Board Will Next Meet in March - Monday Memo 1/29/18

January 29, 2018

ABI Board to Meet March 13

ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and members of the ABI Board of Directors will next meet on March 13th.  That day will see a full day of ABI meetings and events, as ABI's annual Iowa Business Day on the Hill program and other events will also take place.  

More information will come your way soon, but please mark your calendars now to join your ABI colleagues in Des Moines on March 13.  In the meantime, the ABI Executive Committee will hold its regular February teleconference next week. 

Annual Business Day on the Hill on March 13

Each year, ABI members from across Iowa (and even from outside the state) converge on the Statehouse to discuss pro-jobs policies with their legislators.  The event has grown in popularity every year and based on projections, a strong crowd will make the 2018 event even bigger than previous ones. 

The 2018 Day on the Hill will be held on Tuesday, March 13.  This year's event is again being called Business Day on the Hill, because ABI is again working with the Iowa Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business and with the Iowa Chamber Alliance.  By the way, the 13th is also the same day as the March meeting of the ABI Board of Directors, so you can conveniently attend both events. 

Day on the Hill begins at the ABI office at 8:30 a.m. Following an update with the very latest news from the Iowa General Assembly, DOTH participants will head to the Capitol.  There, you'll visit with legislators and hear from leading state officials.  Then, it's a return to ABI and the board meeting will occur that afternoon.  Finalize your plans now to participate in Business Day on the Hill and watch for registration information soon.  See you in Des Moines on March 13.

ABI to Host and Co-Sponsor NAFTA Event with U.S. Chamber, Partnership, Farm Bureau; Ernst to Speak

In conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, ABI is co-sponsoring a forum focused on the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trade is vital to Iowa and the trade zone covered by NAFTA involves Iowa’s largest trading partners. 

The forum will be held at ABI on February 9 from 10:00 a.m. to noon. U.S. Senator Joni Ernst will deliver keynote remarks.  In addition, former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) and ABI member company executive Tony Hogan (Kreg Tool Company, Huxley) will be among a group of panelists addressing the impact of NAFTA and what could be lost if the agreement is not maintained. 

For more information, please click here:  To register, simply reply to this memorandum or send an email message to ABI Executive Administrative Assistant Michelle Vollstedt at  

2018 ABI Conference Committee Members to Meet on Program

The upcoming annual ABI Taking Care of Business Conference, which will be held in Greater Iowa City June 5-7, is shaping up to be a fabulous event.  If you haven't already done so, you really need to plan now to attend this great meeting. 

Over two days this week, conference committee members will be conducting interviews and working with potential speakers.  It will all lead to an awesome convention in Coralville/Iowa City.  Thank you to these ABI leaders for developing a fabulous program! 

Next ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders Forum in Fairfield on March 1

At the request of members and at the direction of the board of directors, ABI created the Connecting Statewide Leaders forums.  These series of high-value informational and networking events have been incredibly successful.  Events have been held all across Iowa and there are more to come. 

The next event in the series will be held March 1 in Fairfield.  A high-value panel, networking, and a luncheon will all be a part of the program, which will be held at the terrific Fairfield Arts and Convention Center.  

These programs are simply great ways to gain information and connect with your fellow ABI members, Leadership Iowa Class members, local business leaders, and others.  And we appreciate the reports we hear about sales/deals being made during these events, too.  Find more information at the ABI events page at and register now. 

Legislative Teleconference, Waverly Roundtable Coming Up

As you can see by other items in this memorandum, ABI’s public policy team is very busy this time of year. Two more public policy happenings are coming up in the weeks ahead. 

First, the next in an ongoing series of legislative roundtables will be held at United Equipment Accessories in Waverly on March 2nd.  Senator Craig Johnson and Representative Sandy Salmon will be on hand to discuss issues with ABI members.  Many thanks to former ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) and his team for hosting this important event. 

Second, the February legislative teleconference will be held on the 16th of that month. Find more information about this members-only call now at  Thank you in advance for your participation in these events. 

Remember: Elevate Again Offering Community College Scholarships

Each year, ABI’s Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative offers scholarships for Iowa high school students. In 2018, Elevate is again offering 15 $500 scholarships to Iowa high school seniors interested in studying a manufacturing-related program of courses at one of Iowa’s community colleges.  One award is made per each of Iowa’s’ 15 community college regions.  

Go to the Elevate webpage at for more information.  Or simply reply to this message and I will get you more information at once.  

Biennial ABI Employee Drug Testing Program March 22 in Des Moines

Every other year, ABI presents a program on employee drug testing. This year’s program will be held March 22nd in Des Moines. 

Focused on signs, symptoms, and solutions, this year’s event will provide high-value information to you and your HR team. Find more information and register now at  

Watch for LeanWise and MarketWise Events on ABI Webpage

Two of ABI's newest programs are the MarketWise and LeanWise series.  Each of these series of events provides a forum for like-minded business people to come together to gain valuable information about LEAN processes or marketing concepts.  The networking and best-practice sharing that occurs has been rated highly by ABI members. 

Some of you have asked me about these events.  More events in the series will be coming in the future. Watch the ABI Events Page for more information or to register:  

Agri-Industrial Plastics Expands Production… Again

At last May’s ABI board meeting, directors toured one of Iowa’s fastest-growing companies. That company is a longtime ABI member, Agri-Industrial Plastics Company.  Well, Agri has expanded production again, now adding a seventh co-extrusion blow molding machine to its production. 

The Kautex KBSmart120 machine will manufacture low-perm multilayer gas tanks, one of Agri’s key product lines. Congratulations to everyone at Agri, including former ABI Board Member and company founder and Chairman Dick Smith (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and Immediate past ABI Chair and company President Lori Schaefer-Weaton(Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield)

Boulder Company Marks 40 years

A great ABI member, The Boulder Company, is celebrating its fortieth anniversary in 2018.  Boulder is a diversified industrial product distributor offering fasteners and other Class C items used in manufacturing and construction.  Go to to learn more.  Congratulations to everyone at Boulder, especially to company President and CEO – and former ABI Chair – John Bruntz (The Boulder Company, Des Moines) on this major milestone!