Busy Time at ABI - Monday Memo 3/19/18

March 19, 2018

Annual Business Day on the Hill, Other Events Big Success

ABI is celebrating another successful annual Business Day on the Hill and related events held last week.  As for Day on the Hill, the Iowa Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, The National Association of Women business Owners, and the Iowa Chamber Alliance were our partners this year.  

After returning from personal lobbying visits at the Statehouse, participants returned to ABI for the annual Day on the Hill Luncheon featuring Senator Randy Feenstra, Chair of the Senate Way and Means Committee. Following the luncheon, the ABI Board of Directors held its March meeting.  

On behalf of ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner), who led the day’s events, and former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines) who introduced Senator Feenstra, thank you to all of you who participated in last week's ABI meetings and events.  Thanks to you, ABI enjoyed a terrific day and strong work to advance the association's public policy priorities. 

Beimrich, Bramstedt Elected to ABI Board

At their meeting in Des Moines last week, members of the ABI Board of Directors elected two new members. Matt Beimrich (Beimrich Electric and Telephone, Fort Dodge) and Andy Bramstedt (SSAB, Muscatine) were elected to fill the unexpired terms of Bob Bocken (Farner-Bocken, Fort Dodge) and Tom Toner (SSAB, Muscatine), respectively.  

Matt is a principal in one of the major electrical and telecommunications contractors in north central Iowa. He is also serving his second term as Mayor of Fort Dodge.  Andy is a long-time leader in SSAB’s operations in southeast Iowa and General Manager of the Plant in Muscatine. 

Biennial ABI Program on Employee Drug Testing Seminar March 22

Every two years, ABI presents a program designed to share the latest information about employee drug testing programs. The 2018 edition will be held on March 22 at the ABI office in Des Moines.  

Your HR, risk management, and compliance staff will find the latest in rulings, best practice-sharing, and other items related to drug testing at the meeting.  To register, please click on this link: http://www.cvent.com/events/employee-drug-testing-program-signs-symptoms-solutions/event-summary-ae2c7d6158bb4691a442c9f05e7d105e.aspx.    

ABI Operational Excellence Roundtable to Meet Tomorrow

The next meeting of the ABI Operational Excellence Roundtable will be held tomorrow. This panel of manufacturing and operations leaders will meet at Pella Corporation in Pella tomorrow morning.  For more information, please contact ABI Vice President Member Development and Programs Kathy Anderson at kanderson@iowaabi.org.  

Busy Time for ABI Foundation

This is a busy time for the ABI Foundation.  In last week's memorandum, I noted that now is the time to make nominations both for Business Horizons and Leadership Iowa.  Doing so is easy, free, and doesn't take a lot of time.  Click on https://www.leadershipiowa.com/ and/or http://www.businesshorizonsiowa.org/ for more information and to make your nominations.  

In other news, the 2017-2018 Leadership Iowa Class will soon meet again, this time in April in Hampton for a session focused on agriculture and renewable energy.  Watch for more news.  

ABI Executive Committee Meeting April 4; Next Board Meeting May 2

As you read in last week's Memo, the ABI Executive Committee will next meet on April 4.  That meeting, which will take place by teleconference, will begin at 1:00 p.m. The next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held on May 2 in Garner.  

For those members who will be in North Iowa the night before, the board meeting will be preceded by a dinner that night (May 1).  Please watch for more information soon. 

ABI Again Sponsors IPTV Program Focused on Entrepreneurs

Iowa Public Television has announced that it will air the third season of a new series called Iowa Entrepreneur.  In each of 13 episodes, the series will feature two Iowa businesses and the stories of how their owners overcame challenges to build strong and successful companies.  The series airs Sundays at 10:30 a.m.  It will repeat at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, beginning in mid-April.  

ABI is always focused on doing all it can to promote Iowa business.  Look for more information soon.  

'Best-Ever' Conference Coming up in June; Two Hotels Sold-Out

You will soon receive your annual brochure invitation to the Taking Care of Business Conference, ABI's 115th annual convention.  This event, which has been predicted to be the 'best-ever' by some ABI members, will be held June 5-7 in Coralville-Iowa City.  

As you know, TWO hotels, the Coralville Marriott and the Homewood Suites, are sold-out.  That is one more indication of the crowd planning to descend on Greater Iowa City for this fabulous event.  Plenty of other lodging options remain, however, and you can find more information by clicking on this link: http://www.cvent.com/events/2018-abi-taking-care-of-business-conference/event-summary-10c1c9760a3e4dd682c42cdc092b358e.aspx.    

