG Associates which he founded in 2008. Receiving the honour Mr. Groger said that he was very proud to have received it and thanked the committee for their endorsement and the staff at IAM with whom he had worked for many years.

Paul Klien was the President of FINK in Brazil and one of the founding members and the first president of LACMA (Latin American & Caribbean International Movers Association).  In the early 1970s he founded the Brazilian Institute of Financial Executives with the aim of bringing Brazil into the rank of developed nations and was instrumental in the modernisation of the country.  He died in March 2012. Receiving the honour on his behalf Laura Ganon, the CEO of FINK thanked the IAM committee and the LACMA board that continues Mr. Klien’s vision.  “He had always been an inspiration to all of us,” she said.  “He told us that everything we do we must do with ethics, quality and respect.”


Crown Relocations wins Move for Hunger award. 

Crown Relocations was awarded the title of Move For Hunger Mover of the Year 2014 at IAM in Orlando. Move For Hunger works with moving companies to collect unwanted, non-perishable food items from its customers and deliver them to local food banks throughout North America. Presenting the award, the organisation’s Executive Director, Adam Lowy said that in just five years since the formation of the organisation 600 moving companies had been involved in the programme and a total of 3.8million meals had been delivered. Crown Relocations had been responsible for supplying around 70,000 of those meals.


The state of IAM

Terry Head, IAM President gave a brief overview of the organisation at the conference in Orlando. In his presentation Terry looked closely at the make up of the IAM membership and introduced new initiatives that mark landmarks in the organisation’s development.

Attendance in Orlando was in excess of 2000 delegates reflecting a cross section of IAM’s 2,400 company memberships in 179 countries. Terry said that the membership had changed over recent years with the majority of the core membership being located outside the USA with the largest concentration of membership in Europe.  Governing membership is still dominated by US-based companies which is something Terry is hoping to change in the future. “Some of the things we are doing that are of benefit to non-traditional military or government movers will bring more people up from the core to the governing ranks of IAM membership,” he said, adding that although the membership is still dominated by agent companies, there are now more relocation companies and other segments are coming into membership.

Two major changes in the attendance at IAM in recent years have been the growth in the number of technology companies demonstrating the increasing sophistication of the industry and the trend towards the convention being a sales environment rather than one for traffic management.  “This meeting has become a marketing meeting,” he said.  “It’s the people who are doing the selling for their businesses who are showing up here.”

Enhanced communication

Communication is important and IAM has increased the number and type of communications with members. One key area is the Social Café on the IAM website that is both a communication and being used to drive business. “You will see things on the Social Café first,” said Terry. “If you want to be the first in your company to know about things, this is where you want to be spending your time.” 

RPP included

Receivable Protection Program was launched in 2007.  Terry explained that it has been a very viable program for the people who elected to be part of it allowing them to recover funds owed by companies that stop trading.  “We are now making this an inclusive member benefit,” he explained. “From 1 January 2015 everyone will be included in the RPP.  It will also cover military and government traffic.  This is a big step for this Association because the exposure there is huge. But hopefully, with the right number of people and the right reserves we will be able to cover more claims for more people.”

Other initiatives

Terry explained a number of other initiatives, all of which he said were detailed on the ‘affilliates’ section of the IAM website. These include: the development of the International Logistic Network (ILN) for everything that is not household goods; the Mentor Match programme available through the Social Café to allow people with specific skills to share their experience with others; and the Shippers’ Association, a cooperative buying programme that returns dividends to its 200+ members.

A new initiative is ‘IAM Here to Help’ affiliation, a philanthropic organisation that will support natural disasters around the world using the facilities and cooperation of IAM members. “Every time there is a disaster in the world people get in touch with me and ask how they can help.  This is the means that will allow you to do so.”

Terry also explained that there are now over 300 people enrolled as IAM Young Professionals (YP). “These people are booking business. If you don’t have a YP in your business you should because you might be losing business.”


IAM expansion

IAM is establishing a presence in Asia with a representative, Rob Ferone, in Singapore. This is a prototype organisation intended to provide IAM services to members in their own times zone.  “If it works we have plans to expand it into Europe and perhaps Africa,” said Terry. “This is also a step towards potentially taking our annual meeting overseas and Asia is probably our No: 1 target area.”

Planned IAM meetings are: 2015, San Diego in a completely refurbished Hyatt hotel; 2016, New Orleans; and 2017, Long Beach, California.


Photos:Top to bottom: Terry Head; Randall Groger; Laura Ganon; Adam Lowy of Move for Hunger.


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