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Monday Memo

New Fiscal Year Begins Today - Monday Memo 7/1/13


First Executive Committee Meeting of New Fiscal Year Next Week


The Executive Committee/Board of Directors meeting schedule has now been finalized and you should have received it from me last Thursday.  If you did not receive it, please reply to this email and I'll get it to you at once.  The ABI Board of Directors will next meet on September 25.


In the meantime, members of the newly-constituted ABI Executive Committee will hold their first teleconference of the 2013-2014 fiscal year next week.  The July Executive Committee teleconference will take place at 9:30 a.m. a week from Wednesday.  As is typical for July, the call is expected to be brief, but will provide an opportunity to review financial and membership data and receive program reports.


ABI Chair Myron R. Linn (Pella Corporation, Pella) will be joined on this year’s Executive Committee by Vice Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly), Treasurer Larry Countryman (Wilson Trailer Company, Sioux City), Secretary Lori Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield), and Immediate Past Chair Dennis L. Murdock (CIPCO, Des Moines).  Also on the committee are District Vice Chairs David Bywater (Economy Advertising, Iowa City), Sean Abbas (Baird Mounting Systems, Waterloo), Stephen W. Roberts (Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines), John Krogman (Connect-A-Dock, Atlantic), and David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner). Look for a full report on any developments at the next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.


Employment Appeals Board Issue Important for Members


As ABI members know, the Iowa Employment Appeal Board is an important state agency.  It serves as the final administrative law forum for state and federal unemployment benefit appeals. The Board also hears appeals of rulings of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The three members of the Board are appointed to represent employers, employees and the general public. 


The employer representative is Monique Kuester, who has been vigilant in looking out for the rights of employers (and their employees) and upholding the Code of Iowa.  Ms. Kuester knows business, as she is the daughter-in-law of former ABI Chair Joe Ryan (Delevan, West Des Moines).  She also works hard to educate employers and all Iowans about rights and responsibilities as it pertains to issues that come before the EAB.


Ms. Kuester has contacted ABI about a change in Iowa law and its impact on employers.  The bottom line is that she recommends that employers participate in fact-finding (many employers have skipped this step in the past) in unemployment insurance cases. 


If you wish to receive her full and detailed (and helpful) message about this issue, please contact me and I'll forward it to you at once.  In the meantime,  ABI appreciates Ms. Kuester's counsel very much.


Next Edition of Leaders Forum Set for July 17 in Mason City


ABI received rave reviews for a program presented in Orange City back in March.  The program featured remarks from a leading state official, a member of the ABI Advisory Council, and from ABI leaders like former Chair Joanne Stockdale (Northern Iowa Die Casting, Lake Park) and longtime ABI Board Member Drew Vogel (Diamond Vogel, Orange City).  The event drew a large crowd and calls for additional presentations.


In response to those calls, ABI is presenting another edition of the Leaders Forum.  It will be held in Mason City on July 17.  You can register or find more information about this event here:


Attendees will hear from great speakers, like former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) and will get high-value information.  Register now for this great program.


Business Horizons Three Weeks Away


The annual session of the ABI Foundation's Business Horizons program is three weeks away!  BH 2013 actually kicks off three weeks from yesterday and will be held at Central College in Pella July 21 through 25.   


This year’s Business Horizons class numbers over 100 students in size.  Your staff members can participate by serving as industry advisors or by helping in other ways. Simply reply to this email or contact the ABI office for more information. 


Please Complete Convention Survey; Convention Photos Available Online


Feedback from last month’s 110th Annual ABI Convention continues to roll in and it is great to receive so many positive comments.  Thank you for your participation and for your feedback.


As you know, your feedback is critical as we seek to make every ABI event even better than past events.  If you haven’t already done so, please complete the 2013 Conference Survey.  Please click here:


And be sure and view the photos from the conference (you might be in them!); you can do so at:  /index.cfm?nodeID=12409&audienceID=1&albumID=3898&action=dspalbum.  Again, thank you for your participation and assistance in helping make the 2013 ABI Convention a smashing success!


By the way, we never really stop planning for the next convention and the 2014 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference is no exception.  There are some spectacular new conference venues in the Cedar Rapids area.  There are terrific things in the works for next year and you will definitely not want to miss them!  Join new ABI Chair Myron R. Linn (Pella Corporation, Pella) for a fabulous ABI convention experience; see you in Cedar Rapids June 9-11 of 2014.


