Board to Meet in Ames - Monday Memo 8/20/18

August 20, 2018

First ABI Board Meeting of 2018 on September 12; Business Court Presentation on Tap

Finalize your plans now to join ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and members of the ABI Board of Directors for the September board meeting.  The board will meet at Reiman Gardens in Ames on September 12.  As usual, a detailed meeting packet and map will be sent to all board members and former chairs a week prior to the meeting. 

A special feature of the meeting will be a presentation by Iowa Business Specialty Court Judges Michael Huppert and Lawrence McLellan. Other highlights will include welcoming newly-elected board members to their first meeting and adoption of 2019 ABI public policy positions.  As for new board members, they are Matt Ahmann (Principal, Des Moines), Brett Bosworth (R&R Equity Partners, West Des Moines), Connor Deering (CemenTech, Indianola), Rich Dwyer (Kent Corporation, Muscatine), Phil Jones (Rada Manufacturing, Waverly), Nick Gerhart (FBL Financial Group, West Des Moines), Randy Moore (Iowa American Water, Davenport), Mindi VandenBosch (Vermeer Corporation, Pella), and the honorary Leadership Iowa board member, Molly Varangkounh (Hy-Capacity, Humboldt).  Be sure to join your ABI colleagues, meet these new directors, and participate in this important meeting.  

As I noted in last week’s Memo, the September board meeting is typically well-attended and many of you have told me you already have this meeting on your calendar.  I hope the rest of you do as well.  On behalf of David and our other officers, I look forward to seeing you in Ames. 

Annual ABI Executive Open One Week from Today

Ten years ago, ABI created an event to provide an opportunity for members (and prospective members) to have fun and network with each other.  It was a huge success, with members saying they greatly appreciated the informal, relaxed nature of the event. 

The event has become part of ABI’s yearly schedule and the tenth annual ABI Executive Open Best Ball Event will be held Monday, August 27.  This year's Open will be again played at one of Iowa's most beautiful private clubs, Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines.  The club last year was the site of the Solheim Cup (the biennial tournament won in 2017 by golfers from the USA).  As we noted last year, by participating in the ABI Executive Open, you can play the very same course played by elite golfers from America and Europe that played for the Cup! 

As has become the norm for this event, golf is nearly sold-out.  You can register for golf and/or the social event that follows golf at  Don't miss this chance to join your ABI colleagues for a great afternoon. 

Register Now for Manufacturing Road Show Next Month

ABI is always looking for new ways to add value for members. A new event fits that description. 

ABI is partnering with longtime member CIRAS (the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University) on a manufacturing best practices road show.  The event is scheduled to take place in about a month on September 18 and 19.  A chartered coach will take participants to the Quad Cities and suburban Chicago.  To find more information and to register, please click on  

Various stops will be made to pick up passengers and the group will tour two businesses in the Quad Cities (including longtime ABI member John Deere) and two near Chicago.  The latest manufacturing technology will be on display and the tour will include live presentations by manufacturers who will share the latest in digital technology, process improvement, and best practices.  Register now using the link above. 

Policy Meetings Concluded; Record Participation Marks Meetings

ABI Board Member Larry Countryman (Wilson Trailer Company, Sioux City) is the longtime Chair of the ABI Tax Committee.  That committee met last Thursday at ABI and marked the final meeting in a series of five policy committees that met over the course of two weeks. 

This is the third consecutive year that ABI members have set a record for participation in the policy meetings.  Literally hundreds of ABI members from all across Iowa and beyond have participated in the 2018 series of meetings.  The process next shifts to the ABI Legislative Committee and then will conclude with the meeting of the ABI Board of Directors on September 12.  On behalf of ABI Vice Chair John Krogman (Connect-A-Dock, Atlantic), who this year leads this process for ABI, thank you for your participation in this important work. 

