Adjournment, Year of Manufacturing - Monday Memo 4/24/17

April 24, 2017

General Assembly Adjourns an Historic Session for ABI; Year of Manufacturing Press Conference This Morning

Saturday morning at about 7:15, after being in session for just shy of 24 hours, members of the Iowa General Assembly concluded the 2017 session. Simply put, it was an historic session for ABI. 

Nearly every association priority (as identified by members and the board of directors) was addressed. Major reform of Iowa’s system of workers compensation was the highlight of the session for ABI, but there were many other achievements.  ABI published a session wrap-up report Saturday afternoon.  If you haven’t yet seen the report and want another copy, please reply to me and I’ll get it to you at once.  Much more information will be coming in the next few days. 

In the meantime, congratulations and a big thank you to ABI’s public policy team (who put in very long hours this session) Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain, Director Public Policy Jessica Harder, Coordinator Public Policy Brad Hartkopf, Communications Director Emily Schettler, and Executive Administrative Assistant Michelle Vollstedt. Their work was terrific.

In other state news, in about three hours, ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield), Vice Chair Dave Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner), members Mo Lockwood (Thombert, Newton) and Dr. Ron Cox (CIRAS, Ames), and others will participate in a  press conference at the Statehouse.  They will join Iowa Governor Terry E. Bransatd and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds in declaring this year The Year of Manufacturing in Iowa. 

Watch for more information to come, but this is a terrific step in raising the profile of manufacturing in our state and further evidence of the support the Governor and Lieutenant Governor have given to ABI in particular and manufacturers in our state in general. Thank you to ABI Vice President Member Development and Programs Kathy Anderson for leading ABI’s participation. 

Board to Meet Next Week; Final Meeting Before Conference

The final ABI board meeting before the 2017 convention will be held next week.  ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and the ABI Board of Directors will meet Wednesday, May 3 at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center in downtown Fairfield.  The meeting will begin at 11:00 a.m. and lunch will be served. 

If you haven’t already done so, please register your attendance now by replying to this message.  Look for your usual packet of meeting materials to arrive in your email in-basket later this week.   And by the way, if you are in Fairfield the night before (May 2), join ABI for dinner. Reply to this message for details.  On behalf of our ABI officers, I look forward to seeing you next week.  As always, thank you to ABI Member Programs Director Holly Mueggenberg for her great help in handling meeting arrangements and related issues.  And thank you, too, to ABI Membership Coordinator Dorothy Knowles and Bookkeeper Chrissy Viers also play key roles in membership work for ABI. 

Final Legislative Call Friday, ABI Regional Policy Meetings Coming Up in May

With Saturday’s adjournment of the 2017 session of the Iowa General Assembly, the ABI Public Policy staff will host the final ABI Legislative Teleconference of the session. It will be held at 8:00 a.m. this Friday, April 28.  The call is free to you and your employees, but we ask that you register your participation in advance.  Please do so here:

And, thanks to adjournment, it is now time for you to register for an ABI Regional Public Policy meeting coming to your area in May.  At the meeting, you will hear the latest report on the 2017 Iowa Legislative Session, the impact actions of legislators had on your business, and you will receive a preview of the legislative interim.  You will also have the opportunity to share input about legislative issues that you and your employees believe should be the focus of ABI in 2018. 

You can register for one or more of the sessions by going to the Events Page on the ABI website.  You will find that site here:  The ABI public policy staff and I look forward to seeing you and your employees at the upcoming meetings.  

Take Annual ABI CEO Survey Now

As you read last week, it is time for ABI’s Annual CEO Survey. ABI surveys member CEOs regarding issues important to them and their businesses.  The survey is available now and your participation is encouraged and desired.  Also as I noted in last week's memorandum, it will take no more than 5 to 10 minutes.  Use this link to access the survey.  You will be able to find the results in the June edition of Business Record Iowa

ABI Foundation Seeks Your Nominations for Leadership Iowa, Business Horizons, LIU ; LI in Burlington Next Week

As I have noted in recent editions of this memo, this is the time of year that the ABI Foundation is seeking your help to nominate worthy individuals for acceptance in Foundation programs.  Business Horizons, Leadership Iowa, and Leadership Iowa University are all in the nomination phase.  Go to or to or to for more information.  Thank you to those of you who have already nominated individuals for these great Foundation programs.  

By the way, the current LI class will meet in Burlington next week.  The class will convene on Wednesday evening for session that runs through noon on Friday. The session will focus on advanced manufacturing.  We thank ABI Vice President Foundation Programs Kay Neumann-Thomas, Development Director Amanda Nuzum, Marketing and Programs Coordinator Jessi Steward, and Administrative assistant Jane Galloway for their great work in making sure the Foundation programs run smoothly. 

