Day on the Hill 2015 is Here - Monday Memo 3/9/15

March 9, 2015

Two Big Days of ABI Meetings and Events Today and Tomorrow; Branstad, Reynolds, Legislative Leaders to Join ABI

As I noted last year about this time, ABI has been very busy hosting many events and meetings of late.  And, as always, that’s good; if the association is fulfilling its mission, we better be busy (and productive).

Two of the busiest days of the year are today and tomorrow, as ABI will host several events.  The Lobbying 101 event starts things off later today.  The events today and tomorrow are free to board members and former chairs and you can find more information by visiting the ABI Events webpage: /en/events_calendar/.  Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will highlight today's event.

You can also register for the next day’s events, Day on the Hill and the annual luncheon benefiting ABI’s political arm, the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee.  Governor Terry Branstad  and legislative leaders will be a part of these events.  The IIPAC Board of Directors is chaired by former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee).

Following the luncheon, the ABI Board of Directors will meet (the ABI Executive Committee will not meet on the 10th, so that members can participate in the other events).  There is a full agenda that will be the focus of the board meeting. 

Your attendance at these important meetings and events is appreciated.  On behalf of ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly), thank you in advance for your participation.

Make Your Convention, Lodging Reservations Now

ABI members and staff are heavy into planning for the association’s 112th annual convention.  The annual conference will be held June 10-12 in the Quad Cities.

The 2015 Taking Care of Business Conference is shaping up to be a spectacular event.  The conference planning committee, chaired by Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale), is putting together a terrific program..

Many ABI members have already made their reservations for the conference.  If you haven’t, you can go right now to take care of it today.  That link will provide you with information about the conference agenda and speakers, information about terrific venues and special events, and information about the incredible list of things to do in the Quad Cities region.  Perhaps most importantly, once you register for the convention, you can also use the site to make your hotel reservation. 

All the information you need is on this website.  Or, if you wish to have the ABI staff handle your reservation, simply reply to this email and I’ll make sure it gets handled.  See you in the Quad Cities in June!

Now is the Time for Your Business Horizons and Leadership Iowa Nominations

As you know, Business Horizons and Leadership Iowa are two of the ABI Foundation’s most successful programs.  For several decades, these programs have been making our state better.

Your nominations are vital to ensuring the quality of the programs continues.  Nominating your employees and community people is easy and it is FREE.  Go to or  www.leadershipiowa.comfor general program information and to make your nominations.  And, look for a full report about Foundation activities at tomorrow's meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.

Membership Committee Meets; Great ABI Events Held in Fairfield

The ABI Membership Committee met last week in Fairfield.  The group has done incredible things already and ABI is enjoying increased membership growth due in part to the leadership of this committee.  Go to /en/news/new_members/and see the great list of new members for yourself.  Thank you to Committee Chair (and ABI Board Member) Rand Fisher (Iowa Area Development Group, West Des Moines) and to committee members for their service and leadership.

As you read in a previous edition of this memorandum, Rand is currently serving as the President of the board of directors of the National Rural Economic Developers Association.  He flew back from a meeting in Washington, DC to lead last week's committee meeting.  Thank you, Rand!

Also taking place in Fairfield were the latest session of the 2014-2015 Leadership Iowa Class and the latest edition of the ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders events.  Both events were hugely successful and thank you to ABI Board Member Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) for her help in making them that way.  Other board members in attendance were ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) and Rand Fisher (Iowa Area Development Group, West Des Moines); thank you all!

ABI Board to Meet Tomorrow; May Meeting in Waverly

The next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held tomorrow, March 10.  ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) will call the meeting to order following completion of the IIPAC Luncheon at the ABI Office in Des Moines’ East Village. 

As you have read previously and in addition to the board meeting, members will also participate in other events throughout the day and the day before.  You should have received your board packet last week.  if you don't have it, please let me know and we'll get it to you at once. 

Please remember the location for the board's May meeting.  The May meeting will be held May 6 at the Prairie Links Golf and Events center in Waverly.  The board will meet at 10:00 a.m. and lunch will be served.  For those board members coming the night before, ABI will reserve a block of hotel rooms at a hotel in the area.  Please watch for more information soon. 

Remember Iowa STEM Summit March 30 in Des Moines

Please remember that ABI members are invited to the 2015 Iowa Statewide STEM Conference to be held later this month.  The summit will be held on March 30 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.  State officials, business leaders, educators, and others will be a part of this event.  Register now for this excellent event at:

Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference May 13-14 in Greater Kansas City

The second annual Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference will be held on May 14 and 15 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park.  The agenda for the conference is terrific and packed full of high-value information.  Your compliance staff will find no better resource of the very latest in environmental regulatory information.  ABI receives financial support for every Iowa participant that registers for the conference.  While that is a great incentive, the real reason to attend is for the high-value program.  Please consider sending your staff to the conference.  Find out more information and register by clicking on

Next Legislative Teleconference Next Week

Throughout the legislative session, ABI lobbyists Vice President Government Relations Nicole Crain, Policy and Political Affairs Counsel Rachel Geilenfeld, and Policy and Regulatory Affairs Coordinator Zach Dalluge Director host a teleconference to give you the very latest information from the Statehouse.  Updates on bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters are covered in each call.  Your specific questions about those topics are also very much welcomed.

The next call will be held Friday, March 13 at 9:00 a.m. and you and your employees are encouraged to participate.  The call is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at

ABI Workers Compensation Program March 25

Members often cite the ABI Workers Compensation Program as a high-value event.  This year's program will be held March 25 at the Prairie Meadows Events Center in Altoona. 

Your risk management and HR staff will find the latest in rulings, best practice-sharing, and other items related to work comp at the meeting.  Find more information and register now at

Cline Tool Opens New Branches in North Carolina, Texas

The last two months have been expansive ones for ABI member Cline Tool.  The company has opened new branch operations in North Carolina and Texas.  Congratulations to this great company and to its president, ABI Board MemberJim Long (Cline Tool, Newton)!

Governor to Tour GMT Corporation

Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad is a strong supporter of Iowa manufacturing and a frequent guest at ABI member facilities.  Next week, the Governor will tour GMT Corporation in Waverly, a longtime ABI member.  Congratulations to everyone at GMT, including company President (and ABI Board Member) Jared Graening (GMT Corporation, Waverly)!

Lori Thielen Highlighted in bizTimes Magazine

Banking industry leader Lori Thielen (East Dubuque Savings Bank, Dubuque) is president of EDSB and also represents the Leadership Iowa program on the ABI Board of Directors.  It was a pleasure to pick up the latest edition of bizTimes magazine and see Lori included in a feature about literacy programs in the Tri-State Area.  Congratulations, Lori!

Tournament Time

For basketball fans, this is an exciting time.  The Iowa Girls State basketball Tournament was held in Des Moines last week and some of you have sent me good wishes as the Nevada Cubs won the Class 3A title Saturday (our family lives in Nevada).

And, everyone at ABI and the ABI Foundation is quite excited about the Iowa Boys State Tournament, as Pella High School is involved.  The Dutch are coached by Mark Core, husband of ABI Foundation Development Director Mary Mendenhall-Core.  Pella plays its quarter-final game tomorrow night. 

And there are lots of Cyclone, Hawkeye, and Panther fans among the ABI Board of Directors.  Good luck to all, as all three teams are sure to make the NCAA tournament (UNI is already in, having won its conference tournament yesterday).