Retail and Relationships: Reaping Real Results

AMBC 2023 Regional Event

In Niagara Falls, NY

September 8 – September 10, 2023

Registration is Now Open!


Pricing is as follows:
$199.00 – for AMBC Members
$249.00 – for Non-Members



DoubleTree by Hilton Niagara Falls NY

$159/Night – Last Day to Book: Monday, August 7, 2023

If booking by phone, call (716-524-3333 prompt #1) and use code RAR to secure the special AMBC booking rate. 

Retail and Relationships: Reaping Real Results

Seema and Fahim Mojawalla welcome you to their business, Island Ship Center, in Grand Island, New York, September 8-10, 2023, for AMBC’s final regional event of 2023: “Retail and Relationships: Reaping Real Results.”

Cohosted by the Mojawallas and their dear friend and colleague, Marty Johnson of Uncle Marty’s Shipping Office in Ithaca, New York, this trio of AMBC mentors, former board members, advisors, and successful store owners have a weekend packed full of 11 not-to-miss classes, panel discussions, and hands-on training sessions.

The weekend includes trips to see Niagara Falls both during the day and at night with the lights shining bright, a fabulous gourmet experience during the Friday night social at the renowned Savor Restaurant in Niagara Falls, and classes on Saturday at the hotel and Sunday, including a store tour, at Island Ship Center where you’ll see the growing business’s dedicated print room, 24-hour mailbox and business center, Seema Boutique retail store, large warehouse space, and more!

As a special bonus, AMBC will also be offering both our certified shipping course and our certified packing course for AMBC Members and non-members who want to arrive early to the Niagara Falls event and take those extra classes. The fees for these certified course are $300.00 per store per class, plus $50.00 per participant per class. This includes the four-hour course and subsequent certification for each participant as an “AMBC Certified Shipping Specialist” or “AMBC Certified Packing Specialist” upon successful participation and passing of the final exam. If you’re interested in coming early before the event officially kicks off on Friday night to attend these add-on certified courses, please eamil Kim Mahoney at to register for them.


Thursday Evening, September 7th

AMBC certified shipping course (must be signed up for separately for those interested as a come-early-add-on for the event)

5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Friday, September 8th

 AMBC certified packing course (must be signed up for separately for those interested as a come-early-add-on for the event)

9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

 Check-in begins at hotel

3 p.m. 

 Daytime falls viewing and Maid of the Mist boat tour of Niagara Falls

3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

 Social with Gourmet Dinner and Meet and Greet at Savor Restaurant

(Proof of Relationships at Work) (Savor Restaurant in the Falls, 28 Old Falls St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303,

Social generously sponsored by Pacific Office Automation, Gourmet dinner generously sponsored by FedEx

6 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

 Walk to the falls for night view of lights after social

9 p.m. – 10 p.m.

 Saturday, September 9th

 Location: hotel and then restaurant for dinner

Breakfast and welcome

Sponsored by AMBC

7 a.m. – 7:50 a.m. 

 Resilient Relationships: Investing in Little Gestures for Big Results

8 a.m. – 8:50 a.m. 

 Properly Value Your Time, Service, Expertise, and Excellence

9:00 a.m. – 9:50 a.m. 

 Excellence Exercise: Engage Your Superpower

10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m. 

 Reaping Real Results Regardless of a Recession

11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. 


Sponsored by Paychex

Noon – 12:50 p.m.

 Details Matter: How You Present Yourself and Your Business

1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. 

 Retail Pricing Strategies

2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. 

New Retail Profit Centers

3:00 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. 

 Be Frugal, Not Cheap

4:00 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. 

Reviewing Reviews

5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 

 Shuttle to dinner

6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m

 Dinner at 773 North


Generously sponsored by ShipRite Software

6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Location: Island Ship Center ( and Western New York Welcome Center (

 Shuttle to ISC

7:00 a.m. – 7:30 a.m

Breakfast at Island Ship Center, ISC welcome, and ISC tour

Sponsored by your hosts, Seema and Fahim Mojawalla and Marty Johnson, as a thank you for attending, participating, and helping them grow as much as they hope to help you grow.

7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Shuttle to Western New York Welcome Center

9:30 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.

 Storytelling: Put on a Show or They’re Not Gonna Show

10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m. 

 Generational Panel Discussion: Past, Present, and Future of Our Industry

11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. 

 Lunch and farewell

Noon – whenever

Class Descriptions:

Storytelling: Put on a Show or They’re Not Gonna Show

Why do people visit your business? Do they come for the service? For the products? Or for the experience? We argue that all three play a role, but the experience is what really will sets you apart. How do you engage with your guests? What will wow them so they want to come back again and again, and tell all of their friends? We’ll dig into some tips and tricks to make your store not just a store, but a stage! 

