Board to Meet by Teleconference in May - Monday Memo 4/20/20

April 20, 2020

Board to Meet in May; Final Meeting for FY20

The final ABI board meeting before the end of the 2020 Fiscal year will be held in May.  ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) and the ABI Board of Directors will meet Wednesday, May 13, by teleconference.  If you haven’t already done so, please register your attendance now by replying to this message.  Look for your usual packet of meeting materials to arrive in your email in-basket about a week before the meeting.  On behalf of our ABI officers, I look forward to your participation in the teleconference.  

Nominating Committee to Meet April 28

As noted in last week’s Monday Memo, the ABI Nominating Committee will meet soon.  The committee, which is chaired by Immediate Past Chair of the ABI Board of Directors David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City), will meet by teleconference on April 28. 

In addition to David, members of the Committee include ABI board members from each of the association's five state districts.  They are District 1 – Andy Kretz (Dexter Apache Holdings, Fairfield), District 2 - Rich Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton), District 3 - Stacey Pellett (John Deere, Johnston), District 4 - Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Avon), and District 5 - Larry Countryman (Wilson Trailer, Sioux City).  

If you have someone you believe would make a great ABI board member, the committee wants to know about her or him.  Simply contact one of them, or me, and we’ll make sure the names are considered by the committee.  

ABI Foundation Cancels 2020 Business Horizons Session; Still Seeks Your Nominations for Leadership Iowa

For decades now, the ABI Foundation has brought Iowa high school students together for a week in the summer.  This program, Business Horizons, has made a true difference in the lives of these young people.  It teaches them about the American system of free enterprise, about Iowa businesses, and about their opportunities for a terrific future right here in our state. 

Well, Foundation/BH leaders, just like ABI leaders the week before, reached a difficult (but appropriate) decision last week.  That is to cancel the 2020 BH session.  Originally, BH was to be held this summer on the campus of Central College in Pella.  

While it is disappointing to not hold BH, it will allow for some program work to be implemented and BH will come back next year even better.  Thank you to all involved for their leadership. 

And, as I have noted in recent editions of this memo, this is the time of year that the ABI Foundation is seeking your help to nominate worthy individuals for acceptance in Foundation programs.  Leadership Iowa is now in the nomination phase.  Go to for more information.  Thank you to those of you who have already nominated individuals for this great Foundation program.  

16th Episode of Iowa Business Report Radio Program Broadcast

The Iowa Business Report radio program’s 16th edition was broadcast statewide over the weekend.  ABI is proud to sponsor this terrific program.  Click here to listen for yourself:  Links can also be found on the ABI website at  The show is produced by well-known Iowa broadcaster Jeff Stein.  

NAM Report Documents Manufacturing Downturn Due to COVID-19

This week’s Monday Economic Report published by the National Association of Manufacturers arrived a little early today, so I was able to see it before I sent this memo.  It is interesting in that it documents numbers for what we all already know; manufacturing has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, just as have other businesses.  If you wish to see the report, please reply to this message and I’ll get it to you at once. 

Weatons Celebrate Their Anniversary

I don’t know how I did it, but I missed the wedding anniversary of two great ABI leaders.  I believe former ABI chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and former longtime ABI Board Member Nate Weaton (Weaton Capital, Fairfield) celebrate on April 17.  Happy belated anniversary to Lori and Nate! 

David Bywater Celebrates Today

Speaking of celebrations, another ABI leader is celebrating and that celebration takes place today.  Immediate Past ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising Company/Tru Art, Iowa City) will celebrate his birthday.  Happy birthday, David! 

John Schreurs Marks April Snow in NW Iowa

It is always a pleasure to see ABI leaders mentioned in the news.  One mention last weekend was a surprise, for a couple of reasons.  Former ABI Board Member John Schreurs (Strategic America, West Des Moines) photographed the results of a beautiful April snow that hit the Okoboji area with 8 inches of snow last weekend.  John’s photo ended up being shared on WHO TV.  Congratulations, John… now, please make the snow stop! 

ABI a Part of IPBS’ Iowa Press Program

It was my pleasure to represent ABI as a part of the Iowa Press program, produced weekly by the Iowa Public Broadcasting System.  The program, which also featured Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham and Iowa Restaurant Association President Jessica Dunker, aired Friday and Sunday on IPBS.  

The focus of the show was the impact of COVID-19 on Iowa businesses.  Watch the show here:  Participating in the program gave me an opportunity to not only talk about hardships being faced by ABI members, but perhaps more importantly, about the incredible things ABI members are doing to help at this time.  THANK YOU for all you are doing and please call on ABI if we can be of assistance.