Annual Policy Tour Begins Next Week - Monday Memo 5/13/19

May 13, 2019

ABI Policy Meetings Ahead

Each year, following adjournment of the annual session of the Iowa General Assembly, the ABI public policy staff heads out on the road to meet with association members all over Iowa.  These regional meetings focus on information about the actions of the General Assembly in the session just completed, on the latest news from the Statehouse, and on gaining your counsel about ABI policies for the next year.  

The first regional Policy Meeting will be held in Clarinda a week from today and it will be followed by stops in Orange City, Dubuque, and Pella.  Please register for these free meetings now at  

Thank you to ABI members for hosting ABI in your communities.  And on behalf of ABI Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain, Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf, and Coordinator Public Policy Drew Wynes, we look forward to seeing you at one of the remaining meetings. 

ABI Annual Conference Starts Just Three Weeks from Tomorrow

ABI’s 116th annual meeting kicks off just three weeks from tomorrow.  All the indicators point to a terrific annual convention, with registrations continuing to run at a record pace.  The convention will be held June 4-6.  Don’t miss this event! 

You can check out the terrific convention program and you can register NOW by going to  On behalf of the conference committee and our ABI officers, I look forward to seeing you at the 2019 Taking Care of Business Conference, for the first time in 10 years being held in Ames. 

By the way, when you register for the conference, don't forget to make your lodging reservations.  Three of the official conference hotels have been sold-out, but plenty of other great options remain.  Find more information about another great lodging option at the link mentioned above. 

Discussing the conference provides an opportunity to again thank the conference planning committee and ABI staff members Member Programs Director Holly Mueggenberg, Vice President Member Development and Programs Kathy Anderson, Membership Coordinator Dorothy Knowles, Communications Director David Hildahl, Executive Administrative Assistant Michelle Vollstedt, and Bookkeeper Chrissy Viers. 

Final Pre-Conference Meeting of Planning Committee Tuesday

Speaking of the annual conference, the conference planning committee will hold its final pre-conference meeting tomorrow at ABI.  Chaired by Lisa Patterson (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City), the committee has done terrific work.  You can thank them personally next month.  See you in Ames in June! 

ABI Foundation Readies for Busy Summer

Things never really slow down for ABI and that is also the case for the ABI Foundation.  Among many other things, nominations are being finalized for participation in upcoming programs, special attention is being placed on the upcoming Annual Auction benefitting Foundation programs, and preparations are being made for the graduation of the 2018-2019 Leadership Iowa Class.  For all of this, thank you to Foundation staff members Programs Director Jessi Steward, Vice President Becky Coady, Marketing and Engagement Coordinator McKenzie Kielman, Administrative Assistant Jane Galloway, and Alumni Engagement Staffer Kay Neumann-Thomas. 

ABI and ABI Board Invades Iowa City, Holds Terrific Meetings

Many of you have taken the time to let us know that you appreciated last week’s meetings held in Iowa City.  Thank you to ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) for leading the meetings of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors on Wednesday.  Following the board meeting, most members reconvened at Bankers Advertising/Tru Art to tour that founding ABI member’s Iowa City plant.  A special thank you to all of you who attended all of these events.  The meetings provided great energy as we now focus on the annual conference. 

CFO Roundtable Meets Thursday

A few years ago, ABI created the ABI CFO Roundtable.  The roundtable provides finance-specific programming and networking opportunities for your bookkeeping and financial staffs.  A terrific slate of programs has been developed for the roundtable.  The CFO Roundtable will meet on Thursday for its May meeting.  For more information, please reply to this memorandum. 

Latest Edition of Business Record Iowa Now Out; Bradford Featured on Cover

Each month, in partnership with the Des Moines Business Record, ABI publishes Business Record Iowa.  This newsprint publication reaches about 7,500 Iowa business leaders all across the state.  

The May edition, featuring ABI Board Member Steve Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) on the cover and inside the magazine, should now be in your mailbox, inside the Des Moines Business Record.  If you haven't yet received it, please let me know and another copy will be sent to you at once.  

