ABI Executive Committee Meets Thursday - Monday Memo 4/4/22

April 4, 2022

Executive Committee Meets Thursday, Board in May

The monthly meeting of the ABI Executive Committee will take place this coming Thursday.  The committee will meet by Zoom at 9:30 that morning.  

The next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will take place next month.  ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa) will lead the board in its May meeting, which will be held at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames on May 12.  

As noted previously, we have some special elements in the works for the meeting and I hope you will be able to participate in the board meeting on May 12.  It will mark the board’s final meeting in advance of the annual conference.  Watch for more information soon. 

Next ABI Legislative Update a Week from Friday

Periodically throughout the legislative session, ABI lobbyists host a Zoom conference to give you the very latest information from the Statehouse.  Updates on bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters are covered in each Zoom.  Your specific questions about those topics are also very much welcomed. 

The next update will be held Friday, April 15th, at 8:00 a.m. and you and your employees are encouraged to participate.  Believe it or not, legislators are entering what they say will be the final weeks of the session, so there could be a lot to cover.  The members-only update is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at Legislative Update (Members Only) | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org)

HR Simple Zoom Webinar on Leave Compliance April 13

ABI member HR Simple will present a free virtual seminar on April 13.  It will focus on compliance with laws and regulations related to employee leave policies.  ABI member may participate at NO CHARGE in the seminar.  Go here for more information and to register: HR Simple: Leave Compliance: FMLA, ADA, Worker’s Compensation | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org).  By the way, all participants will receive a free digital copy of an “Employers Guide to FMLA and ADA.”

Nominating Committee to Meet April 27

The ABI Nominating Committee will kick off its work soon.  The committee, which is chaired by Immediate Past Chair of the ABI Board of Directors Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine), will meet by Zoom on April 27th. 

If you have someone you believe would make a great ABI board member, the committee wants to know about her or him.  Simply contact Steven or me, and we’ll make sure the names are considered by the committee.  

Leadership Iowa to Hold April Session this Week; LI Connect on April 13

The ABI Foundation’s flagship program, Leadership Iowa, will hold the April session of the 2021-2022 class later week.   The class will meet in Decorah Wednesday through Friday of this week.  The session will focus on education and as usual, a terrific agenda has been developed.  Watch for more news about LI at next month’s ABI board meeting. 

In other Leadership Iowa news, the next in the series of programs called LI CONNECT, also focused on education, will be held on April 13.  These programs are held virtually and there is no cost to participate.  Register and find more information here: Meeting Registration - Zoom

Register NOW for Annual Conference; Flyer in the Mail

The annual ABI Taking Care of Business Conference gets bigger and better every year.  Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance had to be limited.  There are no limits in place for 2022 and over 200 people have already registered! 

What does that mean to you?  It means don’t wait, register now!  If you haven’t done so, you can register now by clicking on https://www.iowaabi.org/events/annual-conference/.  People often wait for the colorful tri-fold flyer to arrive in their mailbox before registering.  Well, that flyer will be in the mail this week, so again, now is the time to register.  

By the way, using that same link above, you can access information about the terrific speaker lineup, see the fabulous venues, register for golf at the newly expanded Dubuque Golf and Country Club, make your lodging reservations, and make plans to participate in the very best business networking in Iowa.  

Based on those already registered and on room reservations already made, we expect a huge crowd in Dubuque June 14-16.  Register for the conference now.  You don’t want to miss it! 

Cedar Rapids Site Visit Wednesday

Speaking of the annual conference, planning never really stops and we are always working ahead.  In that regard, ABI Vice Chair Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines) will lead another visit to Cedar Rapids Wednesday.  That Iowa city is the site of the 2023 conference.  Following on the 2022 conference, which we know will be spectacular, don’t miss being with your ABI colleagues in Cedar Rapids in June of 2023! 

ABI/CIRAS Iowa Food Manufacturing Industry Seminar to be Held May 4th

You may recall that ABI and CIRAS (the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University) had partnered on producing the Iowa Food Manufacturing Industry Overview and Challenges Seminar.  The event was planned for some months ago, but had to be postponed. 

The seminar now has been rescheduled and it will be held on May 4th at ISU in Ames.  Substantive topics such as supply chains and logistics, government regulations, environmental considerations, and much more will be a part of the program. 

One cool aspect of the seminar will be tours of terrific industry facilities on campus.  The Food Polymer Lab, Meat Science Lab, and tours of other cutting-edge facilities will be available.  You can find more information and register for the seminar by using this link: Summary - Iowa Food Manufacturing Industry Overview and Challenges Seminar (cvent.com).  Please mark May 4 on your calendar. 

Remember the Buy ABI Program

Last year, ABI conducted a review and revitalization of the Buy ABI program.  The result is a new and improved program that can add real value for your company.  You may not even be aware of it, but ABI has several relationships with member companies that can result in major savings for you (and added revenue for ABI).  Click here for more information: https://www.iowaabi.org/membership/buy-abi/.  

CIBC Predicts Growth in the Economy; Outlines Challenges

Like many of you, I am ways looking for the latest and best information about the economy and what might be coming in the future.  In that regard, longtime ABI Board Member Kelly Barrick (CIBC, West Des Moines) shared some interesting information last week. 

The piece included several articles written by CIBC executive analysts related to economic, congressional, and foreign policy issues.  If you wish to read the piece for yourself, simply reply to this Memo and I’ll get it to you at once.  And I am sure that Kelly would be pleased to add you to the list for futures bulletins.  Thank you for sharing the information, Kelly! 

NAM Report: Jobless Claims Low, Economy Expanding

Last week’s Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, carried lots of positive news.  The report confirmed what ABI members tell me they are seeing.  Hiring remains difficult, but more people entered the workforce and unemployment claims are falling.  More good news comes in data that confirms manufacturing and the economy in general are expanding.  Contact me if you wish to see the report and I’ll get it to you at once. 

CRDC, Other Clinton Organizations Merge

The Clinton Regional Development Commission is a longtime valued ABI member.  There was news out of Clinton last week, as it was announced that city business leaders are merging the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce with the CRDC.  The Chamber also houses the Clinton Convention & Visitors Bureau, so the new organization will oversee all efforts related to tourism and economic and community development.  The new organization will be called Grow Clinton

This initiative has been in the works for a long time and we send congratulations to folks in Clinton upon the successful culmination of the project.  Special credit goes to one of the leaders of the work to make the merger happen, ABI Board Member Rich Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton)

Birthdays for Lori-Schaefer-Weaton, Connor Deering, Bob Wersen Celebrated this Week

Two former Chairs of the association and a member of the board of directors are celebrating birthdays this week.  Former ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agril-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) marks her birthday Wednesday, on the 6th.  ABI Board Member Connor Deering (CemenTech, Indianola) celebrates on Thursday, the 7th.  And Friday, the 8th, Former ABI Chair Bob Wersen (Interpower Corporation, Oskaloosa) marks his birthday.  Happy birthday, Lori, Connor, and Bob! 

Sam Crain, Father-in-Law of Nicole Crain, Passes

There was some difficult news for the family of ABI Executive Vice President Nicole Crain last week, as Nicole’s father-in-law, Sam Crain, passed away in Ankeny very early in the morning on Thursday.  Read more about Sam here: Samuel E. Crain Obituary | Fredregill Funeral & Cremation Care (fredregillfunerals.com).  Our thoughts and prayers are with Nicole, her husband, Josh, and their family.