An interview with Matthieu Odijk as he embarks on a programme of expansion for the world’s largest moving association.
Last May, Matthew Odijk joined the full-time staff of IAM (International Association of Movers). To some that might appear surprising, as IAM is always perceived as an American organisation and Matthieu is based in Denmark. But they would be wrong. IAM is changing and Matthieu is a symbol of that change.
The idea is all part of an IAM strategy to be seen as not just focussed on the US. It’s true that when the organisation was formed, 50+ years ago, the membership comprised US-based companies that worked on US government contracts. But within a few years the reach of what became IAM stretched far beyond the country’s borders. It has also developed today to be much more inclusive, with members working in all sectors of the industry. “Around two-thirds of the IAM membership is outside the USA,” explained Matthieu. “I think people are now beginning to appreciate that.”
Matthieu has been in the moving industry for some 20 years, so he knows his way around. He explained that he had been working with IAM in a voluntary capacity for some years, especially on the new membership structure. He is delighted, therefore, to now take a full-time role. “My title is director of sales, which is strange for a non-profit organisation,” he explained. “Our sales department can help in actively promoting the non-profit’s mission, vision, and strategic plan to impact a broader audience. This promotion is vital for raising awareness, attracting volunteers, and garnering support for IAM’s cause. Even as non-profits, these organisations often need to generate revenue to support their operations, programs, and services.”
He explained that his role is to create awareness amongst the IAM membership about what IAM is, and what benefits membership provides. “I estimate that 80% of our membership has no clue about what their membership brings to them,” he said. “Helping them get the most out of their membership is one of my key focus areas.” He’s also charged with growing the IAM membership.
Asked how he proposed to achieve that, Matthieu had a clear strategy ...
Photo: Matthieu Odijk.