Congressman Young to be Honored - Monday Memo 6/19/17

June 19, 2017

ABI to Host U.S. Chamber Event for Congressman David Young Later Today

Later this morning, ABI will host a special event by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  The Chamber will be presenting the Free Enterprise Award, its highest honor, to Iowa Congressman David Young.  

You are invited to join us. If you plan to attend, and by the way there is no charge to do so, please reply to this message.  ABI congratulates Congressman Young upon receipt of this honor! 

First Executive Committee Meeting of New Fiscal Year in Three Weeks

The Executive Committee/Board of Directors meeting schedule for 2017-2018 was finalized last month and was sent to you two weeks ago. Please mark your calendars for the next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  The board will next meet on September 13. 

In the meantime, members of the newly-constituted ABI Executive Committee will hold their first teleconference of the 2017-2018 fiscal year in three weeks.  The July Executive Committee teleconference will take place at 9:30 a.m. on July 12.  As is typical for July, the call is expected to be brief, but will provide an opportunity to review financial and membership data and receive program reports. 

ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) will be joined on this year’s Executive Committee by Vice Chair David Bywater (Economy Advertising, Iowa City), Treasurer John Krogman (Connect-A-Dock, Atlantic), Secretary Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine), and Immediate Past Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield).  Also on the committee are District Vice Chairs John Riches (Arconic, Davenport), Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa), Michael Sadler (CenturyLink, Des Moines), Mary Landhuis (Lisle Corp./EZ Way, Clarinda), and Kirk McCollough (Seneca Foundry, Webster City). Look for a full report on any developments at the next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

Leaders to Retire from ABI Board; New Board Members will Begin Terms July 1

In addition to officers, also elected at the 114th Annual Convention were new members of the ABI Board of Directors.  These individuals and/or their companies have long been active in ABI and like all of you, will make terrific board members.  They take the place of members who are completing their terms or otherwise leaving the ABI Board of Directors. 

Ending service on the board are Christine Carlson (Hill Phoenix Special Products, Keosauqua), Andy Hansen (John Deere, Ankeny), and Steve Roberts (Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines)Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown), of course, leaves his board slot as Immediate Past Chair, but remains a board member for life as do all other former Chairs.  

Please join me in congratulating these individuals for their service and leadership and THANK YOU to these Iowa business leaders. 

Elected to the board  for terms beginning July 1 were Kelly Barrick (The Private Bank, West Des Moines), Tim Bianco (Iowa Spring, Adel), and Stacey Pellett (John Deere, Johnston), and the honorary Leadership Iowa board member, Jenn Bleil (Van Meter, Cedar Rapids).  Just last month, of course, Jerry Patterson (Principal, Des Moines) was elected to the board.  Congratulations to these incoming leaders. 

2017 Conference Presentations Soon Available Online; 2018 ABI Convention in Iowa City

Many of you have shared great comments about the just-completed 2017 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference; thank you.  Many of you have also remarked that you wish you could revisit some of the presentations that made the conference of such great value for your company. 

The presentations will soon be available through the ABI website at  Watch for further news soon.  You can also access conference photos through the website. 

The 2018 ABI Convention/Iowa's Taking Care of Business Conference will be held in Greater Iowa City.  Plans are already underway to make the event truly spectacular.  Each year, conference committee members work hard to develop world-class experiences and next year, they will be able to do that with a terrific convention facility and with the use of some other fabulous surprises.  

Mark your calendars now for June 5-7 of next year and make plans to join your ABI colleagues in Iowa City/Coralville! 

Watch for Convention Survey in Your In-Box Soon

As I noted above, many of you have been kind to offer good words about the recently-held 114th Annual ABI Convention.  It was indeed a fantastic meeting, with great speakers, exciting venues, and terrific numbers of ABI members from all over Iowa and beyond.  

While Vice President Member Development and Programs Kathy Anderson, Member Programs Director Holly Mueggenberg, Membership Coordinator Dorothy Knowles, Communications Director Emily Schettler, and Bookkeeper Chrissy Viers put the finishing touches on convention, your feedback is encouraged and desired.  Watch your email in-basket for a convention survey that will arrive soon, or may have already arrived.  Please take a few moments (that’s all it takes, I promise) to complete the survey and provide your counsel about how to make a great event even better.  

