ABI Exec Comm Meets Next Week - Monday Memo 2/3/20

February 3, 2020

Executive Committee Meets Next Week; Board Meets March 11

The ABI Executive Committee will hold its regular February meeting a week from Wednesday (February 12) at 9:30 a.m.  To be convened by ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids), this teleconference will mark the committee’s second meeting of 2020.  Look for a full report on any news from the meeting at the March board meeting. 

Speaking of the ABI Board of Directors, that meeting will be held at ABI on March 11.  That day will see a full day of ABI meetings and events, as the annual Day on the Hill program and other events will also take place then.  

2020 Iowa Business Day on the Hill March 11

During the first quarter of the year, much of ABI's work focuses on public policy and the Iowa General Assembly.  A few years ago, following on the exploding success of the annual ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception, ABI created the annual ABI Day on the Hill.  The event capitalizes on members’ wishes to get even more involved in ABI’s public policy work.  

This event gives ABI members an opportunity to get the very latest news from the Capitol in the heat of legislative activity.  Members are taken by private coach to the Capitol to meet with and hear from key state officials, legislative leaders, and their legislators.  The event has grown bigger and better each year and this year's event will again be conducted in an ABI partnership with the Iowa Business Council, the Iowa Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, the Iowa Taxpayers Association, and the National Association of Women Business Owners.   

Day on the Hill 2020 is being held Wednesday, March 11.  The program begins with registration that morning at the ABI office near the State Capitol.  Following a report on legislative news and updates on related issues, and including other information, DOTH participants will head to the Capitol for meetings with legislators.  Register now at http://www.cvent.com/events/iowa-business-day-on-the-hill-2019/event-summary-2080946833bd49518eade9d46c07cfb2.aspx.  

March 11 is also the day of the March meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  Thanks in advance for your participation in these important meetings. 

Register NOW Building Business Value Event in Fairfield Next Week or Muscatine in March

A popular ABI seminar will be produced again next week in Fairfield.  To be held at longtime ABI member Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, the seminar focuses on how to build value in your business, on ways to positon your business for sustained success, and on how to transition it to the next generation of ownership.  

Register now for this program, will be held Thursday, February 13.  Starting with lunch at noon, the event will conclude by 3:00 that afternoon.  Find more information and register here: http://www.cvent.com/events/building-business-value-february-2020/event-summary-b2e9dbaf593b4f029acbeb67ed09081c.aspx

Don’t miss this terrific program!  In the meantime, thank you to former ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) and her team for hosting this event. 

By the way, this seminar will also be produced on March 5th in Muscatine.  To register for that program, please click here: http://www.cvent.com/events/building-business-value-muscatine/event-summary-e4887bd89ae847f7b2be4fb8e96c9f86.aspx.  

Update:  ABI Membership Position

Following a meeting with ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) Friday, ABI has begun to accept applications for the open position on our membership team.  While we took the past 30 days to consider and adjust the details of the position, I assure you there was already a great deal of interest.  The goal is to begin interviews after the 18th of February and to have the successful candidate identified by the time the board meets on March 11.  I have no doubt we will find just the right person to take our membership work to the next level.  State tuned for more details as they develop. 

Legislative Update Teleconference Held, Frequency of Calls to Increase

Periodically throughout the legislative session, ABI lobbyists Vice President Public Policy JD Davis and Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf host a teleconference to give you the very latest information from the Statehouse.  Updates on bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters are covered in each call.  Your specific questions about those topics are also very much welcomed. 

The first call of the session was held last week.  In response to a question from staff, ABI members indicated a desire to hold calls bi-weekly.  Thus, the next call the next call will be held soon.  Swatch for more information ahead.  The members-only call is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at https://www.iowaabi.org/events/detail/180-abi-members-only-legislative-conference-calls/.     

Biennial ABI Pre-Employment Testing Seminar March 26 in Des Moines

The association will host its biennial pre-employment testing seminar late next month.  This is the place to find the latest information about drug testing and other pre-employment testing programs and to learn the best practices utilized by other companies.  The seminar will be held at the ABI office on March 26 and registration information will be available soon.  We look forward to seeing your HR, risk management, and compliance teams at ABI on March 26th. 

Iowa Business Report Radio Show

The fifth episode of ABI-supported Iowa Business Report radio show has now been broadcast statewide and if you missed it, you can listen online.  Click here to listen for yourself: http://iowabusinessreport.buzzsprout.com/.  Links can also be found on the ABI website at https://www.iowaabi.org/news/iowa-business-report/.  

ABI is pleased to support the show, which is produced by well-known Iowa broadcaster Jeff Stein and heard on stations all over Iowa.  The latest episode is another terrific edition, with a number of great features, and a fascinating interview with former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield).

Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Seeks Your Projects

ABI has strongly supported the work of the Governor’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Advisory Council.  In fact, ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) is a longtime STEM Council Member and even served as Chair and Director while Dr. Jeff Weld was away for a period of time. 

The council will host a summit on April 14 in Des Moines as a part of the Future Ready Iowa initiative.  STEM officials are seeking proposals from Iowans that are driving work-based learning, computer science, and other STEM-related projects in their communities.  Reply to this memorandum and I will get you more information at once.  Proposals are be being received until February 14.  Successful submissions will be presented at the event in April.  

