ABI Board to Meet Wednesday - Monday Memo 11/9/15

November 9, 2015

Board, Executive Committee to Meet Wednesday; Board Packet Sent Last Week

Both the ABI Board of Directors and the ABI Executive Committee will meet Wednesday (November 11).  ABI ChairPaul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) will call to order the final board meeting of 2015 at 11:30 a.m. at the ABI office in Des Moines. 

Guest speakers, operational reports, and other important items are on the agenda for the meeting.  In addition, the board will receive the annual audit and will act on a number of other important items.

If you haven't already done so, please register your attendance for the meeting by clicking on /index.cfm/11274/72006/november_11_board_meeting_invite_only.  Or, simply reply to this message and I'll make sure you are registered.

A link to access the usual packet of reports and reference materials was distributed by email last Wednesday.  If you did not receive that message, please let me know at once and the information will be sent to you at once.  In the meantime and on behalf of our ABI officers, I look forward to seeing you Wednesday.

Myron Linn to Join ABI Public Policy Staff; Harder to Begin Next Week

Former ABI Chair Myron R. Linn (Pella Corporation, Pella) retired last year after a long and successful career at Pella Corporation.  Myron is well-known for his leadership skills, for his extensive knowledge in a variety of policy areas, and for being an all-round great guy.

It is a pleasure to announce that Myron will join the ABI staff in January as Public Policy Counsel.  He will join ABI Senior Vice president Public Policy Nicole Crain and new ABI Director, Public Policy Jessica Harder in advancing ABI's agenda with the Governor and Lieutenant Governor and members of the Iowa General Assembly.  This is a short-term arrangement and Myron will work with ABI through the end of the legislative session in the spring. 

Speaking of our public policy team, last week I announced the news of Jessica's hiring and we look forward to having her on the team soon.  In fact, Jessica will officially begin her service with ABI a week from today.  We are excited to have Jessica on board and to have Myron join us in his new role.  I know ABI members will be incredibly well-represented at the Statehouse by this Terrific Trio!

Join Canadian Consulate for Reception Tomorrow Night

Canadian Consul General Jamshed Merchant and the Consulate General will host a special reception tomorrow night to welcome new Senior Trade Commissioner Susan Cormie,  A special invitation has been extended to the ABI Board of Directors and I hope you will attend.  You can register for this  free event at http://canadarandd.ezregister.com/.  The reception will be held at the Des Moines Embassy Club at the top of the Ruan Center in downtown Des Moines tomorrow evening. 

IIPAC Event at Tassel Ridge a Week from Tomorrow

The Iowa Industry Political Action Committee is ABI's political arm.  It is a critical resource for ABI in the support the association provides to pro-business candidates of both parties.

IIPAC will host a new event, a high-level, high-value reception and dinner, next Tuesday, November 17.  The event will take place at ABI-member Tassel Ridge Winery near Leighton.  The winery is owned by former ABI Chair Bob Wersen (Interpower Corporation, Oskaloosa) and we thank Bob for his support and leadership.  Senate Republican leader Bill Dix and House Speaker-Elect Linda Upmeyer will provide in-depth perspectives from the Statehouse and the campaign trail for attending donors. 

For more information, reply to this memorandum.  And, if you are a member of the board and/or a former board chair, you should be an IIPAC donor!  I personally contribute $1,500 to IIPAC and some folks contribute even more.  Your donation (I hope all board members will consider a donation of at least $100) is important to our success.  Please make your donation now by clicking on this link: /en/public_policy/iipac/.  On behalf of IIPAC Chair (and former ABI Chair)Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee), THANK YOU for your support!

2016 ABI Legislative Reception on January 13

One of the association's most popular events is the annual legislative reception.  ABI members are proud that the reception has traditionally drawn more Iowa legislators (of both parties) than similar events hosted by any other organization.  All 150 legislators and Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds have again been invited to join you at the 2016 reception, which will be held January 13 (the same day as the January ABI Board Meeting) at the Embassy Suites on the River, just a couple of blocks from the ABI office in downtown Des Moines. 

Mark your calendars now and watch for more information soon.  Your attendance at this important event is essential for ABI to advance its pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda.

Business Record Iowa Receiving High Marks; Charles Sukup Featured on November Cover

You should be receiving the monthly edition of ABI's flagship publication, Business Record Iowa later this week.  Published in conjunction with member Business Publications Corporation, BR Iowa took the place of our quarterly publication, IA.biz magazine. 

You can't miss this edition, because the cover is adorned by former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield).  Charles is the perfect person to embody the feature story in the November edition, which is a focus on things for which Iowa business leaders are most thankful.

When it comes to BR Iowa, members are telling us they really like the greatly increased publishing schedule (from 4 times each year to 12) and the content.  Those comments are nice to hear.  Just as important is anything we can do to make the new journal even better and more useful to you.  Please contact me with any comments or suggestions.

Elevate Ambassadors Session Thursday

Another training session for Elevate ambassadors, featuring ABI Vice Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield), will be held this Thursday at ABI.  The training will take place on November 12th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at ABI. Contact Robyn Denson for more information at rdenson@iowaabi.org.

