Business Horizons 2018 is Underway - Monday Memo 7/17/18

July 16, 2018

Annual ABIF Business Horizons Program Now Underway at Central College

Business Horizons 2018, the ABI Foundation’s annual entrepreneurism experience for high school students, kicked off yesterday at Central College in Pella.   Members of the class, which numbers about 65 students, will graduate in a special ceremony to be held this Thursday, July 19. 

If you have never seen this program, find time to stop by Central this week. The students are wonderful and have high energy, creativity, and incredible enthusiasm.  At the end of the week, students have learned that they have terrific opportunities for a great career right here in Iowa. 

Thank you to those of you who have provided help for this popular annual program.  Your employees, whether they serve as industry advisors or in other roles, play a critical role in the longtime success of this important program.  Look for a full report on this year’s BH session at the September meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

ABI's Elevate Program to Host 4th Annual Legends in Manufacturing Awards Dinner; Nominations Due August 1

As you know, ABI's Elevate Advanced Manufacturing is currently accepting nominations for the fourth-annual "Legends in Manufacturing Awards."  The nominations are due August 1.  The past three Legends Dinners have been a huge success and a terrific celebration of Iowa manufacturing. 

Your help is needed to ensure that Iowa manufacturers are honored for their hard work and dedication.  Please click on this link for more information and to make a nomination (there is no charge to do so): Elevate Iowa webpage.  Should you have questions, please contact Elevate Coordinator Alex Monaghan.  She can be reached at

Orientations Continue with New Board Members

As I have mentioned in recent memos, you will have the opportunity to meet the new board members in September.  In the meantime, orientation sessions with these new board members are ongoing. 

This week, an orientation will be held with new board member Connor Deering (CemenTech, Indianola).  That follows sessions with new board members Mindi VandenBosch (Vermeer Corporation, Pella), Matt Ahmann (Principal, Des Moines), and Nick Gerhart (FBL Financial, West Des Moines).    

In the coming weeks, orientation sessions involving Brett Bosworth (R&R Equity Partners, West Des Moines), Rich Dwyer (Kent Corporation, Muscatine), Phil Jones (Rada Mfg. Co., Waverly), Randy Moore (Iowa American Water Company, Davenport), and honorary board member and Leadership Iowa representative Molly Varangkounh (Hy-Capacity, Humboldt) will be held.  Thank you to these newly-elected board members! 

CFO Roundtable to Meet Thursday in Ames

The ABI CFO Roundtable will meet this week in the brand new headquarters of longtime ABI member company Story Construction.  This panel will have another high-value program Thursday.  In the meantime, thank you to ABI Board Member and company president Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames) and his team for hosting the meeting! 

Join ABI for “Bringing ‘Boji Back” Leaders Event, Starting with Shine Bros. Tour

In response to requests from ABI members to return to the Iowa Great Lakes, the association will hold another in the popular series of Connecting Statewide Leaders events in the Okoboji region.  Mark your calendars now for August 1st and 2nd for great programming, great networking, and great venues.  

Things start with a terrific tour.  Former ABI Chair Toby Shine (Shine Bros. Corp., Spencer) will host a tour of his scrap operation in Spencer.  It is a fascinating tour and you will enjoy it.   That will be followed by a reception and dinner at a great Lakes Area location.  

The next day, events (which will all take place at the Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Okoboji) begin with breakfast, followed by a terrific panel focused on Succession Strategies to Build Value.  It features Immediate past ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and ABI members John Mickelson (Midwest Growth Partners, West Des Moines), Paul Juffer (LWBJ, West Des Moines), and Sheldon Ohringer (Caleris, West Des Moines).  The next panel, focused on Generational Succession, with former ABI Chair Frederick V. Buie (Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Company, Des Moines) and honorary board member and Leadership Iowa representative Molly Varangkounh (Hy-Capacity, Humboldt), will be led by ABI Board Member Steve Jacobs (BCC Advisers, Des Moines)

As I noted last week, the final speaker is someone that is generating a lot of interest: Paul Shirley. Mr. Shirley is a former Iowa State University basketball player who has played professionally, written two books, and now speaks all over the world.  His remarks will focus on adaptability in business and in the marketplace.  His entertaining style has received rave reviews.  Find more information and register now at:  See you at the Lakes in August! 

Leadership Iowa University Program August 5-9; Includes Building Your Workforce Event

The 2018 class of the ABI Foundation’s annual Leadership Iowa University program will begin three weeks from yesterday.  The program will be held in Greater Des Moines and surrounding locations August 5 through 9. 

