Building on the Best

July 13, 2018 | Uplifting downtime David Bywater, ABI Chair, Bankers Advertising/Tru Art,

Last month, ABI hosted the 2018 Taking Care of Business Conference in Coralville-Iowa City. If you weren’t there, you missed one of the best business meetings of the year. Make plans now to join us in Ames next June for the 2019 conference. You will not want to miss it!

ABI members tend to work very hard, but they like to do interesting things in their spare time. The feature article in this edition of Business Record Iowa focuses on the hobbies of some great Iowa business speople. It is a fun read and I hope you enjoy it.

This edition of Business Record Iowa provides my first opportunity to write this column, as I follow my colleague David Zrostlik in the role of ABI chair. Under Dave’s leadership, and because of your support, ABI just completed another successful year. My goal in the coming months is to build on that success.

In 1896, my great-great-grandfather Samuel Wakefield Mercer started the Economy Advertising Co. in Iowa City. He was a newspaper publisher and owned Iowa State Press. He found commercial printing and advertising specialties to be more interesting, so he sold the newspaper in 1904 to focus solely on our business. Five generations later, we are serving multigenerational clients nationally from our state-of-the-art plant in Iowa City through our companies Bankers Advertising and Tru Art.

S.W. Mercer had another claim to fame. He assisted in creating the Iowa Manufacturers Association, which later became ABI. He served as the organization’s chair in 1907. In 1994-1995, my father, Willis Bywater, also chaired ABI. I am honored to serve as the third member of our family committed to the success of ABI.

Legacy is something we keep in mind at our company and at ABI. But we also focus on the future. During the coming year at ABI, we will be working under the theme of “Building on the Best.” We believe Iowa is a great place to live, to raise a family, to learn and to operate a business. Together, let’s continue “Building on the Best.”