The Barter Hall of Fame is the highest honor the Modern Trade and Barter Industry can bestow. The honor recognizes individuals of the highest professional character and ethical conduct who are regarded as indisputable leaders of the Modern Trade and Barter Industry. An inductee must have a minimum of ten years of continuous Industry service and have made recognizable and specific contributions to the Industry as a whole.
Annette Riggs has over 30 years of experience in the Trade/Barter industry including the retail, corporate and countertrade sectors. She has contributed to collaboration between sectors including new emerging Complementary Currency systems that are forging new models for the future. She is a recognized conference speaker, educator and writer in many different venues and publications.
Annette began her career in the Barter Industry in 1980 as a young college student for Barter Systems Inc. of San Diego. Barter Systems and most other exchanges at that time didn’t have cash fees and struggled for survival until the TEFRA Act in 1982 changed the landscape completely. She took the lead in 1984 to convert the largest exchange in San Diego to a new business model that included cash fees, new management, sales and brokering structures.
After selling the exchange in 1987, Annette consulted with other exchanges struggling to make the transition and became interested in Media and Corporate Trade. IRTA had a Corporate Barter Council at that time and the conventions were a rich environment for learning across fields that differed greatly in business models and approaches to Barter/Trade. Annette embraced these learning opportunities and became one of the first professionals in the field to successfully develop trade opportunities between the retail and corporate barter sectors.
Annette had many retail and corporate barter company clients when she returned to her hometown of Denver, Colorado in 1992 as she continued to develop a niche business unique in the industry and a collaboration with the local barter/trade companies. As the dot com era began, she and her two partners formed a company to develop Barter.com.
Barter.com was the first company to envision and plan for a technology oriented online bartering system, working with cutting-edge tech companies and the Venture Capital community in Silicon Valley. Many followed and were in varying phases of development when the dot com crash came after approximately $200 million had been invested in the Barter/Trade sector. By then, Annette was living in the Bay Area as required by VC investors as President of Barter.com. The lessons learned from this experience were vast and as she says, “would fill a very thick book”.
During her 8 years in the Bay Area she became involved in Countertrade projects and on the complete opposite end of the spectrum became interested in Community/Complementary Currency initiatives which were beginning to emerge. She worked extensively with Professors at Sonoma State University and was instrumental in introducing these fledgling systems and the academic community to the organized and well-established barter/trade sector so that they had an opportunity to learn what could be of value to their development of more sustainable projects. She was on the first IRTA convention panel to introduce the Barter/Trade Industry to these new concepts, the subject of which has continued since that time.
Annette has circled the world promoting IRTA and Complementary Currency, Countertrade and retail barter models. In 2015, she traveled twice to Saudi Arabia on IRTA’s behalf to meet with executives of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, (ITFC). The ITFC meetings led to the completion of the “IRTA Report for the Development of an OIC Multi-Dimensional Credit Clearing/Counter Trade system,” of which Annette was the lead author. IRTA’s comprehensive research report for the ITFC was the first of its kind in IRTA’s history, and the report helped solidify IRTA’s standing on the international barter/trade stage.
Annette has also played a substantive role in IRTA’s current negotiations with the Government of Dubai to develop an international barter financial hub in Dubai.
Annette has served on the IRTA Board of Directors for the past 8 years, as Secretary for 2 years and as President for two consecutive terms. She is currently Vice Co-Chair of the board. In addition to many Outstanding Service Awards, Annette received the first David Wallach Distinguished Service Award and the first President’s Award for her accomplishments as President of IRTA. Annette lives in Denver, Colorado and is the Founder and Managing Director of Community Connect Trade Association.
The barter industry has benefited greatly from Annette’s limitless passion for our industry. Her 30 plus years of selfless work to improve our industry has clearly left our industry in a better place.
IRTA congratulates Annette on her much-deserved Hall of Fame Award, and sincerely thanks her for all she has done for IRTA, UC and the entire industry!