Business Horizons Now Underway - Monday Memo 7/15/19

July 15, 2019

Annual ABIF Business Horizons Program Now Underway at Central College

Business Horizons 2019, 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 85 students, will graduate in a special ceremony to be held this Thursday, July 18. 

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, are critical to 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 5th Annual Legends in Manufacturing Awards Dinner

As you know, ABI's Elevate Advanced Manufacturing will be accepting nominations for the fifth-annual "Legends in Manufacturing Awards."  The past four 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.  I apologize for directing you to the Legends website last week, as the nomination form was not active.  It will soon be available and look for a link in an upcoming Monday Memo.  Then, please make your nominations (there is no charge to do so). 

Related to this, last week, Former ABI Chair Bob Wersen (Interpower Corporation, Oskaloosa) had a great idea.  Bob suggested I include past honorees so folks don’t waste time nominating those who have already been honored.  In this edition of the Monday Memo, I do just that.  Go to the end of today’s Memo for that information.  And thank you, Bob!

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 Josh Wilford (Emerson Fisher, Marshalltown) and the new honorary Leadership Iowa representative to the ABI Board of Directors, Jenae Jenison (Central College, Pella).    Thank you to these and all the newly-elected board members! 

CFO Roundtable to Meet Thursday at the Iowa Clinic

The ABI CFO Roundtable will meet this week in a great ABI member, The Iowa Clinic.  This panel will have another high-value program Thursday.  If your finance or accounting team is interested in participating, please contact ABI and we’ll make sure they are included. 

Join ABI for Executive Forum in Okoboji

In response to requests from ABI members to return to the Iowa Great Lakes, the association created the ABI Okoboji executive Forum.  This event is the association’s fastest-growing annual event.  Mark your calendars now for August 1st and 2nd for great programming, great networking, and great venues.  

Everything starts with lunch on August 1st at the Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Okoboji).  Afternoon speakers include the just recently-retired CEO of Casey’s General Stores, Terry Handley.  Iowa National Gard General Tim Orr, trauma surgeon James Swegle (The Iowa Clinic, West Des Moines), and your fellow ABI Board Member Mary Landhuis (Lisle Corporation, Clarinda) follow.  The afternoon closes with a terrific panel featuring Kevin Lentz (Performance Marketing, West Des Moines), Jim Nalley (BCC Advisers, Des Moines), and Brian Crotty (HDH Advisors, West Des Moines)

Dinner will take place at the Lakes-Area’s newest venue, the Parks Marina Boat Club.  An industry tour is being developed for August 2nd.  Go here NOW to register for this high-value event:  See you at the Lakes in August! 

Leadership Iowa University Program August 4-8; Includes Talent/Workforce Event

The 2019 session 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 4 through 8. 

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 nine 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 Recruiting and Retaining Your Talent 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 7 at ABI member company Shive-Hattery in West Des Moines.  A similar event held last year sold out, so be sure and register today. 

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. 

Latest Business Record Iowa Now Out, Peter Voorhees on the Cover

The latest edition of ABI’s monthly newsprint magazine, Business Record Iowa, should be in your mailbox by now.  It is another terrific edition, with lots of valuable information and the first column by newly-elected ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids).   

Another highlight is a great cover story about ABI members that manufacture products that make summer better.  You can’t miss it, because you will find longtime ABI Board Member Peter Voorhees (Standard Golf Company, Cedar Falls) on the cover.  Thank you, Peter, for being our ABI cover model this month! 

Mark Your Calendars Now for Annual ABI Executive Open Best Ball

In recent editions of this memorandum, I have been sharing information about the 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 26th 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 Members Encouraged to Participate in Workforce Workshop at Drake University

As you have read the last couple of weeks, a new workshop is being held at Drake University August 13-15.  Everyone at Work, an organization focused on placing differently-abled persons in jobs, is hosting the workshop.  That organization is led by Kyle Duarte, who is associated with longtime ABI member Deaf Services Unlimited.  The August workshop focuses on how deaf persons can be great employees. 

Please share this information with your HR teams, as ABI members are especially encouraged to participate in the workshop, both as attendees and to have a booth for potential workers.  Click here for more information and to register:  

ABI Advisory Council to Hold July Meeting

Members of the ABI Advisory Council will hold their regular July meeting Thursday by teleconference.  As always, thank you to Advisory Council members for their support and leadership.  

