Board Meets in Two Weeks - Monday Memo 4/20/15

April 20, 2015

May Board Meeting in Two Weeks; Register Now

The final pre-annual meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held May 6 in Waverly.   ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) and board members will meet at the Prairie Links Golf and Events Center on the south edge of Waverly.  Please use this link to register for the meeting:

The night before, the ABI Executive Committee will host a dinner for board members arriving in town early.  The dinner will be held at Montage in Cedar Falls, which is also the city in which a block of hotel rooms has been reserved.  Use this link to make your lodging reservation and ask for the ABI rate:

If you will attend the dinner, please reply to this message and let me know.  There is nothing else you need do than that.  I look forward to seeing you in Cedar Falls/Waverly in May.

Search Underway

Thank you to many ABI members for attending last Wednesday's going away reception for Leisa Fox.  Leisa's last day was Friday and we wish her well in her new role with QPS Employment Group.

An aggressive search for a terrific new staff member is well underway.  ABI is accepting applications through the end of this week and I have begun to meet with candidates.  After the 24th, I will narrow the field to fewer than 10 candidates and ask those persons to come back for an interview with myself and additional staff members.  Following that round of interviews, I'll narrow the field to a few top candidates and ask our officers to meet with them.  This is the same process I have used in the past and it has resulted in the great team we have on staff today.

I can tell you that competition for the position is fierce.  There are exceptional candidates interested in joining ABI and that is a testament to the fantastic leadership provided by the board of directors.  The successful candidate will part of terrific team of professionals who are even more committed to taking ABI to the next level of service and success.  Please watch for more news as it develops.

ABI to Host DC Fly-In This September

ABI is once again planning a board of directors Washington, D.C. Fly-in trip for September 2015.  We have secured spots on a direct flight to and from Washington and ABI leaders will leave Des Moines on Tuesday, September 15.  The group will return on Friday, September. 18.   

The trip will include meetings with Iowa’s congressional delegation, national association partners, and other administration and political officials. The flat rate cost of the trip will include transportation, airfare, a three-night stay at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, and some meals. If you are interested in attending the trip, please contact Nicole Crainor Rachel Geilenfeld for more information.  Spots are going fast, so please make contact now.

Reply to This Message to Participate in TechWorks Tour Following Board Meeting

As you read in last week's memorandum, there are many activities available following the May board meeting.  Golf and manufacturing tours are highlights among  the options available.

Three of you have already signed-up for the tour of the Cedar Valley TechWorks Campus. Go here to learn more about TechWorks, a 30-acre advanced manufacturing and bio-research center in the heart of Waterloo: (  The tour is being made possible by ABI Board Member Steve Dust (Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Waterloo).  Reply to this message to let me know you wish to take the free tour.  I will join the tour as well.

Next Connecting Statewide Leaders Event in Dubuque May 7

The next event in ABI's Connecting Statewide Leaders Series will be held in Dubuque on Thursday, May 7.  ABI Advisory Council Member Rob Kane (CliftonLarsenAllen, Cedar Rapids) will facilitate an interesting and informative panel discussion.  The event will be followed by a reception.  Click on this link for more information:

Nominating Committee Work to Begin

With a little more than a month to go to the 2015 ABI Convention, it is the time of year that the annual board member nominating process is conducted.  As Immediate Past Chair of the ABI Board of Directors, Myron R. Linn (Pella Corporation, Pella), will serve as Nominating Committee Chair.  Look for information regarding the composition and activities of the committee in future editions of this memorandum.

David Bywater Celebrates

The Bywater Family of Iowa City and its affiliated companies have long been important to ABI.  The family's century-plus business was a founding member of the Iowa Manufacturers Association, ABI's predecessor organization.  For that reason, and because he is just a good guy, it is a pleasure to send good wishes to ABI Executive Committee Member David Bywater (Economy Advertising Company, Iowa City), who is celebrating his birthday today.  Happy birthday, David!

Lori Thielen on Cover of Iowa Banking

The 2013-2014 Leadership Iowa Class elected one of its members to represent them as the annual LI Honorary Representative to the ABI Board of Directors.  As such, it has been a pleasure to get to know Lori Thielen (East Dubuque State Bank, Dubuque) and she has been a great board member.

It was fun to pick up the latest edition of Iowa Banking magazine and see Lori's photo on the cover and to read a terrific feature story about her.  Other ABI leaders have also seen the article and special thanks to former ABI Chair Bill Bywater (Economy Advertising, Iowa City) for making sure I saw the story.  Congratulations, Lori!  If any member wishes to read the story for yourself, please reply to this message and I'll get you a copy at once.

KIB Announces Yo-Ho Tool Grants

ABI member Keep Iowa Beautiful does great work helping Iowa communities enhance their appearance though education and hard work.  The organization partners with other ABI members to provide assistance to communities.

Last week, KIB announced the latest winners of grants for famous Yo-Ho Tools to use in community projects.  Yo-Ho, of course, is the leading brand produced by Yeoman & Company.  Thank you to KIB and to ABI Board Member and company CEO Tom Yeoman (Yeoman & Company, Monticello)!

BCC Adviser's baton Carries Interesting M&A, Manufacturing Stories

The latest edition of the baton,  the newsletter published by ABI member BCC Advisers is great reading.  A cover story on trends in mergers and acquisitions, as well as a story about manufacturing, are particularly interesting.  Let me know if you wish to read the stories and I will get copies to you.  In the meantime, thank you to ABI Board Member and BCC President Steve Jacobs (BCC Advisers, Des Moines) for the great content!

STORYLine Highlights Agri-Industrial Plastics Project

Speaking of member newsletters, the latest edition of Story Construction's STORYLine carries another fun essay by company president and ABI Board Member Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames).  There is also a great feature about work the company has done for another ABI member. 

Story is helping Agri-Industrial Plastics with its latest expansion.  Completion of the project means that Agri will have over 340,000 square feet of manufacturing space at its Fairfield facility.  So congratulations to Mike and to ABI officer and Agri President Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial plastics, Fairfield)!  Contact me and I'll send you a copy of the newsletter.

Mary Mendenhall-Core is a Video Star

It was fun to see ABI Foundation Development Director Mary Mendenhall-Core featured in a promotional video recently.  The video showcases various sites and activities around Greater Des Moines and it is a lot of fun.  Watch the video by clicking on this link: DSM  Congratulations, Mary!