Join hundreds of ABI members already signed up for the 2017 conference

May 4, 2017 | Mike Ralston

Mike Ralston | ABI President |

As you read this column, the 2017 Taking care of Business Conference, ABI’s 114th annual gathering, is a month away. Ladies and gentlemen, it will be a terrific event and believe me when I say you do not want to miss it.

Dubuque is a fabulous river city, eager to host ABI members from across the state. Officials there have been working with our organization for well over a year to ensure a truly world-class meeting is experienced by every attendee. Exciting new venues, fantastic nationally-known speakers, golf at one of the nation’s finest resorts, and absolutely the very best business networking in Iowa are yours for the taking when you join us in Dubuque June 6-8. If you haven’t yet done so (and literally hundreds of you already have), go now to and register for this event!

Related to the conference, people ask all the time if ABI staff members are busy getting ready for it. The answer is yes. But ABI is involved so much more than simply one event.

For instance, this week, a typical week for ABI, our association is hosting a series of meetings and events. Two regional public policy meetings, a teleconference regarding ABI’s Elevate Advanced manufacturing initiative, two separate events for the ABI Board of Directors, a meeting of the Executive Committee, a siting discussion related to the 2019 annual conference, a three-day session for the Leadership Iowa class, and other member and foundation meetings and programs… all of that is happening just this week.

You know what I say about being busy. Being busy is good. But that in itself isn’t the point. Being busy producing value for ABI members… THAT is the point.

Whether it is in public policy advocacy, member meetings and events, or ABI Foundation programming, it is clear that ABI is experiencing a truly historic year. The reasons for that are simple. It is due to the investment you and your employees make in the work of the association and it is due to exceptional leadership by the ABI Board of Directors. We never take those things for granted. On behalf of ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton and our other officers, THANK YOU. See you in Dubuque!