Sarah Rohde - AMBC Executive Director
Sarah is a cheerleader. She gets excited about coaching people to focus on discovering, appreciating, and unleashing their own special talents and gifts. This holds true in every aspect of her life, not just in business.
Before taking over as current President and Executive Director for the now non-profit AMBC in 2013, Sarah served as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the former AMPC for seven years, from 2008 to 2013. She has watched the mail and parcel business model change from simple pack and ship stores into full-service business centers and has always striven to keep ahead of the ever-changing market. Her thriving Southern California store--which she owned and operated from 1987 to 2015, when she sold it to go full time as the AMBC Executive director--attributed much of its success to the innovative implementation of over-the-top customer service, ongoing employee training, and the hunger for cutting edge technology.
Sarah develops and teaches AMBC certified classes as well as the AMBC FasTrac™ new owners class. She leads workshops on customer service at conventions and regional events and has done so for well over a decade. She has been honored to represent AMBC as a guest presenter at cross-industry events throughout the United States. Always on the go, she's proud to represent our fine association as she advocates for our robust industry.
With her heart in this industry and her passion for individuals, Sarah's great pleasure is in helping others learn and succeed; her goal is to raise the bar across the board.
Jeff Ballantyne - AMBC CFO & Director of Freight
Seeing other stores succeed is what drives Jeff to continually give, give, and give. He goes out of his way to help other stores across the country find new profit centers, strengthen foundations, and grow programs. His joy is in holding someone's hand as he walks them through processing their first LTL freight shipment, and watching them finesse and expand their freight offerings as they grow.
A long-time industry veteran, Jeff's first store (Parcel Room), purchased in 1999 and located in Portsmouth, NH, now grosses well over a million dollars a year. He expanded that store to over 3,300 square feet, has an automated box making machine, and handles multi-million dollar art and antique projects on a regular basis.
Jeff has been an integral part of our association for decades, and currently volunteers as AMBC CFO and Director of Freight. Warmly deemed AMBC's "Freight Guru," he runs PackFreight, an AMBC Freight partner program, and regularly travels to regional and national conventions where he teaches the AMBC Freight certification classes.Jeff’s motto, “Think like a customer, but work like a professional,” has been the battle cry for this long-time AMBC member. His dedication to our industry, heart for fellow store owners, and always-friendly selfless assistance is unparalleled.
Fahim Mojawalla - AMBC Director of Social Media
The phrase, “How may I serve you today?” booms and beams from exuberant, outspoken Fahim day in and day out. He lives to inspire, motivate, uplift, and rejuvenate; to make the mundane extraordinary by providing a remarkable experience at the “Spa of Shipping,” known as the Island Ship Center in Grand Island, New York, which he co-owns and operates with his wife, Seema, and their five children.
Fahim’s heart of service and community mindset are punctuated by his unparalleled personality that lights up a room and engages every single individual to be their best self. Whether he’s teaching a #FahimFix social media seminar at a national AMBC event, speaking at a local school, or working with a client one-on-one, he consistently leaves his audience energized and inspired.
Fahim was born in Mumbai, India, and moved with his family to New York City when he was three years old. He went to school in Long Island and graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 2002 with an honors degree in Economics and a minor in Business Management. In 2005, he moved with his family of seven and mother to Grand Island where they’ve become pillars in its close-knit community.
As the effervescent co-owner of Island Ship Center, a successful, popular, experienced-based retail shipping outlet, business center, and unique gift store located ten minutes south of Niagara Falls, Fahim and Seema are very involved in AMBC. Fahim is honored to volunteer on the AMBC Board of Directors as Social Media Director. He is also the Vice President of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, helping connect other local businesses with social media trends.
Fahim loves being able to live and work on Grand Island, and loves that he’s able to spend a lot of time with his kids during after-school activities. He shares a lot of motivational quotes through his Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages and uses plenty of hashtags to keep track of online activity, specifically #KindnessIsContagious and #ExudeExcellence.
In 2015, Fahim was recognized for his involvement with the community by being awarded the Excellence in Education award. But we at AMBC feel that he should also have received the Excellence in Being Excellent award, because he indeed is an inspiration to us all.
Seema Mojawalla - AMBC Director of Innovation #QueenOfRetail
When the AMBC Board of Directors needs a new idea, an out-of-the-box revelation, or a reality check, we turn to our Director of Innovation, Seema Mojawalla. She has a unique viewpoint that is always fresh, forward-thinking, and focused. Her passionate dedication to our industry, association, members, and friends is pure, and she uplifts us all with her tenacious kindness and gentle spirit.
Seema has an eye for merchandising and a passion for finding the perfect products to sell at the Spa of Shipping, Island Ship Center, an experienced-based retail shipping spa located 10 miles south of Niagara Falls in Grand Island, New York, which she co-owns with her husband Fahim. Her retail prowess prompted her fellow board member, Jeff, to dub her #QueenOfRetail, which we all thought sounded more appropriate than #AnchorToFahimsBalloonString.
