ABI Board to Meet in Three Weeks

December 21, 2015

ABI Board of Directors to Meet in Three weeks (January 13)

The first meeting of the Executive Committee and ABI Board of Directors for 2016 will be called to order by ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) on January 13 at the Embassy Suites on the River in downtown Des Moines.  This is the same date as the 2016 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception (see item below).  You should receive the usual packet of meeting materials in about two weeks.  Please contact me with any questions or comments and please make plans now to attend.

Record Pace of Registrants for 2016 ABI Legislative Reception; Governor, LG Confirmed

The ABI staff is busy finalizing details related to the annual ABI Legislative Reception, one of the association’s most popular annual events.  In fact, all indications are that the coming reception will be the biggest and best ever. 

Close to 300 ABI members have already registered for the event and it is clear that over 500 people will attend.  The 2016 reception will be held Wednesday, January 13 at the Embassy Suites on the River Hotel in Downtown Des Moines.  Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will be appearing at the reception, along with dozens of legislators and state officials, and I hope you can attend. 

This important event will be preceded by the annual legislative briefing.  The briefing is your opportunity to hear the latest about legislative news and about ABI's agenda.  You can then head right into the reception and share comments with your local legislators.  Your participation and interaction with legislators is what makes this event a must for Iowa policy-makers.  

Go to the ABI website at http://www.cvent.com/events/2016-abi-legislative-briefing-reception/event-summary-385f50e9e00448858051fbe8a55ce00b.aspx.  You’ll find all the information you need and can follow the easy instructions to register right now.  Thank you in advance for participating in this very important event.  On behalf of our ABI officers, I look forward to seeing all of you in Des Moines on January 13.

Contribute To Elevate Iowa; ABI Foundation

This is the time of year that folks consider their personal tax planning.  If you need to make some end-of-the-year contributions, please consider Elevate Iowa and/or the ABI Foundation.  Thank you to those who have already contributed and ABI and Elevate leaders look forward to recognizing your companies in a number of ways.

Your contributions are critical to the Foundation and help make Iowa a better place to live and work.  Contributions to Elevate help our efforts to change the perception of advanced manufacturing and help you fulfill your workforce requirements.  Big thanks, too, to all of the companies who have contributed over the years, and also thanks to the 15 Iowa Community Colleges who each contributed to the Elevate partnership.  If you haven't yet contributed, please make your contribution today!  

Des Moines to Host Leadership Iowa Class in January; Alumni Dine-Arounds on the 13th 

The ABI Foundation's flagship program is quite active.  As a confirmation of that, Leadership Iowa has two big events coming up next month. 

First, the 2015-2016 LI Class will hold its fourth session December 13-15.  The class will focus on state government and will join you for the a ABI Briefing and Reception on January 13.

Another LI event will be held on January 13.  That evening, the ABI Foundation and LI will again host Leadership Iowa Networking and Reunion Dinners.  These dinners, more popularly known as the LI Alumni Dine-Arounds, will take place at several Des Moines restaurants.  The event will provide a unique dinner networking opportunity for LI alumni following the annual ABI Legislative Reception.  The event is free to LI alumni - you simply pay for your own meal.  Find out more and register now at https://www.leadershipiowa.com/en/2016_alumni_dinearounds/.

Governor Branstad's "Ingredients of Success" 

Several of you have told me over the years that are voracious readers of business books.  Not to get the latest "Trend-O-The-Day," but to learn best practices and methods of operation that work for others.  Several of you could write such a substantive book yourselves.

It was interesting to read about Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad's "Ingredients of Success" in the book about his life written by Mike Chapman.  Democrat or Republican, like him or not, the Governor is one of the most successful politicians Iowa has ever seen and he has certainly been an ABI supporter -- something we never take for granted! He has some simple truths that guide him and they are worth consideration for all of us. 

A positive attitude, setting ambitious goals, working hard, always being on the lookout for opportunities, adjusting to changing circumstances, and giving back... those are the "Ingredients of Success" identified by the Governor.  Taken from the book, "Iowa's Record Setting Governor; The Terry Branstad Story" by Mike Chapman. 

Rockwell Collins Hosts Legislators

Last Tuesday, longtime ABI member Rockwell Collins hosted 7 legislators at company facilities in Cedar Rapids.  While there, the legislators heard from company executives, toured facilities, and interacted with Rockwell Collins products and technology.  ABI Board Member Cindy Dietz (Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids) reports that the legislators were engaged and appreciative of the information and interaction.