Regional Session Review Meetings Completed; Policy Meetings Scheduled


With a final teleconference meeting held last Friday, the association's regional meetings related to a review of the 2013 session of the Iowa General Assembly are now complete.  Thank you to the many ABI members all over Iowa who participated in these meetings over the past few weeks.


On Tuesday of last week, the final in-region meeting was held in Waverly.  Newly-elected ABI Vice Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) hosted the meeting.  Fellow area board members Sean Abbas (Baird Mounting Systems, Waterloo) and Peter Voorhees (Standard Golf, Cedar Falls) were also in the crowd for a great meeting.


ABI's public policy work never ends, of course, and annual policy committee meetings have already been scheduled.  please go to the ABI Events Calendar at /en/events_calendar/ to register for the committee meetings of interest to you and your employees.  Watch for more information soon.


New Hubbell Development $40 Million Project for Des Moines


Longtime ABI member Hubbell Realty Company received a lot of attention over the weekend for its new Cityville project.  The $40 million project involves almost 340 housing units and covers over 10 acres in Des Moines.  It is sure to spur further development and is a huge boost to the capitol city.  Go to to read more about the project.  In the meantime, congratulations to Hubbell and to company CEO and ABI Board member Rock Tollakson (Hubbell Realty Company, West Des Moines)!


Jacci Linn Receives Governor's Volunteer Award


ABI members know Jacci Linn as one of the daughters of ABI Chair Myron R. Linn (Pella Corporation, Pella) and his wife, Leanne Linn.  Jacci has participated in some ABI meetings and events in the past and it is always good to see her.


Jacci was part of a group of Iowa's honored by Governor Terry E. Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds last Thursday.  In a ceremony held at Southeast Polk High School in Pleasant Hill, Jacci received the Governor's Volunteer Award for her participation as a reading mentor to a student  at Pella Christian Grade School.  Congratulations, Jacci (and Mom and Dad)!


Former Chair Charles Sukup Named Engineer of the Year; Former Chair Al Jennings Highlights ABI Connections


Former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) is involved in many organizations.  For example, he is a former national president of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. 


It is that group, the Iowa Section ASABE, that named Charles Engineer of the Year.  ABI salutes Charles for this well-deserved honor!


In other news involving former ABI chairs, former Chair Al Jennings (EFCO, Des Moines) has written an editorial for the EFCO magazine, FORM MARKS, that highlights that company's connections and their positive impact on business.  One of the connections Mr. Jennings features is EFCO's longstanding membership in ABI and the value that has brought to the company.  It's a wonderful editorial and if you would like to read it, please reply to this message and I'll get it to you.  In the meantime thank you to Mr. Jennings and to EFCO for this great essay.


DuPont Pioneer Christens New Innovation Center


ABI members point to innovation as a key reason their businesses succeed.  Innovative employees and innovative companies are the hallmark of ABI membership.


One of those innovators is longtime member DuPont Pioneer.  The company last week cut the ribbon on a fantastic new innovation center in Johnson.  You can read about it here:  Congratulations to DuPont Pioneer and to ABI Board Member Susan Bunz (DuPont Pioneer, Johnston)!


ABI Begins New Fiscal Year; Revenue Tight, Focus is on Value for Members


Each July, I note the passing of the fiscal year, more for what opportunities lie ahead than for anything having to do with the past.  And today, ABI begins a new fiscal year. 


This year, more than ever, the focus is on providing high value for members.  The beginning of a new year brings new opportunities to serve existing members, gain new ones, and build a better Iowa business climate.  As we start the year, all of us at ABI are thinking about how we can do things even better than they have been done in the past. 


You have heard me say often that I like things that can be measured, because they let us know how we are doing at achieving the agenda you set for us each year.  Revenue at ABI has increased over the course of the past few years, thanks to new members, new sponsors, and (we hope) more value for your company.  Still, the budget for the year is tight and we have to be careful with every dollar.  We take seriously our charge to not waste your investment


At ABI, it's all about members!  We are always looking forward and building for growth.  If we aren't moving ahead, we are falling behind and that is not acceptable.  Thanks to your leadership and a great staff, we are making strong progress in achieving that goal.  It is not just rhetoric to say that your leadership has ensured that ABI continues its resurgence and growth as one of our state’s leading organizations.  Thank you.

07/01/2013 7:28 AM