Don't Miss Next Week's ABI Okoboji Event

July 24, 2017

Next Week: “Bringing ‘Boji Back” Leaders Event

In response to popular demand, ABI will return to the Iowa Great Lakes for a member event in the popular series of Connecting Statewide Leaders events. Register NOW for August 3rd and 4th for great programming, great networking, and great venues.  

Thing start with a terrific tour. ABI Board Member Bruce Tamisiea (Tecton Industries, Spencer) will host attendees at his innovative company in Spencer.  That will be followed by a reception and dinner at former ABI Chair Toby Shine’s (Shine Bros. Corp., Spencer) famous Okoboji Classic Cars facility.  The next day, a program featuring ABI member CEO Ro Crosbie (Tero International, West Des Moines) will be held at the New Waterfront Conference Center on East Lake Okoboji.  Find more information and register now at:  See you at the Lakes next week! 

Leadership Iowa University to Begin in Two Weeks; ABI Leaders Can Interact with Class

Two weeks from yesterday, on August 6, talented Iowa college students will assemble for the ninth annual session of the ABI Foundation’s newest program, Leadership Iowa University.  Students come from Iowa’s public universities, private colleges, and from community colleges and all will learn about our state and ways they can impact its future.  The first eight LIU class programs received rave remarks from students, college officials, ABI leaders, and others.  

There are two separate networking receptions that provide great opportunities for you, ABI board members and former Chairs, to interact with LIU students.  The first reception will be held two weeks from today, Monday, August 7.  The next afternoon, Tuesday, August 8, another reception will be held.  There may also be other opportunities to interact with the LIU class, so please stay tuned.  

Great supporters and donors and terrific volunteers make LIU possible.  ABI Foundation Vice President Programs Kay Neumann-Thomas, Development Director Amanda Nuzum, Foundation Marketing and Programs Coordinator Jessi Steward, Foundation Administrative Assistant Jane Galloway, and intern Madison Galloway provide excellent staff leadership.  Thanks, too, to ABI bookkeeper Chrissy Viers, who handles the finances for both ABI and the ABI Foundation. Look for a full report at September's board meeting. 

Last Day for Emily Schettler; Search Underway

Today marks the last day at ABI for Emily Schettler. She will soon join the Harkin Institute at Drake University and lead communications there.  She has been a terrific member of the ABI team and we wish her the very best. 

In the meantime, a search is underway to fill the vacancy being created by Emily’s transition. ABI will accept applications for the Communications Coordinator position through the end of July.  

Following that, we’ll narrow the list of applicants to 3-5 and begin conducting interviews. The goal will be to have someone on board by the end of August.  Watch for more news soon. 

First ABI Operational Excellent Roundtable Wednesday

The very first ABI Operational Excellence Roundtable will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. this coming Wednesday at Kreg Tool in Huxley.  The roundtable is modeled after the very successful CFO Roundtable that ABI created a few years ago. 

ABI member company representative Brad Jungling (Pella Corporation, Pella) will lead the session Thursday.  Brad will address metrics and strategy involving Key Performance Indicators. 

Please reply to this message if you would like more information. 

Policy Development Meetings Start Next Month

Along with other changes made to ABI's award-winning public policy advocacy work, our association has advanced the annual policy development process.  This extra time allows ABI members and staff to further engage legislators and other state officials in issues important to Iowa employers. 

In keeping with that change, the annual policy development meetings be held next month.  The ABI Economic Growth Committee will kick things off on August 15.  

Regarding each of the committees, well over 100 members have already registered for these important meetings. If you haven't already done so, there is still plenty of time for you and your employees to register.  Simply go to to register for the committee meetings of interest to you.  

Thank you to ABI Vice Chair David Bywater (Economy Advertising, Iowa City), and to ABI Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain, Director Public Policy Jessica Harder, Coordinator Public Policy Brad Hartkopf, and Executive Administrative Assistant Michelle Vollstedt for leading this process.  The ABI Board of Directors will act on the recommendations of these committees at the September board meeting. 

New Board Member Orientations Completed

Ask any ABI staff member about one of the best perks of their job and they will cite the opportunity to tour so many Iowa manufacturing and business operations.  That is typically one of the best things about the annual orientation sessions with newly-elected board members and it is so again this year.  

The process was completed with last week's orientation session involving newly-elected ABI Board member Stacey Pellett (John Deere, Johnston).  Other new board members include Kelly Barrick (The Private Bank, West Des Moines), Tim Bianco (Iowa Spring, Adel), Jerry Patterson (Principal, Des Moines) and the honorary Leadership Iowa board member, Jenn Bleil (Van Meter, Cedar Rapids).  Thank you to these newly-elected board members, whom you will have an opportunity to meet at the September meeting.  

Registration Now Open for ABI Executive Open; Foursomes Adding Up Quickly

Registrations are pouring in for the Ninth Annual ABI Executive Open, one of ABI's most popular annual events.  Dozens of foursomes have already signed-up for the August 28 event. 

Go to and click on the Executive Open link to register.  The event will be again held at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines. 

Thank you to Vice President Member Development and Programs Kathy Anderson, ABI Member Programs Director Holly Mueggenberg, and Membership Coordinator Dorothy Knowles for their management related to this event.  Remember, if you haven't yet done so, go now to the link above and complete your registration for this always-fun ABI event. 

Fourteenth Annual YPIowa Conference in September

The fourteenth annual YPIowa Annual Conference will be held in September in Ankeny.   The conference will be held on September 22.  

The conference is always a terrific event and is a great way to connect with leading young professionals.  I have heard that some companies actually do some staff recruiting at the conference.  I can tell you that it will be a great time to network with YPs from throughout Iowa.  Register today at

Nominations Due This Week for Legends in Manufacturing Awards

As you have been reading in recent editions of this memo, plans are being finalized for the third annual Legends in Manufacturing Awards Dinner.  Last year's inaugural event was a huge success and it will be wonderful to continue this new tradition later this year.

Nominations related to the awards are due this week and you can click on this link for more information and to make a nomination:   Thank you in advance for your help in this important endeavor.

It Happens Every Year About This Time: Two ABI Leaders named Kirk and One Named Tom Celebrate Birthdays

Former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee) celebrated his birthday yesterday and ABI Board member Kirk McCollough (Seneca Foundry, Webster City) celebrates his birthday today.  And, ABI Board Member Tom Determann (CRDC, Clinton) also recently celebrated his birthday.  Happy birthday, to both Kirks and to Tom!