LIU brings talented Iowa college students come from Iowa’s public universities, private colleges, and from community colleges together to learn about our state and ways they can impact its future.  The program also connects students with their future in Iowa. By the time the annual LIU session is completed, students know that they have terrific employment opportunities right here. 

The first eight LIU class programs received rave remarks from students, college officials, ABI leaders, and others.  Watch for more information about LIU coming soon. 

A part of the LIU program is the Building Your Future Workforce event.  This program will be held immediately prior to a networking reception with the Leadership Iowa University group.  Find more information and register here:  The event will be held on August 8 at ABI member company Shive-Hattery in West Des Moines. 

Dozens of Members Already Registered for Next Month's Policy Development Meetings

Over the years, ABI members have always played close attention to the association's annual policy development process.  Some members travel from out of state to participate and the end result has been successful and award-winning public policy outcomes. 

Again this year, the policy development process has been advanced to increase the opportunity for success.  It appears that members like that decision, because dozens of you have already signed-up for next month's meeting.  If you aren't one of those, there is still plenty of time for you and your employees to register for these free meetings.  Go to to register for the committee meetings of interest to you and your employees.  The ABI Board of Directors will act on the recommendations of these committees at the September board meeting. 

Mark Your Calendars Now for Annual ABI Executive Open Best Ball

In recent editions of this memorandum, I have been sharing information about the tenth Annual ABI Executive Open.  This best ball golf tournament has quickly grown into one of ABI's most popular annual events.  

This year's event will be held on August 27th at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines.  Perhaps Iowa's most beautiful private club, Des Moines Golf is again sure to be a fabulous venue for this always-popular event.  Register now at  See you in West Des Moines for what many ABI members call our association's most fun event. 

ABI Advisory Council to Hold July Meeting

Members of the ABI Advisory Council will hold their regular July meeting Thursday at member Tero International in Clive.  As always, thank you to Advisory Council members for their support and leadership.  

Thank you to 21st Century Rehab, BCC Advisers, Brick Gentry P.C., BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC, Far Reach, Focus OneSource, Global Reach, HDH Advisors, LMC Insurance and Risk Management, Principal, Shift Interactive, Tero International, The Iowa Clinic, Wellmark, and Wells Fargo

Attend SBA Roundtables in Iowa

ABI members are invited to attend and participate in three separate roundtables discussions hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Three small business regulatory roundtables will be held throughout Iowa this week. Roundtables will be held in Council Bluffs (July 17), Des Moines (July 18), and Dubuque (July 19).  Please reply to this message for more information and to register. 

Kim Augspurger Hosts Governor Reynolds, Senators Grassley and Ernst, SBA Administrator McMahon

Last Friday, longtime ABI Board Member Kim Augspurger (Saxton, Des Moines) hosted Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa’s U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, and U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon at Saxton’s Des Moines headquarters.  Governor Reynolds, Senator Grassley, Senator Ernst, and Administrator McMahon toured Saxton and then held a roundtable discussion highlighting Iowa women-owned businesses.  

As a very successful business owner herself, Kim also participated in the roundtable discussion.  Congratulations and best wishes to Kim upon her selection as host for this important event! 

Myron Linn, Mark Hanawalt, Steve Martin Celebrate Birthdays

As seems to be the case every year at this time, three longtime ABI Board Members are celebrating birthdays this week. Tomorrow, July 17, Former ABI Chair Myron Linn (Pella Corporation, Pella) celebrates his birthday.  Thursday, July 19, is the birthday of former ABI Board Member Steve Martin (Hagie Manufacturing, Clarion). This Friday, the 20th, is the birthday of former ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly).  Happy birthday to Myron, Mark and Steve! 

Eugene Sukup Passes; Visitation Today, Funeral Tomorrow

Eugene Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) was hospitalized last week in Mason City. While for a time it appeared his condition was improving, last Thursday he lost the battle he was fighting with various ailments and he passed away. 

Please click here to read Mr. Sukup’s obituary:  Visitation for Mr. Sukup will be held today from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church at 16 12th Avenue NE in Hampton Iowa.  Mr. Sukup’s funeral will be held tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. also at Trinity in Hampton. 

Mr. Sukup was an iconic Iowa entrepreneur, inventor, and manufacturer. It is approaching six decades ago that Eugene Sukup (and his wife, Mary Sukup) founded the company that would grow into the world’s largest independent, family-owned manufacturer of grain drying and storage equipment and steel buildings.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Sukup and the Sukup Family, including company president and former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield).  Mr. Sukup will be greatly missed.