Big Week for ABI Annual Conference Readiness - Monday Memo 2/19/18

February 19, 2018

Registration for the Annual Conference Opens Thursday; Press Conference Friday

You have read previously about ABI's 115th annual convention, the 2018 Taking Care of Business Conference.  It will be held in Iowa City-Coralville June 5-7.  You do not want to miss this fantastic annual event. 

At the conference, you will find not one, but two headline speakers.  You will see fabulous venues, such as legendary Kinnick Stadium. You will have access to terrific manufacturing tours, historical sights, and great golf at the Brown Deer Golf Club, and of course you will take part in the best business networking anywhere.  Please register for the conference starting Thursday by going to  

Related to the opening of the conference registration site, ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and Conference Committee Chair Donna Popp-Bruesewitz (Stellar Industries, Garner) will lead an ABI press conference in the region this Friday.  In the meantime, finalize your plans now and we will look forward to seeing you in Greater Iowa City in June! 

Register NOW for 2018 Iowa Business Day on the Hill

Be sure to register now for another popular ABI event, the 2018 Business Day on the Hill.  The event will be held Tuesday, March 13.  The day starts with registration at 8:30 a.m. at the ABI office in Des Moines' East Village.  

You will want to be there to hear the latest news from the Iowa General Assembly.  Following that you will be taken by private coach to the Capitol for meetings with legislators and other leaders.  Register now at  See you in March. 

Feenstra to Keynote Annual IIPAC Luncheon March 13

Senator Randy Feenstra (R-Hull) heads the Iowa Senate’s Ways and means Committee and has a well-deserved reputation for integrity and thoughtful policy-making. He is also a strong ABI supporter.  And, he is a key leader involved in the tax reform discussion currently underway at the Statehouse. 

ABI is pleased to announcement that Senator Feenstra will be the keynote speaker at the annual IIPAC Luncheon on March 13. The luncheon is open to all IIPAC contributors of $50 or more.  If you haven’t yet made your annual IIPAC contribution, you can do so here:  You can also make your donation at the door on the 13th.  Please join us then to hear this important legislative leader and to support IIPAC. 

ABI Board Will Meet March 13

Members of the ABI Board of Directors will meet at the ABI office on March 14.  ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) will call the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. 

The March meeting agenda will be a full one, with many important issues on tap.  In fact, there will be a full day of ABI events on March 13.  The day will start with the annual Day on the Hill program that morning and the IIPAC luncheon at noon, followed by the meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  Plan now to join your fellow ABI board members and past chairs at ABI in March. 

Foundation Panels to Meet

This is a busy time for ABI and the ABI Foundation.  The Foundation is in the middle of the 2017/18 Leadership Iowa sessions and is now finalizing planning for the 2018 session of Business Horizons. 

Thankfully, just like ABI, the Foundation benefits from strong board leadership.  In that regard, two Foundation boards will meet this week.  The Business Horizons board meets Thursday and the Leadership Iowa Board of Governors meets Friday. 

May Board Meeting to be Held in Garner May 2

Speaking of the ABI Board of Directors, ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) will host the board's May meeting.  Following on the success of other recent meetings which were held outside the Des Moines area, Dave will host the May meeting in Garner.  If you haven't been to this great north Iowa community lately, you will be surprised by all the good things you will see.  Look for more information soon.  In the meantime, mark your calendars now and make plans to attend the May meeting. 

March 11: Biennial ABI Drug Testing Seminar

As you know, the biennial ABI Drug Testing Seminar will be held on March 22 at ABI.  The program will include the latest information about drug testing issues and the latest information about best practices being utilized by other companies.  Click here for more information and to register:    

ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders Forum in Fairfield in Two Weeks

The next event in ABI's Connecting Statewide Leaders series will be held a week from Thursday (March 1) in Fairfield.  A high-value panel, networking, and a luncheon will all be a part of the program, which will be held at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center.   

For more information and to register, click on  Join fellow ABI members, Leadership Iowa Class members, local business leaders, and others for this event.   

Waverly Public Policy Roundtable on March 2

The next in an ongoing series of legislative roundtables will be held at United Equipment Accessories in Waverly on March 2nd.  Senator Craig Johnson and Representative Sandy Salmon will be on hand to discuss issues with ABI members.  Many thanks to former ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) and his team for hosting this important event.  For more information, click here:  

Deere and Principal Again Honored for Ethical Behavior

Each year, the Ethispehere Institute honors companies from around the world that model ethical behavior. Again this year, Deere & Company and Principal were among those companies honored.  Congratulations to these two great ABI companies and to their ABI Board Members, Stacey Pellet (John Deere, Johnston) and Jerry Patterson (Principal, Des Moines)

INA to Host Second Leo Mores Newspaper Institute Alumni Retreat

The Iowa Newspaper Association will soon host the second annual Leo Mores Newspaper Institute Alumni Retreat. The institute was endowed by Steve Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan) and ABI Board Member Alan Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan) and named for their father, a longtime newspaper industry leader.  The institute is a key resource for leadership development and information for the newspaper industry.  Congratulations to INA and thank you to Steve and Alan and to the Mores Family! 

Van Meter Ranked Among Top Companies for Training

ABI member Van Meter, Inc. was, for the third consecutive year, named to Training magazine’s “Training Top 125 list.  The list ranks companies on the investment they make in training and developing their greatest asset: their employees.  

Click on this link (thank you ABI Communications Coordinator David Hildahl for the link) for more information about this honor for Van Meter: Congratulations to everyone at Van Meter, especially to ABI Board Member Jenn Bleil (Van Meter, Cedar Rapids)

Iowa Ag Literacy Foundation Project Features Pellett Family

The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation ( is an organization focused on educating Iowans about the breadth and global significance of agriculture.  The foundation highlights youth and youth activities.  

This award-wining organization created an initiative centered on describing various types of farms, the “My Family’s Farm” books. The most recent of these is entitled “My Family’s Windfarm” and it features the family of ABI board Member Stacey Pellett (John Deere, Johnston)!  The entire Pellett Family is featured in the book, but Stacey’s daughter, Callee, is the star of the book, which you can see here:  

The book is a lot of fun and it is educational, too. Congratulations to Stacey and her family on this very neat project! 

Sukups Celebrate 66th Anniversary

Two great ABI icons are celebrating their 66th wedding anniversary this month.  Congratulations and very best wishes to Eugene and Mary Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield)

John Riches Celebrates

Every year about this time, ABI Board Member John Riches (Arconic, Davenport) celebrates his birthday.  John is a terrific guy and it is a pleasure to wish him a happy birthday; happy birthday, John!