Board to Meet by Teleconference - Monday Memo 5/4/20

May 4, 2020

Board to Convene Next Week

Strong participation is expected when you and your fellow members of the ABI Board of Directors convene for the May meeting next week.  The board will meet by teleconference and ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) will call the meeting to order at noon.  

All board members are invited to join ABI for the meeting, which will mark the board’s final meeting of the fiscal year.  You will receive the usual packet of meeting materials in an email message from me Wednesday.  In the meantime and on behalf of Cindy and our other officers, thank you in advance for your participation in these events. 

CIRAS COVID Preparedness Checklist Helpful

One of the best resources for help and information during the COVID-19 pandemic is longtime ABI member/partner CIRAS (the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University.  CIRAS was one of the first organizations to understand the threat of the disease and provide valuable information to help businesses battle it. 

CIRAS has many resources to help, but one of the newest is quite popular.  It is a checklist developed last week.  The checklist addresses ways to ensure the safety of your workforce, to respond to an exposure of COVID-19, polices that can help your company manage the impact of the disease, and much more.  If you wish to see the checklist, reply to this memo and I will get it to you at once.  

Leadership Iowa Will Hold Virtual Session Thursday

The 2019-2020 Leadership Iowa Class has been very flexible.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the class last month held a virtual two-day session.  This week, the class again will meet virtually. 

The class has maintained strong participation, even with the necessary changes to its meeting schedule.  Special credit goes to them, and to the ABI Foundation staff, for terrific work.  Watch for more news as it develops. 

ABI Foundation Participates in #GivingTuesdayNow Campaign

Speaking of Leadership Iowa and all Foundation programs, the ABI Foundation is participating in a global movement called #GivingTuesdayNow.  The program is designed to help not-for-profit organizations at this time of need.  You may receive a message about the program from the ABI Foundation team. 

Last Thursday, I made my #GivingTuesdayNow contribution to the Foundation and I hope you will contribute also.  Thank you for your support. 

ABI Manufacturers Featured on Elevate Iowa Website

Each May, we update you on the status of Elevate Iowa.  Elevate is ABI's program to raise the profile of manufacturing jobs in our state and to connect Iowans with training and with jobs.  

Board leadership for Elevate has been well-provided by ABI officers Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield), Paul Gregoire (Fisher -Emerson, Marshalltown), Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly), and Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale).  By the way, you’ll see an update from Michele in next week’s edition of Business Record Iowa.

Remember that Elevate features ABI/Iowa manufacturing companies on its website under its “Made in Iowa” section.  This page educates Iowans about the many exciting opportunities available at Iowa’s advanced manufacturing companies.  The goal is to ultimately connect these Iowans with companies like yours.  Please follow this link: and click on the link to the "Made in Iowa form" under "Share your Company Story".  We can also provide examples of other company profiles if you wish.  

Episode 18 of Iowa Business Report Radio Program Broadcast

The Iowa Business Report radio program’s 18th 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.  

ABI Staff Members and Twitter

Whether it is during a legislative committee hearing, a manufacturing meeting, an association conference, or at some other event, you might see ABI staffers busily typing away on their mobile devices.  They aren't ignoring the proceedings, they're tweeting.  Every time you are at an ABI event of any kind, you can expect that someone is tweeting about it. 

As you know, ABI was one of the first organizations to embrace Twitter and other social media and our members say they want more of it.  Just like your business, we want our customers (our members) to have access to the very latest information about what is happening at a given meeting.  Twitter and other social media allow that to occur.  

If you want to follow ABI, go to and click on the bird that is the Twitter logo in the upper right-hand corner of the page (you will also see logos for other social media resources).  It will take you to the ABI Twitter homepage, where you can see that ABI has nearly 6,000 followers.  You can follow ABI's general account and the accounts of several ABI staffers (including me).  If you need help, reply to this email and I'll ask a staffer to get in touch with you. 

Nominating Committee Meeting Held

Members of the 2020 ABI Nominating Committee met last week by teleconference.  Thank you to these ABI leaders for their important work.  Immediate Past ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/True Art, Iowa City) also serves as Chair of the Nominating Committee.  The committee includes representatives of each of ABI’s five Iowa districts.  Thank you to David and to these other ABI leaders for serving on the association's 2020 Nominating Committee: Andy Kretz (Dexter Apache Holdings, Fairfield), Rich Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton), Stacey Pellett (John Deere, Johnston), Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Avon), and Larry Countryman (Wilson Trailer, Sioux City).  Thank you again for a job well done. 

NAM Report: Personal Consumption Down, Savings Rate Up

It’s another interesting Monday Economic Report, published today by the National Association of Manufacturers.  The headline is that, as expected due to the coronavirus pandemic, personal consumption expenditures plummeted last month.  At the same time, and perhaps as is also to be expected, the savings rate soared for the month.  As always, please reply to this memo if you wish to read the report and I’ll get it to you at once. 

John Butler Marks Birthday

Former ABI Chair John Butler (Cottingham & Butler, Dubuque) was a great leader for the association and he continues to be an important business leader for Iowa.  John is celebrating his birthday; happy birthday, John!