Nominating Committee Meets Today

ABI Nominating Committee Chair (and Immediate Past ABI Chair) David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and members of the committee will meet by teleconference later this morning.  The committee will develop a full slate of nominations for the annual convention.  

In addition to Dave, committee members include ABI Board Members John Riches (Arconic, Davenport), Tom Yeoman (Yeoman & Company, Monticello), Chris Sackett (BrownWinick, Des Moines), John Krogman (Elkhart Plastics, Atlantic), and Drew Vogel (Vogel Paint Company, Orange City).    The committee will complete its work in the next couple of weeks and a full report will be a part of next month's annual business meeting. 

ABI Advisory Council to Hold May Meeting Thursday

The ABI Advisory Council includes valued member companies that provide terrific programming assistance, as well as key financial support for ABI.  The council will hold its monthly meeting this Thursday at the ABI Office in Des Moines. 

THANK YOU to the members of the council!  Those companies are 21st Century Rehab, ACS, BCC Advisers, BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC Insurance, Far Reach, Focus OneSource, HDH Advisors, LMC Insurance and Risk Management, Principal Midwest Business Center, Shift Interactive, Tero International,The Iowa Clinic, Wellmark, and Wells Fargo

Latest Edition of Baton Includes Great Information

It seems like every edition of Baton, the newsletter published by longtime ABI member BCC Advisers, carries high-value information.  The latest edition is no exception. 

In a terrific cover story related to company transitions, a focus is placed on employee retention.  Other items, including another great report from company president and ABI Board Member Steve Jacobs (BCC Advisers, Des Moines) and a Brexit update, round out the publication.  Click on this link to read the newsletter for yourself.  Thank you to Steve and BCC for the great information! 

Kent Corporation Marks One Million Safe Hours at Muscatine Plant

As you read in last week’s ABI eNewsletter, longtime member Kent Corporation achieved a significant milestone recently.  This is the second time in two years that Kent employees successfully reached this workplace safety milestone. The team of 565 employees worked consistently safe for nearly nine months to achieve this milestone. 

Congratulations to everyone at Kent for this terrific accomplishment, including ABI Board Member Rich Dwyer (Kent Corporation, Muscatine)

UEA Expanding Again

Longtime ABI member United Equipment Accessories is a leader in the slip ring industry.  Just a couple of years ago, the company celebrated a major expansion at its Waverly campus.  Well, UEA is growing again! 

At last week’s board meeting, company president and former ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) announced that his company will be adding additional manufacturing capacity in the coming months.  The project will be built by ABI Board Member Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames) and his team and work on the multi-million dollar expansion will begin later this year.  Congratulations to Mark and UEA (and to Mike and Story)! 

ABI Members Honored by ESGR

Several ABI members were honored recently by Iowa Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve.  ESGR named these companies as winners of the Above and Beyond Award, which recognizes their support of those among their workforce who are active military or veterans.  

ABI member Above and Beyond Award companies include American Equity, Conagra, Converse Condition Air, NextEra Energy, United States Gypsum, and Wells Fargo.  Of those great ABI members, one is represented on the ABI Board of Directors, so congratulations to Casey Cason (Wells Fargo, West Des Moines)! And thanks to ESGR (and ABI Foundation Vice President) Becky Coady for sharing this news with us. 

The Business of ABI: Legacy

One fun element to last week’s ABI meetings in Iowa City has been the opportunity to review some old association materials that ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) brought to the meeting.  As you know from reading recent editions of this memo, David’s company recently acquired another company and in the course of cleaning out some archival space, David’s team found the materials. 

Some of the materials date from the days when ABI was still known as the Iowa Manufacturers Association.  Photos of board members are a lot of fun.  Also fun is seeing the notes back and forth between members of David’s family.  

Some things never change.  There are a lot of notes about the annual conference (then known as the convention and held every year at Okoboji).  Talk even then about maintaining Iowa’s single factor appointment formula for tax purposes.  And lots and lots about IMA/ABI and its legislative work.  Finally, it is evident that even decades ago, the association’s members were and are responsible for its growth and success.  I assure you that all of us on this staff honor that legacy and we are grateful.  Thank you, David, for sharing the materials and thank you to David and all of you for continuing ABI’s legacy of success today!