The oldest of five girls, Seema was born and raised in Mercer County, Pennsylvania; her father, M.M. Ali, immigrated from India and worked for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for 30 years before he retired in 2010. Seema completed her education abroad in foreign language. She and Fahim met on a blind date arranged by her cousin in 1996; shortly thereafter, they got married and had five children.
Seema worked full time as a stay-at-home-parent until fully coming on board with Fahim at Island Ship Center in 2013. Every year since, Seema has been credited with increasing sales in the store through her merchandising and sourcing skills. And if co-owning a popular, growing, busy retail shipping spa, raising five exceptional children, and volunteering on the AMBC Board of Directors wasn’t enough, Seema is also the owner of The Henna Salon and the founder of Island Bliss, an exclusive line of natural, handmade body care products.
With energy, talent, and an ability to stay calm in the midst of seeming chaos (or during one of Fahim’s histrionic conference speeches), Seema’s unique visionary approach to in-store design, product placement, and bold new profit centers allows her to sparkle and shine as AMBC’s beloved Director of Innovation.
Marty Johnson - AMBC Secretary & Director of Marketing #AskUncleMarty
Marty is proof that a positive attitude can conquer most. As a full-time shopkeeper and part-time writer, business coach, and community organizer, Uncle Marty loves to share what he's learned in business and in life, and proffer his opinion—solicited or not.
Marty keeps shop and entertains the locals at Uncle Marty's Shipping Office, a hip, community-focused, full-service business center that he opened in 2011 adjacent to Cornell University in beautiful Ithaca, New York. He's also Co-Founder of the Collegetown Small Business Alliance, Co-Captain of the Cancer Crushers, and a spirited member of entirely too many committees. He volunteers as Director of Marketing and Secretary on the Board of Directors of AMBC and writes regular pieces for the AMBC blog; his articles are featured bi-monthly in MBC Today, including a marketing and industry-related advice column, Ask Uncle Marty™.
With his background in marketing and focus on appeal, integrity, and outstanding customer experience, Marty works with individuals and organizations large and small to find their core awesomeness, refocus their image, and create meaningful, in-service brands worthy of success. He travels to events throughout the country to teach his lively series of Marketing with Marty™ marketing and image seminars, in addition to Retail Shipping Institute (RSi®) certified packaging, shipping, and small business management courses. He has been honored to be a panelist and speaker at industry summits and has been featured in industry publications, including FedEx ShipSource®. He was one of the first recipients of the RSi® Master of Retail Shipping Management degree, and his store was one of the first in the country to become an AMBC Certified Gold Store.
Marty was raised in an outstanding family with an outstanding family business—a small chain of mail and parcel centers in upstate New York—and stayed very involved with the stores from their inception in 1991 until their sale in 2009, even when he was off at school, coordinating athletic vending for arenas in Texas, studying international marketing and management in Norway, working in a corporate cubicle, doing missionary work, traveling the world (17 countries, 49 states, and counting), and dressing 5th Avenue window displays in Rockefeller Center. In 2012, Marty was diagnosed with a rare and very aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. With intrepid optimism, intense chemotherapy, God's amazing grace, and the unconditional support of caregivers, family, and friends, Marty is now a very thankful and beholden cancer survivor; his gratitude for the experience grows as its silver linings become more distinct.
Indeed, Marty wears and has worn many hats, has learned many lessons, and has a lot to share. Bearing his Uncle title with honor, it's now his privilege to serve as a cheerful and peaceable voice, leader, advocate, and mentor in his communities and the unique, ever-changing mail and business center industry. If you'd like to contact him or submit a letter to Ask Uncle Marty™, please email him at email@example.com or visit askunclemarty.com.
Kim Conboy - Director of Operations
If you've called AMBC any time in the last decade, there's a good chance the friendly voice that answered was Kim's. Indeed, she needs no introduction. She's a friend to each member, and a valued resource for all.
Kim is the glue that holds AMBC together. She runs the office, monitors the phones, answers the emails, manages the AMBC user forum, develops programs, organizes and runs national conventions, regional workshops, and other events, and works closely with vendors, members, and the AMBC Board of Directors and staff to make everything flow smoothly. She's truly amazing at what she does, and continually impresses her coworkers with her efficiency, dedicated work ethic, and tremendous knowledge of our intricate industry and association.
Since joining the AMBC team as Director of Operations in 2008, Kim has done it all. She has years of experience at the counter of Mailboxes and Parcel Depot, which AMPC used as a flagship store and new owner training center in Rockford, Illinois. She was integral in directing the organizations as AMPC transitioned to the new non-profit AMBC, and helped steer the offices through the transition to dual offices in California and Illinois, giving AMBC access to both West Coast and Midwest time zones.
Kim is passionate about customer service and looks for innovative ways to help members navigate the multitude of challenges facing owners in this age of constant change. She looks forward to hearing from you!