Friday, March 11, 2016

President's Update: March, 2016
Julie Banks
President, ICBA Board of Directors

It is a great honor to serve as your president. I am looking forward to this opportunity and believe ICBA is positioned perfectly to effect change over the coming year. Some have called me crazy to take on this role with a new baby, a new boss, and an upcoming store renovation, but I welcome the challenge!
The bookstore industry is always changing, which means there is never a dull moment. We see opportunities to improve, evolve, and institute new methods to best serve our customers. 
Reflections on Our Conference
ICBA 2016 in Orlando Florida - what a great Conference it was! Sarah Quinlan from MasterCard Advisors set the right tone with a highly engaging presentation regarding consumer trends, and what she identified as great opportunities for unique specialty businesses, like college bookstores. What followed was a succession of outstanding educational sessions, exposure to new ideas and new technologies, and of course opportunities to share ideas with colleagues who are out front in the industry. The overall experience made this year's conference one of the best ever!

Also, the return of the Apparel Institute was a big hit. Forty-five participants, ready to be empowered and inspired, were challenged by faculty and coaches with the most rigorous and relevant curriculum in the industry. Networking with faculty, coaches, and peers created bonds and trusted partnerships that will pay dividends for years to come. The end result? Confidence and the critical skills needed to improve personal performance and the performance of our stores. Keep an eye out for the announcement of additional institutes in the coming months!
Passion and Engagement - Keys to ICBA Success
Member engagement is what makes ICBA great – our passion for the industry, our support of one another, and our active involvement in and with the organization. It is so important that ICBA member stores participate in ICBA programs – attend the webinars, support our vendor partners, and take an active role in the continuing success of ICBA by giving feedback and promoting engaged membership.
I am excited about the future of ICBA, and I believe this is going to be an important year for all of us. Our organization will grow and change, and we will all benefit in the process. I hope that you will stay close to ICBA, support our great programs and embrace your independence!

     Julie Banks
     President, ICBA Board of Directors