Nominating Committee to Meet May 8

As noted in last week’s Monday Memo, 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 Paul Gregoire (Emerson Fisher, Marshalltown), will meet by teleconference on May 8. 

In addition to Paul, members of the Committee include ABI board members from each of the association's five state districts.  They are District 1 – Drew Larson (RAM Pattern, Le Claire), District 2 – Rich Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton), District 3 – Paul Drey (Brick Gentry, West Des Moines), District 4 – Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Carlisle), and District 5 – Bob Bocken (Farner Bocken, Fort Dodge).  

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

Register NOW for 2017 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference; Two Hotels Sold-Out

The 114th Annual ABI Convention, the 2017 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference, will be held in Dubuque June 6-8.  As I noted last week, first class venues, terrific speakers, golf at one of the nation’s finest courses, and the very best business networking in Iowa will make the 2017 meeting one for the record books.  Almost 300 people are already registered for the conference. 

In conference-related news, ABI was notified recently that two of the conference hotels are already sold-out.  Both the Hotel Julien and the Grand Harbor are full.  That's okay, because there are other terrific hotels that will provide great lodging for conference attendees.  Click on this link for more information:

The bottom line is you want to make your lodging reservations -- and register for the conference -- NOW. Simply reply to this message and we’ll take care of the registration process for you!  Or, you can access the link above.  See you in Dubuque in June! 

Check the ABI Events Calendar Often

Between ABI and the ABI Foundation, our organization is sponsoring events throughout Iowa all year long.  Please allow this note to serve as a reminder to check the ABI Events page often for information about upcoming events.  Simply go to  for the latest events information. 

There you can get further details about upcoming meetings and seminars, register your attendance, or find other information.  The page changes weekly so visit it frequently for the most up-to-date data. 

ABI Members Encouraged to Attend Iowa SMART Conference Next Week

Please allow this to serve as your final reminder about the annual Iowa SMART Conference. The conference is Iowa’s premiere economic development conference.  It is sponsored by ABI member the Iowa Utility Association and its members, Iowa’s investor-owned electric, natural gas, and transmission utilities, and by the Iowa Economic Development Authority. 

The 2017 conference will be held in Des Moines on May 4. It includes a terrific agenda, with several great speakers. For more information and to register, click

Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference Open to ABI Members

ABI is among a number of organizations that are collaborating to produce the Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference.  The conference will be held May 17-18 at the Overland Park Marriott in Overland Park, Kansas.  

The agenda for the conference is terrific and packed full of high-value information.  Your compliance staff will find no better resource for the very latest in environmental regulatory information.  ABI receives financial support for every Iowa participant that registers for the conference.  While that is a great incentive, the real reason to attend is for the high-value program.  Please consider sending your staff to the conference.  Find out more information and register by clicking on

NAM Report Cites Manufacturing Growth, Total Hires Now Highest in almost 10 Years

As are many of you, I am an avid reader of the National Association of Manufacturers' Monday Economic Report.  Last week's report was more good reading. 

The bottom line is that a variety of economic data is trending positive. Specifically in the manufacturing sector, total hires in manufacturing rose to the highest levels since June of 2008.  As always, it is hoped that manufacturing activity can lead to growth in the economy in general.  Please reply to this memo if you wish to receive last week's NAM report.  

Happy Anniversary to the Tylers

Last week was a big one for two longtime ABI people. Former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee) and his wife, former ABI staffer and former ABI Conference Committee Chair Janel Tyler, celebrated their 37th (or was it their 38th?!) wedding anniversary.  Congratulations to a terrific couple!  Best wishes for many, many more great years ahead! 

UEA Highlighted in National Publication

Longtime ABI Member Company United Equipment Accessories has already had a busy year.  Participation in national and international trade shows has marked the first quarter.  And, UEA was recently featured in a national industry trade journal. 

UEA was featured in Fluid Power Journal magazine.  The article focused on swivel torque and mounting rigidity.  Reply to this message and I’ll get you a link to the magazine.  In the meantime, congratulations to everyone at UEA, including company President and former ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly)

Rand Fisher to Undergo Hip Replacement Surgery

Longtime ABI Board Member Rand Fisher (Iowa Area Development Group, Des Moines) has been struggling with some chronic hip pain and that has led to a need for surgery.  Last Friday, Rand underwent the first of two hip replacement surgeries.  He will be out of action recuperating for a while and that will be difficult for a fellow as active as Rand.  We wish you all the best, Rand; our thoughts and prayers are with you!