Annual Work Comp Seminar Wednesday - Monday Memo 3/23/15

March 23, 2015

ABI Workers Compensation Program Wednesday

This Wednesday, ABI members from across Iowa will converge on the Prairie Meadows Events Center in Altoona for the 2015 Workers Compensation Seminar.  Your risk management and HR staff will find the latest in rulings, best practice-sharing, and other items related to work comp at the meeting.  It is not too late to register.  Find more information and register now at

New Event, Leadership Breakfast, Friday in Johnston

ABI is joining partner organizations the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Des Moines Partnership in sponsoring a leadership breakfast.  This brand new event will be held this Friday, March 25, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Johnston.

The speaker for this event is one popular with many ABI members, Charlie Wittmack.  Charlie has spoken at ABI events in the past and is an internationally-known adventurer.  He ties his comments to business and has new experiences to relate.  If you will be in town this Friday, go to /index.cfm/11274/66408/leadership_breakfast and register now.  I'll be there and I hope you will, too.

Busy Time for ABI Foundation

This is a busy time for the ABI Foundation.  In last week's memorandum, I noted that now is the time to make nominations both for Business Horizons and Leadership Iowa.  Doing so is easy, free, and doesn't take a lot of time.  Make your nominations by clicking on and/or

In other news, the 2014-2015 Leadership Iowa Class will soon meet again, this time in April in Storm Lake for a session focused on community vitality.  And, work continues related to development of an endowment fund for the Foundation.  Please watch for more news soon. 

Register Now for April ABI Connecting Leaders Event

The next ABI Connecting Leaders event will be held April 9 in Storm Lake.  The forums have proven quite successful and we have held them throughout Iowa since the first one over two years ago in  Orange City.  ABI leaders and Advisory Council members will lead this high-value program and you can register for this event here:

You will recall that a few years ago, at the direction of the ABI Board of Directors, the association created  this series of events to be held throughout Iowa that would bring together ABI members, local business people, Leadership Iowa class members/alums, and others to discuss issues and interact with each other.  These events have proven incredibly successful and have resulted in real membership growth for ABI.  See you in Storm Lake next month.

Hanawalt, Farrell, Fox, Schettler Blow Up the Quad Cities; 2015 Conference Coming Soon

Last Thursday and Friday, ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly), 2015 Conference Committee Chair Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale), ABI Senior Vice President Revenue and Programs Leisa Fox, and ABI Communications Coordinator Emily Schettler barnstormed the Quad Cities talking about the 2015 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference.  The conference will be held in the Quad Cities June 10-12.

The ABI group held a press conference and met with many local groups as we continue to finalize plans for a fabulous annual convention.  You can see a local television news piece here: and read a print piece here:

You really do not want to miss this conference, which is shaping up to be ABI's best convention ever.  Go to the conference website and register now.  Then, use the website to connect to your lodging choice and make your room reservations, too.  Click on  See you in June!

Check ABI Quick Bits Series Regularly

As you have read about in previous editions of these memos, ABI created a member information resource called theABI Quick Bits video series.  The bits are web presentations regarding popular business topics. 

In these short features, which you and your employees can easily access from your computer, ABI Senior Vice President Revenue and Programs Leisa Fox visits with a different member of the ABI Advisory Council about a business topic.  You can use the bits to gain information and then follow-up for even more information.

You can easily access the Quick Bits on the ABI webpage at  What is exciting is that the Quick Bitsseries is growing in popularity and providing real value for members.  Please check out the latest edition, which deals with industrial technology.   Let us know what topics you would like covered in future sessions.

ABI Executive Committee Meeting April 8; Next Board Meeting May 6

As you read in last week's Memo, the ABI Executive Committee will next meet on April 8.  The next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held on May 6 at the Prairie Links Golf and Events Center in Waverly. 

The May board meeting will be preceded by a dinner the night before (on May 5) and tee times will be available following adjournment of the meeting on the 6th.  Please watch for more information soon.

Iowa STEM Summit Next Week

ABI members are invited to the 2015 Iowa Statewide STEM Conference to be held later this month.  The summit will be held on March 30 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.  State officials, business leaders, educators, and others will be a part of this event.  Register now for this excellent event at:

Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference May 13-14 in Greater Kansas City

The second annual Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference will be held on May 14 and 15 at the Overland Park Convention Center 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 of 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

Tom Yeoman Featured in Gazette Article

ABI Board member Tom Yeoman (Yeoman & Company, Monticello) is a manufacturing leader and a city councilman.  He runs a very successful and innovative business.  And he was recently featured prominently in a story about manufacturing in his hometown.

Read the article here:  Congratulation to Tom on the great press!

Tylers Again See Expansion

More than a century ago, Tyler Brothers started business in southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska.  Over the past hundred-plus years, the company expanded and changed and is now known as Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company. 

The Tyler Family is expanding again!  Former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee)shared last week that he and Janel's daughter, Jessica, and her husband are expecting in mid-April (they are already the parents of twins).  Congratulations to them, to Kirk and Janel, and to granddad and former ABI Chair Jim Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Atlantic)! Editor's Note:  I do not know whether the baby will be a boy or girl, but I do know he or she will be a Hawkeye fan!

AT&T Highlights Iowa Investment

I always point out that ABI members invest more in Iowa than any other single organization.  In payroll, taxes, purchases of goods and services, donations  to community/state projects, and time in the community, no organization does more for Iowa than ABI members as a whole.  That was brought home again just last week when longtime association member AT&T announced its annual Iowa investment and asked ABI to help spread the word. 

Over the past three years, AT&T has invested more than $150 million in Iowa and in the past six years, $140 billion nationally.  On top of the financial investment, AT&T hired 100 more Iowa employees last year.  That kind of investment is significant, appreciated, and never taken for granted by ABI.  Thank you, AT&T.

Leisa Fox Undergoing Second Hip Replacement

You all know ABI Senior Vice President Revenue and Programs Leisa Fox.  Earlier this year, Leisa underwent hip replacement surgery.  Right about now, she is heading to the operating room to have the other hip replaced.

Leisa set a record for lightening-speed recovery after the last surgery.  That is what we hope for her this time as well.  Thoughts and prayers are with you, Leisa!

Daniel Ralston Finally on the Mend

These memos are about YOU, not me.  But speaking of surgery, my wife and I are grateful to so many of you for taking the time to contact me and wish our son, Daniel, well on his ACL surgery last week.  Daniel has always been an athlete and very fit.  We expected the routine surgery to go well and have him out of the hospital Monday afternoon.

To make a long story short, it didn't work that way.  Complications arose following the surgery and Daniel's stay in the hospital was much longer than expected.  He is doing much better now and all is well.  THANK YOU very much for your good wishes.

The Business of ABI

Last week, ABI held the first in a series of roundtable sessions for member-company CFOs.  The initial speaker wasTerry Lillis (Principal Financial Group, Des Moines).  Terry has been Principal's Chief Financial Officer for years.

One of the things Terry shared was his commitment to the financial integrity of the company.  He expanded on that, of course, but that primary concern was his driving focus.  I see that as my first responsibility as well.

Any organization must have the resources it needs, and manage then in the right way, before it can be successful.  Because of terrific leadership by ABI's officers and the Board of Directors, our association several years ago reversed a negative trend and financial strength is now a benchmark of ABI.  THANK YOU for making that the case, and for your leadership every day.