Board to Meet in November - Monday Memo 10/19/15

October 19, 2015

ABI Board Will Meet November 11 in Des Moines

The ABI Board of Directors will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, November 11 at the association's headquarters in Des Moines' East Village.  The meeting will begin at 11:30 a.m.

ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown), board members, and former chairs will work through a full agenda of important items.  This will be the final meeting of the calendar year for the board and a number of important discussion topics will be highlights of the November session. 

Register now for the event and the meeting at  Don't miss this meeting, which will include the latest information about association programs, staff searches, and other issues.

NAM Presidential Forum Cancelled

Many of you were planning on attending a presidential forum to be sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers.  The forum was to be held at longtime ABI member Vermeer Corporation on November 2nd.

Friday, NAM officials made the difficult decision to cancel the forum.  If you had registered for the event, you likely received an email message explaining that NAM was not able to secure commitments from a bi-partisan group of candidates.  Because the field of candidates is so large, securing a diverse, bi-partisan, cross section of viewpoints was paramount.  When that proved impossible, the appropriate decision was made.  Should you have questions or comments, please contact me.

Search Update: Progress Being Made

ABI is conducting a thorough search for experienced professionals to add to the association's public policy team.  A number of preliminary interviews have been held and a short list of finalists has been developed. 

Further interviews are being scheduled, with the goal of having an offer extended and accepted with thin the next 20 days or so.  Stay tuned for more information.

Consulate General of Canada to Host Reception; ABI Board Invited

Many of you know Canadian Consul General Jamshed Merchant.  Consul General Merchant has proven, as did his successors before him, to be a friend of ABI and Iowa business.  His office, the Consulate General in Minneapolis, will host a special reception the evening prior to next month's meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.

The reception serves as the official Iowa welcome for Ms. Suzanne Cormie, the Consulate's new Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner.  Ms. Cormie takes the post previously held by Mike Flaherty, with whom many of you worked.

All ABI board members and former board chairs are invited to attend the reception free of charge as the guest of the Consulate.  The reception will b begin at 5:00 p.m. at the Des Moines Embassy Club in downtown Des Moines.  To register for this free vent and for more information, please reply to this message and I will send you more information.

Annual IEDA Internship Program Application Process Now Underway

ABI member companies across Iowa have utilized the Iowa Economic Development Authority's Iowa Student Internship Program.  The program is a great way to get students into your plant.

The program provides grants to small and medium-sized companies to help pay a stipend to interns.  Applicant companies must have 500 or fewer employees and must offer the internships to Iowa students (students of Iowa post-high school institutions or Iowa students attending post-high school institutions outside the state), and stipends must be at the level of a wage of $14.50 per hour or greater

Applications are now being accepted, with a deadline of April 25, 2016 for the summer program.  Go to for information.

First of 2015-2016 Connecting Statewide Leaders Events December 10 in Waverly

A few years ago, at the request of members looking for more association events in locations outside Des Moines, ABI created the Connecting Statewide Leaders Forums.  The events have proven very popular and are held throughout the fall, winter and spring all around Iowa.  The first event in the 2015-2016 series will be held December 10 in Waverly. 

Each of the Connecting Leaders events has drawn a great crowd and the series has resulted in new association members.  The forum on December 10 is the next opportunity to participate in this terrific series. 

At the luncheon following the forum, you will have a great opportunity to visit with fellow ABI members, meet the new Leadership Iowa class, and develop new customers.  Please mark your calendar now and watch for more details to come your way soon.

Elevate Ambassadors Session Two November 12

ABI Vice Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) and others will host a second session of training for members who will serve as Elevate Ambassadors.  These folks will then help  spread the word about this terrific program.  The training is November 12th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at ABI. Contact Robyn Denson for more information at

Join an Important Partner in Celebrating a Golden Anniversary

Longtime ABI member/partner Des Moines Area Community College is marking its 50th anniversary with a breakfast event this Friday, October 23rd in Des Moines.  All ABI board members and former chairs are invited.  I'll be there and I hope you will be, too.  Should you wish to attend, simply reply to this message and I will make sure you are registered. 

Fred Buie to Participate in Elite White House Meeting

Former ABI Chair Frederick V. Buie (Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Company, Des Moines) will today be in the Oval Office at the White House for a meeting with U.S. President Barak Obama.  Fred and nine other CEOs have been invited to a meeting to discuss climate change.

Fred is the guest of Greg Abel (Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Omaha), as Keystone is a key supplier toMidAmerican Energy.  This is a terrific opportunity and ABI salutes Fred, Greg, and all involved!

Rick Tollakson Competes in World Duathlon Championships in Melbourne

ABI Board Member Rick Tollakson (Hubbell Realty Company, West Des Moines) is a serious competitor.  In fact, this past weekend, he was one of 217 U.S. athletes to compete in the World Duathlon Championships in Melbourne, Australia.  He finished, did well, and should be returning home to Iowa soon.  Congratulations, Rick!

Jerry Hadenfeldt Celebrates Thursday

Also happening Friday is the birthday of longtime ABI Board Member Jerry Hadenfeldt (Meredith Corporation, Des Moines).  Happy birthday, Jerry!

The Business of ABI: The ABI Brand (With Thanks to Metalcraft)

Earlier this year, the ABI Board of Directors approved a new logo for the association.  As you read in a great article by ABI Communications Coordinator Emily Schettler in this month's Business Record Iowa, the new logo reflects the evolution of ABI and its members. 

The logo is perhaps the most visible part of ABI's brand.  But our brand is more than the logo.  In a terrific feature in this month's AUTOGRAPHICS (the company newsletter for ABI member Metalcraft), Metalcraft Marketing Director Natalie Braun makes an important point.  She rightly notes that a brand in its entirety is the sum of all experiences one has with an organization.

That is the way it is with ABI, too.  If we are "taking care of business," then our organization  may be not-for-profit, but it certainly isn't a charity.  Our goal is to make sure that our members have the very best experience possible.  That may mean a terrific conference.  It could mean participation in the legislative process.  It could mean many others things for different folks, but it better ALWAYS mean a first-class experience.

Finally ABI doesn't seek to be a commodity.  That is, our goal is not to be the cheapest resource and we also don't want to be the most expensive.  What we better be doing is providing great value for a reasonable investment.  We couldn't do any of it without you.  THANK YOU for your support and investment in the work of ABI.