Check Reception Photos, Events Page - Monday Memo 1/23/17

January 23, 2017

ABI Legislative Reception Photos Available; Check Events Calendar

As you know, the 2017 ABI Legislative Reception was a record-breaker in terms of numbers of members, state officials, and legislators attending.  The event was incredibly successful and was an important part of advancing ABI’s public policy agenda for the year. 

Photographs from the event have been posted to the ABI website (and more will be coming).  Please check them out here:  You might be in them!  

In the meantime, many of you have asked about upcoming events.  I encourage you to check the ABI events calendar often at to see the extensive list of ABI meetings and events coming up in the next few weeks.  There is always a lot happening at ABI. 

May Board Meeting to be in Fairfield

More information will be coming your way soon, but please remember that the May meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held in Fairfield.  ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield), will convene the meeting in Fairfield on May 3.  

Fairfield is one of Iowa's strongest manufacturing centers and it will be a great location in which to hold an ABI board meeting. A tour of the newly expanded Agri-Industrial Plastics Company and other special features will be a part of the meeting. 

Please mark your calendars now for what is always a great meeting, as it is the final meeting in advance of the annual conference.  And watch for more information to come your way soon. 

ABI Members Invited to Join Trade Mission to Cuba

ABI is a part of a coalition of organizations called Engage Cuba. The organization is focused in large part on expanding business opportunities between American and Cuban businesses. 

Engage Cuba is leading a trade mission to Cuba March 30 to April 2. ABI members interested in exploring opportunities to expand in to Cuba are specifically invited to participate as a member of the trade delegation.  If you are interested, please reply to this message and I will send you more information at once. 

2017 ABI Convention Generating Buzz; Dubuque Site Visits Coming Up

You know that the annual ABI Taking Care of Business Conference has been growing in terms of attendance and support for the past several years.  The upcoming meeting will be ABI's 114th Annual Meeting, and it will be held June 6-8 in Dubuque.  

The 2017 conference is generating a lot of buzz, with people in the Dubuque region especially excited to host ABI members from all over Iowa.  Most important, you will hear from terrific speakers and get great information.  As I mentioned recently, another highlight is golf at one of the Midwest's most beautiful golf clubs, Eagle Ridge in Galena.  And of course you will see Iowa's best business networking occur at this event. 

Work continues to ensure the conference is a fabulous event. ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield), Conference Committee Chair Amy Jones (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield), and others are headed to Dubuque in the coming weeks.  Media events and other meetings are on tap, all designed to promote the conference and expand attendance.  

By the way, remember that one of the conference hotels, the Hotel Julien, is already sold-out.  Plenty of rooms are still available at the other conference hotel, the Grand Harbor Resort (which is connected to the convention center by skywalk).  Use this link for more information and make your reservation now. 

ABI to Host New Canadian Counsel General

ABI has a longstanding strong relationship with the Office of the Counsel General of Canada.  That office has been helpful to ABI members as they conduct business in Canada and/or with Canadian customers and suppliers. 

Newly-Appointed Counsel General Khawar Nasim will be at ABI tomorrow. You will also see him at upcoming ABI events.  We look forward to welcoming the Counsel General to Iowa. 

Annual Resource Guide Available Soon

As you read in last week's memo, the association's annual Business Resource Guide and membership directory is being finalized and will be printed and available soon. Look for your 2017 directory to arrive in a few weeks.  

Iowa STEM Advisory Council Partners on Externships

Over the last few years, several ABI member companies have participated in the externship program administered by the Iowa Governor's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Advisory Council.  The externships are six-week terms for educators to get actual experience inside a business. 

The program helps educators by exposing them to practical experience in the business world.  It can help your company by gaining additional staff for a short period and by exposing educators to what their students will find when they graduate.  For more information, please go to this link:  

Lori Schaefer-Weaton Highlighted by Register

Last Thursday's Des Moines Register carried a feature about what Iowa leaders are expecting from the Trump Administration.  One of the leaders highlighted was ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield).  Read the item for yourself here: .  Congratulations on the coverage, Lori! 

Vogel family Featured in KIB Newsletter

The Winter edition of the Keep Iowa Beautiful newsletter arrived last week and a great ABI member family was featured.  The Vogel Family of Orange City has been honored with KIB's 2016 Donald F. Lamberti Hometown Pride Vision Award. 

The Winter KIB newsletter carries a great photo of several family members, including longtime ABI Board Member and company President Drew Vogel (Vogel Paint Company, Orange City), with Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad in the Governor's office receiving the award.  If you would like to see the newsletter, reply to this message and I will get it to you at once.  in the meantime, congratulations to Drew Vogel and the Vogel Family! 

Krista Tanner Panelist at CBJ Economic Forecast Luncheon

ABI Board Member Krista Tanner (ITC Midwest, Des Moines) was a featured panelist at the Corridor Business Journal's Economic Forecast Luncheon held in Cedar Rapids last Wednesday.  The event drew a record crowd and Krista's panel was the highlight of the meeting.  Congratulations to Krista! 

Regarding questions about the incoming administration, several speakers at the event raised concerns about protectionism. Workforce was another issue identified by all speakers as an area of focus for their companies. 

Eva Shine to Wed

It is always fun to share good news about ABI members and there is some great news involving former ABI Board Member Eva Shine (Shine Bros. Corp., Spencer).She is engaged to be married!Later this year, in June, Eva will wed her finance, Kevin Schammel, in Okoboji.  

Congratulations to Eva and Kevin and to the bride-to-be's parents, former ABI Chair Toby Shine (Shine Bros. Corp., Spencer) and his wife, Sylvia Shine!  ABI sends best wishes to Eva and Kevin for a wonderful wedding and life to together! 

Paul Gregoire and John Schreurs Mark Birthdays

Two more ABI Board Members are marking birthdays.  Celebrating this month are Immediate Past ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Fisher-Emerson, Marshalltown) and former Board Member John Schreurs (Strategic America, West Des Moines).  Happy birthday to these two ABI leaders!