Big Week for ABI - Monday Memo 1/12/15

January 12, 2015

Two Days to Annual Legislative Briefing/Reception; Register Now

With only two days to go, advance registrations for the 2015 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception are running at a record-setting pace.  As I write today’s memo, it is clear that with ABI members, legislators and other officials, well over 500 attendees will be a part of the event.  I hope you have already registered, but if not, please register NOW by going to or by simply replying to this email. 

This annual event is one of the association’s most popular and you won’t want to miss the 2015 edition.  Please join in the members-only briefing following the ABI Board Meeting and then go from there to the Reception.  All events are being held at the Embassy Suites on the River in downtown Des Moines (located just three blocks from the ABI office). 

Both Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will be there, as will members of the General Assembly and other state officials and department heads.  YOU are the reason that this event draws more legislators and state officials than any other similar meeting.  Your attendance and time spent with legislators is a crucial part of ABI’s legislative advocacy.  Thank you in advance for your participation.

Wednesday Marks First ABI Executive Committee, Board Meetings of 2015; New Board Members to be Elected

ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) and members of the association’s Executive Committee will convene for their first meeting of 2015 on Wednesday.  That meeting will be followed by the first 2015 meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

The board will meet at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Embassy Suites on the River in downtown Des Moines.  You should have received the usual packet of meeting materials in your email in-box last week.  If you didn't receive the packet, please let me know and I'll make sure you do receive it.

As I noted in last week’s Memo, Wednesday’s meetings are very important, with discussion of critical association business and reports on tap, as well as vital information related to the 2015 Session of the Iowa General Assembly.  One highlight will be the election of two new board members to fill unexpired terms of directors leaving the board.

Andrew Hansen (John Deere, Ankeny) and Brent Kjellberg (Pella Corporation, Carroll) are the new directors.  They will fill the unexpired terms of Stacey Johnson (John Deere, Johnston) and Myron Linn (Pella Corporation, Pella) respectively.

All board members and Past Chairs are encouraged to attend the board meeting and stay for the annual legislative briefing and reception that follows. 

First ABI Legislative Teleconference of 2015 next Friday

With the convening of the 2015 legislative session, ABI's Government Relations team will again hold regular teleconferences related to the work of the Iowa General Assembly.  The first call of the 2015 session will be held a week from this coming Friday (January 23) at 9:00 a.m.

These calls typically last about 30 minutes and you and your employees are invited to participate.  Register for the free call here:

January Leadership Iowa Session This Week

The ABI Foundation’s 2014-2015 Leadership Iowa Class will hold its January session this Wednesday through Friday in Des Moines.  The session is jam-packed with terrific speakers, meetings with legislators, a tour of the Iowa Capitol, media presentations, and other activities. 

The January session, as you can tell, focuses on state government and politics and is typically one of the program’s most popular.  You will have an opportunity to meet members of the LI class when they join the ABI Board for the Legislative Reception Wednesday evening. 

Not Too Late to Register for This Week's Leadership Iowa Events

Speaking of Leadership Iowa, the program is this week hosting two big events. Please register now for one or both of these events. 

On Wednesday, the day of the ABI Board meeting and legislative briefing and reception, the Foundation will host a Leadership Iowa Networking and Reunion Dinner.  The event will provide a unique dinner networking opportunity for LI alumni following the annual ABI Legislative Reception.  The event is free to LI alumni (your only cost is your own meal).  Find out more and register at

The Leadership Iowa "Future of Leadership" event will be held Thursday at the Iowa Hall of Pride in Des Moines.  All Leadership Iowa alumni, as well as ABI Board members and Advisory Council members are invited to attend. 

Engage ABI Moving Forward

As you know, late last month, ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) and his assistant Mandie Ledoux (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly), and I completed the last of 12 meetings and sessions literally all over the state, That step marked completion of the first phase of EngageABI.   Engage now moves to the next phase, a report-out of the findings.  You will receive that information soon.

