Annual ABI Open Tees Off Later Today - Monday Memo 8/28/17

August 28, 2017

Today:  The 2017 ABI Executive Open

One of the most popular of events hosted by the association each year is the annual ABI Executive Open.  The 2017 Open will begin with a shotgun start later today at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines. 

The event is a way for members to connect with each other in a fun way and I have been told frequently that a lot of business is conducted at the outing every year.  Golf is pretty full, but there is still plenty of room to participate in the reception following golf.   Join your ABI colleagues for the reception at 5:00 this afternoon.  

Immigration Seminar at ABI in September Next Week

In response to your comments about managing immigration issues related to your employees, ABI is hosting an immigration seminar at the ABI office in Des Moines on September 7. Click here to register and for more information:  This will be a high-value event for a very, very nominal fee.  Your HR staff will not want to miss this event! 

Board to Meet September 13, Secretary of State to Address ABI Board

As you know, ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and members of the association’s Board of Directors will convene September 13 for the first meeting of the fiscal year.  This is an important meeting and the board will be asked to consider and act on several issues.  

The board will meet at ABI in Des Moines' East Village.  The agenda is a full one, with several issues to be considered.  Be on the lookout for a board packet and map to arrive in your email in-basket around September 6.  The agenda will include action on the association’s 2017 policy recommendations, program reports, and other important issues.  

A special guest will be present at the board meeting. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate has been a strong ABI supporter.  He has asked for the opportunity to share with ABI the latest news about his efforts to help Iowa business and Secretary Pate will address the board during the September meeting.  We look forward to his remarks and you can visit personally with Secretary Pate when he kicks off next month’s meeting. 

Many of you have already registered for the board meeting, at which lunch will be served.  If you have not already done so, you can register simply by replying to this memorandum. Your participation in this meeting is important and on behalf of Dave and our other officers, thank you in advance for attending. 

David Hildahl to Join ABI as Communications Coordinator

ABI has completed its search for a new Communications Coordinator and I am pleased to tell you that David Hildahl will be join the association in that role. David’s first day in the office will be this Friday, September 1. 

David has 20 years of experience with firms in Waterloo and Des Moines.  He is an award-winning communications and marketing professional, with a strong background in print, copywriting, and digital media.  In his career, David has handled virtually every part of a professional communications operation and I believe he will take ABI’s communications and marketing efforts to a new level. 

David and his wife and 4-year old daughter live in West Des Moines.  He holds a degree from the University of Northern Iowa and is an active volunteer in the community.  David is quiet, with a great sense of humor.  I am excited to have him join our team. 

You will have an opportunity to meet David at the September board meeting.  In the meantime, I hope you will join me in welcoming him to ABI.  

Legends in Manufacturing Awards Dinner September 19, Manufacturing Conference Next Day

The Legends in Manufacturing Awards Dinner is a great event.  The program was created by ABI's Elevate Advanced Manufacturing program and it honors Iowa's great manufacturing leaders.  The third annual dinner will be held at Prairie Meadows Events Center in Altoona on the evening of September 19. 

You do not want to miss this event!  Register now by clicking on the following link:  Sponsorship opportunities also remain and if you wish to see information about them, please reply to this message. 

And of course the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference will be held the next day.  You can use the link above to register for the conference as well as the dinner.  Contact Prairie Meadows to make a hotel reservation.  You can do that here:  See more information below about the conference. 

High-Value Program at Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference September 20

ABI, along with the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State, and Des Moines Area Community College, is pleased to present the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference 2017.  The conference will be held in Altoona on September 20.  

The speakers for this event are terrific.  Click on the link above go to "Agenda" to see the detailed line-up of keynote speakers and breakouts that will come your way at the conference.  This event will provide terrific value for conference attendees.  See you there. 

Legislative Committee to Meet Thursday

The ABI Legislative Committee, chaired by ABI Vice Chair David Bywater (Economy Advertising Company, Iowa City) will meet this Thursday in Des Moines.  The meeting will mark the second-to-last step in the annual policy development process. 

Following on the many meetings held in Des Moines and around Iowa before it, the meeting today will result in a final set of polices being developed for action by you and your fellow board members later this month.  Look for the final policy draft in your September board packet. 

