Board to Meet in Cedar Rapids - Monday Memo 8/5/19

August 5, 2019

Executive Committee Teleconference a Week from Wednesday; Board Will Meet in September in Cedar Rapids with Collins Aerospace Tours Following

ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) and members of the association’s Executive Committee will hold their August teleconference a week from Wednesday, on August 14.  Agenda items include discussions related to public policy, membership and events, and Foundation programs.  

Speaking of leadership meetings, the board will next meet on September 11.  Cindy announced last week that the September 11 meeting will take place in Cedar Rapids.  The board will convene for lunch and the meeting at 11:30 a.m. at the Cedar Rapids Marriott.  Voluntary tours of the nearby Collins Aerospace campus will follow the board meeting and more information will be provided to you soon. You will receive a complete packet of meeting materials in your email in-basket about a week prior to the meeting.  

The September meeting is an important one for several reasons.  First, it marks the first meeting of the fiscal year and the first meeting for newly-elected board members.  Second, it will involve board consideration and approval of the policies developed through the annual policy development process (by September 11, literally hundreds of ABI members will 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).  Please mark your calendars and make plans now to attend this important meeting.  

LIU Opens Session; Meet with Class This Week

The annual class of Leadership Iowa University kicked-off its 2019 session yesterday at ABI in Des Moines.  The program seeks to educate, inspire, and develop college students as a foundation for Iowa’s economic growth and to encourage their on-going involvement in community and state initiatives.  Go to to learn more. 

The students are an intelligent and enthusiastic group.  It is clear they are focused on business and advancing their careers in a way that brings value to them, their future employers, and to Iowa.  As I mentioned last week, class members come from public, private, and community colleges all across Iowa. 

You can meet the class at a reception Wednesday afternoon from 5:15-6:30.  It will be held at Shive-Hattery in West Des Moines.   The event is FREE and all you need do to attend is reply to this memo.  

You are also invited to participate in an LIU Leaders Luncheon Wednesday at EMC Insurance.  Thank you to ABI Board Member Jason Gross (EMC, Des Moines) for hosting the class Wednesday.  Many other ABI leaders will participate in LIU events throughout the week and that support is deeply appreciated as well.  Finally, thanks, too to ABI Foundation team members Jessi Steward, Becky Coady, Jane Galloway, and McKenzie Kielman for their work that makes LIU possible. 

ABI Workplace and Product Safety, Employment and Workforce Committees to Meet

Members of the ABI Workplace and Product Safety and Employment and Workforce Committees will hold their annual policy meetings this week in Des Moines.  These committees will meet at ABI on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.  Thank you to Committee Chairs Rex Butler (CIPCO, Cedar Rapids) and Amy Larsen (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly).  

These meetings will be followed next week by meetings of the ABI Economic Growth Committee, the ABI Environment Committee, and the ABI Tax Committee.  You can register for any of these meetings by clicking on them in the ABI Events Calendar at

Thank you to ABI Senior Vice President Nicole Crain, Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf, and Executive Administrative Assistant Michelle Vollstedt for their great work on the committee process again this year. 

Drew Wynes Completes ABI Service

Back in February, Drew Wynes joined ABI as Coordinator, Public Policy.  Drew is a nice young man and ABI was pleased to have his campaign and policy experience as a part of our team.  Drew has now completed his ABI service and we wish him well in the future.  A full report about the search to fill the open public policy position will be a part of the September board meeting. 

ABI Holds Fabulous Executive Forum

The fastest growing event at ABI is the annual Executive Forum and there is a simple reason that is the case.  This fabulous program gets better and better every year. 

