Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Come See Us at SAI!

Are you attending the SAI conference tomorrow? 

If so, don't forget to stop by our booth for fun, games and a chance to connect with AEA Purchasing staff.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

2018 School Spirit Shows

AEA Purchasing will once again host their annual "School Spirit" shows for foodservice on August 7th and 9th. Don't miss a great opportunity to see what's coming to your school's cafeteria this fall.

For more details, view the schedule of events on our website.

3 Partners You Need to Know (August)

Best Plumbing Specialties is an awarded vendor partner providing discounts on MRO and plumbing supplies. They specialize in hard to find plumbing repair parts and maintenance items.

Facility Solutions Group provides savings in LED and other lighting products, supplies and innovations.

Student News Net connects the dots between literature, literacy and current events, including local Iowa stories, with primary source articles that engage students.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Faces Behind AEA Purchasing

Sure, you may recognize our logo and definitely know our name (we hope), but do you know the faces behind our contracts, discounts and savings? AEA Purchasing is comprised of a handful of folks doing great work everyday to help educators, administrators and other non-profit groups across the state achieve more by spending less.

Here's who you've got on your team!

Barb Adams
Administrative Assistant, Food Program
Office Location: Cedar Falls

New to the AEA Purchasing in 2018, Barb assists the day to day operations, facilitating the partnership between awarded vendors, manufacturer representatives and members of our food program.  Barb enjoys outdoor activities, from local festivities in the Waterloo area to traveling adventures with her husband.  She loves meeting new people and trying new things.

Megan Brink, RD, LD
Consultant, Food Program
Office Location: Elkader

Meg joined the AEA Purchasing team in the spring of 2016.  She serves as the food program consultant for child nutrition program operators across the great state of Iowa.  Her office is located at Keystone AEA in Elkader.  Outside of work, she enjoys any outdoor activities, especially gardening and canoeing the Turkey River!

Jerry Cochrane
Purchasing Coordinator, Non-Food Programs
Office Location: Cedar Rapids

Jerry has been with AEA Purchasing since it was created in 2002, moving to a part-time position in 2017. He works primarily in the technology and library areas, but also facilitates the twice-a-year paper bid. His office is located at Grant Wood AEA in Cedar Rapids. Outside of work Jerry enjoys biking, kayaking, pickleball, reading and travel.

Dan Dreyer
Director, Food Program
Office Location: Cedar Falls

Dan brings over 35 years of experience in the school foodservice arena and has spent the last 19 of those years working to bring new and innovative products to school kitchens as well as delivering the best possible price on products and services from vendors. Hanging his hat in Cedar Falls (Central Rivers AEA), when not at work, Dan enjoys walking, going to movies and watching his 8 grandkids grow.

Laurie Hoing, CPPB
Purchasing Coordinator, Non-Food Programs
Office Location: Johnston

Laurie joined AEA Purchasing in 2015 and brought with her 14+ years of public procurement experience. She handles all technology related procurement activities and contracts. Living in Des Moines (Heartland AEA) with her husband, she has 2 grown children, 2 grandchildren and enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends. 

Joni Puffett
Purchasing Coordinator, Non-Food Programs
Office Location: Delhi

For 10 years, Joni has played an active role in agency marketing as well as managing a variety of contracts and vendor/customer relations. Residing on a dairy farm in Delaware County (Keystone AEA), she enjoys spending her free time reading, jogging and breathing in the country air with her husband and two young kids. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

5 Surefire Ways to Engage Adolescents in Reading

Engage your middle grade readers with these tips from Mackin!

"5 Surefire Ways to Engage Adolescents in Reading"
Dr. Jennifer McCarty Plucker, Mackin Director of Professional Learning

1. Flood your classroom with books they will want to read.
2. Coach students to discover what they like and can read with ease.
3. Make reading a social activity.
4. Build student self-efficacy.
5. Celebrate!

Click here to visit Mackin and download the complete article.

Mackin is a long-time valued partner with AEA Purchasing. For contract and discount details, visit their profile page on our website.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Join Us at the IASL-IRC Conference!

