ABI Legislative Reception Next Week - Monday Memo 1/5/15

January 5, 2015

Huge Record Crowd for Next Week’s ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception, Governor and Lieutenant Governor to Speak; Policy Booklet Soon available

You will not want to miss one of the association’s premier 2015 events, the annual ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception.  Both the briefing and reception are being held at the Embassy Suites on the River Hotel in downtown Des Moines and will conveniently follow the ABI Board Meeting on January 14, which is Wednesday of next week. 

The briefing is your opportunity to hear the latest about legislative news and about ABI's pro-growth agenda.  ABI Vice President Government Relations Nicole Crain, Policy and Political Affairs Counsel Rachel Geilenfeld, and Policy and Regulatory Affairs Coordinator Zach Dalluge will present the program and answer any questions you might have about the upcoming session. 

The annual legislative reception follows the briefing and a highlight will be the appearance of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds.  And, you’ll recall that more Iowa legislators attend this event (the ABI Legislative Reception) than any similar event hosted by any organization.  This is because YOU attend.  Legislators tell ABI all the time that they want to meet you, they want to learn about your business, and they value this opportunity to visit with you about issues. 

To register for this event, please go NOW to www.iowaabi.org – or SIMPLY REPLY to this email and I’ll make sure you are registered.  Make no mistake; your attendance at next week’s reception, briefing, and board meeting is absolutely critical to advancing ABI’s 2015 legislative agenda.  It is clear that over 500 ABI members, legislators, and others will attend.  On behalf of our officers, thank you in advance for participating in this very important event. 

In the way of a final note related to ABI's public policy work, be on the lookout for your personal copy of the 2015 ABI Policy booklet.  The handbook has become a valuable reference tool for ABI members and legislators alike and the latest edition will be available very soon.  Thanks to Nicole, Rachel, Zach and ABI Administrative Assistant Michelle Vollstedt for their work with the handbook.

Important ABI Executive Committee, Board Meetings a Week from Wednesday

The first ABI leadership meetings of 2015 will be held next week, on Wednesday, January 14.  The ABI Executive Committee will meet at 11:30 a.m. and the ABI Board of Directors will meet at 1:30 that afternoon.   These meetings are very important, with discussion of association programs and finances on tap, as well as vital information related to the 2015 Session of the Iowa General Assembly. 

The board meeting will feature several highlights, including a presentation about the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline Project/Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now (as requested by the board in November), and our regular business.  Both meetings will be held at the Embassy Suites on the River Hotel in downtown Des Moines.  This is also the site of the legislative briefing and reception, so you will not need to move your car or travel between meetings and events. 

All board members and Past Chairs are encouraged to attend the board meeting and stay for the annual legislative briefing and reception that follows.  ABI Senior Vice President Revenue and Programs Leisa Fox, Member Programs Coordinator Holly Mueggenberg, Communications Coordinator Emily Schettler, Membership Coordinator Dorothy Knowles, and Bookkeeper Chrissy Blake have developed strong meeting arrangements.  Look for your usual meeting packet in your email in-basket later this week.  In the meantime, thank you in advance for attending this important afternoon of events.

Leadership Iowa Events a Part of Next Week's ABI Activities

In the Monday Memo of December 22, you read about two big events coming up related to the ABI Foundation's Leadership Iowa program.  Foundation Vice President Programs Kay Neumann-Thomas, Development Director Mary Mendenhall-Core, and Marketing and Programs Coordinator Jessi Steward are leading the way for these great events.  Please register now for one or both of them. 

On January 14, the day of the ABI board meeting and legislative briefing and reception, the Foundation will host a Leadership Iowa Networking and Reunion Dinner.  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 (your only cost is your own meal).  Find out more and register at http://www.iowaabifoundation.org/

The Leadership Iowa "Future of Leadership" event will be held a week from Thursday (that is January 15) at the Iowa Hall of Pride in downtown Des Moines.  All Leadership Iowa alumni, as well as ABI Board members and Advisory Council members, are invited to attend.  The deadline to register has been extended, so click on the link above and do so now.

Leadership Iowa Class to Hold January Session

Speaking of Leadership Iowa, members of the ABI Foundation’s 2014-2015 Leadership Iowa Class will convene next week for their January session.  The class will meet in Des Moines for a program that will focus on state government. 