ABI Foundation Board Teleconference This Week

Members of the ABI Foundation's Board of Directors will meet by teleconference tomorrow.  The teleconference will focus on routine budgetary and program matters as the foundation further kicks-off its fiscal year, which began in a strong way on October 1.  Thank you to Foundation Board Chair Steve Simon (Central Bank, West Des Moines) and board members for their leadership.

Connecting Statewide Leaders Event in Waverly in December

The first 2015-2016 Connecting Statewide Leaders event will be held December 10 in Waverly.  This forum is the next opportunity to participate in the popular series of events ABI has hosted around Iowa over the course of the past few years.  A luncheon follows the meeting and you will have a great opportunity to visit with fellow ABI members, meet the new Leadership Iowa class, and develop new customers. 

Please mark your calendar now.  Also, please register now using this link: http://www.cvent.com/events/connecting-statewide-leaders/event-summary-8ee90de12dca4033abf381fe72be4a07.aspx

NAM Report Documents Slowing Growth

Last week's Monday Economic Report from the National Association of Manufacturers presented information that confirms that growth in manufacturing is slowing.  Signs of a rebound are expected after the beginning of the next quarter, however.  If you wish to read the report, please contact me and I will send it to you at once.

Steve Dust Quoted in WaPo Article

ABI Board Member Steve Dust (Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Waterloo) is a leader in a huge renaissance  taking place in Iowa's Cedar Valley Region.  Steve and others are quoted in a recent Washington Post article that addresses presidential campaigns, but also notes the area's resurgence.

The article is good reading and you can read it for yourself here:http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2015/11/04/outsider-presidential-campaigns-thrive-disaffected-voters-but-one-city-story-shows-disconnect/9Gqp6WiCtSUtCDmcldvejK/story.html. Congratulations to Steve and the region on the great coverage!

IADG Honored by U.S. Ag Secretary

In a ceremony held in Washington, DC last Thursday, longtime ABI member Iowa Area Development Group received the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Abraham Lincoln Honor Award.  The award was presented by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

IADG received the award for expanding rural economic development opportunities in Iowa and across the nation by being a national advocate of USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDL&G) Program, as well as other contributions and accomplishments of its rural sponsored economic development mission. 

The honor is well-deserved and fitting, especially given that the organization is marking its 30th anniversary of service to Iowa.  Congratulations to everyone at IADG, include Board Chair (and former ABI Chair) Dennis Murdock (CIPCO, Des Moines) and President (and ABI Board Member) Rand Fisher (IADG, West Des Moines)!

Bill Trent Celebrates

Last week, I noted that several ABI leaders were celebrating birthdays.  Well, I learned of another important leader who celebrated recently.

Former Iowa legislator and ABI Chair Bill Trent (Muscatine Foods, Muscatine) celebrated his birthday on October 16.  As you all know, Bill is a terrific guy and it is an honor to send best wishes to him.  Happy belated birthday, Bill Trent!

Mykal Sadler, DCHS on to State for Third Consecutive Year

This is the senior  year for one of our state's leading high school athletes.  ABI Board Member Michael Sadler (CenturyLink, Des Moines) is the father of this smart and talented young woman, Mykal Sadler. 

For their third year in a row, the Dowling Catholic High School Maroons volleyball team and their star player, Mykal, are headed to the State Tournament.  They play in the first round at noon tomorrow in Cedar Rapids.  Upon graduation, Mykal will accept a scholarship to the University of Missouri Kansas City and become a Division I athlete.  Congratulations and good luck to Mykal and her DCHS eammates!

The Business of ABI; Strong Results in 2015

Editor's Note: The following is a message that has become a tradition about this time each year; it has been edited for accuracy and so that it objectively applies to the current year

When I created the Monday Memo, my goal was to provide you with sort of an “inside baseball” view of what is happening at ABI each week.  Too many times, this weekly memo becomes simply a list of upcoming events.  Given that, I especially like to share news related to developments and projects (other than events) and news of what is happening with your fellow board members and past chairs.  And, I like to share news regarding what I call the business of ABI. 

The business of ABI refers to key information about the metrics that provide insights as to whether or not our association is achieving the goals you establish for it every year.  In that regard and in keeping with a tradition started nine years ago, I typically share some information in the memo that appears the week of the final board meeting of the year to provide some information about association results during the past 12 months.

For many years, I listed several bullet points related to ABI's work in public policy, programs, with the work of the ABI Foundation, and as it pertains to our operational and financial success.  Because that became repetitive, I took a different tack the last few years and I'll do that again now. 

Let me simply say that ABI experienced strong results in 2015.  I need to point out that is not just rhetoric.  Simply saying something is the case does not make it so.  In measurable ways, ABI enjoyed success this year.  When it comes to public policy advocacy, membership growth, participation in events, conference revenue, Foundation programs, creation of new initiatives, and in so many other ways, 2015 has been a truly strong year.

ABI board members demand results.  Thanks to your leadership and thanks to a hard-working staff at both ABI and the ABI Foundation, strong results were achieved.   THANK YOU.