ABI Legislative Reception Wednesday - Monday Memo 1/9/17

January 9, 2017

Two Days to Annual Legislative Briefing/Reception; Register Now

With only two days to go, advance registrations for the 2017 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception are running at a record-setting pace.  As I write today’s memo, it is clear that with ABI members, legislators and other officials, well over 500 attendees will be a part of the event.  I hope you have already registered, but if not, please register NOW by going to www.iowaabi.org or by simply replying to this email.  

This annual event is one of the association’s most popular and you won’t want to miss the 2017 edition.  Please join in the members-only briefing following the ABI Board Meeting and then go from there to the Reception.  The board meeting, briefing, and reception are being held at the Embassy Suites on the River in downtown Des Moines (located just three blocks from ABI).  

Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will be there, as will members of the General Assembly and other state officials and department heads.  YOU are the reason that this event draws more legislators and state officials than any other similar meeting.  Your attendance and time spent with legislators is a crucial part of ABI’s legislative advocacy.  Thank you in advance for your participation. 

Executive Committee to Host Luncheon for Former Chairs of the Board

ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and members of the association's Executive Committee will host former Chairs of ABI at a luncheon in Des Moines on Wednesday.  Lori and ABI Board Member Todd McDonald (ATW Training Solutions, Urbandale) will lead the former Chairs in a discussion related to ABI's ongoing strategic planning process. 

Your participation and counsel as a part of the strategic planning process has also been important and appreciated. Look for an update on the planning  process at Wednesday's board meeting.  In the meantime, thank you to ABI's former Chairs for making plans to participate in the lunch.  They are some of Iowa's most storied business leaders and it is always great to see them. 

First ABI Legislative Teleconference of 2017 on the 20th

With the convening of the 2017 legislative session, ABI's public policy team will again hold regular teleconferences related to the work of the Iowa General Assembly.  The first call of the 2017 session will be held a week from this coming Friday (January 20) at 8:00 a.m. 

These calls typically last about 30 minutes and you and your employees are invited to participate.  Watch for registration information soon. 

January Leadership Iowa Session This Week

The ABI Foundation’s 2016-2017 Leadership Iowa Class will hold its January session this Wednesday through Friday in Des Moines.  The session is jam-packed with terrific speakers, meetings with legislators, a tour of the Iowa Capitol, media presentations, and other activities.  

The January session, as you can tell, focuses on state government and politics and is typically one of the program’s most popular.  You will have an opportunity to meet members of the LI class when they join the ABI Board for the Legislative Reception Wednesday evening.  

Not Too Late to Register for This Week's Leadership Iowa Event

Speaking of Leadership Iowa, the program this week hosts one of its most popular annual events.  If you plan to participate, please register now (please see below). 

On Wednesday, the day of the ABI Board meeting and legislative briefing and reception, the Foundation will host a Leadership Iowa Networking and Reunion Dinner (perhaps better known as the ABI Foundation Dine-Arounds).  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.leadershipiowa.com/en/2017_alumni_dinearounds/.  

Elevate Ambassador Training Session Coming Next Week

As you read in last week's Memo, ABI's Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative (www.elevateiowa.com) has been having success in raising the profile of manufacturing careers, connecting Iowans with training and education, and then connecting those Iowans with jobs.  An event that is a part of this initiative is coming up next week at ABI. 

The Elevate Ambassadors are manufacturing staff members from all over Iowa who help spread the word about the initiative. The next session of ambassador training will be held January 17 at ABI.  Go to  http://www.elevateiowa.com/about/elevate-advanced-manufacturing-ambassador-program.  When you click that link, you can find out more about what is involved in being an Elevate ambassador and the rewards for doing so.  Please invite your employees to serve as ambassadors and we will see you on the 17th.  

Remember: You Can Receive ABI Updates Through Twitter, Facebook

ABI was one of the first associations to use new social media technologies to keep in touch and inform members of new developments.  With today’s convening of the legislative session, it seems like a good time to remind you that you can receive updates via Twitter as legislative developments are happening.  

Many ABI members -- and members of the media -- tell me frequently that they appreciate these real time updates.  ABI's public policy staff regularly tweets LIVE from the committee rooms at the Statehouse. 

ABI also has a Facebook site, shares information via the web, and of course continues to utilize all the traditional media to ensure that you receive the latest information in the format that works best for you.  If you have other ideas for other ways we can communicate with you effectively, please let me know. 