Business Horizons Board Meets Friday

The ABI Foundation’s Business Horizons program is a week-long entrepreneurial experience for high school students.  About a hundred students will convene on the campus of Central College in Pella the week of July 19th.  The students will learn about business, about free enterprise, and about opportunism for terrific careers right here in Iowa.  And, they will have a lot of fun. 

The board of directors that oversees the program will meet this Friday at ABI in Des Moines.  Thank you to these folks for their leadership. 

Join ABI in Muscatine on March 5 for Connecting Statewide Leaders

The next ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders event will be held March 5 in Muscatine.  A high-value panel and networking will all be a part of the program, which is focused on the future of manufacturing in Iowa.  Click here for more information and to register: http://www.cvent.com/events/connecting-statewide-leaders-muscatine/event-summary-9ee6723caeab463ca8f0ab008e989441.aspx.  These programs are ways to gain information and connect with your fellow ABI members, Leadership Iowa Class members, local business leaders, and others.  

Elevate Scholarships Available

You know how important ABI's Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative is to our state.  Manufacturing firms employ nearly 210,000 jobs to Iowans. These well-paying careers require education and training beyond high school, but many don’t require the often burdensome cost of a bachelor’s degree. Recent studies have shown that two-year degree holders, especially in high-demand manufacturing occupations, can earn salaries that surpass those of college graduates.

A career in manufacturing means getting to work sooner with less debt. 

Elevate Advanced Manufacturing promotes great careers in advanced manufacturing. In 2019, Elevate is offering (15) $500 scholarships to Iowa high school seniors interested in studying a manufacturing-related career at one of Iowa’s 15 Community Colleges – One award will be made per college region.  Interested candidates can apply by completing the application at www.elevateiowa.com

Annual Cedar Valley Legislative Reception a week From Tomorrow Evening 

Another great ABI member/partner is coming town.  Grow Cedar Valley, formerly, the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, is hosting its annual legislative reception next Tuesday night (January 11) at the Des Moines Embassy Suites on the River Hotel.  Welcome and best wishes to GCV members for what is always a great event!  

At Business Record Forum, Wells Fargo Speaker Predicts Continued Growth

Just like at a preceding week’s event, another national speaker has predicted continued moderate growth in the economy.  Darrell Cronk, Chief Investment Officer for Wealth and investment management at Wells Fargo, shared expectations of growth and noted that the much-vaunted Phase One trade agreement with China amounts to a purchase agreement.  It should result in good things for Iowa manufacturers and Iowa agriculture.  Many interesting comments were shared by Mr. Cronk and other speakers at the event.  And, it was great seeing ABI Board Members Kelly Barrick (CIBC Bank, West Des Moines), Casey Cason (Wells Fargo, Des Moines), and Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames) at the program! 

NAM Report Documents Economic Growth

Today’s Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, documents moderate growth for the last quarter and the last year.  Growth came in at over 2 percent for both time periods.  As usual, there was other great information included in the report as well.  Reply to this memo if you wish to read the report for yourself and I’ll get it to you at once. 

Barrick, Butler Hegedus and FEW

In a meeting last week, I learned of one more example of ABI members leading and collaborating.  ABI Board Member Kelly Barrick (CIBC Bank, West Des Moines) and ABI Foundation Board Chair Kim Butler-Hegedus (Community State Bank, Ankeny) are successful bankers, with extensive portfolios and customers throughout Iowa and beyond. 

Some years ago, Kim and Kelly sought to build a network of women that could advise and support each other.  Kim and Kelly created FEW, Financial Executive Women.  The purpose of the organization is to recruit, retain, and elevate women within financial services and affiliated industries.  The group collaborates on projects, on professional development opportunities, and on other things.  At least 3 members of FEW are graduates of the ABI Foundation’s Leadership Iowa program.  

FEW was named the most influential women’s networking group in Des Moines by the Business Record in 2017. Congratulations to Kim and Kelly and their FEW counterparts! 

Walt Smith Retires from Thombert

While he has never served on the ABI Board of Directors, Walt Smith (Thombert, Newton) has been a terrific ABI leader and a true champion for the ABI Foundation.  Walt made the decision to retire from company founded by his father and uncle, Thombert, Inc.  For the past many years that company has been run by ABI Board Member Dick Davidson (Thombert, Newton) and Dick will continue in that role. 

For a really wonderful story about Walt, click here: https://www.rubbernews.com/executive-action/walt-smith-retires-after-leading-thombert-40-years?fbclid=IwAR0xGWKrFZ3_De4mPXSc1KXV3cIyx5o0_SiOsX5ziuVSK4D4xd_gUgkeTWQ.  ABI sends congratulations to Walt, his family, to Dick, and to everyone at Thombert!  And thank you to longtime ABI Foundation leader Kay Neumann-Thomas for sharing the article! 

John DeVries Passes

Former ABI Chair John DeVries (ColorFX, Des Moines) passed away last Wednesday  John had been ill for some time and had been under hospice care at Kavanaugh House in Des Moines. 

John was a wonderful leader and was active in ABI for many years.  He remained active even after selling his business and retiring and served as a member of the board of directors IIPAC for many years.  Read more about John here: https://www.ilesfuneralhomes.com/obituary/John-D.-DeVries/West-Des-Moines-Iowa/1867305.  Thank you to several of you who let me know about John’s death.  We mourn John’s passing, but celebrate his life.  Our thoughts and prayers are with John’s family.