Convention Starts Tomorrow - Monday Memo 6/7/21

June 7, 2021

It's Here; 118th Annual ABI Convention Starts Tomorrow!  New FREE Event Added

The 118th Annual ABI Convention, also known as the 2021 Taking Care of Business Conference, kicks-off tomorrow.  The conference begins with golf at Finkbine Golf Course and other activities around Coralville/Iowa City.  The annual Gala Welcome Reception will be held tomorrow evening at the sparkling brand new Xtreme Arena in Coralville’s Iowa River Landing District. 

In fact, a new FREE event has been added to the Tuesday program.  Tomorrow night’s reception at the Xtreme Arena will include after-hours admittance to the Antique Car Museum of Iowa.  The museum is located on the lower level of the arena.  This event is being made possible thanks to the generosity of Economy Advertising (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art).  That company, one of ABI’s founding members, is celebrating its 125th Anniversary!  Conference attendees will receive a pre-paid museum pass when they pick up their conference materials at the ABI Registration Desk.  THANK YOU to former ABI Chairs Bill Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and the Bywater Family for this wonderful gift to those attending the ABI Conference! 

By the way, as I type this, over 500 people are set to attend the conference; but if you haven’t registered, it's not a problem.  Email me now or just show up and we’ll take care of you.  On behalf of ABI Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine), I look forward to seeing you in Coralville! 

Governor Reynolds to Address ABI Conference-Goers Wednesday

ABI was among the very first organizations Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds addressed after becoming governor.  Governor Reynolds will again address ABI members at the annual conference this year, during Wednesday’s annual meeting.  She is a great friend to ABI and we look forward to Governor Reynolds joining us again this year. 

Association Headquarters Closing for the Week Later Today

Due to the annual conference, the ABI headquarters in Des Moines will be closed later today through Friday.  Please don’t hesitate to contact staff members by cell phone and please never hesitate to contact me on my cell phone if you need assistance of any kind.  We look forward to being back in the office – and celebrating the completion of a great convention – bright and early a week from today. 

Charese Yanney on the Cover of the June Edition of Business Record Iowa

ABI members around Iowa have shared with us that they enjoy the new Business Record Iowa publication that ABI produces in conjunction with the Des Moines Business Record.  This newsprint product is produced monthly (as opposed to quarterly with the ABI's previous publication) and goes to a much wider distribution list. 

The June edition of Business Record Iowa should have hit your mailbox last week, or will sometime early this week.  It is inside the Business Record - look for the cover photo of former ABI Chair Charese Yanney (Guarantee Roofing and Siding, Sioux City). It was great to have Charese in the office for the photo session.  If you did not receive a copy of the latest BR Iowa, reply to this memo and we'll get a copy to you. 

Annual ABI Policy Tour Kick’s Off Wednesday at Conference; Policy Committees to Meet

Starting with a meeting in Coralville Wednesday as a part of the annual conference, the association's public policy team will host the annual ABI public policy regional tour.  The next session will take place in Council Bluffs on June 23rd and three more regional meetings across Iowa will be held before adjourning the tour in July. 

Following that, ABI’s policy work will move to the next phase.  Each of ABI's five policy committees, plus the Legislative Committee, will meet later this summer.  You and your employees are invited to participate in those meetings at no charge.  You can find more information or register for any of the meetings using this link:  

Board to Elect Officers for FY22

Friday, all board members and former board chairs should have received an email message that included several documents related to the annual conference.  That message also highlighted the fact that the ABI Board of Directors will hold its final meeting of the association’s 2020-2021 fiscal year during the annual business meeting at the conference on Wednesday.  The board will hold the traditional 60-second meeting to elect officers. 

The previously-mentioned message shared the monthly financial report, FY22 meeting schedule, and the 2021 Nominating Committee report.  Thank you to Nominating Committee Chair (and Immediate Past ABI Chair) Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) and committee members Andy Bramstedt (SSAB, Muscatine), Tim Conlon (Conlon Construction, Dubuque), Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale), Connor Deering (CemenTech, Indianola), and Molly Varangkounh (Hy-Capacity, Humboldt).  

