Board to Meet - Monday Memo 9/11/17

September 11, 2017

ABI Board Will Meet in Two Days

ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) will convene the first board meeting of the fiscal year Wednesday in Des Moines.  The board will meet at ABI headquarters in the East Village at 11:30 a.m. on September 13.  

You should have received an email message from me last Wednesday with a link to the board packet.  If you have any difficulties accessing the packet, please contact Michelle Vollstedt at and she will see that you receive access. 

The September meeting is an important one for several reasons.  One, it marks the first meeting of the fiscal year and the first meeting for newly-elected board members.  Two, it will involve board consideration and approval of the policies developed through the annual policy development process (literally hundreds of ABI members have participated in meetings to propose a slate of policies for 2018).  This part of the meeting will be led by ABI Vice Chair David Bywater (Economy Advertising Company, Iowa City).  Three, the board will receive and act on operational reports regarding the business of ABI.  Four and finally, a special presentation by Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate will be shared.  

On behalf of Dave and our other officers, I look forward to seeing you Wednesday here in Des Moines.  Thank you in advance for making plans to attend the meeting. 

Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference Next Week

ABI, Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State, Des Moines Area Community College, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and Kreg Tool Company are the lead sponsors for the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference 2017.  The conference will be held in Altoona on September 20.  Register now for this important conference at    

Great speakers are on tap.  Use the link above to see the entire program for yourself.  You don't want to miss this program and the terrific value provided for conference attendees. 

Legends Dinner One Week from Tomorrow

ABI and the association's Elevate program are hosting the third annual Legends in Manufacturing Awards Dinner on the evening preceding the manufacturing conference (so that means the dinner will be held the evening of September 19).  Don't miss this event, which is one of the most fun celebrations of Iowa manufacturing you will ever see! To register or to find more information, click on the link found in the previous item.   Contact Michele Farrell or Alexandra Monaghan at with questions regarding attendance or sponsorships. 

Many participants will attend both the dinner and the conference the next day.  If you wish to make a hotel reservation, so that you can attend both events conveniently, go to:  

Final Board Orientation Session today

In a couple of hours, I’ll get on the road to Cedar Rapids for the final new board member orientation session of the year. I will be meeting with the honorary Leadership Iowa representative to the ABI Board of Directors, Jenn Bleil (Van Meter, Cedar Rapids). I am eager to meet with Jenn and to tour Van Meter.

You will have the opportunity to meet Jenn and other newly-elected board members Kelly Barrick (The Private Bank, West Des Moines), Tim Bianco (Iowa Spring, Adel), Jerry Patterson (Principal, Des Moines), and Stacey Pellett (John Deere, Johnston) at Wednesday’s meeting.  Thank you again to these newly-elected leaders, and welcome aboard!  

Latest Edition of ABI's Business Record Iowa Now Out

The most recent edition of ABI's monthly newsprint magazine, Business Record Iowa, has been published and should have been received by you late last week.  We are proud to partner with member company Business Publications Corp. on the magazine.

Look for former ABI Board Member Marv Debner (BKD, West Des Moines) on the cover of this month's edition.  Let us know what you would like to see in future editions.  If you have not received the magazine, please reply to this memo and I'll make sure one is sent to you at once. 

2017-2018 Leadership Iowa Class Announced; LI Celebrates 35 Years

Last week, the ABI Foundation released the names of those selected for inclusion in the Leadership Iowa Class of 2017-2018.  As always, participants come from all corners of our state and together, they comprise a great group of Iowans. 

A complete list of class members was included in the board packet (you received a link to the packet last Thursday). Congratulations to all selected and best wishes for a great LI experience. 

Speaking of Leadership Iowa, which is the nation’s oldest statewide leadership development program, this year marks LI's 35th year! To celebrate the program’s 35th anniversary, the ABI Foundation is partnering with organizations and individuals (LI alumni) across the state each month to provide opportunities to connect our alumni network. Events may be company tours, social hours, lunch and learns, dinner discussions, or other things still being developed. Watch for more news as it develops. 

Biennial ABI DC Fly-In Coming Up in October

The Biennial ABI DC Fly-In will take off for Washington, DC on October 2. The will include meetings with every single member of the Iowa Congressional delegation, briefings at the White House, at the National Association of Manufacturers, and with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  And there will be other highlights.  Thank you to those ABI leaders participating in the 2017 edition of the Fly-In! 

YPIowa Conference Next Week in Ankeny

Young Professionals of Iowa (our state's leading organization for young professionals) will hold its annual conference next week.  The 2017 YPIowa conference will be held on September 22 in Ankeny.  Find more information at   

ABI Immigration Seminar Provides Valuable Information

Last Thursday at ABI, association member Marina Grabchuk (Belin McCormick Attorneys at Law, Des Moines) presented a high-value talk related to hot topics for employers involving immigration issues.  The seminar received high marks from attendees. 

If you or your HR team is interested in receiving a copy of the slide deck from Ms. Grabchuk’ s presentation, please reply to this message. 

NAM Reports Positive Manufacturing Job Growth in August

The latest edition of the Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, has positive information in it.  Manufacturing jobs in August grew by a record amount and for the quarter, manufacturing activity is up significantly.  As always, if you wish to read the Report for yourself, simply reply to this message and I will get it to you at once. 

Brick Gentry Celebrates 50 Years of Serving Clients

Longtime ABI member Brick Gentry is marking a big anniversary.  The firm has been in existence and serving clients around Iowa for five decades now.  That’s a huge milestone and ABI sends congratulations and very best wishes to everyone at the firm, which is a member of the ABI Advisory Council, and best wishes especially to ABI Board member Paul Drey (Brick Gentry, West Des Moines)!