ABI Holds Smash Legislative Event - Monday Memo 1/18/16

January 18, 2016

ABI Holds Record-Breaking Legislative Briefing, Reception

Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad, the leadership of the Iowa General Assembly, legislators, state officials, and ABI members have shared great comments regarding the  2016 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception held last week.  Highlights of the evening were appearances by Governor Branstad, House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, Senate President Pam Jochum , House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow, Senate Minority Leader Bill Dix, and dozens of legislators of both parties and chambers. 

Other state officials present included  Auditor of State Mary Mosiman and Secretary of State Paul Pate.  Many State department heads and other officials, in addition to legislators and the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, also attended.

Prior to the reception, the annual legislative briefing was highlighted by remarks by ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Fisher/Emerson, Marshalltown), ABI Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain, and ABI Vice President Member Development and Programs Kathy Anderson.  The briefing included a terrific video preview of the 2016 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference to be held in Sioux City in June.

The reception following the briefing seems to grow larger each year, with close to 600 ABI members and state officials participating.  ABI members from every corner of the state and from many states outside Iowa were on hand to connect with state officials.  It is that interaction with legislators that is so vital and that makes the event such a critical component to advancing ABI’s agenda each year. 

By the way, while we appreciate the huge crowd, what is more satisfying is the number of the attendees who say they conduct business and make important connections at the events.  See photos from the event here: http://www.iowaabi.org/events/photos/ and watch for more to be posted in the coming days. 

In the meantime, many thanks for the good words you have shared about the event and for the work of ABI staff.  THANK YOU for making the 2016 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception exceptional events. 

Executive Committee, Board Hold first Meetings of 2016; Petticoff, Slusark Elected to Board

Members of the ABI Executive Committee met Wednesday and that meeting was immediately followed by the first 2016 meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  Both meetings saw discussion of important issues and action on a number of items.  

One highlight of the board meeting was the election of two new directors.  Jeanine Petticoff (Alliant Energy, Cedar Rapids) and Art Slusark (Meredith Corporation, Des Moines) were elected to fill the unexpired terms of Vern Gebhart (Alliant Energy, Cedar Rapids) and Jerry Hadenfeldt (Meredith Corporation, Des Moines) respectively.  Jeanine, Director of Energy Accounts and Economic Development for Alliant, and Art, Chief Communications Officer for Meredith, are terrific business leaders.  They were elected unanimously and will make great additions to the board.

Vern and Jerry have been terrific members of the ABI Board of Directors for decades.  They strongly represented their companies and also strongly helped advance ABI.  We wish them both the very best.

Strong attendance and participation marked what was a great meeting of the board.  Thank you to all of you who joined us in Des Moines last week.

Brand New ABI Website Goes Online; Annual Resource Gide Published

For some months, ABI Communications Coordinator Emily Schettler has been leading a redevelopment of the association's website.  That project is now complete and the new website went online last Wednesday.

The old website had a ton of information, but navigating it was clumsy and cumbersome.  A great deal of outdated content, poor graphics, and broken links were a major part of the site.

The new website is sleek, visually attractive, and much easier to use.  You can swiftly find information about ABI, the ABI Foundation and its programs, and about many, many other things.  Most importantly, the new website will allow us to serve our customers - ABI members - much more effectively.  Please let us know what you think of the new website, which you can find at www.iowaabi.org

Also complete is the annual publication of the ABI Business Resource Guide and membership directory.  That project, too, was led by Emily Schettler and we believe the result is just as strong as the website.  Look for your 2016 directory to arrive soon.  In the meantime, please join me in thanking Emily for managing both of these important projects.

First ABI Legislative Teleconference of 2016 Friday

ABI's Public Policy team will again hold monthly teleconferences related to the work of the Iowa General Assembly.  The first call of the 2016 session is this Friday (January 22) at 9:00 a.m. 

Members have told us they appreciate these calls, which offer the very latest in news from the Statehouse.  As I noted in last week's memo, the calls typically last about 30 minutes and you and your employees are invited to participate.  Please click here for more information about the call, free and open to ABI members only: http://www.iowaabi.org/events/detail/4-abi-legislative-update-teleconference-members-only/.

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION NOW OPEN; Save the Dates for the 2016 ABI Convention

ABI's 113th Annual Meeting, Iowa's Taking Care of Business Conference 2016, will be held June 14-16 in Sioux City.  There will be many highlights to the conference, including terrific speakers and exciting, brand new venues.  Another highlight is golf at one of the Midwest's most beautiful golf clubs, Dakota Dunes. 

There are way too many exciting developments related to the conference for me to detail them here.  GO NOW to the conference website to see the line-up of terrific speakers, like Dick Vitale, the list of incredible venues, and information about Greater Siouxland.  You can also register for the conference and find information to help you in making your lodging reservations.  Please click here: http://www.cvent.com/events/2016-annual-abi-conference/event-summary-9223d9ff385a486fabd62938fbfd74d2.aspx

ABI events have been breaking attendance records for the past several years, with each drawing a larger number than the previous events of the same kind.  On behalf of ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Fisher/Emerson, Marshalltown), please consider this your personal invitation to attend the ABI Conference.  We'll see you in Sioux City in June.

Leadership Iowa Class Meets, Alumni Event Held

The ABI Foundation's Leadership Iowa program is one of the nation's oldest statewide leadership development programs.  As you know, LI enjoys a strong base of alumni.

Those alumni met last week for the annual LI Alumni Networking Dinners, more popularly known as the Foundation Dine-Arounds.  The dinners, held at restaurants throughout Des Moines, enjoyed strong participation and much esprit de corps.

In other LI news, the 2015-2016 class held its January session in Des Moines.  The session focused on government and terrific speakers marked the program.

ABI Advisory Council Continues Strong Support

Members of the ABI Advisory Council provide incredible value for the association's general membership.  Terrific information, technical programs, subject-matter expertise, and more are available to ABI members thanks to the Advisory Council.

The council is not meeting in January, but it continues to provide incredible support for ABI.  Thank you to ATW Training Solutions, BCC Advisers, Brick Gentry P.C., BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC, Focus OneSource, Global Reach, LMC Insurance and Risk Management, Manpower, Measured Intentions, Principal Financial Group, Spindustry Digital, Transition Point Business Advisors, and Wellmark.

NAM Global Update Reports Sobering News, With Positive Twist

Dr. Chad Moutray is the Chief Economist for the National Association of Manufacturers.  Dr. Moutray authors several reports published periodically by the NAM.  All of them are useful.

In last Thursday's NAM Global Manufacturing Economic Update, Dr. Moutray reports some sobering information from around the world.  Slow economies in China and other parts of the world cause concern.  But, Dr. Moutray also notes that even as the global economy remains quite challenged, manufacturing activity continues to expand ever so slightly overall.

The report has a lot of interesting and useful data.  If you wish to read it for yourself, please reply to this memorandum and I will get it to you at once.

Mary Landhuis, Merle Pederson, Nate Weaton Celebrate Birthdays

January is a busy time or ABI board members' birthdays.  In addition board members already noted in previous editions of the Monday Memo, three more ABI leaders are also celebrating.  Happy birthday to board members Mary Landhuis (EZ Way-Lisle Corporation, Clarinda), Merle Pederson (Principal Financial Group, Des Moines), and Nate Weaton (Hill Phoenix, Keosauqua)