Board Meeting Wednesday - Monday Memo 5/4/15

May 4, 2015

ABI Board of Directors Meets Wednesday; Congressman Blum to Join ABI for TechWorks Tour Following Meeting

As you know, ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United equipment Accessories, Waverly) will convene the May meeting of the ABI Board of Directors the day after tomorrow, on Wednesday, May 6.  The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will follow the May meeting of the ABI Executive Committee.  Both meetings will be held at the Prairie Links Golf and Events Center in Waverly. 

All board members and past chairs of the board should have received the usual packet of meeting materials in your email in-basket last Wednesday.  If you did not, please reply to this email and I will re-send the packet at once.  Should you have questions or comments about anything related to the packet or the meeting, please contact me.  And by the way, I expect to be able to send you the usual monthly financial report later today or tomorrow.

The May board session actually  begins with dinner tomorrow night, compliments of ABI, for those of you who are in the Cedar Valley.  If you plan to attend and haven't yet checked-in, simply reply to this email and let me know.  Then, we'll see you at 7:00 p.m. at Montage in Cedar Falls.  The board meeting begins at 10:00 a.m. in Waverly the next day.  Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. and the meeting should conclude by 1:00 or 1:30 p.m.

Following the meeting, many board members will tour the TechWorks Campus in Waterloo.  Spots are still available, so if you wish to participate, simply reply to this message and let me know.  The tour begins at 2:00 p.m. and  participants can be on the road by 3:00 or so.  many thanks to ABI Board Member Steve Dust (Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Waterloo) for making the tour possible.

Steve also shared Friday that Congressman Rod Blum will join ABI members for the TechWorks tour.  Congressman Blum is serving his first term representing Iowa's First Congressional District.  The Congressman has been a supporter of business and manufacturing and this will be a great opportunity for tour attendees to meet him and to see a terrific facility in Waterloo.

Wednesday's meeting marks the last ABI board meeting prior to next month’s annual convention.  This has been a very busy spring for the association and on behalf of Mark and our other officers, I look forward to seeing you in Waverly.

A Month to Go Until 2015 Convention; Lieutenant Governor to Speak

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2015 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference, the 112th Annual ABI Convention, begins in a month.  The event will be held in the Quad Cities on June 10, 11, and 12.  Make your reservations NOW for the convention by going to Over 300 people have already registered!

This will conference will be unlike any ABI convention you've attended in the past.  High-Value breakout sessions will serve to kick-off the event.  Dynamic speakers will be on hand, including the internationally-known Ken Blanchard and Patrick Lencioni.  On top of all that, the very best business networking in Iowa will again make the conference something not to be missed.

Speaking of the conference, Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will again join ABI members at the convention.   She will address conference attendees at the Waterfront Convention Center at noon on Thursday, June 11th.  As for the convention, don’t wait; register NOW!  If you don't want to click on the link above, reply to this message and let us take care of it for you.  Don't miss this conference!

Executive Open Registration Now Available

One of ABI's most popular events each year is the annual Executive Open.  This year's open will be played at one of Iowa's truly fabulous private courses, Des Moines Golf and Country Club (  If you are not a member, it can be difficult to get the opportunity to play it.  Well, here's your chance.

Registration is now open for this event.  Go to and register today.  This event sells out every year, so don't delay.

Nominating Committee to Meet

As Immediate past Chair of ABI, Myron R. Linn (Pella Corporation, Pella) also serves as Chair of the 2015 ABI Nominating Committee.  The committee will meet later this month.

The committee includes representatives of each of ABI’s five Iowa districts.  Thank you to Myron and to these ABI leaders for serving on the association's 2015 Nominating Committee:  Kirk Trede (Eastern Iowa Light & Power, Wilton), Dee Baird (Metro Economic Alliance, Cedar Rapids), Jason Gross (Nationwide, Des Moines), Mary Landhuis, EZ Way, Clarinda), and Kirk McCollough, Seneca Foundry, Webster City). 