When you click on the link above, you will be able to register for the conference and make your lodging reservations.  But you should also click on the link to view a brief, fun, and informative video about what you can expect at the conference.  It is simply Iowa’s best statewide business networking event.  See you in Coralville-Iowa City in June! 

Next Public Policy Roundtable Friday in Cedar Rapids; Next ABI Legislative Update Teleconference April 20

The next in a series of ABI Legislative Roundtables will be held the Friday in Cedar Rapids. Longtime ABI member International Paper will host the event, which begins at 11:15 a.m. on the 23rd.  Representatives Ashley Hinson and Ken Rizer are looking forward to meeting with area ABI members.  Click here for more information and to register: http://www.iowaabi.org/events/detail/103-cedar-rapids-roundtable-with-representatives-ashley-hinson-and-ken-rizer/.  

The next ABI Legislative Update Teleconference will be held Friday, April 20 at 8:00 a.m. and you and your employees are encouraged to participate.  The call is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at http://www.iowaabi.org/events/detail/95-abi-members-only-legislative-conference-calls/.  This is a busy time at the Statehouse; don’t miss your opportunity to get the very latest information available. 

ABI Members Invited to Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference

For many years, ABI has been among a number of organizations that are collaborating in producing the Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference.  Past editions of the conference have been a huge success. 

The 2018 conference will be held on April 11-12 at the Kansas City Convention center in downtown Kansas City. If you have been to the convention center, you know how accessible it is, with plenty of convenient parking.  The agenda for the conference is terrific and packed full of high-value information.  Your compliance staff will find no better resource for the very latest in environmental regulatory information. 

ABI receives financial support for every Iowa participant that registers for the conference.  While that is a great incentive, the real reason to attend is for the high-value program.  Please consider sending your staff to the conference, which is being held about a month earlier than usual. Find out more information and register by clicking on http://mecconference.com/.    

Bill Bywater and Dick Smith to Celebrate Friday

Speaking of big events on March 23rd (see item above), another big event occurs this this Friday. Both former ABI Chair Bill Bywater (Economy Advertising, Iowa City) and former ABI Board Member Dick Smith (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) will mark their birthdays on March 23rd.  Congratulations and happy birthday to Bill and Dick! 

Steve Dust Now with Waterfront Corporate Services

As most of you know, a longtime ABI board member has recently transitioned to a new post. ABI Board Member Steve Dust (Waterfront Corporate Services, Waterloo) left the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber after a long and successful career there.  He led the organization to new heights and was the catalyst behind such terrific developments as the Tech Works Campus and other initiatives.  

Steve is now a Principal at Waterfront Corporate Services (a new ABI member) and is assisting companies with start-up issues, growth strategies, policy assistance, public relations help, and more.  Here is a link to Steve’s Facebook page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sjdust/ so you can contact him for assistance.  Congratulations to Steve Dust! 

The Business of ABI: Programs and Services

As you know, from time to time in these memos, I like to share a little bit about some internal aspect of the way ABI operates.  As I always say, ABI ought to function like a business.  We have customers, we just happen to call them members.  If we aren't delivering value for you, there is no reason for you to support our work. 

About 13 years ago, at the direction of the ABI Board of Directors, ABI conducted a review of its internal operations and programs and services.  When it came to internal operations, hemorrhaging cash and being involved in vendor relationships that didn't serve the association or its members were some of the challenges identified.  Outdated data systems and other challenges also existed and over the years, thanks to your leadership, these have been addressed.  For example, our balance sheet now shows strength and stability.  

The good news then is good news today.  ABI's core programs of public policy advocacy, member meetings and events, and Foundation programs were strong and continue to be strong.  Over the years, new programs have been added (such as VentureNet Iowa, Elevate Iowa, and others).  Events have been created, and some things have been transformed (ABI's annual conference and our monthly newsmagazine come to mind).  This kind of change and growth must continue for ABI to be the dynamic resource for Iowa business that you deserve. 

One of ABI’s original services continues to be vital to this day.  That is our association’s public policy work.   This year, as was the case last year, ABI is experiencing some of its most successful work ever at the Statehouse.  Longstanding ABI objectives have been and are being advanced.  That is thanks to some terrific work on the part of a talented staff and by YOUR leadership, participation, and support.  Thanks to YOU, the business of ABI is strong and getting even better.