Celebrating Success - Monday Memo 3/20/17

March 20, 2017

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 Chamber Alliance and the Iowa Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business were our partners this year.  

After returning from personal lobbying visits at the Statehouse and hearing a members-only briefing by Iowa Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer and Iowa Senate President Jack Whitver, donors participated in the annual IIPAC Luncheon.  That was followed by a reception honoring retired ABI Board Member Steve Roberts (Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines) for 35 years of service and leadership to ABI.  Following the reception, the ABI Board of Directors held its March meeting.  Tuesday’s events were preceded by a special legislative reception hosted by the ICA and co-sponsored by ABI, and NFIB Monday evening.  

On behalf of ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and IIPAC Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee), thank you to all of you who participated in last week's ABI meetings and events.  Thanks to you, ABI enjoyed a terrific two days and strong work to advance the association's public policy priorities. 

Biennial ABI Program on Workers Compensation March 30

Every two years, ABI presents a program designed to help you and your employees manage and comply with Iowa’s workers compensation program. The 2017 edition will be held on March 30 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 workers comp at the meeting. To register, please click on this link: http://www.cvent.com/events/workers-compensation-best-practices-lessons-learned-and-ideas-from-the-innovators/event-summary-b7df219082a0451dbed5f8305d5f1685.aspx.  

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 2016-2017 Leadership Iowa Class will soon meet again, this time in April in Charles City and Osage for a session focused on economic development.  Watch for more news.  

ABI Executive Committee Meeting April 5; Next Board Meeting May 3

As you read in last week's Memo, the ABI Executive Committee will next meet on April 5.  The next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held on May 3 in Fairfield.  

For those members who will be in Fairfield the night before, the board meeting will be preceded by a dinner that night (May 2).  Please watch for more information soon. 

ABI Again Sponsors IPTV Program Focused on Entrepreneurs

Iowa Public Television has announced that it will air the second 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; SECOND Hotel Sold-Out

You will soon receive your annual brochure invitation to the Taking Care of Business Conference, ABI's 114th annual convention.  This event, which has been predicted to be the 'best-ever' by some ABI members, will be held June 6-8 in Dubuque.  

Last week it was announced that a SECOND flagship hotel, the Grand Harbor Resort, was sold-out. That is one more indication of the crowd planning to descend on Dubuque 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/2017-abi-taking-care-of-business-conference/custom-19-d7a94db8d5de4399b11588b1b5f98d84.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 near the top of that page 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 Dubuque in June! 

Next ABI Legislative Update Teleconference March 31

The next ABI Legislative Update Teleconference will be held Friday, March 31 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 https://www.iowaabi.org/events/detail/50-abi-legislative-update-teleconference-members-only/.  This is a busy time at the Statehouse; don’t miss your opportunity to get the very latest information available. 

Another ABI Leader is Also a National Leader

In last week’s Memo, it was fun to note that several ABI leaders are also national leaders. Former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) had called in and noted how many ABI leaders were also leaders of the National Association of Manufacturers (Charles was attending the NAM board meeting). 

It came to my attention last week that another ABI leader leads nationally. Former ABI Chair and IIPAC Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee) is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Beverage Association (http://www.ameribev.org/).  Kirk is a longtime member of the ABA board and he will chair the board next year.  Congratulations, Kirk! 

Krista Tanner Marks Birthday

Well, I did it again. It is always a pleasure to recognize board members' birthdays, but last year, I missed the birthday of ABI Board Member Krista Tanner (ITC Midwest, Des Moines).  And of course I am late again this year.  Krista celebrated her birthday last week on March 16.  I am sure it was a terrific day and ABI sends belated happy birthday wishes to Krista!  I will try to send best wishes in advance next year! 

Also Celebrating: Bill Bywater and Dick Smith

Speaking of birthdays, two other ABI leaders will celebrate on the same day. 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 this Thursday, March 23.  Congratulations and happy birthday to Bill and Dick! 

Jan Meek Checks In

Most of you will recall former ABI staff member Jan Meek. Jan served ABI for decades and has been missed since her well-deserved retirement some years ago.  Jan checked in this week and it was good to hear from her.  

Jan and her husband, Bob Meek, have been staples in their rural neighborhood but are planning a move. And Jan recently lost her foster sister, Paulyne Raver of Pleasantville.  ABI sends best wishes to Jan and Bob.  They are in our thoughts and prayers. 

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 a decade 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 Elevate Iowa).  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.   Last week, ABI had one of its best weeks ever at the Statehouse.  Longstanding ABI objectives were 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.