Members of the class have been invited to join you and other ABI members for the annual legislative reception on Wednesday evening.  Should you come across LI class members at the reception, please greet them and make them feel welcome.

YPIowa Has Big Plans for 2015

During a meeting of the ABI Foundation Board of Directors last month, representatives of Young Professionals of Iowa shared big plans their organization has in store for 2015.  You will recall that the ABI Foundation serves as the administrator for YPIowa, which is our state's leading group for young professionals.

The first development is that with the addition of eight new members, the YPIowa board is at full capacity.  That is an important step in the organization taking its programs to a new level.

Second, YPIowa is planning a new leadership academy to be held in conjunction with ABI's annual Taking Care of Business Conference.  That should create a great opportunity to build momentum and leverage the excitement around the ABI meeting for YPIowa.  Third, YPIowa is developing exciting plans for its annual meeting to be held this coming fall in Carroll.

These developments, as well as the fact that the organization finished its fiscal year in the black, are exciting achievements for YPIowa.  Watch for more news as it develops.

Wilson Trailer, Vogel Paint Company, Anderson Erickson Dairy All Celebrating Big Anniversaries in 2015

Our state and ABI are fortunate to include businesses that have been around for generations.  Three of those companies are celebrating big anniversaries in 2015.  Longtime ABI member Wilson Trailer Company is celebrating 150 years of success this year.  Vogel Paint Company is celebrating six generations -- 89 years -- of success.  And Anderson-Erickson Dairy is celebrating 85 years of success.

These terrific companies serve their customers well and they certainly serve their communities and their state well.  Congratulations and very best wishes to each of these three great companies and to leaders who have been involved in ABI over the years: Larry Countryman (Wilson Trailer Company, Sioux City), Drew Vogel (Vogel Paint Company, Orange City), and Jim Erickson (Anderson Erickson Dairy, Des Moines)!

Sukup Family First to Have Three Generations as "Eminent Engineers" at ISU Engineering Fraternity

2014 marked the induction of Iowa entrepreneur and innovator Eugene Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield)as an "Eminent Engineer" in Iowa State University's Tau Beta Pi Engineering Fraternity.  While that in itself is noteworthy, that achievement also marked another first.

With Gene Sukup's induction, the Sukup Family is the first ever to include three generations of Tau Beta Pi "Eminent Engineers."  In addition to Gene, former ABI Chair Charles Sukup and Jonathan Sukup (Gene's son and grandson respectively) have also been honored by the fraternity.  That's quite an accomplishment and ABI salutes all three Sukup Eminent Engineers!

Rand Fisher Takes Over as NREDA President; IDAG Celebrates 30 years

Well-known Iowa business leader Rand Fisher (Iowa Area Development Group, West Des Moines) is a longtime member of the ABI Board of Directors.  What you may not know is that Rand is also a member of the board of the National Rural Economic Developers Association.  In fact, last summer, Rand was elected the organization's President and he began his term as NREDA's leader last Thursday.  That's good for Rand, for NREDA, and for Iowa.  Congratulations, Rand!

There is other news involving Rand -- and it also involves former ABI Chair Dennis Murdock (Central Iowa Power Cooperative, Des Moines).  Dennis is the Chairman of the Iowa Area Development Group Board of directors and Rand is the organization's President .  Well, in 2015, IADG marks 30 years of service to our state.  That's a great accomplishment and I know it will be recognized throughout the year.  ABI is proud to be one of the first to offer best wishes to Dennis, Rand, and everyone at IADG - congratulations!

Merle Pederson Celebrates Wedding Anniversary

Longtime ABI Board Member Merle Pederson (Principal Financial Group, Des Moines) and his wife, Janice, are celebrating their wedding anniversary today.  Congratulations, Merle and Jan!  

As Always, ABI has Aggressive Agenda for New Year; Check Events Calendar Often

Thanks to the leadership of ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United equipment Accessories, Waverly) and all of you on the ABI Board of Directors, lots of action and big goals are in store for ABI in 2015.  ABI has developed a strong record of success.  At a time when other organizations are seeking to simply maintain their current position, you have pushed for new achievements.  ABI has big plans for 2015; plans which include continued growth in members and revenue, legislative success, and increases in Foundation activity, among many other things.

For now, your participation in next week’s events is an important part of starting the year successfully.  We need your leadership to continue the aggressive and impactful record of the past years.  THANK YOU again for all you do for ABI and for Iowa business.