With one month to go in ABI’s fiscal year, the May financial report shows that ABI will end another year in the black and continue a lengthy string of successful years.  I take very seriously your charge to me related to strong financial performance and I am very proud of ABI’s record in that regard.  Thank you for your leadership, which is responsible for that success. 

Drew Conrad Honored with Leadership for Iowa Award

The ABI Foundation's highest honor is the Leadership for Iowa Award.  The award is presented periodically to an alumnus of the Leadership Iowa program who is a leader among leaders and who has demonstrated a commitment to serve Iowa. 

As you read in ABI’s weekly newsletter, the award will be presented to longtime Iowa leader Drew Conrad, the Director of the University of Northern Iowa’s Institute for Decision-Making.  Drew is a terrific leader and is well-deserving of the award.  Congratulations, Drew! 

Third Quarter ABI Iowa Business Survey to be Conducted

A week from today, you will receive the ABI Board of Directors Third-Quarter Economic Survey.  The survey message will arrive in your in-box that afternoon and I hope you will act on it quickly. 

When you click on the survey link that will be a part of the message, you will find a very simple and easy to complete survey.  Please complete the survey as soon as possible and look for the results to be shared with you the following week. 

Leadership Iowa to Celebrate; Current Class Will Graduate

The ABI Foundation's Leadership Iowa program marks another successful year with activities coinciding with the annual conference.  Go now to for more information. 

The LI graduation ceremony will take place on the Main Stage during Thursday morning’s conference session.  It will be a highlight of the annual conference for attendees to honor the LI Class, which has been noted by some as the best ever.  I know you join me in congratulating all class members. 

Terrific Foundation Auction Items

Each year, the ABI Foundation holds an auction in conjunction with the Taking Care of Business Conference.  There are always many terrific items available and as I have noted the post couple of weeks, this year is no exception.  Everything takes place on Wednesday night at Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City.  

Don’t miss it and please click here for more information:  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. 

Your support for the Foundation is important, appreciated, and it is never taken for granted.  Leadership Iowa, Leadership Iowa University, and Business Horizons have made our state a better place and impacted the lives of thousands of Iowans.  Thank you again! 

Calling All Students: Register for Business Horizons Now

Speaking of the Foundation, the ABI Foundation's Business Horizons program has been phenomenally successful, literally changing the lives of Iowa's young people over the years.  The 2021 edition of this terrific program will be held next month at Central College in Pella.  

There are still slots left for students and I hope you will consider nominating the high school-age sons and daughters of your employees.  It's free and it won't take long to do it.  Please click here:  Thank you for your help! 

Taiwan Government Seeking ABI Members’ Participation in Online Procurement Seminar

Last Wednesday, ABI was contacted by officials with the Taiwan Bureau of Foreign Trade.  Taiwan is inviting ABI members to participate in an online forum focused on procurement of IT parts.  If this is something in which you are interested, please reply to this message and I’ll forward more information to you at once. 

Stellar Continues to Grow

Stellar Industries is a longtime valued ABI member.  The company is known for its quality products… and for its growth.  Well, Stellar is growing again! 

Last week, Stellar announced the acquisition of MD Products and Solutions of Mason City.  The purchase marks the latest strategic move in Stellar’s ambitious growth initiative.  The company will retain all of MD’s employees and utilize the existing plant and additional space on the former MD campus.  Read more here:  Congratulations to everyone at Stellar, including company president and former ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner)

Bywaters to Celebrate Friday

Even though ABI will exit the Iowa City area on Thursday, Friday (June 11) will still be a fun day there.  That is because former ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and Angie Bywater will celebrate 27 years of marriage.  And to think it all started in high school when David invited Angie to the City High Prom!  ABI sends congratulations to the couple and best wishes for many more years together!