Cindy Dietz Elected to ABI Leadership - Monday Memo 3/18/19

March 18, 2019

Cindy Dietz Elected ABI Vice Chair

Due to changes in his company and increased work responsibilities, John Krogman (Elkhart Plastics, Atlantic) had to resign his position as ABI Vice Chair.  At last week’s meeting, the members of the ABI Board of Directors accepted John’s resignation and elected a new Vice Chair. 

Longtime ABI Board Member Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) was unanimously elected as Vice Chair.  Cindy, a longtime Collins executive and Iowa business leader, took office immediately.  It is expected that Cindy will serve in this role for the remainder of the fiscal year and then be elected ABI Chair for FY 2020.  

Further good news comes with the fact that John, while no longer an officer, will remain a member of the ABI Board of Directors.  Thank you to John for his service and hearty congratulations and a big thank you to Cindy for filling this crucial role.  We look forward to her leadership! 

Annual Business Day on the Hill, Other Events Big Success; Week 10 GA Preview Posted

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 personal lobbying visits at the Statehouse, participants enjoyed a luncheon featuring Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer, and Senate Majority leader Jack Whitver.  Following the luncheon, the ABI Board of Directors held its March meeting.  

On behalf of ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City), who led the day’s events, 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. 

By the way, while we look back at last week with gratitude for the strong leadership and participation of so many of you, one thing we have learned from ABI members is that they are always looking ahead.  In that regard, click here  for a terrific review of the Iowa General Assembly’s upcoming 10th week of session.  ABI Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain and ABI Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf provide a concise, fun, and insightful review of what is happening at the Statehouse. 

Biennial ABI Program on Workers Compensation March 27

Every two years, ABI presents a program designed to share the latest information about workers compensation programs.  The 2019 edition will be held on March 27 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:      

ABI to Co-Sponsor Transformational Sales Program April 9th

ABI member company Sandler Training is producing a sales program on April 9th.  This 90-minute seminar will take place at ABI, which is co-sponsoring the event.  

You will want to send your sales team to this high-value event.  Overcoming price objections, closing more business at higher margins, controlling the sales call, and learning the winning sales behavior are just a few of the strategic sales components that will be covered in the program.  Go now to to find more information and register.  

Busy Time for ABI Foundation; Foundation Annual Report Now Available

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 and/or for more information and to make your nominations.  

In addition to the nominations activity, the Foundation is celebrating the publication of its annual report for 2018.  The report documents a strong financial and program footing for the ABI Foundation.  If you would like a copy of the report, please reply to this memorandum and we’ll get you one at once. 

In other news, the 2018-2019 Leadership Iowa Class will soon meet again, this time in April in Cedar Falls-Waterloo for a session focused on education.  Watch for more news.  

ABI Executive Committee Meeting April 10; Next Board Meeting May 8

As you read in last week's Memo, the ABI Executive Committee will next meet on April 10.  That meeting, which will take place by teleconference, will begin at 9:30 a.m.  The next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held on May 8 in Iowa City.  Please watch for more information soon. 

ABI Again Sponsors IPTV Program Focused on Entrepreneurs; Bob Wersen Featured

Iowa Public Television has announced that it will air the fourth 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.  

If you saw the show over the weekend, you saw that former ABI Chair Bob Wersen (Interpower Corporation, Oskaloosa) was featured.  It was a terrific episode and focused heavily on Bob’s leadership and the company’s growth since moving to Iowa from California many years ago.  Congratulations on the great coverage, Bob! 

'Best-Ever' Conference Coming Up in June; One Hotel Sold-out, Another Nearly So

You will soon receive your annual brochure invitation to the Taking Care of Business Conference, ABI's 116th annual convention.  This event, which has been predicted to be the 'best-ever' by some ABI members, will be held June 4-6 in Ames.  

As you know, one hotel, the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center, is already sold-out.  Another, the Best Western University Park Hotel and Suites, is nearly sold-out.  That is one more indication of the crowd planning to descend on Ames for this fabulous event.  Plenty of other lodging options remain, however, and you can find more information by clicking on this link:  

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 Ames in June! 

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 2019 conference will be held on April 23-24 t 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.  Find out more information and register by clicking on    

Bill Bywater and Dick Smith to Celebrate

Former ABI Chair Bill Bywater (Economy Advertising, Iowa City) and former ABI Board Member Dick Smith (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) share a birthday.  Bill and Dick will celebrate this Saturday, March 23rd.  Congratulations and happy birthday to Bill and Dick! 

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 14 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.