Case Study

By the Book

The Iowa Library Association was facing a leadership transition and needed a partner to optimize their structure when they turned to DMS.

Finding Consistent Leadership

A New Chapter

The Iowa Library Association (ILA), chartered in 1890, serves libraries of all types—public, academic, school, medical and specialty—by providing an organized association to further current successful library practices, promote professional practices and provide networking opportunities to its members.

As ILA grew over the years, its organization was headed by a few part-time, full-time staff and volunteer officers in a loosely organized way. It had become apparent that the ILA leadership structure was no longer meeting the needs of the organization and that their technological capabilities needed an upgrade. The ILA executive board was forced to take action. Members and volunteers took brief leadership stints, but it was clear that ILA needed more permanent complete leadership but was anxious about losing their identity as a association.

“From the start, we needed to find out as much about ILA and the way they operate. We needed to calm their nerves about being ‘taken over’ while providing exemplary service for the things they needed. They have a wonderful association with an admirable mission—we needed to show them that our work would always stay true to that.”

-Kate Banasiak, Diversified Management Services CEO

Diversified Management Services staff provided complete step-by-step information to the ILA executive board on how the transition would work. DMS worked with the temporary leadership to understand how ILA was run and to identify specific needs.

“I believe that having designated staff from DMS also made the transition much more efficient and has led to a strong feeling among ILA elected leaders that Melissa is an integral part of ILA…. the consistency that Melissa’s ongoing work has provided is a major part in the successful relationship that ILA has with DMS.”

-Duncan Stewart, ILA President

Working Together to Stay True

Co-Authored Success

Step-by-step, Diversified Management Services began to build processes for ILA that would help them be competitive going forward. Starting with accounting services, adding on staff support, and eventually offering full services, DMS was right there along the way, making sure that ILA was on board for every transition.

“We have been able to gradually review processes and procedures. In some cases we have been able to simply change internal processes for better efficiency and effectiveness where possible. We have also been able to offer suggestions to the board and committees about other processes and procedures that will need board support and/or board action to change.”

-Melissa Primus

“For the foreseeable future I cannot imagine ILA without the structure, management and experience that DMS provides to each new set of elected ILA leaders. There might be a different model that would have gotten ILA to the improved economic position, businesslike management of day-to-day issues and board-directed change with a definite purpose, but I cannot think of one. DMS has been instrumental in assisting ILA cope in a rapidly changing world. The board has found our work with DMS to be more than we hoped for.”

-Duncan Stewart


With DMS at the helm, ILA was the beneficiary of years of research and experience making the exact type of transition that ILA was facing. As a second set of eyes that has the same goals as the association, DMS can help ILA read the ever-changing landscape to anticipate any upcoming challenges and be prepared to be the best possible organization in the future. For an association that had made few leadership structure changes in decades, this was a needed partnership.

“The result was putting ILA on a solid financial footing, as we now had current and accurate membership lists and committee lists, in addition to current financial statement information. Having DMS manage ILA resulted in a new, more professional look and feel for ILA. Our web page was redesigned, and the members were able to quickly navigate the page for important and current information. There was now a professional feeling to ILA that had not been present previously.”

-Dale Vande Haar, ILA Board President During Transition

“I believe DMS has freed the elected ILA leadership and member volunteers to focus on what librarians need to do in their professional association—educate, advocate, cooperate.”

-Duncan Stewart

Case Study

A New Pipeline

When legislation changed their industry, the Iowa Chapter of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association looked to Diversified Management Services to help them adapt.

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