Board Meeting, Day on the Hill Coming Soon - Monday Memo 1/30/17

January 30, 2017

ABI Board to Meet March 14

ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and members of the ABI Board of Directors will next meet on March 14th.  That day will see a full day of ABI meetings and events, as ABI's annual Iowa Business Day on the Hill program and other events will also take place then.  

More information will come your way soon, but please mark your calendars now to join your ABI colleagues in Des Moines on March 14.  In the meantime, the ABI Executive Committee will hold its regular February teleconference next week. 

Annual Business Day on the Hill on March 14

Each year, ABI members from across Iowa (and even from outside the state) converge on the Statehouse to discuss pro-jobs policies with their legislators.  The event has grown in popularity every year and based on projections, a record crowd will make the 2017 event even bigger than previous ones. 

The 2017 Day on the Hill will be held on Tuesday, March 14.  This year's event is again being called Business Day on the Hill, because ABI is adding partners every year. We will be joined this year by the Iowa Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business and by the Iowa Chamber Alliance.  By the way, the 14th is also the same day as the March meeting of the ABI Board of Directors, so you can conveniently attend both events. 

Day on the Hill begins at the ABI office at 8:30 a.m. Following an update with the very latest news from the Iowa General Assembly, DOTH participants will head to the Capitol.  There, you'll visit with legislators and hear from leading state officials.  Then, it's a return to ABI and the board meeting will occur that afternoon. Finalize your plans now to participate in Business Day on the Hill and watch for registration information soon.  See you in Des Moines on March 14. 

Kreg Tool Hosts Great Elevate Parents' Night

ABI's Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative is having success in raising the profile of manufacturing jobs in Iowa, connecting Iowans with training, and then connecting them with jobs.  One new Elevate project is hosting sessions for parents at great ABI manufacturers, so they can see for themselves what advanced manufacturing is all about. 

Last Thursday, one such event was hosted by longtime ABI member Kreg Tool Company.  Kreg executives and others hosted 44 students and parents.  The group heard from great speakers, saw a 3D printer in action, and met with state and community college officials.  The event was a huge success. 

Thank you to everyone at Kreg, including company CEO and ABI Board Member Todd Sommerfeld (Kreg Tool Huxley), and to Elevate leaders like ABI Board member Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale) and Elevate Coordinator Alexandra Monaghan!  If you desire more information about Elevate or Elevate Parents' Nights, please reply to this Memo. 

2017 ABI Conference Committee Members to Meet on Program

The upcoming annual ABI Taking Care of Business Conference, which will be held in Dubuque June 6-8, is shaping up to be a fabulous event.  if you haven't already done so, you really need to plan now to attend this great meeting. 

Over two days this week, conference committee members will be conducting interviews and working with potential speakers. It will al lead to an awesome convention in Dubuque.  Thank you to these ABI leaders for developing a fabulous program! 

Next ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders Forum at Kinnick Stadium in March

At the request of members and at the direction of the board of directors, ABI created the Connecting Statewide Leaders forums.  These series of high-value informational and networking events have been incredibly successful.  Events have been held all across Iowa and there are more to come. 

The next event in the series will be held March 2 in Iowa City.  A high-value panel, networking, and a luncheon will all be a part of the program, which will be held at the Fabulous McCord Indoor Club at Kinnick Stadium.  

These programs are simply great ways to gain information and connect with your fellow ABI members, Leadership Iowa Class members, local business leaders, and others.  And we appreciate the reports we hear about sales/deals being made during these events, too.  Find more information at the ABI events page at and register now. 

Watch for LeanWise and MarketWise Events on ABI Webpage

Two of ABI's newest programs are the MarketWise and LeanWise series.  Each of these series of events provides a forum for like-minded business people to come together to gain valuable information about LEAN processes or marketing concepts.  The networking and best-practice sharing that occurs has been rated highly by ABI members. 

Some of you have asked me about these events.  More events in the series will be coming in the future. Watch the ABI Events Page for more information or to register:  

Second Call: ABI Members Invited to Join Trade Mission to Cuba

As you know and as you read in last week's Memo, ABI is a part of a coalition of organizations called Engage Cuba. The organization is focused in large part on expanding business opportunities between American and Cuban businesses.  Engage Cuba is leading a trade mission to Cuba March 30 to April 2.  ABI members interested in exploring opportunities to expand in to Cuba are specifically invited to participate as a member of the trade delegation.  If you are interested, please reply to this message and I will send you more information at once. 

ABI Guide Now Being Distributed

The 2017 version of the always-popular ABI Business Resource Guide and Membership Director is now being distributed. The publication is full of great information about ABI members and programs.  Look for yours to arrive this week. 

Sukup Products Honored by ASABE

Next month, longtime ABI member Sukup Manufacturing Co. will be honored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. (ASABE).  Specifically, two products will be honored as among the 50 outstanding innovations of 2016. 

The award-winning products are the Mixed-Flow Grain Dryer and the Zero-Entry Commercial Paddle Sweep. You can learn more here:  The awards will be presented at the ASABE Agricultural Equipment technology Conference in Louisville, Kentucky on February 14.  Congratulations to everyone at the company, including President and former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield)

Merle Pederson Retires

For many, many years, ABI member Principal was well represented on the ABI Board of Directors by company executive Merle Pederson (Principal, Des Moines).  Merle has recently retired from his post and was honored by Principal at a celebration Friday.  ABI sends thanks, congratulations, and very best wishes to Merle Pederson!