President's Letter
April 5, 2018

Fellow IAMI Members,

It is both an honor and privilege to be chosen as the next President for IAMI. The mere fact membership would place their faith and trust in me is humbling, and I promise to work tirelessly as President to ensure we continue the heritage of this Association.

For those of you whom I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting, I thought it best to provide some biographical information regarding my professional career and my experience with associations such as IAMI. I am currently the Director of Vehicle Operations for the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). In my current position I oversee all vehicle, equipment, and boat initiatives that involve NICB. I’ve been with NICB for the past nine years. Prior to coming to NICB, I served for twenty-three years with the Saint Lucie County Sheriff’s Office in South Florida. I spent the last thirteen years of my law enforcement career as a detective assigned to the Auto Theft Unit where I served on a statewide task force, governor’s task force, and as a grant program manager for the auto theft unit. Our unit handled all vehicle, equipment, and marine theft investigations including burglaries of boat manufacturers and dealers. In addition to my time as a detective, I also worked as a patrol deputy, and school resource officer. Prior to joining the Sheriff’s Office I served two years active duty in the U.S. Army and one year in the U.S. Army Reserve.

My first foray into any “association” came with membership in the Florida Agricultural Crimes Intelligence Unit (FACIU), a statewide organization focused on agricultural crimes. During my thirteen-year tenure with FACIU I served for a number of years as a board member at-large and later served on the Executive Board as Secretary, Vice-President, and President.  FACIU was closely aligned with the Florida Marine Intelligence Unit (FMIU).  Although I never became a member of FMIU many of their members also held membership in FACIU and the two associations even held joint conferences.

As my duties began to evolve more towards vehicle crime, I later became a member of the Florida Auto Theft Intelligence Unit (FATIU) and the Southeast Chapter of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (SEIAATI). I joined IAMI following my involvement in the above listed associations as there seemed to be a natural relationship between these organizations. I found the ability to network within these organizations was priceless and in the years since I cannot begin to tell you how invaluable those friendships have become.

There’s tremendous value in becoming a member of IAMI. The contacts you make here can assist you both professionally as well as personally. IAMI is a great association filled with great people. Over the years I have been honored to introduce others to IAMI membership. Today several of those people are either current or former board members.

Looking ahead I challenge each of you to bring at least one new member into the Association in the coming year. Just one, that’s not too much to ask, is it? If each person brings one new member think of how significantly we can grow the Association.

I also challenge you to show us your expertise. IAMI offers unique training opportunities related to the marine industry, but we’re always looking for new topics and new instructors. I urge you to share your knowledge with others and consider teaching at the next conference. You have the experience and it’s important to pass it on to the next generation of investigators.

Lastly, I hope that each of you will continue your membership in IAMI and I urge you to become more involved. Remember that membership in IAMI is about more than just attending an annual training conference. It’s also about the connections you make! You never know where those connections will lead you.

In my official capacity as President I am here to supervise the operation of your board of directors, but more importantly I am here to serve you. Always remember that you hold the power necessary to sustain this fantastic organization!

D.T. “Rusty” Russell
President, IAMI