Big ABI Events on Tap - Monday Memo 3/13/17

March 13, 2017

Two Big Days of ABI Meetings and Events Today and Tomorrow; Upmeyer to Speak

As I note every year about this time, ABI has been very busy hosting many events and meetings of late.  And, as always, that’s good; if the association is fulfilling its mission, we better be busy (and productive). 

Two of the busiest days of the year are today and tomorrow, as ABI will host several events.  The annual Business Day on the Hill Reception starts things off later today.  The events today and tomorrow are free to board members and former chairs and you can find more information by visiting the ABI Events webpage:  

You can also register for the next day’s events, Day on the Hill and the annual luncheon benefiting ABI’s political arm, the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee.  The IIPAC Board of Directors is chaired by former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee).  Iowa House Speaker Linda Upmeyer will keynote the luncheon. 

Following the luncheon, the ABI Board of Directors will host a dessert reception for retired board Member Stephen W. Roberts (Davis Brown, Des Moines).  Steve is one of the longest-serving ABI board members ever and retired in January after over 30 years on the board.  

The final event of the day is the March meeting of the ABI Board of Directors (the ABI Executive Committee will not meet on the14th so that members can participate in the other events).  A full agenda will be the focus of the board meeting.  

Your attendance at these important meetings and events is appreciated.  On behalf of ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield), thank you in advance for your participation. 

2017 ABI Workers Comp Seminar March 30

The 2017 edition of ABI's biennial Workers Compensation Seminar will be held later this month. The seminar will be held at the ABI office on Thursday March 30.  

Workers compensation is a timely topic, because as you have been reading in the weekly ABI Legislative News, ABI has been leading a coalition of organizations seeking legislative changes to bring Iowa's work comp system back into balance. By the way, your help is essential to that effort and it is deeply appreciated. 

The work comp seminar on March 30 will include the latest information on the status of changes and what they mean for your company. The program will also include other information, such as best-practice data from other companies.  To register, please go to this link:  I look forward to seeing your HR, risk management, or other staff members at the seminar. 

Make Your Convention, Lodging Reservations Now; ONE HOTEL ALREADY SOLD-OUT

ABI members and staff are heavy into planning for the association’s 114th annual convention.  The annual conference will be held June 6-8 in Dubuque. 

The 2017 Taking Care of Business Conference is shaping up to be a spectacular event.  The conference planning committee, chaired by Amy Jones (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield), is putting together a terrific program. 

Many ABI members have already made their reservations for the conference.  In fact, one of the hotels, the beautiful Hotel Julien, is already completely sold-out.   Other hotels are filling fast. If you haven't made your reservation yet, you can go to and take care of it today.  That link will provide you with information about lodging and then you can use the links to find information about  the conference agenda and speakers, information about terrific venues and special events, and information about the incredible list of things to do in the Greater Dubuque region.  Perhaps most importantly, you can also register for the convention.  

All the information you need is on this website.  Or, if you wish to have the ABI staff handle your reservation, simply reply to this email and I’ll make sure it gets handled.  See you in Dubuque in June! 

Call is Out for Great Foundation Auction Items

Speaking of the annual conference, one of the highlights of the conference each year is the auction that benefits the programs of the ABI Foundation. And, as read in the Monday Memo of a month ago, the ABI Foundation staff is calling for your donations for terrific auction items. 

 With the annual conference in Dubuque just a few months away, Foundation staffers are looking for packages/donations for both the live and silent auction.  If you have donated in the past, please do so again.  If you haven’t donated items to the auction, please take a moment to think about how you or your business can contribute. The conference auction is vital to the success and sustainability of the Foundation’s life-changing programs. To make arrangements, please contact Amanda Nuzum, the Foundation’s Development Director at 515-235-0569 or  Thank you for your consideration. 

Latest Edition of Business Record Iowa Now Out

The latest edition of ABI’s monthly newsmagazine, Business Record Iowa, has now been published.  The magazine is made possible through a partnership between ABI and Business Publications Corporation, publishers of the Des Moines Business Record

Silent leadership is a focus of this edition and you can read about that and more in this month’s magazine.  If you don’t receive your copy in the mail today or tomorrow, contact the ABI office and we’ll get another copy to you at once. 

ABI Executive Committee Meeting April 5; Next Board Meeting May 3

The ABI Executive Committee will next meet by teleconference on April 5. The next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held May 3 in Fairfield.  Please watch for more information. 

Next ABI Legislative Update Teleconference Two Weeks from Friday

The next ABI Legislative Update Teleconference  will be held Friday, March 31 at 8:00 a.m. and you and your employees are encouraged to participate.  The call is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at

LI, BH Nominations Encouraged

Leadership Iowa and Business Horizons are two of the ABI Foundation’s flagship programs.  LI is one of America’s oldest and most successful leadership development programs.  BH provides a terrific week-long entrepreneurial experience for Iowa high school students each summer.  The 2017-2018 Leadership Iowa Class will convene in October and Business Horizons 2017 will be held in June at Central College in Pella. 

Now is the time that you can help the program in an important way.  Nominate participants for LI and students for BH.  Making nominations doesn’t cost a cent and is easy to do.  Simply click on and/or for more information and to make your nominations.  

Jackson Manufacturing Stars in KCRG Feature

KCRG Television in Cedar Rapids has a terrific feature in which the station highlights eastern Iowa manufacturers.  Last week, the featured company was none other than ABI member Jackson Manufacturing

The video does a terrific job of highlighting Jackson's leadership in the knob industry and shows several of the company's products. ABI Board Member Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa) is a star of the video.  Watch this very fun piece for yourself here:  Congratulation on the great coverage, Jack! 

ABI Leaders Double as NAM Leaders

Perhaps the leading partner for ABI on the national level, The National Association of Manufacturers provides great resources for ABI and our members.  Our organization works closely with the NAM on issues of national interest. 

Last week, former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) happened to check in with ABI while he was attending the NAM board meeting.  While doing so, Charles noted several other ABI leaders in attendance at the NAM meeting.  These included former ABI Chairs Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella), Al Jennings EFCO, Des Moines), and Kendig Kneen (Al-Jon, Ottumwa). Other ABI leaders also attended, including Jason Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella), Sherri Hotzler (Vantec, Webster City), and Gage Kent (Kent Corporation, Muscatine).  In addition to formerly chairing ABI, Mary, of course, also chaired the NAM a few years ago. 

It is fun to note that ABI leaders are also leaders for our nation! Congratulations to all of them and to the NAM's current Chair, David Farr (Emerson Corporation, St. Louis).  If I didn't mention Mr. Farr, I would get in trouble with one of his top Iowa executives, ABI Immediate Past Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson-Fisher, Marshalltown)!