Board Meets This Week in Cedar Rapids - Monday Memo 9/9/19

September 9, 2019

ABI Board Will Meet in Two Days

ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) will convene the first board meeting of the fiscal year Wednesday in Cedar Rapids.  The board will meet at the Cedar Rapids Marriott at 11:30 a.m. on September 11.  

You should have received an email message from me last Thursday with a link to the board packet.  If you have any difficulties accessing the packet, please contact Michelle Vollstedt at and she will see that you receive access. 

The September meeting is an important one for several reasons.  One, it marks the first meeting of the fiscal year and the first meeting for newly-elected board members.  Two, it will involve board consideration and approval of the policies developed through the annual policy development process (literally hundreds of ABI members have participated in meetings to propose a slate of policies for 2020).  This part of the meeting will be led by ABI Vice Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine).  Three, the board will receive and act on operational reports regarding the business of ABI.  Four and finally, a special welcome by Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart will begin the meeting.  

On behalf of Cindy and our other officers, I look forward to seeing you Wednesday in Cedar Rapids.  Thank you in advance for making plans to attend the meeting. 

Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference in Three Weeks; Winnebago’s Happe to Keynote

ABI, the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University, and the Iowa Economic Development Authority are the lead sponsors for the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference 2019.  The conference will be held in Altoona on October 2nd.  Register now for this important conference at

Great speakers are on tap, such as keynote speaker CEO Michael Happe (Winnebago Industries Forest City).  Use the link above to see the entire program for yourself.  You don't want to miss this program and the terrific value provided for conference attendees. 

Manufacturing Legends Dinner Coming Up

ABI and the association's Elevate program are hosting the fifth annual Legends in Manufacturing Awards Dinner on the evening preceding the manufacturing conference (so that means the dinner will be held the evening of October 1st).  Don't miss this event, which is one of the most fun celebrations of Iowa manufacturing you will ever see!  To register or to find more information, click on the link found in the previous item.   Contact Michele Farrell at with questions regarding attendance or sponsorships. 

Many participants will attend both the dinner and the conference the next day.  If you wish to make a hotel reservation, so that you can attend both events conveniently, go to:  

ABI Conference Planning Committee to Meet Tuesday

Planning is well underway for the ABI Taking Care of Business Conference that will be held in June of next year.  I can tell you already that it will be a fabulous event.  

While much work has been done, more is to come and it will begin with the first official meeting of the 2020 ABI Conference Committee.  The committee will meet tomorrow at ABI.  Watch for much more exciting news in the months and weeks ahead. 

2019-2020 Leadership Iowa Class to be Announced

Later this week or next, the ABI Foundation will release the names of those selected for inclusion in the Leadership Iowa Class of 2019-2020.  As always, participants will come from all corners of our state and together, they will comprise a great group of Iowans. 

This year’s class will kick off its term at the Hotel Patee in Perry on October 2nd.  Look for a complete list of class members soon. 

YPIowa Conference Next Week in Ottumwa

Young Professionals of Iowa (our state's leading organization for young professionals) will hold its annual conference next week.  The 2019 YPIowa conference will be held on September 20 in Ottumwa at the terrific Bridge View Center.  Find more information at   

Final Call: M&A Conference Tomorrow

ABI member Faegre Baker Daniel has invited ABI members to attend the firm’s 2019 M&A Conference and at NO CHARGE.  It will be held tomorrow at the new Des Moines Hilton Downtown.  To access a code that will allow you to register free as an ABI member, please reply to this message and it’ll get it to you at once.  In the meantime, here is a link to more information:  

More ABI Manufacturing Events Coming Up Soon

ABI has additional manufacturing-focused events ahead.  On October 1, ABI and CIRAS will host a matchmaking event to provide a structured opportunity for buyers and sellers of Iowa-produced industrial products to meet in a low-risk, high efficiency manner.  The matchmaking and networking event will represent “speed-dating” opportunities for ABI-member suppliers and buyers.  Learn more or register at:

The Manufacturing Technology Roadshow, which was such a success in its first year last year, returns in November.  On November 12 and 13, ABI and CIRAS are again partnering to show Iowa manufacturers firsthand how new digital technologies and automation can improve your manufacturing floor and processes today.  The second-annual manufacturing technology event highlights the best of manufacturing with exclusive access to outstanding manufacturing locations – all packed into two days. 

It is designed specifically for manufacturing leaders in the roles of CEO, operations, plant manager, engineers, or others considerating manufacturing automation.  Register today to join us in seeing leader technologies in action.  Go here for more information and to register:

NAM Reports Stabilization in Manufacturing in August

The latest edition of the Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, has an interesting lead story that outlines stabilizing economic signals.  Durable goods order increased over 2 percent last month, for example.  As always, if you wish to read the Report for yourself, simply reply to this message and I will get it to you at once. 

Alliant Energy Honored by Site Selection Magazine

In economic development circles, the publication with perhaps the most prestige is Site Selection magazine, the bible of economic development.  Last week, the magazine bestowed a high honor on longtime ABI member Alliant Energy

Alliant was chosen as one of twenty Top Utilities in Economic Development… that is 20 out of 3,300!  Alliant was recognized for delivering more than $1.4 billion in new capital investment and 3,600 jobs across its service territory in 2018.  Congratulations to everyone at Alliant, including ABI Board Member Julie Vande Hoef (Alliant Energy, Des Moines)

United Equipment Accessories Growing… Again

Longtime ABI member United Equipment Accessories is growing again.  The company is adding 20,000 square feet of space to its Waverly campus.  New offices will occupy much of the new space, which is being added just a couple of years after a major addition of many thousands of square feet of manufacturing space.  UEA’s huge growth curve continues and congratulations to everyone there, including former ABI Chair and company President Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly)

Governor Appoints Rich Phelan to State Council

Longtime ABI Board Member Rich Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton) has been appointed to the Iowa State Rehabilitation Council by Governor Kim Reynolds.  The council works with Iowa Vocational Rehab, a state agency, to promote employment outcomes for differently-abled individuals.  This is an important post and Rich is a terrific choice; congratulations and thank you, Rich!