Conference is almost here - Monday Memo 6/1/15

June 1, 2015

It’s Almost Here; 112th Annual ABI Convention NEXT WEEK

The 112th Annual ABI Convention, the 2015 Taking care of Business Conference, kicks-off a week from Wednesday, starting with terrific programming right out of the gate that morning and afternoon.  The fantastic Hotel Blackhawk is the setting for the Gala Opening Reception, which will be held Wednesday evening, followed by the TAG Crawl and other activities.  Following great annual meetings in recent years, the 2015 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 Deere & Company CEO Sam Allen, Principal Financial Group COO Dan Houston and internationally-known speakers Ken Blanchard and Patrick Lencioni  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 ChairMark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) and our other officers, we look forward to seeing you next week in the Quad Cities!

There I Go Again;  ABI Board WILL Meet and Elect Officers

In last week's Memo, I said the ABI Board of Directors would not meet during the conference.  Sharp-eyed observers knew that couldn't be the case.  Former ABI Chair Bob Wersen (Interpower Corporation, Oskaloosa) knew that the ABI Bylaws require the board to meet during the annual business meeting for the sole purpose of electing officers (including the Executive Committee).

During lunch on Wednesday, ABI will hold its annual business meeting.  The key part of the meeting will be a report from the ABI Nominating Committee, chaired by Immediate Past Chair Myron Linn (Pella Corporation, Pella).  All members present will vote on and elect directors for the coming year.  Then, a brief board meeting will be convened to elect members of the Executive Committee and officers. 

It will all be spelled-out at the meeting (and you as board members will receive a preliminary copy of the report by email soon).  In the meantime, thank you, Bob, for catching my error!

ABI Members Contributing to IIPAC to be Recognized at Conference; Make Sure You are Included

One annual goal of the ABI Board of Directors is for all members to contribute to the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee.  That goal has not yet been achieved.

ABI is making a return to special recognition for IIPAC donors at the annual conference.  All members (former Chairs, board members, general membership, and staff) that have contributed at least $100 to IIPAC during 2015 will have their name on a special banner.

So far, several members of the board have not yet contributed.  DON'T LET YOURSELF BE ONE OF THEM.  I know many of you will contribute before the end of the year, so please do so now so that you may be recognized.

Go to /index.cfm?nodeID=12485&audienceID=1 for more information and to read a letter from IIPAC Chair (and former ABI Chair) Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee).  Thank you for your support for IIPAC, which is an important part of ABI's public policy work

Lieutenant Governor Reynolds Will Join ABI at Conference Next Wednesday

It is a longstanding tradition for Iowa's Governor and/or Lieutenant Governor to join ABI members for the annual conference.  I am pleased to let you know that tradition will continue this year, when Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds addresses ABI members at the Wednesday luncheon.

The Lieutenant Governor has been a strong supporter of ABI's public policy initiatives.  ABI is grateful for that support and for always being accessible to our members.  We are excited to welcome her to the conference and we look forward to her comments next Wednesday.

ABI Executive Committee Reviews Proposed Budget; Watch for Final Pre-Convention Board eMail Later This Week

The ABI Executive Committee has reviewed the proposed FY16 ABI budget.  The proposed budget, the 2015 ABI Nominating Committee report, and other timely information for the board will be sent to you in an email message later this week. 

These final materials will keep you fully informed as you get ready for the annual conference.  The association enters the 2015 convention in great shape and it will be exciting to see all of you next week.

Final 2015 ABI Conference Committee Meeting Held

A wonderful group of association volunteers, led by member Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale), has put together a terrific annual conference.  The committee held its final meeting in Des Moines recently.  When you see these folks at next week's conference, please be sure and thank them for their great work.

Foundation Update: LI Graduation Next Week; BH Later This Month

The ABI Foundation continues a busy program year.  Members of the ABI Foundation’s 2014-2015 Leadership Iowa Class will conclude a very successful year (and gradate) in a ceremony that will be a part of a special event at next week's conference.  Class members, including ABI Vice President Government Relations Nicole Crain, have traveled all across Iowa and been in all corners of the state as they grew together and discussed issues facing us all.  We wish them the best as they go back to their jobs and help build their companies, communities, and our state.

Plans are also being finalized for the annual Business Horizons experience.  BH 2015 will be held on the campus of Central College in Pella June 28-July 2.  This exciting program continues to help Iowa high school students understand that a successful future is theirs for the making.  If you haven’t done so in a while, go to the BH website and learn more about this exciting program.  Registrations are still being taken, so please nominate your BH students now.

Remember Foundation Auction at Conference

In last week's memorandum, you noted information about the ABI Foundation silent and live auction being held in conjunction with the annual ABI Conference.  Each year, the auction items are more spectacular.  This year is no exception. 

You can go here to see auction items/place bids:  It is fun to see all the terrific items.

Remember, all the proceeds from the auction go to benefit the programs of the ABI Foundation and Iowans who participate in them.  Thank you in advance for your support.

Search Continues; Three Finalists to be Interviewed

ABI officers and I will conduct interviews with three finalists for ABI's open position tomorrow.  Each is highly-qualified and each would make a terrific addition to the ABI team.  Watch for some exciting news soon.

ABI's Elevate Program Looking for Ambassadors

Help ABI's Elevate program spread its message by recruiting one of your employees to be an "Ambassador" to represent Elevate in your local area.  Elevate Ambassadors will make presentations and attend events in your area to spread the word about opportunities in manufacturing and at your particular company (ambassadors will be asked to make no more than 5 presentations/events per year). 

Elevate will provide training with regard to the message and in public speaking - a great professional development opportunity for your employee.  Any employee you choose is welcome, but please keep in mind this would be a great opportunity for a young up-and-comer.  You don't have to be in manufacturing to be an Elevate Ambassador of course; everyone passionate about the mission is welcome.  Please contact Robyn Denson-Ormsby for more information

Another Good NAM Report Available

Last week's Monday Economic Report from the National Association of Manufacturers was more good reading.  The reports makes note of several challenges facing the economy at present.  if you wish to read the report, please reply to this message and I will get it to you at once.

Governor. Lieutenant Governor to Tour Accumold

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds are strong champions of manufacturing.  They frequently tour the plants of ABI-member manufacturers and will do so again later this week.

The Governor and Lieutenant Governor will be present Friday at an event to mark the latest expansion at Accumold in Ankeny.  That company is on a steep growth curve and Friday's event will be just the most recent tangible recognition of that fact.  Congratulations to everyone at Accumold, especially company President and ABI Board Member Roger Hargens (Accumold, Ankeny)!

JD Davis Wed

One of the last great bachelors, ABI Board Member JD Davis (MidAmerican Energy Company, Des Moines) has now left the ranks of the unmarried.  JD and Lauren Holderness were married in Hilton Head, South Carolina a week ago yesterday.  JD is one of the good guys and ABI joins in wishing him --  and his bride -- much happiness and all the very best.  Congratulations to the bride and groom!