The Iowa Association of School Librarians (IASL) and the Iowa Reading Conference (IRC)- have joined together for 2018.   The joint conference is being held on June 26-27, 2018 in Ames, IA  at the Scheman Building.  If you are involved with teaching reading (in any aspect) or work in a K-12 library, this is the place for you to be this summer!  Many excellent authors, educators and speakers will tantilize audiences with their presentations. 

For more information about this event, click here!

AEA Purchasing will be exhibiting at this joint event.  If you are planning on attending, please stop by the AEA Purchasing exhibit booth to say hello, find out about products we have under contract and play an easy game for a prize! (Everyone’s a winner!)  You’ll learn which contracts might be beneficial for your classroom, school, or district to help eliminate the individual bid process (saving time) and also provide you with the opportunity for saving money, so you can spend more of both on the students!

We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Check Out Our HOT Deals!

Our Hot Deals! section is the place to go when looking for special, limited time only offers from our valued vendor partners. Offers from vendors include, but are not limited to:

CDW-G                           Midwest Computer Products
Rick's Computers            Scott Electric

Monday, May 21, 2018

Siteimprove: Your Guide to Web Accessibility

Looking to make your website more inclusive? Refer to Siteimprove's web accessibility guide for some best practices on keeping your site compliant and accessible to all!

In partnership with AEA Purchasing, Siteimprove will offer negotiated pricing for interested Iowa schools.

Siteimprove helps make your school’s website more accessible for every student, parent, and community member.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Teachboost: Using Video to Advance Coaching

If you're looking for a great tool that can help improve your teaching practices, TeachBoost and their blog (The Launchpad) is a great place to start. As such, we'd like to draw your attention to an original TeachBoost blog post on the use of video to advance your coaching practices

Take a minute to read what they have to share and then head back on over to our website for complete details on how your school can take advantage of the services TeachBoost provides while saving money at the same time!

TeachBoost is an instructional leadership platform that integrates evaluation, coaching, and professional learning to build capacity and improve teaching practices. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Siteimprove's Intelligence Platform

Siteimprove's mission is to improve your website. Their name says it all. Simply put, their Intelligence Platform does the following (and more!):

  • Measures website performance at a glance.
  • Provides quality assurance to eliminate errors and keep your brand/messaging consistent.
  • Draws attention to accessibility issues.
  • Offers key metrics to help understand your online audience.
  • Allows you to act with digital certainty.
For complete details on the magic of Siteimprove, view their PDF that's all about their Intelligence Platform. When done, head on over to their AEA Purchasing profile page and learn more about how to build their platform into your existing site and save money while doing so!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Q&A Series: CMMS-DudeSolutions

What is a CMMS?

How do you use and/or implement a CMMS?

Why make the switch to a CMMS to keep on top of your inventory, maintenance tasks, etc.?

All these questions and more are explored by DudeSolutions in their  Q&A Series: CMMS.

DudeSolutions is a long time vendor partner of AEPA and AEA Purchasing.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

3 Partners You Need to Know (May)

Rapids Wholesale provides discounts and savings on the tools and equipment your kitchen needs to serve your students. Such items include cookie sheets, pots, pans, utensils, aprons, carts, racks, food storage, etc.

School Specialty carries a wide array of school essentials, furniture and technology from well-known brands as well as popular proprietary brands. Their many catalogs include special education supplies, PE equipment, school security products, your everyday classroom supplies and much more.

Sportime provides physical activity equipment and sporting goods that have been designed by PE teachers and are driven to motivate children of all ages and all ability levels.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Promotion from National Business Furniture

AEA Purchasing vendor partner National Business Furniture invites you to participate in their Ultimate Office Makeover promotion. Visit them online for entry details.

In addition, join their chat on
Tuesday, May 8th at 4pm CST for a chance to win a classroom full of furniture! Event hosted on Twitter @nbfonline. #WhyWeWork Participants will be entered to win 30 desks and 30 chairs valued at $4000.00