Kathy Anderson Attends ASCP Conference

ABI Vice President Member Development and Programs Kathy Anderson has returned from the annual meeting of the Association of State Chamber Professionals in Honolulu, Hawaii. ABI has long been an ASCP member.  

This year’s conference again featured sessions on membership development, operational excellence, best-practice-sharing, economic incentives, an awards dinner, and much more. Over the years, ABI has been honored 11 times by the organization for our membership programs and activities.  Welcome home, Kathy! 

YPIowa Conference September 22 in Ankeny

As you have read in the last couple of Monday Memos, Young Professionals of Iowa (our state's leading organization for young professionals) will hold its annual conference in a couple of weeks.  The 2017 YPIowa conference will be held on September 22 in Ankeny.  Find more information and register at   

Sukups Will Celebrate Anniversary on Sunday

Former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) and his wife, Mary Sukup, will celebrate their 34th wedding anniversary this Sunday, September 3.  Charles and Mary are one of the all-time great couples.  It is a pleasure to send very best wishes and congratulations to Charles and Mary!  

Agri-Industrial Plastics Holds Fifth Annual Charity Golf Tournament

ABI member companies and their employees are very involved in their communities. One latest example of that involvement took place in Fairfield on Saturday, when longtime ABI member Agri-Industrial Plastics Company held its fifth annual Agri Charity Golf Tournament. 

Each year, Agri employees choose the local charity that will receive the proceeds from the tournament. This year, the tournament benefitted the African Violet Foundation and the Agri Employee Emergency Fund.  Congratulations and thank you to everyone at Agri, including company founder and former ABI Board Member Dick Smith (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and company President and Immediate Past ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield)

Prays Celebrate 49 Years

Congratulations to ABI Board Board Member Jack Pray (Reynolds & Reynolds, Des Moines) and his wife.  They will celebrate their 49th wedding anniversary on August 31.  Best wishes! 

The Business of ABI

Editor's Note: I have been including this item at the end of August for the past few years, because I am told that it is useful for newly-elected board members to see.  In case that is accurate, here it is once again.

As those of you have been reading these memos for years know, from time to time, I include an item called "the Business of ABI," in which I discuss a data point, or a metric, or some other issue related to how ABI itself runs its business.  I haven't done that for a while and because so many of the association's new board members asked about ABI's operating business, I thought I would share some comments about that this week.  Here are some things I know: 

First, I never forget that ABI really IS a business.  We have customers, we just happen to call them members.  If we aren't providing value to you, we aren't doing our job and there is no reason for you to invest in ABI.  The good news is that, thanks to you, ABI does provide value. 

Second, I know there are three reasons for ABI's success.  The first is because of terrific support from businesses literally in every corner of this state.  ABI is Iowa's oldest and largest statewide business organization and that support makes possible everything we do.  The second reason for success is great leadership from the ABI Board of Directors.  That is not simple rhetoric; your leadership has resulted in tangible and measurable improvements in ABI.  The third factor in ABI's success is due to great work by a staff focused on implementing the vision you set for us each year.  

Finally, I have been asked about my focus at ABI when I started almost twelve years ago.  I was excited then to get to work for and with some terrific people.  I am still excited about that today and each day I commute to Des Moines thinking about what can be done THIS day to make ABI better. 

Many of you already know the story; it seemed to me back in 2005 there were so many things that needed addressing, I had to find a way to focus.  So, I came up with a plan called "It's as Simple as ABC."  "A" stood for accountability in decision-making and results.  It seemed like that had been lacking and we needed to instill it from the top (the board of directors) down (the staff). 

"B" stood for balance sheet.  ABI's balance sheet was a mess.  We were spending more than we were bringing in and there was no focus on our cash position or on program metrics.  "C" stood for communication.  There was not a lot of communication between board members, between the board and the staff, or between staff.  

The data shows that all of these areas have been addressed.  And again, that is due to great leadership from you and hard work on the part of the board and members and staff.  I am eager for ABI's new board members to have the opportunity to see this first-hand and to work with you who have been on the board for some years.  

The strength of ABI is its members.  If ABI can continue to build an association as great as those members, another 114 years of success is in the bag.  THANK YOU for your support of ABI.