Conference in ONE WEEK - Monday Memo 5/30/17

May 30, 2017

It’s Almost Here; 114th Annual ABI Convention NEXT WEEK

The 114th Annual ABI Convention, the 2017 Taking Care of Business Conference, kicks-off a week from tomorrow, starting with networking activities right out of the gate that morning and afternoon.  Various locations around Greater Dubuque will be the focus next Tuesday.  The fabulous Hotel Julien is the setting for the Gala Opening Reception, which will be held Tuesday evening.  The Reception, a fun, high energy event, will be something you do not want to miss.  Following great annual meetings in recent years, the 2017 conference is building on that success.  

As with every ABI convention, there are many program highlights from which to choose.  However, it is clear that the sessions featuring internationally-known speakers Tommy Spaulding, Robert Richman, and Dr. Bill Withers will draw fantastic crowds.  Always the source of the very best business networking in Iowa, come to the conference and choose your own highlight from the great series of events, speakers, and venues that await you.  

If you haven’t registered, that is not a problem.  Go now to and click on the conference icon at the top of the page.  Or simply reply to this message and I'll make sure you are registered right away.  On behalf of ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and our other officers, we look forward to seeing you next week in Dubuque! 

Executive Committee, Board to Receive Proposed Budget

It is the time of year for the usual operational details prior to the start of the next fiscal year.  You and your fellow members of the ABI Executive Committee and Board of Directors will receive the proposed 2017-2018 ABI budget soon.  Watch for it in your email in-basket. 

By the way, you will also receive other information related to final preparations for the annual conference.  The report of the ABI Nominating Committee, chaired by ABI Past Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown), and any final details will be a part of the message.    Again, please watch for more information soon. 

FABULOUS Items for Foundation Auction

As you know and as I noted last week, the ABI Foundation holds an auction in conjunction with ABI's annual Taking Care of Business Conference.  Each year, the auction items are spectacular.  This year is no exception and there are truly terrific items included in this year's auction. 

This year, both the silent and live auctions will take place on site. Click here to review some of the high ticket items and find some friends to prepare your group bid. And, be ready for the live auction on Wednesday evening of the conference. Thank you in advance for your support. 

ABI Regional Policy Tour Concludes Next Week in Dubuque

After stops around Iowa the previous several, the annual ABI public policy tour will conclude next week.  The tour's final stop will be in Dubuque a week from today on June 7.  Click here to register for the meeting:

The agenda includes a review of the 2017 session of the Iowa General Assembly obtaining your thoughts about ABI's priorities for 2018.  The participation of so many members across Iowa is what makes the meetings so successful.  

Final Call: ABI’s 2017 DC Fly-In

It is time for the Biennial ABI DC Fly-In. Every two years, a small group of ABI leaders heads to Washington, DC to meet with the Iowa Congressional Delegation and some of ABI’s national partners.  It is a terrific trip and just a couple of spots remain available.  Please reply to this message if you desire more information about the DC Fly-In, which will be held October 2-4. 

Iowa STEM Conference June 29

Members of the ABI Board of Directors have been invited to participate in the annual Iowa STEM conference, this year focused on STEM and on Future ready Iowa.  There is no charge to attend and it will be held June 21 in Des Moines.  For more information, go to

Sukup Manufacturing Co. Featured on Iowa Entrepreneur

Longtime ABI member company Sukup Manufacturing Co. is featured on this week’s edition of Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Entrepreneur television show.  In a terrific profile, company founder Eugene Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield), his wife Mary Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield), and his sons, former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) and Steve Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) talk about the exciting growth of the company.  One highlight is an early photograph of the company’s first engineer: Charles. 

It is a truly wonderful story and you can watch it for yourself here:  Congratulations to the Sukup Family! 

Mark Douglas to Retire

ABI owes a debt of gratitude to former staff leader Mark Douglas.  Mark led ABI from 1990-1995 as President.  ABI enjoyed strong success during those years. 

Mark left ABI to become President of the Iowa Utility Association (,a role he has held for the past 22 years.  Mark announced his retirement from the IUA and his last day in the office is tomorrow.  ABI joins others in congratulating Mark on a terrific career and in wishing he and his wife, former ABI Foundation staff Director Sheila Douglas, all the very best! 

Ali Krogman Joins Ankeny Chamber

Many of you will recall Ali Krogman. Ali, the daughter of ABI Board Member John Krogman (Connect-A-Dock, Atlantic), was the ABI summer intern in 2015.  She was a great team member for ABI. 

John reports that Ali has accepted a positon as Communications Director with the Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce. She will begin her new duties on June 12.  Congratulations, Ali! 

The Business of ABI: Fiscal Year-End

There is roughly one month remaining in ABI's fiscal year.  While I never lose sight of where our organization stands as it pursues the objectives you set for us each year, I pay particular attention at this time of the year. 

While checking some information for ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield), it is clear that this has been another record-setting year.  Attendance at events, legislative accomplishment, program development, hiring, financial achievement, all are exemplary.  That is due to YOUR leadership and support and I never that that fact for granted. THANK YOU.