Hall of Fame

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.
NOTE: The Barter Hall of Fame award is not necessarily given-out every year – the timing is purely based-on merit, ie., it is awarded if and when candidates have sufficiently distinguished themselves in the industry to warrant nomination.

Fred Detwiler, President, Tradefirst

TradeFirst is one of the early pioneers of the barter industry—formed in 1978! As a result, TradeFirst is one of the U.S.’s oldest and most established trade networks.

In the last 41 years, TradeFirst has taken a leadership role with implementing new innovations to the industry, including: installing our first computer in 1979, the introduction of 24-hour telephone authorizations in 1986, the use of broadcast faxes in 1990, online trading in 2000, swipe card technology in 2003, smartphone integration in 2009, and a member-driven online marketplace in 2018.

Fred recognizes the need for our industry to continue to innovate change so that we can effectively compete with the myriad of internet-based platforms that pose a threat to our traditional client/member base.

Fred’s background and additional achievements:

  • Fred is an accomplished life-long sailor.
  • While attending Wayne State University, he started a sailing school in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.
  • After college, Fred became a private boat skipper for a family. For the next three and a half years he sailed throughout North America, the Caribbean, across the Atlantic, and into the Mediterranean.
  • In 1975, Fred had his first experience with barter while working at a radio station in Ann Arbor, Michigan. $100/wk salary and trade for apartment, gas, and dining.
  • In 1977, Fred moved into major market radio in Detroit, Michigan where he continued to make barter deals.
  • In 1978, Fred was introduced to Mr Jim Dyer, owner of the International Trade Exchange, by the family for whom he skippered for. Fred bought a barter franchise and “officially” entered the barter business.
  • In 1981, Fred assumed control of The Toledo trade Exchange.
  • In 1988, Fred was introduced to a potential hotel barter deal in the Soviet Union. The hotel was unacceptable, but Fred did conduct millions of dollars of business in the Soviet Union including the establishment of one of the first hard currency stores, distributing Gerber baby food, and even construction of two 70 ft. yachts.
  • Fred continues to build the trade, spanning Michigan, Northern Ohio, South Florida, and the Caribbean.
  • Fred also continues to yacht race all around North America and even to Honolulu.

Congratulations Fred!