Board, UI Meeting Next Week - Monday Memo 10/29/18

October 29, 2018

Final ABI Board Meeting of 2018 Next Week

The final board meeting of the calendar year will be held a week from Wednesday.  The November meeting is an important one for ABI and it is typically one of the best-attended meetings of the year.  

The ABI Board of Directors, chaired by David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City), will convene at Noon on Wednesday, November 7.  The board will meet at ABI headquarters in Des Moines' East Village.  You can register for the board meeting by simply replying to this memo. 

As noted above, the November board meeting is an important one.  Members will work through a very full agenda of reports and action items.  Look for the usual packet of reports and materials to help you prepare for the meeting to arrive in your email in-basket later this week. 

NOTE: Because month-end occurs Wednesday, the information necessary to compile the monthly financial report might prevent its preparation until late Thursday. Please be on the lookout for your board packet to arrive a little later than usual, on Friday morning of this week instead of Wednesday or Thursday.   

You might recall that at the meeting held a couple of years ago in November, a board member mentioned that it was nice that the board meetings were enjoying strong participation.  He indicated that wasn't always the case.  

As I replied then to the comment above, strong board participation is much more than nice.  In fact, your participation in board meetings is all-important.  Our association needs your leadership and it is board leadership that has made the difference in ABI's growth and return to prominence.  Thank you in advance for your attendance and participation in next week's meeting. 

Next Wednesday: University of Iowa Leaders to Address ABI

Speaking of next week’s meeting of the ABI Board of Directors, prior to the meeting, leaders from the University of Iowa will host a panel discussion in the ABI Board Room. University officials asked for this opportunity to share information and seek input from you, our association’s directors and former board chairs.  A similar presentation involving the UI and ABI was held a few years ago. 

The panel presentation will take place from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. at ABI on November 7. This is your opportunity to interact personally with senior UI officials, who are hoping to have 25 ABI members present for the meeting.  NOTE: Right now, far fewer have indicated they plan to attend. I hope you will attend, so that we can provide strong business feedback.  If you haven’t already done so, please consider attending this event and please reply to this memorandum today to register your attendance plans.  Thank you. 

Leadership Iowa to Hold Second 2018-2019 Session in Clarinda/Shenandoah

The ABI Foundation's 2018-2019 Leadership Iowa class is comprised of a terrific group of Iowans.  The class will meet for its second session beginning Wednesday of this week in SW Iowa, specifically in Clarinda and Shenandoah.  This session will focus on agriculture and renewable energy. 

Register now for Connecting Statewide Leaders Event in Oskaloosa

As you know, the first 2018-2019 Connecting Statewide Leaders event will be held December 6 in Oskaloosa.  This forum is the next opportunity to participate in the popular series of events ABI has hosted around Iowa over the course of the past few years.  A luncheon follows the meeting and you will have a great opportunity to visit with fellow ABI members, meet the new Leadership Iowa class, and develop new customers.  

You can register for this event now at  The program will feature a perennial ABI favorite, Debi Durham, the Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority.  The Director will share news regarding Iowa economic development projects and related matters.  

Building Business Value Seminar in Oskaloosa on December 6

On that same day, December 6, ABI is producing a seminar focused on building business value. You can register and find more information here:  

The Connecting Statewide Leaders program begins at 11:00 a.m. and is followed by lunch with the Leadership Iowa class.  Then, the business value seminar begins immediately following.  You can participate in all events and be headed back to your office by 3:15 that afternoon.  Or, you can attend just one of the events.  Don’t miss these high-value events in Oskaloosa.  

2019 Annual Conference Work Continues; Keynote to be Announced at Board Meeting

We hear time and again that ABI members find great value in the annual ABI Taking Care of Business Conference.  I can tell you that ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and Conference Planning Committee Chair Lisa Patterson (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) are pulling out all the stops to ensure that the 2019 conference is the very best ever.  You will not want to miss it! 

Attend the board meeting on November 7 to hear some big news. During the Chair’s Report, David will share the news and will announce the fabulous speaker lineup for the conference.  This year’s acclaimed keynote speaker is an absolutely must-see speaker.  Thank you in advance to all of you for always making the annual conference Iowa’s best business event. 