It is that kind of experience that is so important.  ABI is grateful that member company executives such as Cindy and so many of you develop critical relationships with legislators.  It is vital that legislators know how their actions impact your business and your operations.  Thanks, Cindy!

Charlie Richardson to be Honored December 30

After more than 40 years at NSK-AKS, ABI Executive Committee member Charles Richardson (NSK-AKS, Clarinda) is retiring.  Charlie has had an incredible career and he will be honored at a reception at the plant on December 30.  He will continue to represent the company on the ABI Board of Directors until the expiration of his term.

ABI is truly fortunate to be just one of the organizations to which Charlie has lent his quiet strength.  Like some other ABI leaders, Charlie travels internationally extensively, yet he finds time to provide leadership to ABI that makes a difference.  Congratulations, Charlie, and very best wishes from ABI!

Okoboji Classic Cars Featured in The Iowan

In 2013, ABI's annual Taking Care of Business Conference returned to the Iowa Great Lakes for three fantastic days of speakers and events.  Perhaps the highlight of that convention was the Chair's Dinner, hosted by then-ABI ChairDennis Murdock (CIPCO, Des Moines) and former Chair Toby Shine (Shine Bros. Corp., Spencer).

The dinner was held in the fabulous new Okoboji Classic Cars building, a 65,000 square-foot facility built by Toby.  ABI was the very first organization to experience this amazing new facility.

 Well, you can revisit Okoboji Class Cars in the January/February 2016 edition of The Iowan magazine.  In an illustrated feature story about Iowa's terrific antique car collections, Okoboji Classic Cars is prominently included.  It's a great read!

EFCO Mantra Leads to Strong Results

 In previous editions of this memorandum, you have seen me reference FORM MARKS, the company magazine published by ABI member EFCO.  The latest edition of the magazine carries another great editorial by its Chairman and CEO, former ABI Chair Al Jennings (EFCO, Des Moines).

In the essay, Mr. Jennings shares more information about the EFCO mantra: Listen-Discuss-Decide-Support.  He also shares interesting insights about focusing on project schedules and discusses how these things have led to impressive results for the company.  If you wish to see the magazine for yourself, please reply to this message. 

Todd Sommerfeld Celebrates

The first week of the new year brings a birthday for at least one ABI leader.  ABI Board Member Todd Sommerfeld (Kreg Tool, Huxley) will mark another year two weeks from yesterday, on Sunday, January 3.  Congratulations and happy birthday, Todd!

Mykal Sadler Named All-State Register Elite Team Member

As you have read previously, ABI Board Member Michael Sadler (CenturyLink, Des Moines) is the father of a very talented athlete, his daughter, Mykal.  Mykal, a senior at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, was named yesterday to the Des Moines Register's Elite All-State Volleyball Team.  That is just the latest in  series of honors Mykal has received over the years.

Mykal has accepted a scholarship to the University of Missouri - Kansas City, where she will play NCAA Division I volleyball next year.  Congratulations to Mykal -- and to Michael!

Bill Zinkewich Checks in from Florida

Many you know former ABI Board Member Bill Zinkewich (SSAB, Muscatine).  Bill well represented his company on the ABI Board of Directors for many years.  He retired to Florida a few years ago after a very successful career.  Bill played a leading role in ABI's financial turnaround some years back.

Last Monday, Bill checked in to say hello and he wishes everyone happy holidays and a successful 2016.  I pass those wishes to all of you on his behalf.  It was great hearing from Bill and we wish him all the best in return! 

ABI Office Closed Thursday, Friday and January 1; Last Memo of the Year

Due to the Christmas holiday, ABI will be closed Thursday and Friday and then again on the following Friday, January 1.  Many ABI staff members, myself included, will be taking some vacation at various times over the next 10 days.  Staff members have worked hard and I hope you will join me in thanking them for their work.  As always, the week between Christmas and New Year's Day is the one time all year that the ABI Monday Memo is not published.   Your next Memo will arrive in your email in-basket on the 4th of January.

As I noted in the final memo each of the last few years, at this time of year it is natural to reflect on the past 12 months.  Much has been accomplished; so much more lies ahead.  On a personal level, I know how fortunate I am that you have given me the opportunity to work for you and with some great colleagues.  I am deeply grateful and I thank you.  Very best wishes to you, your family, and your company for the coming year.