In the meantime, as I went over my own notes from the statewide meetings, I came across two special quotes from Engage meetings that I thought you might find interesting.

The first comes from Mark Hanawalt himself and it is very sound counsel.  During one of the Engage discussions, Mark noted that, "You should run your business like you are going to sell it."  Meaning, of course, that you want to operate your business in way that it achieves its highest value... every day, not just on sale day. 

The second quote comes from Drew Vogel (Vogel Paint Company, Orange City).  Actually, the quote comes from Drew's late grandfather, who oversaw incredible growth in the Vogel company during his lifetime.   At one point during his retirement, he was asked how many people worked at Vogel.  He said, "About half of them." 

When Drew shared that story, we laughed.  But he wasn't done.  Drew ended the story by saying that he always interpreted the "half of them working" comment as a reference that his grandfather was applying to special group of employees... Vogel family members.  We laughed again.

Remember: You Can Receive ABI Updates Through Twitter, Facebook

ABI was one of the first associations to use new social technologies to keep in touch and inform members of new developments.  With today’s convening of the legislative session, it seems like a good time to remind you that you can receive updates via Twitter as legislative developments are happening.  Many ABI members -- and members of the media -- tell me frequently that they appreciate these real time updates.

ABI also has a Facebook site, shares information via the web, and of course continues to utilize all the traditional media to ensure that you receive the latest information in the format that works best for you.  If you have other ideas for other ways we can communicate with you effectively, please let me know.

NAM Publication Cites Improving Economic Outlook

The current edition of the National Association of Manufacturers' Global Manufacturing Economic Update has a lead story that offers hope for a stronger economy in 2015.  The Purchasing Managers' index and other data are cited as signs on impending increased performance in the coming year.  If you wish to read the report, reply to this message and I'll forward it to you.

Toby Shine Celebrates

Former ABI Chair Toby Shine (Shine Bros. Corp., Spencer) celebrates his birthday this month.  Happy birthday, Toby!

Noteworthy Tylers

The weekend brought noteworthy news related to a longtime ABI family, the Tylers.  Former ABI Chair Jim Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Atlantic) was named an honorary colonel in the Iowa Militia.  Every four years, during an Iowa Governor's inauguration, the Governor appoints people to the militia in recognition of service to Iowa.  This is of course a ceremonial post and an honor Jim richly deserves.  Congratulations, Jim!

In other Tyler family news, I received photographic evidence from multiple sources that former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee) was part of a stellar cast of performers at Saturday evening's Variety Club Black-Tie Gala.  It looks like a fun time was had by all in recognition of the great work Variety Club does for children in our state.  Congratulations, Kirk!

Myron Linn's Pella Colleague to Officiate National Championship

As many of you know, Immediate Past Chair Myron Linn (Pella Corporation, Pella) is also a college and high school football official.  He's not the only Pella Corporation executive about which that can be said. 

You may have noticed an article in the Des Moines Register a couple of weeks ago about Brad Van Vark.  Mr. Van Vark is a sales manager at Pella and he will be the back judge on the crew working tonight's college football championship game between Ohio State and Oregon.  This will be his fourth national championship game as an official.  As Myron noted to me, "It is great to have an Iowan as part of this historical game in the first Division I playoff championship."

January Always an Important Month for ABI

It seems like every year about this time, I note that while January is the first month in the calendar year, it marks the seventh month in the annual ABI fiscal year (which concludes June 30).  For many reasons, January is a critical month for association programs.  The first ABI meetings of the year are held this month; these events help set the tone for the year and your participation in these meetings is vital to our success.  Also, Foundation programs conduct critical work each January and that is important.  Of course, the Iowa General Assembly convenes in January and there is no more important work ABI does than aggressively push a pro-business agenda before the legislature.  Finally, January is ABI’s most important month for revenue, with more of our annual revenue coming in this month than any other.

Thank you for your leadership and your investment, which we never take for granted and which makes our success possible.  On behalf of Association Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) and our officers, thank you for that support and I look forward to seeing you Wednesday.