CFO Roundtable Members Hear Economic Report; Great Info in BCC Advisers’ Newsletter

You have read in these memorandums of the job-specific ABI roundtables. The roundtables provide technical and operational information to ABI members; the first to be created was the ABI CFO Roundtable. 

Last week, at the most recent session of the CFO Roundtable, members heard an interesting presentation by longtime ABI member Eric Lohmeier (NCP, Des Moines).  In his remarks, Eric highlighted some insights related to the current economic cycle.  For instance, though there is a high amount of cash liquidity being maintained by businesses (up to $2T!), leveraged debt is also up significantly.  Eric also sees the negative impacts of nationalist policies related to immigration and trade impacting the marketplace for a long time (he does not see the situation improving in the near-term).  If you would like to see a copy of Eric’s presentation for yourself, please reply to this message and I will get it to you at once.  

Longtime ABI Board Member Steve Jacobs (BCC Advisers, Des Moines) also shared interesting, high-value information in his “Business Lines” column in the most recent edition of BCC Advisers’ newsletter, baton.  While the market is positive for sellers, risks remain and Steve addresses some of them in his column.  If you are thinking of buying a company or selling yours, you need to contact Steve and his colleagues.  In other articles, the newsletter also includes information about selling an ESOP-owned company or the advantages of utilizing an ESOP ownership structure for acquisitions.  A fourth article highlights evaluating prospective buyers.  It is a great edition of baton and you can read the newsletter for yourself here:

Eleventh Mores Institute Class Soon to be Selected

Longtime ABI Board Member Alan Mores (Harlan newspapers, Harlan) and his brother Steve Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan) are also longtime leaders in Iowa’s newspaper industry.  Some years ago, Alan and Steve endowed and created the Leo Mores Newspaper Leadership Institute at the Iowa Newspaper Foundation.  Named for their father, Leo, the Institute brings together individuals involved in the newspaper industry and helps prepare them for a successful newspaper career.  

The program last year graduated its 10th leadership class and the eleventh class will be selected.  In the meantime, congratulations and thank you to Alan and his family! 

2001 UI Homecoming Queen Now an ABI Leader

Two Saturdays ago, fans celebrated Homecoming at the University of Iowa. One longstanding tradition is the crowning of the Homecoming Queen and I am sure the 2018 royalty is terrific. 

However, the queen in 2001 was a future ABI leader, so I am certain the royalty that year was special! Seventeen years leader, ABI sends congratulations and best wishes to the 2001 UI Homecoming queen… ABI Board Member Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Carlisle)

Pray, White, Lande Celebrate Birthdays

As always seems to happen about this time each year, several ABI leaders are marking birthdays.  Former ABI Chair Dick White (John Deere, Ankeny) and ABI Board Member Jack Pray (Reynolds & Reynolds, Des Moines) are celebrating this week.  Former ABI Chair Roger Lande (Stanley, Lande & Hunter, Muscatine) will celebrate his birthday later in November.  ABI sends happy birthday wishes to Jack, Dick, and Roger! 

The Business of ABI: Moving Forward

You know that from time to time in these memos I like to provide information about ABI's internal operations, what I call the business of ABI.  As you know, I believe ABI needs to operate as a business and provide value to its customers (ABI has customers, we just happen to call them members). 

Over the course of the past month or so, I have driven literally thousands of miles across Iowa (and so have many other ABI staff members), from river to river and all over.  That's great, because visiting ABI members is the best part of any ABI staff member's job.  

One thing that is clear from those visits is that one part of what you all do in leading your companies is always move forward.  You are always innovating, always meeting new demands, always providing value.  ABI sure needs to do that as well.  

Over the years, you have allowed us to try new things.  Some have worked very well and grown (Elevate Advanced Manufacturing and BizWize and Leadership Iowa University and the Iowans for Jobs Initiative and many others).  Some have grown and we have spun them off to flourish on their own (VentureNet Iowa and others).  Some have not worked as well, or others are doing them better, so we stopped doing them (ABI Jobs Fair).  The point is that by following your example and with your leadership, ABI continues to enjoy growth and increase.  THANK YOU.