Day on the Hill Next Week - Monday Memo 3/6/17

March 6, 2017

Business Day on the Hill Events Monday and Tuesday of Next Week; Upmeyer Keynotes IIPAC Luncheon

We're a week away from the association’s annual Day on the Hill program.  Business Day on the Hill 2017 will be held TUESDAY, March 14 (the same day as the next ABI board meeting) at the ABI office in the East Village in Des Moines. The annual Pre-event reception will be held the afternoon before Day on the Hill, at 4:30 p.m. on MONDAY, March 13.  

Day on the Hill is followed by a luncheon benefiting IIPAC, the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee.  A leading statehouse official has been confirmed as the speaker for that event.  Iowa House Speaker Linda Upmeyer will headline the IIPAC luncheon.  To register or find more information, please go to  Or, simply reply to this message and we'll take care of the details for you.  THERE IS NO CHARGE for ABI board members and former chairs who participate (except for the IIPAC luncheon).  See you next week! 

2017 Convention Website Live; Register for Convention NOW!

Many of you have already made your reservations for the ABI Annual Convention, the 2017 Taking Care of Business Conference.  For those who have not yet registered, you can do so now.  Simply click on  for all kinds of information about the convention speakers and terrific Dubuque venues.  

Based on our fantastic speakers, fabulous Dubuque location, and great program, I can assure you this 114th annual convention, which will be held June 6-9, will be a spectacular event.  The bottom line is that you simply won’t want to miss it.  Click on the link above and make your convention reservation now. 

ABI Board to Meet Next Week; May Meeting in Fairfield

The next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held a week from tomorrow, on March 14.  ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) will call the meeting to order that afternoon at the ABI Office in Des Moines’ East Village.  

As you have read previously and in addition to an important meeting, the board will also participate in other events throughout the day.  Things actually begin with the annual Day on the Hill reception the evening prior.  Then, on Tuesday, there is a program that morning and the IIPAC luncheon at noon, followed by the Board of Directors meeting.  See you in Des Moines on March 14.  

Please remember the location for the board's May meeting.  The May meeting will be held May 3 in Fairfield.  Details are now being finalized, so watch for more information soon.  

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 for general program information and to make your nominations.  And, look for a full report about Foundation activities at next week's meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

Great ABI Events Held in Iowa City

Held in Iowa City last week were the latest session of the 2016-2017 Leadership Iowa Class and the latest edition of the ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders events.  Both events were hugely successful and thank you to ABI leaders who also attended, including ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and board member David Bywater (Economy Advertising, Iowa City)

Biennial Workers Comp Seminar Later This Month

Every two years, ABI hosts a Workers Compensation Seminar. This year's event will be held on March 30 at ABI.  

The program will include the latest information about work comp (which may be addressed by the Iowa General Assembly) and the latest information about best practices being utilized by other companies. Click here for more information and to register:  

NAM Report: Manufacturing Activity Accelerating

This week's edition of the National Association of Manufacturers' Monday Economic Report is a good one.  It highlights several data points that confirm that manufacturing activity in the United States is growing. 

That is welcome news after several quarters of nominal growth. If you wish to read the report for yourself, simply reply to this memo and I will get it to you at once.

Michael Sadler Celebrates

Longtime ABI Board Member Michael Sadler (CenturyLink, Des Moines) celebrates his birthday today.  Michael was surprised with a wonderful party held in Des Moines a week ago Saturday.  ABI sends happy birthday wishes to Michael Sadler!  

Bruce Tamisiea's Mother Passes

We have learned that ABI Board Member Bruce Tamisiea (Tecton Industries, Spencer) has experienced a loss. Bruce's mother passed away recently.  We are keeping Bruce and his family in our prayers. 

ABI Members and Their Employees

From time to time, there is talk about how bad businesses are and how they don't care about their employees. I shake my head when I hear this.  I am sure there are bad-apple employers, just as there are bad-apple employees.  But neither is typical. 

Iowa businesses I know have strong and great relationships between workers and their employers. It is a mutually respectful relationship.  

I can cite examples of so many ABI member companies and the way they care about their employees. I know of one ABI member executive who lost sleep for weeks because of a potential employee downsizing.  I know of an ABI member company that quietly takes care of medical bills for an employee's son who has leukemia. I know of an ABI member company that devoted three pages of its company newsletter to a valued employee who was retiring after almost 50 years with the company.  I know of an ABI member company that provides tuition assistance to ALL employees who have children in post-secondary educational institutions. 

I could go on and on about ways in which ABI members help their employees (and of course, employees help their employers by being great employees). None of these companies recognizes employees in this way because they want attention; they do it because their employees are like family to them.  

Thanks to ABI members, that is the employer-employee relationship I know. And I am grateful that in Iowa, strong employee-employer relationships and good businesses are the norm.