By Paul Pannone
An ongoing eWedNewz investigation reveals some explosive details of a story we’ve watched since 2010. The IBMA has undergone several leadership changes over the past few years and is trying to re-establish themselves in the wedding dress business. But a sum of money amassed along the way has become a topic of contention for some of the more business-minded members and has even prompted some to exit the organization in fear.
eWedNewz has repeatedly requested to talk to a high-ranking board member of the IBMA. Instead we’re contacted by a low-level shine box boy.
eWedNewz learned of the sum of over $250,000 dollars being held by the organization in 2010 and attempted to contact David Lesser of the organization. Ignored calls and emails to Lesser and ongoing attempts to talk to a high-ranking official of the group leave unanswered questions about the money.
The issue came to light again this week when Steve Lang, a supporter of the wedding business, announced he would head a move to stem the growing disruption caused by Chinese pirates lifting images from legitimate websites and using them to unfairly compete against American manufacturers.
“I felt very uncomfortable with the way the money was just sitting there. I don’t know if the right papers were filed or not but, as a business man, I know there is certain protocol that must be followed– to not have the IRS come asking a lot of questions,” according to Lang.
Land told eWedNewz he left the organization for many reasons but the issue of the money sitting in limbo was at the top. Lang and other critics of the IBMA say they’re tired of waiting and talking about what to do.
Since Lang’s announcement low-level members reaching to this newZ source said there is a clandestine effort in place “for months” that Lang was supposedly invited to support. Lang told eWedNewz he was never invited and felt he may have actually been excluded.
“I have never been invited to an IBMA meeting nor has anyone on that board requested I join,” said Lang.
The issue of the money and questioning the whereabouts by Lang is believed the reason for exclusion. Lang warned longtime friends in the business to be careful, including Peter Grimes, Treasurer.
“I’ve told everyone to be very careful on how the organization’s finances are managed, not just Peter,” said Lang.
In an eWedNewz interview, Nick Yeh told eWedNewz he agrees with Lang.
“The whole thing is a bunch of BS; we look like a bunch of idiots to the world. It looks like we are a bunch of thieves selling dresses wholesale for $500-1000 dollars, when China is selling them for less at retail. They’re laughing at us because they’re eating our lunch everyday, shipping inferior goods to our consumers and hurting our retailers; that’s who we should be fighting, not each other,” said Yeh.
Onlookers replying to the coverage including major publications say Yeh is absolutely correct and are quietly watching the progress of this story. Some said;
“These are advertisers and with times being as tough as they are, we cannot afford to alienate anyone and lose revenue.”
A low-level member of the IBMA called our coverage “irritating”, resorting to personal attacks and name-calling. The frustration mounted, as hard questions posed could not be answered. eWedNewz repeatedly told the low-level member not to telephone but to answer our questions in email and in front of wedding industry members, including the Wedding Water Cooler.
When we demanded to have Alan Dessy, president of the organization, contact us about the $250,00 dollars, the low-level member of IBMA fell silent.
eWedNewz continues to cover this story and would appreciate your thoughts.
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