Board Member Orientations Near Completion

Previously in this memo, I mentioned new members of the ABI Board of Directors. There are two orientation sessions left for those new board members.  Later this week, I’ll be in the Quad Cities to meet with newly-elected ABI Board Member Randy Moore (Iowa-America water Company, Davenport).  Next week, I’ll be meeting with new ABI Board Member Rich Dwyer (Kent Corporation, Muscatine).  You will be able to meet Randy, Rich, and the other new board members at next month’s ABI Board Meeting in Ames. 

Latest Elevate Ambassador Training Set for September 11 in Davenport

ABI’s Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative continues to grow its ambassador program. The Ambassadors (there are nearly 200 of them!) are a key part of Elevate’s work to inform parents, students, and mentors about the terrific careers available in Iowa manufacturing companies.  

The next Ambassador Training Session will be held on September 11 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the John T. Blong Technology Center in Davenport. You and your employees who participate (there is no charge to do so) will receive information about ABI and Elevate and be trained in delivering presentations.  In fact, a personalized presentation will be created for all participants. 

The Ambassadors sessions are informative and a lot of fun, too. To register for the session, contact Elevate Coordinator Alexandra Monaghan at  

You are Invited to Russell’s Summer Celebration Next Week in Davenport

As you read last week, longtime ABI member Russell Construction is hosting a summer celebration at its headquarters in Davenport on August 29th.  ABI is pleased to support the event and all of you – all members of the ABI Board of Directors and former Chairs of the Board – are invited to attend and there is no charge for doing so. 

To attend, simply reply to this message and then show up at 4600 East 53rd Street in Davenport on the 29th.  Great food, great beverages, and great company are all on the agenda.  See you there! 

ABI Board Invited to Leadership Iowa Alumni Event at Camp Dodge; National Guard Information, Helicopter Ride Included

Each year, one of the most popular sessions for the Leadership Iowa class is an experience at Camp Dodge. Exposure to various training modules of the Iowa National Guard, a ride over downtown Des Moines in a military helicopter, and other elements make the experience unforgettable.  Now, you have the opportunity to experience this for yourself. 

All members of the ABI Board of Directors and former Chairs of the Board are invited to participate in a Leadership Iowa Alumni Event at Camp Dodge (including the helicopter ride) to be held August 29th.  This is a high-level event that will provide an opportunity to understand the mission and duty requirements of the Guard.  Availability is limited to 40 participants. 

The deadline to register for the event is this coming Friday, August 24th.  Click here to register for the event:  By the way, once you register, you will receive a “pending” approval.  Final approval and more information will come your way soon after that message is sent.  Don’t miss this special opportunity to see inside the Iowa National Guard; register today. 

YPIowa Conference September 21 in Spencer

The ABI Foundation provides administrative support to Young Professionals of Iowa, our state's leading organization for young professionals.  And as you know, YPIowa's biggest annual event is the YPIowa Conference.  The 2018 edition of that event will be held September 21 in Spencer. 

You and your employees are also invited and you can register at  Please click on the link for more information. 

Bruntz and Fisher Celebrate; Tyler is 94

Two ABI leaders are celebrating birthdays this week. Former ABI Chair John Bruntz (The Boulder Company, Des Moines) will celebrate his birthday on Thursday (the 23rd).  ABI Board Member Rand Fisher(Iowa Area Development Group, West Des Moines) will celebrate his birthday this Saturday (the 25th).  Happy birthday to John and Rand! 

And speaking of birthdays, I got it wrong last week. Former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines) shared with me that former ABI Chair Jim Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Atlantic), who recently celebrated his birthday, did not turn 93 as I suggested… Jim turned 94!  Thank you, Kirk, and again, happy birthday, Jim! 

Hausers Mark 64 Years

Many of you well remember Don Hauser, who was a leading member of the ABI staff for decades. Don checks in somewhat regularly and last week, he let me know that he and his wife, Rose Hauser, will celebrate their 64th wedding anniversary a week from tomorrow.  Don further noted he and Rose both turn 88 this year. 

Those are incredible milestones and something definitely to be celebrated! ABI sends hearty congratulations and very best wishes to Don and Rose!