If you wish to nominate someone for board service (and self-nominations are welcomed and encouraged), please contact one of the committee members or me.  All ABI members will vote on the slate of nominees at the 2015 Convention in the Quad Cities in June.

Next ABI Leaders Event in Dubuque Thursday

ABI's Leaders events have proven very popular with members and others.  New members have joined and new business deals have been struck as a result of interactions at these events over the past couple of years.

The next event in this series will be held this Thursday, May 7, at the Hotel Julien in Dubuque.  The program, led by ABI Advisory Council Member Rob Kane (CliftonLarsenAllen, Cedar Rapids) includes a CEO panel and experts sharing information related to manufacturing and transportation.  Register for the event now at /en/events_calendar/.

Leadership Iowa Class Heads to Dubuque

There are two sessions left for the 2014-2015 Leadership Iowa Class.  One will be held later this week in Dubuque and then the class will graduate at a ceremony held in conjunction with next month's ABI annual conference.

Beginning with some voluntary activities Wednesday and continuing through Thursday and Friday, the class will meet for a session focused on advanced manufacturing.  As usual, a terrific program has been developed for LI members and you will learn more at the upcoming board meeting.

Sukup Manufacturing Purchases Danish Company

Longtime ABI member Sukup Manufacturing Co. last week announced the purchase of DanCorn, a leading dealer in grain drying, storage, and handling located in Denmark.  Both Sukup and DanCorn have experienced tremendous growth, with DanCorn being one of Sukup's largest international customers. 

Sukup is one of the top grain bin companies in America, gaining market share at a faster rate than any other bin manufacturer.  The DanCorn acquisition should enhance that growth and make the company even stronger in Europe, though it already has a big presence there.  Congratulations to everyone at Sukup, especially company president and former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield)!

Another week, Another Tyler Expansion

Last week, you read about the dramatic announcement related to Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company and its huge territory expansion in Iowa and Minnesota.  Well, an expansion of another kind has occurred.

Jessica Tyler Feeney and her husband, Rob Feeney, announce the birth of Owen Tyler Feeney in Brooklyn, New York a week ago Saturday.  Owen has joined his twin big sisters at home and everyone is doing well.  Congratulation all around, including to Jess's grandfather and father, former ABI Chairs Jim Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Atlantic) and Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee)!

Tassel Ridge Shows Off New Pruning Machine

Former ABI Chair Bob Wersen (Interpower Corporation, Oskaloosa) is an international businessman with plants in Iowa and England.  ABI members also know Bob as the owner of Tassel Ridge Winery. 

Bob employs a lot of technology at both Interpower and the winery.  The latest tech tool is fascinating to watch as operators use it to prune vines at Tassel Ridge.  Click on this link to see it for yourself.  Thanks for sharing, Bob!

Alcoa Products Highlighted in  Popular Mechanics

You all know about the expansion Alcoa engineered at its Davenport Works recently.  The plant, already a huge manufacturing complex, underwent a massive expansion to handle production of aluminum for the Ford F-150 pickup truck.  Popular Mechanics magazine carried a terrific feature story about the truck and the plant.  It is great reading and if you want to see it, please reply to this message and I'll send it to you at once.  In the meantime, congratulations to Alcoa and especially to ABI Board Member John Riches (Alcoa, Davenport)!

AKS Expands Production Capacity

Longtime ABI Board Member Charlie Richardson (AKS Precision Ball, Clarinda) is a SW Iowa manufacturing leader.  He has taken the AKS plant through several expansions and travels the globe between Iowa and China quite often. 

Charlie will be around Clarinda for a while, however, as the AKS plant is undergoing a major equipment expansion.  The expansion allows AKS to add production capacity for the increasing customer demand the company is seeing.  Congratulations to AKS and to Charlie!

MidAmerican Energy Plans Huge Wind Power Expansion

MidAmerican Energy is one of ABI's most important members.  Last week, the company announced a huge expansion of its wind-power energy production capacity.  Congratulations to everyone at MidAm, including longtime ABI Board Member J.D. Davis (MidAmerican Energy, Des Moines)!