Generational Panel Discussion: Past, Present, and Future of Our Industry

Special guests Cindy and Dub Johnson, long-retired industry veterans who operated three successful stores in Binghamton, New York, in the 90s and 00s, along with industry veterans Erin Coyne Merrick and Steve Merrick, who operated a successful store in Wheeling, West Virginia, during the same time period, while Erin served on the executive board for another very successful family business that eventually sold to the Marathon Group of companies, and who afterwards have been renowned industry coaches, share their views of where the industry has come from, what they did right, and what they would have done differently in hindsight. Then, middle-aged current store owners and your weekend co-hosts Marty, Seema, and Fahim share information on what they’ve seen in their long tenures in the industry and their perspective on origins and destinations for our businesses. Finally, Gen Z members and current store managers Clark Young and Yusuf Mojawalla will share their opinions on what could be possible, next, and the future of an ever-changing industry. These three separate generational perspectives may seem very different, but in this panel we’ll have a great discussion to understand them all and really get a good picture of where we all stand and what could be next. It’s sure to be a great conversation, with so much to learn from so much experience on the panel.

 Resilient Relationships: Investing in Little Gestures for Big Results

This session will be a series of examples, stories, and adages from Seema, Fahim, Marty, Yusuf, Clark, and other guests about how small gestures welcoming guests and giving time to communities plants seeds that often can grow into big accounts and incredibly important connections that can open giant doors down the road.

Excellence Exercise: Engage Your Superpower

There’s an old adage, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” In this session, we’ll explore what unique thing that each of us really shine at. What are the core products and services that we enjoy doing the most, that we’re passionate about, and that we do better than anyone else in our are? That’s what our focus should be. We can only go so far by being just another option, but by finding what makes us really stand out we can exponentially grow and shine in our communities.  

Details Matter: How You Present Yourself and Your Business

What first impression are you giving your guests? What do they notice when they drive up? When they enter your doors? What visual hits them? How does your store smell? What do they see and hear? How does your staff greet them, and how do they invite them to come back when the sale is over? What does your staff wear? 

Be Frugal, Not Cheap

Ben Franklin once said, “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” It’s essential to constantly watch those small expenses. In this session, we’ll show examples of how Island Ship Center generated $5,000 in bottom line revenues without sacrificing service after assessing expenses like payroll, Podium phone calls, and more. We’ll also discuss Will Guidara’s 95/5 rule in the book Unreasonable Hospitality, where 95% of your resources are spent in controlling costs so that you can splurge on 5% of your resources to make amazing memories, like paid birthdays off for your team, team member excursions, and more!

Reaping Real Results Regardless of a Recession

Only when we spend our time investing in relationships before a recession will we reap benefits during a recession, when people tend to primarily (or only, in some cases) do business with those they trust. During a recession, money is so tight to begin with that most people don’t want to take a risk on spending it on a new business or one that doesn’t have a trusted reputation in the marketplace (Source: Alex Hormozi). How can you set yourself up with a loyal client base to be resilient during the next recession?

Properly Value Your Time, Service, Expertise, and Excellence

Focus, focus, focus! If you took Fahim’s “Let it Go to Grow” class at Meetup in Memphis in 2022, you’ll love this follow-up session that will really drill down on the powerful profits that lie on narrowing down our audience to serve those that are truly the best match for our services and that pay for the value we provide.

Retail Pricing Strategies

In this class, Seema will provide an overview of her pricing strategy for retail items and share Island Ship Center’s email stats from November and December 2022 sales. Be sure to take Seema’s advice on how to price higher, allowing you the flexibility to discount and provide more perceived value when needed. We’ll also discuss Island Ship Center’s “VIP Box Club,” which we launched this year, allowing our VIP guests 20% off on all boxes and packaging supplies purchased from us. It’s working quite well!

Reviewing Reviews

Responsiveness is essential on social media, especially when it comes to responding to positive reviews. It’s as essential to respond to positive reviews as it is to negative ones because it takes much more effort for people to write positive sentiments online than it does negative, toxic comments. We’ll discuss experiences with and also offer low cost, but high value, solutions in adding web chat buttons to members’ websites.

New Retail Profit Centers

Seema and Fahim will discuss their Canadian package holding business, which has just taken off, as well as the need for contracts and pricing high to weed out the “nickel and dimers.” Always ask the client what they want, sample it out, then add more. Don’t buy a lot in the beginning. Test, test, test, then implement slowly. We’ll even share some of our own contracts with you as a gift!


Event Registration