BRIowa, Optimistic Survey Results, Final Memo of 2019 - Monday Memo 12/17/18

December 17, 2018

December Edition of Business Record Iowa in Your Mailbox

You should have received in the mail the latest edition of ABI's Business Record Iowa, published in conjunction with member Business Publications CorporationBR Iowa is found inside the BPC's Des Moines Business Record.  The cover this month features three great ABI members: David Lind (David P. Lind Benchmark, Clive), Jodi Schweiger (The Iowa Clinic, West Des Moines), and Steve Cassabaum (21st Century Rehab, Nevada).  If you did not receive BR Iowa, let me know; we'll get one to you. 

Quarterly ABI Iowa Business Survey Results Now Out

The latest ABI Quarterly Iowa Economic Survey has now closed and the results show ABI leaders are optimistic about the upcoming quarter.  You can find a link to the survey results press release here:  THANK YOU for your participation in the survey.  

ABI Board of Directors to Meet in Four Weeks (January 16)

The first meeting of the Executive Committee and ABI Board of Directors for 2019 will be called to order by ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) on January 16 at the Iowa Events Center (Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center) in downtown Des Moines.  This is the same date as the 2019 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception (see item below).  You should receive the usual packet of meeting materials in about three weeks and we look forward to seeing you on the 16th

Strong Pace of Registrants for 2019 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception

The ABI staff is busy finalizing details related to the annual ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception, one of the association’s most popular annual events.  In fact, all indications are that the coming reception will be the biggest and best ever.  

Nearly 300 ABI members have already registered for the event and it is clear that over 500 people will attend.  The 2019 briefing and reception will be held Wednesday, January 16 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines.  Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg are expected to appear at the reception, along with hundreds of legislators and state officials.  I hope you can attend.  

The reception is an important event and it will be preceded (as always) by the annual legislative briefing.  The briefing is your opportunity to hear the latest about legislative news and about ABI's agenda.  You can then head right into the reception and share comments with your local legislators.  Your participation and interaction with legislators is what makes this event a must for Iowa policy-makers.  

Go to the ABI website at  You’ll find all the information you need and can follow the easy instructions to register right now.  Thank you in advance for participating in this very important event.  On behalf of ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and our ABI officers, I look forward to seeing all of you in Des Moines on January 16. 

Contribute To ABI Foundation, Elevate

This is the time of year that folks consider their personal tax planning.  If you need to make some end-of-the-year contributions, please consider Elevate Iowa and/or the ABI Foundation.  Thank you to those who have already contributed. 

Contributions to the ABI Foundation help advance terrific programs such as Leadership Iowa, Business Horizons, and others.  These programs have been described as “life-changing” by participants and they have certainly helped make Iowa an even better place to live, work, and raise a family. 

Contributions to Elevate help our efforts to change the perception of advanced manufacturing and help you fill your workforce requirements.  Big thanks to all of the companies who have contributed over the years and also thanks to Iowa Community Colleges, who each contribute to the Elevate partnership.  If you haven't yet contributed, please make your contribution today.   

Des Moines to Host Leadership Iowa Class in January; Alumni Dine-Arounds on the 16th

Speaking of the Foundation, the ABI Foundation's flagship program is quite active.  As a confirmation of that, Leadership Iowa has two big events coming up next month. 

 First, the 2018-2019 LI Class will hold its fourth session January 16-18.  The class will focus on state government and will join you for the ABI Briefing and Reception on January 16. 

Another LI event will be held on January 16.  That evening, the ABI Foundation and LI will again host Leadership Iowa Networking and Reunion Dinners.  These dinners, more popularly known as the LI Alumni Dine-Arounds, will take place at several Des Moines restaurants.  The event will provide a unique dinner networking opportunity for LI alumni following the annual ABI Legislative Reception.  The event is free to LI alumni - you simply pay for your own meal.  Find out more and register now at

NAM: Manufacturing Economy Steady; Manufacturing Exports Growing

The National Association of ManufacturersGlobal Manufacturing Economic Update shared interesting data in its December edition.  The U.S. manufacturing economy is steady and even shows a slight gain year to year.  Manufacturing exports, however, are up sharply, growing at well over a six percent clip compared to a year ago. 

That is good news for ABI members, since most of you export.  To read the report yourself, simply reply to this message and I’ll get it to you at once. 

CRDC Celebrates 65 Years of Success; Phelan Re-Elected to Board

At a meeting in Clinton last Tuesday (it was not held Wednesday, as I mistakenly suggested it would be in last week’s Memo), a record crowd of members of the Clinton Regional Development Corporation, a longtime ABI member, held their 65th annual meeting.  The organization has been a big player, not only in Clinton County, but all over the region, and had much to celebrate.  New CRDC Executive Director Erin Cole is off to a very strong start, a number of new initiatives are underway, and strong board leadership continues to provide strategic focus.  

In that regard, longtime ABI Board Member Rich Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton) was re-elected to the CRDC Board.  Congratulations to Rich and everyone at the CRDC for a great meeting. 

Michele Farrell to Attend National Prayer Breakfast

Longtime ABI Board Member Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale) is a leader in ABI, in Elevate, and in several Iowa businesses.  Michele has been invited to attend the National Prayer Breakfast, a prestigious annual event among members of Congress and other national officials.  The event will be held in Washington, DC in February.   Congratulations to Michele! 

ABI Office Closed Monday, Tuesday, and January 1; Last Memo of the Year

Due to the Christmas and New Year's holidays, the ABI office will be closed Monday and Tuesday of next week (December 24 and 25) and again on the following Tuesday, January 1.  Many ABI staff members, myself included, will be taking some vacation at various times over the next two weeks.  Staff members have worked hard and I hope you will join me in thanking them for their work.  As always, the week between Christmas and New Year's Day is the one time all year that the ABI Monday Memo is not published.   Your next Memo will arrive in your email in-basket on the 2nd of January. 

As I noted in the final memo each of the last few years, at this time of year it is natural to reflect on the past 12 months.  Much has been accomplished; so much more lies ahead.  On a personal level, I know how fortunate I am that you have given me the opportunity to work for you and with some great colleagues.  I never, ever take that for granted.  I am deeply grateful and I thank you.  Very best wishes to you, your family, and your company for the coming year.