Don't Miss December 8 ABI Event - Monday Memo 11/21/16

November 21, 2016

Schaefer-Weaton, Andringa Headline Next Connecting Statewide Leaders Event in Pella Thursday, December 8

The next in a series of ABI events being held around Iowa will be held two weeks from Thursday, on December 8, in Pella.  The event is the ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders Forum and it is the result of input from members.  The events are designed to connect business leaders, young professionals, and others. 

Registrations are already strong for the event, which will be held at Vermeer Corporation in Pella. The program for this event is fabulous, as attendees will have the opportunity to hear from two of Iowa's best business leaders, Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella).  In addition to being President of her family's company, Lori is the Chair of the ABI Board of Directors.  In addition to Chairing her family's company, Mary is a former Chair of ABI and of the National Association of Manufacturers. 

Make plans now to join your fellow ABI members and members of the Leadership Iowa class for this terrific event.  For more information or to register, please go to and click on the links for the events.  See you in Pella on Thursday, December 8. 

December Executive Committee Teleconference on the 7th

The ABI Executive Committee will hold its next regularly-scheduled monthly teleconference at 9:30 a.m. on December 7.  ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and members of the committee will work through a full agenda and the teleconference will mark the final ABI leadership meeting of 2016.  

Executive Committee members should watch for their usual meeting prep packets sometime late next week.  Thank you in advance for your participation in this important meeting. 

2017 ABI Legislative Briefing, Reception in January

One of ABI’s most popular events each year is the annual legislative reception (the annual legislative briefing precedes it).  This important association meeting provides an opportunity for you and your employees to visit with your legislators in a fun and casual setting.  Traditionally, more legislators attend this event than any other similar event held throughout the session and it is important for ABI members to be on hand to share the perspective of Iowa business leaders with them. 

The 2017 Reception will be held Wednesday, January 11. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, all 150 members of the Iowa General Assembly, and other state officials have been invited again this year.  Don’t miss this opportunity to greet your legislators and share important business issues with them.  

You can register now by going to and clicking on the appropriate button near the bottom of the page.  The event will be held at the Embassy Suites on the River hotel in Downtown Des Moines and it will follow the January meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  Make your plans now to attend! 

Foundation's Leadership Iowa Program in the News; Remember #Giving Tuesday

Earlier this month, the ABI Foundation's 2016-2017 Leadership Iowa Class met in Sioux Center. In a session that featured Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and other great speakers, the class learned a great deal about our state's agriculture and related industries.  Click here to read some great media coverage of the session:

In other Foundation news, please remember the item I shared in the Monday Memo of October 3rd and again in the October 24th Memo related to #Giving Tuesday. The hashtag signifies a global day of giving fueled by social media and collaboration.  Last year, over 700,000 people collectively gave more than $116 million in more than 70 countries.  The event is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely-represented shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  

Please remember that the ABI Foundation hopes you will participate in #GivingTuesday this November 29 by supporting their programs. Please support the ABI Foundation through #GivingTuesday and don't hesitate to contact Foundation Development Director Amanda Nuzum for more information at or at (515) 235-0569. 

First ABI Board Meeting of 2016 on January 11

The January meeting of the ABI Board of Directors is traditionally one of the association’s busiest and best attended.  The board will meet Wednesday, January 11, 2016 at the Embassy Suites on the River hotel in Downtown Des Moines and the ABI Executive Committee will meet immediately prior to the board.  

Your attendance is needed to ensure this important meeting goes well.  Please mark your calendars now to join your ABI colleagues on January 11 in Des Moines.  Register for the meeting here

Make Your 2017 Annual Conference Lodging Reservations Now

In last week's memo, I noted that it is not too early to make your lodging reservation for the 2017 Taking Care of Business Conference.  The conference will be held in Dubuque June 6-8 of next year. 

Rooms are going fast, so make your reservations now.  The Hotel Julien and the Grand Harbor resort are the main conference hotels. Click on this link for more information:  Watch for some other exciting conference announcements in the coming weeks. 

ABI Board Members Participate in Meetings; Iowa Receives More New Market Tax Credits

Several members of the ABI Board of Directors participated in state meetings last week. One attended both of the meetings in questions. 

Longtime member Central Iowa Power Cooperative collaborated with CoBank on an Iowa Leaders Economic Forum in Des Moines Thursday.  ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and fellow ABI Board Members Bruce Tamisiea (Tecton Industries, Spencer) and Rand Fisher (Iowa Area Development Group, Des Moines) each spoke at the meeting.  The host and keynoter for the meeting was former ABI Chair Dennis Murdock (Central Iowa Power Cooperative, Des Moines)

It was announced at the meeting that Iowa was just awarded an additional allotment of $75 million worth of New Market Tax Credits by the U.S. government. The tax credits have been key parts of several Iowa economic development success stories. 

A day later, on Friday, Rand was a key leader at the first Iowa Rural Development Summit. Over 300 Iowans attended the event, which ABI co-sponsored.  Another representative of the ABI Board also attended, board member Tom Yeoman (Yeoman & Company, Monticello).  Tom is also a Monticello City Councilman.  Thank you to all these ABI leaders for their participation in these meetings. 

Agri Finishing New Office Addition

ABI member Agri-Industrial Plastics has greatly expanded its Fairfield facility in the past several months.  A multi-million dollar project involving significant increases in manufacturing space was the first step and now a new office facility is nearing completion.  ABI members Story Construction and Saxton have been involved in this exciting project.  Congratulations to everyone at Agri, including company President and ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield)

Tom Determann Elected Clinton County Supervisor

Wow, I forgot to include a big item in last week's Monday Memo. Thank you to ABI member John Gilliland (Gilliland Group at Morgan Stanley, Des Moines) who reminded me of it. 

Those of you who attended this month's ABI board meeting know that longtime ABI Board Member Tom Determann (CRDC, Clinton) was elected to the Clinton County Board of Supervisors.  Tom had previously been a Clinton City Councilman.  By the way, after reviewing the returns, John tells me that Tom out-polled Secretary Clinton and President-Elect Trump by a wide, wide margin... talk about coattails!  

Perhaps even better than Tom's successful election is his return to good health following a hospitalization for a serious illness. Great to have you back, Supervisor Determann!  Congratulations! 

Welcome, Caroline Margaret Thomas

You all know Kay Neumann-Thomas as the longtime wonderful leader of ABI Foundation programs. Kay is also a wonderful grandmother and last week, welcomed another granddaughter.  Kay's son Will and his wife Crystal welcomed Caroline Margaret, 7 pounds, 13 ounces (born at two minutes past noon) on Monday.  Mom and Caroline both doing well.  Big sisters Nora and Eloise are also doing great.  Congratulations Will and Crystal and girls-- and congratulations Grandma Kay!