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

David, Adam Bywater return from Philmont

Three weeks ago, I told you that Immediate Past ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and his son, Adam Bywater, age 14, were leaving Iowa to hike 71 miles over 11 days at the famous Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.  The elevations to be hiked varied from 6,500 feet to 11,750 feet. 

David and Adam didn’t really hike 71 miles at those elevations… it was over 76 miles!  They returned to Iowa by train last week.  Congratulations and welcome home, David and Adam. 

Steve Jacobs to Speak at WDSM Chamber Mid-Year Outlook Event

One of the West des Moines Chamber of Commerce’ most popular annual events is its Mid-Year Economic Outlook Luncheon.  The event, to be held this year at ABI member Gilbert & Cook, is always terrific.  This year, one of the keynote speakers is longtime ABI Board Member Steve Jacobs (BCC Advisers, Des Moines).  To find more information, go here:  

David Fisher Pens Guest Editorial

Former ABI Chair David Fisher (Onthank Company, Des Moines) is a somewhat regular guest editorialist for the Des Moines Register.  David’s essays are always great reading.  In last week’s Memo, I meant to draw your attention to David’s latest editorial, which ran in the July 3rd edition of the Register.  

As usual, it was a terrific piece, highlighting recent positive development at the University of Iowa.  You can read it for yourself here:  Thank you, David! 

ABI Putting Future in Focus

You may have noticed that new ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) has instituted a direction for the year and all of us on the ABI staff are excited about it.  In her column in this month’s Business Record Iowa, Cindy notes her goal as Chair is to continue expanding the association’s incredible record of positive impact on Iowa. And, Cindy looks forward to working with all of you to put our Future in Focus.  That’s a great direction for FY 20 and thanks to all of you, we are well on our way.  Thank you, Cindy! 

Elevate Legends in Manufacturing Honorees

In the second item in this week’s Monday Memo, I noted that information about honorees in ABI’s Elevate Advanced Manufacturing Initiative’s Legends in Manufacturing program would be included.  Please see the list below – and congratulations to all of these terrific honorees! 

2015 Honorees:

  1. Under 100: Robert Wersen of Interpower
  2. 100-300 Employees: Dick Smith of Agri-Industrial Plastics
  3. 300 Plus Employees: Drew Vogel of Vogel Paint, INC.
  4. Posthumous Award: Jack McMahon of Barker Company
  5. Manufacturing Champion Award: Iowa Association of Community Colleges & Iowa’s 15 Community Colleges

2016 Honorees:

  1. Under 100 Employees: Bruce Tamisiea of Tecton Industries
  2. 100-300 Employees: Roger Hargens of Accumold
  3. 300 Plus Employees: Paul Gregoire of Emerson Process Management
  4. Posthumous Award: John Norris of Lennox Industries, INC.
  5. Manufacturing Champion Award: Mark Hanawalt of UEA
  6. Ambassador of the Year Award: Sarah Dvorak

2017 Honorees:

  1. Under 100 Employees: Fred Buie, Keystone Electrical Company. 
  2. 100 - 300 Employees: Todd Somerfield, Kreg Tool Company.
  3. 300 Plus Employees: David Zrostlik, Stellar Industries, Inc.  
  4. Champion Award: Dr. Ron Cox & Michael O’Donnell, Central Industrial Research and Services (CIRAS).
  5. Posthumous Award: Gary Vermeer, Vermeer Corporation
  6. Ambassador of the Year: Kelly Barrick, The Private Bank
  7. Honorary Ambassador of the Year Award: Dennis Murdock, CIPCO

2018 Honorees:

  1. Under 100 Employees: Tim Greene, Quality Machine
  2. 100-300 Employees: Dick Davidson, Thombert, Inc.
  3. 300 Plus Employees: Jim Tyler and Kirk Tyler, Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling
  4. Manufacturer Export Award: Roger Brown, Precision Pulley and idler
  5. Manufacturing Champion: West Delaware Community Schools
  6. Posthumous Legend: Eugene Sukup, Sukup Manufacturing Co.