NAM Report Documents Growth; Journal Says Manufacturing Growth Best in Two years

In last week's Memo, I noted information that illustrated a very slight dip in U.S. Manufacturing in November. Well, full data for the quarter is now available and the good news is that for the third quarter, the American economy grew at a rate of 3.5 percent.  In addition, consumer confidence rose to its highest level in 15 years.  If you are interested, you can read more in the National Association of Manufacturers' Monday Economic Report.  

Last Tuesday's Wall Street Journal also noted the increasing strength of U.S. manufacturing.  In fact, an article noted that 2016 finished with the strongest manufacturing growth in two years. 

Reply to this message and I will send to you the NAM report or a copy of the Journal article or both. 

Atlantic Bottling Company Begins 108th year by Focusing on Tyler Tenets, Safety and Wellness

As you know, ABI always appreciates your company newsletters. They keep us informed about what is happening inside Iowa's most successful businesses.  One of those great newsletters is CokeBeat, published by longtime ABI member Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company

Among many others, the January edition of CokeBeat has two features that catch the eye.  The first is a Page 1 column by company Chairman and former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee).  Kirk's column notes the explosive growth the company experienced in 2016 and then focuses on something important to all ABI members: safety and wellness.  It seems like ABI's successful member companies always maintain a safety focus. 

The second eye-catching article in CokeBeat is a story about the Tyler Tenants.  The article mentioned some things from the book Good to Great, written by one of ABI's most popular conference speakers ever, Jim Collins.  It then shares the guiding principles of Atlantic Bottling: Dedication to the work, a positive attitude, and execution of team objectives.  Dedication, attitude, execution... solid guidelines for any business.  Thank you, Kirk, and thank you company Executive Chairman and former ABI Chair Jim Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Atlantic)!  

Bill Bywater Photo in Corridor Business Journal

Last fall, you read in the Monday Memo that former ABI Chair Bill Bywater (Economy Advertising Company, Iowa City) marked his 55th year with his family's company.  The manufacturer/printer, which is one of ABI's founding members, is 120 years old, so Bill has been associated with it for almost half of its century-plus existence.  

The January 2 edition of the Corridor Business Journal carried a very nice photograph of Bill's celebration.  Bill and his wife, Linda Bywater, both look great in the photo.  Congratulations to Bill and Linda and to their son, company President and ABI officer David Bywater (Economy Advertising Company, Iowa City)

IADG Newsletter Features Murdock, Fisher

Longtime ABI member Iowa Area Development Group has published its latest Partners in Progress newsletter.  Two ABI board members are featured inside. 

IADG Board Chair/CIPCO CEO/former ABI Chair Dennis Murdock (Central Iowa Power Cooperative, Des Moines) and IADG President and ABI Board Member Rand Fisher (IADG, West Des Moines) are pictured in an article about a donation to the Iowa Vaudeville Tour, an Iowa community development effort.  Congratulations Dennis and Rand! 

Toby Shine Celebrates

Former ABI Chair Toby Shine (Shine Bros. Corp., Spencer) celebrates his birthday this month.  Happy birthday, Toby! 

Steve Roberts Retires

After 50-plus years as a member of one of Iowa's largest law firms, ABI Board Member Steve Roberts (Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines) retired as of December 31st.  Steve spent decades on the board and it is believed that he may be the association's all-time longest serving board member.  Watch for information about an event to be held in conjunction with the March meeting to honor Steve.  In the meantime, congratulations to Steve and to his wife, Dawn Roberts!  

January Always an Important Month for ABI

It seems like every year about this time, I note that while January is the first month in the calendar year, it marks the seventh month in the annual ABI fiscal year (which concludes June 30).  For many reasons, January is a critical month for association programs.  

The first ABI meetings of the year are held this month and these events help set the tone for the year.  Your participation in these meetings is vital to our success.  Also, Foundation programs conduct critical work each January and that is important.  Of course, the Iowa General Assembly convenes in January and there is no more important work ABI does than aggressively push a pro-business agenda before the legislature.  Finally, January is ABI’s most important month for revenue, with more of our annual revenue coming in this month than any other. 

Thank you for your leadership and your investment, which we never take for granted and which makes our success possible.  On behalf of Association Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and our officers, thank you for that support and I look forward to seeing you Wednesday.