Big Week for ABI - Monday Memo 3/14/16

March 14, 2016

Two Big Days of ABI Meetings and Events Today and Tomorrow; Gerlach, Legislative Leaders to Join ABI

As I noted last 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:  Iowa Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer, House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow, and BIPAC CEO former Congressman Jim Gerlach will attend the reception. 

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)

Following the luncheon, the ABI Board of Directors will meet (the ABI Executive Committee will not meet on the15th so that members can participate in the other events).  There is a full agenda that will be the focus of the board meeting.  

Your attendance at these important meetings and events is appreciated.  On behalf of ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown), thank you in advance for your participation. 

Make Your Convention, Lodging Reservations Now; TWO HOTELS ALREADY SOLD-OUT

ABI members and staff are heavy into planning for the association’s 113th annual convention.  The annual conference will be held June 14-16 in Sioux City. 

The 2016 Taking Care of Business Conference is shaping up to be a spectacular event.  The conference planning committee, chaired by Kim Didier (DMACC, Ankeny), is putting together a terrific program. 

Many ABI members have already made their reservations for the conference.  In fact, two of the three conference hotels are already completely sold-out.   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 Sioux City 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 Sioux City in June! 

Mary Mendenhall-Core to Leave ABI Foundation

About two years ago, Mary Mendenhall-Core joined the ABI Foundation As Development Director.  In that role, Mary was responsible for leading the Foundation's fundraising efforts and supporting Foundation programs.  Mary has now resigned her position, effective April 1, and will be moving to another organization. 

Mary is joining the Pinky Swear Foundation (, an organization focused on families with children fighting cancer.  This cause is personal to Mary, as her daughter is a leukemia survivor.  

We are excited for Mary and wish her all the best.  Mary has been a member of the ABI team for about two years and we deeply appreciate all she has done for us.  When you see Mary this week, please join us in wishing her well. 

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

Cybersecurity is a timely topic (see next item), 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. 

Remember U.S. Attorneys Cybersecurity Roundtables

For the past couple of weeks, I have shared information about invitations received from Kevin Techau, U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, along with Kevin VanderSchel, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, related to Cybersecurity Roundtables.   The roundtables will be held at Iowa State University in Ames and Drake University in Des Moines on March 30th.  You are invited to attend one of the roundtables at no cost.  To learn more, reply to this memo and I will get you details and registration information. 

Next ABI Legislative Update Teleconference a Week from Friday

The next ABI Legislative Update Teleconference  will be held Friday, March 18 at 9:00 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

Biennial ABI Workers Drug Testing Program Next Month

The 2016 ABI Workers Compensation Program will be held on April 27 at the ABI office in Des Moines.  Your HR staff will find the latest in rulings, best practice-sharing, and other items related to drug testing at the meeting.  

Block your calendar now and watch for registration information coming soon.  Don't miss this opportunity to access information that positively impacts your bottom line. 

ABI Executive Committee Meeting April 6; Next Board Meeting May 4

The ABI Executive Committee will next meet (by teleconference) on April 6.  The next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held on May 4 at Emerson/Fisher in Marshalltown.  Please watch for more information soon. 

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 2016-2017 Leadership Iowa Class will convene in October and Business Horizons 2016 will be held in July 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.  

Mary Andringa Featured in NAM Annual Report

The National Association of Manufacturers is perhaps ABI's most important national partner.  Over the years, several former ABI Chairs have served on the NAM Board of Directors.  Al Jennings (EFCO, Des Moines), Kendig Kneen (Al-Jon, Ottumwa), and Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) come to mind. 

One former ABI Chair has also served as Chair of the NAM Board.  That is former ABI Chair Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella).  During her term as NAM Chair, Mary led the organization to great success.  The NAM Annual report arrived in the ABI office last week and it was a pleasure to see Mary featured prominently in a couple of places in the report.  Congratulations to Mary! 

Lakes Corridor Newsletter Highlights Tecton

Another great ABI member-partner is the Iowa Lakes Corridor Economic Development Corporation headquartered in Spencer.  The organization includes many ABI member companies and is focused on development in NW Iowa. 

Last week's Corridor newsletter carried a great feature about a high school academy and a visit students made to a great Iowa manufacturer and ABI member, Tecton Industries.  Students spent a week learning about how Tecton helps meet the needs of its customers, how the company focuses on lean and process improvement, and on Tecton's PULL method of manufacturing.  If you wish to read the newsletter for yourself, please reply to this message and I will get it to you at once. 

Tecton does a great job of reaching out to students as future employees.  Congratulations to everyone at Tecton, including company President and ABI Board Member Bruce Tamisiea (Tecton Industries, Spencer)