ABI Publishes Iowa HR Library

One of ABI’s popular services over the years has been to provide a library of reference books related to Human Resources and other issues.  The reference set is periodically updated and highlighted for those companies seeking such a resource and it is offered at a very nominal rate for ABI members.  For more information or to obtain a set of manuals, please contact the ABI office.  

IIPAC Fundraising Now Underway

The Iowa Industry Political Action Committee is ABI’s political arm and it is not pro-Republican or pro-Democrat; it is pro-business.  IIPAC is an important resource for pro-business candidates. 

Thanks to IIPAC Chair (and former ABI Chair) Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee) and the members of the IIPAC Board of Directors, the PAC is being re-energized.  Board members will tell you that your support is vital to the success of IIPAC and its mission. 

Fundraising for IIPAC really never stops, but it occurs in earnest during the summer and fall.  ABI Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain, Director Public Policy Jessica Harder, Coordinator Public Policy Brad Hartkopf, with the help of Administrative Assistant Michelle Vollstedt, are now actively recruiting contributions.  The past few weeks have seen significant activity as far as IIPAC Revenues. THANK YOU!  However, if you are on the ABI Board of Directors and have not yet contributed to IIPAC, we need you! 

I hope you will join your fellow ABI board and staff members by becoming an IIPAC contributor today.  Please click on this link for more information or to make a donation:

Today: Final Day to Nominate Students for Business Horizons

Business Horizons, produced by the ABI Foundation, is the week-long entrepreneurial experience for Iowa high school students.  The 2017 session of the program is fast-approaching and there are just a few spots remaining. 

Reply to this memorandum with your nominations of students and if you have questions or wish to be involved, please don’t hesitate to contact ABI Foundation Vice President for Programs Kay Neumann-Thomas, Development Director Amanda Nuzum, or Foundation Marketing Coordinator Jessi Steward.  Thank you to all these staff members and to Foundation Assistant Jane Galloway and summer intern Madison Galloway for their work in making BH and all Foundation programs a success.  In the meantime, thanks to the many of you who have already nominated Iowa high school students for selection to BH. 

Register Now for 2017 ABI Executive Open at Des Moines Golf and Country Club

Each year I like to remind you that I am the fellow that predicted there wouldn't be much demand for participation in a new event created a few years ago, the ABI Executive Open.  Well, I was spectacularly wrong (again).  The event has become one of the association's most popular annual outings and it sells-out every year. 

The 2017 Open will be held Monday, August 28, at one of Iowa's most beautiful private courses, Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines.  Click on this link to learn more about the club:  It will make a fabulous location for the 2017 Executive Open.  Because spots fill so quickly, you may wish to register now.  If so, go here now:  See you in West Des Moines in August! 

ABI’s Elevate Program Now Accepting Legends Nominations

Please go now to the Elevate Iowa webpage. There you can now make your nominations for worthy winners of the coveted Legends in Manufacturing Awards.  The 2017 Legends Dinner will be held in Altoona on September 19.  You can complete the form online, mail it to ABI (or drop it off), or mail to 8510 New York Ave., Urbandale, Iowa 50322. You can also email the forms to Elevate Coordinator Alex Monaghan at Thank you for helping us recognize Iowa’s great manufacturers! 

Governor, Lieutenant Governor to Tour HNI

You all know that one of the best things you can do to help advance ABI’s public policy agenda is to invite policy makers in to your plant. Over the years, longtime ABI member HNI Corporation has done that many times. The good news is such a tour will take place again next week. 

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg will tour HNI’s Muscatine facilities on Thursday. ABI members have also had this pleasure and we know that the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are in for a great tour. Thank you to everyone at HNI, including ABI officer Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) for hosting these state leaders! 

Comets Invade Downtown Des Moines

It was quite a sight in the Hotel Kirkwood in downtown Des Moines on Saturday night. Dozens of comets invaded the hotel lobby… North Polk High School Comets, that is. 

ABI Board Member Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Carlisle) and her classmates who graduated some years ago from North Polk High School in Alleman, Iowa were celebrating a class reunion. Following a very successful high school career, Kellan, of course, obtained engineering degrees from Iowa State and Purdue and has for many years well-led General Mills’ operations in Carlisle. It was fun running in to Kellan and her classmates. Thanks for being a great ABI leader, Kellan; and congratulations to you and your fellow Comets!