Last Thursday and Friday, nearly five dozen ABI leaders met in Okoboji to hear from terrific speakers, visit fantastic new venues, and tour great manufacturing operations.  Members tell us that they can’t wait for next year’s program.  Thank you to all those who attended.  Thanks, too, to ABI Member Programs Director Holly Mueggenberg, who made the arrangements, and to ABI Vice President Member Development and Programs, who developed the absolutely fabulous program.  Finally, thanks to ABI team members Dorothy Knowles, David Hildahl, Chrissy Viers, and Kay Neumann-Thomas, whose work provides crucial support to ABI functions. 

New Board Member Orientations Conclude this Week

Meetings with new members of the ABI Board of Directors continue.  This week, the final new board member orientation session is on tap, as I’ll be meeting with newly-elected ABI Board Member Scott Folkers (Winnebago Industries, Forest City).  You will have a chance to meet Scott and all the other newly-elected board members at the September meeting of the board. 

Annual ABI Executive Open on the 26th

Many of you have commented to me that you are looking forward to the annual ABI Executive Open best ball golf outing.  The open will be held on Monday, August 26.  As this memo goes to press, over 100 ABI members have already registered. The event will be held at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club, a fabulous private golf course in West Des Moines.  Register now to play golf or just join us for the reception following the outing. 

The day’s events are arranged in such a way that most of you will be able to spend time in the office that morning and then participate in the best ball that afternoon.  You’ll have fun and have an opportunity to network with great ABI members.  To find more information or to register, please go to the ABI webpage at and click on the events tab. 

ABI Advisory Council Meets Next Week

As you read in last week's memo, members of the ABI Advisory Council will meet soon.  The council will meet on the 15th.  Thank you to ABI Advisory Council members 21st Century Rehab, ACS, BCC Advisers, Brick Gentry P.C., BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC, Far Reach, Focus OneSource, HDH Advisors, LMC Insurance and Risk Management, Principal, Shift Interactive, Tero International, The Iowa Clinic, Wellmark, and Wells Fargo

Workforce Workshop at Drake University Next Week

A new workshop is being held at Drake University August 13-15.  Everyone at Work, an organization focused on placing differently-abled persons in jobs, is hosting the workshop.  That organization is led by Kyle Duarte, who is associated with longtime ABI member Deaf Services Unlimited.  The August workshop focuses on how deaf persons can be great employees. 

Please share this information with your HR teams, as ABI members are especially encouraged to participate in the workshop, both as attendees and to have a booth for potential workers.  Click here for more information and to register:  

Legends in Manufacturing Awards Nominations Deadline Extended

The nomination deadline for the Legends in Manufacturing Awards has been extended to August 16.  Go now to to make your nominations of worthy companies.  Then, plan on attending the annual Legends dinner on October 1st. 

If you wish to see the names of past Legends awardees, see the Monday Memo from July 22nd:

ABI, CIRAS Partner on Manufacturing Matchmaking Session

ABI, in conjunction with longtime member/partner CIRAS (the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa Strate University) will host a manufacturing matchmaking session as a part of the annual Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference on October 2nd.  To find more information and to register, please click on   

By the way, last fall, ABI and CIRAS partnered on a digital manufacturing tour that was quite successful.  Plans are underway for ABI to offer a second digital tour this fall.  Various stops will be made to pick up passengers and the group will tour businesses in Iowa and perhaps elsewhere in the Midwest.  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.  Watch for more information coming soon. 

Jim Tyler Celebrates 95th Birthday

Former ABI Chair Jim Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Atlantic) is a terrific Iowa leader.  More than that, he is simply a great guy.  That is why it is so much fun recognizing Jim for his 95th birthday, which he celebrated last Saturday.  Another former ABI Chair, Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines), reports that the occasion was marked by a wonderful family golf outing and party.  That’s great; congratulations and happy birthday, Jim! 

Bill Abney Passes

Former ABI Board Member Bill Abney (Furnas Electric Manufacturing, Osceola) passed away last month.  Bill was an active member of ABI for many years and was a well-known Iowa business leader.  Read more about Bill here:  Thank you to ABI Communications Director David Hildahl for sharing the news about Bill.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Bill’s family.