Don't Miss the 2016 Legends in Manufacturing Awards

October 3, 2016

Legends in Manufacturing Awards Dinner TONIGHT

The second-ever Legends in Manufacturing Awards Dinner is turning in to a huge event.  The program was created by ABI's Elevate Advanced Manufacturing program and it will be held at Prairie Meadows Events Center in Altoona this evening.  Don't miss this event!  Go now to:  There you can find more information and register to attend the dinner.  See you there! 

ABI's Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference Tomorrow

Each year, ABI hosts a conference highlighting Iowa manufacturing.  This year, ABI and the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State and Des Moines Area Community College are the lead sponsors for the 2016 Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference.  

The conference will be held tomorrow in Altoona.  Register now for this important conference at  Great speakers and high value panels will mark the event.  As always, the conference covers manufacturing and much more.  I hope to see you there. 

November Board Meeting to be Held at ABI

The ABI Board of Directors will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, November 9.  The meeting will be held at the ABI office at 400 East Court Avenue in Des Moines' East Village.  Watch for more information soon. 

This will be the last meeting of the board to be held at ABI until March.  The January 11 meeting will be held the Embassy Suites on the River Hotel in Des Moines.  The March 14 meeting will be held at ABI.  The board will meet in Fairfield, the home of Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, on May 3 and the annual conference will be held in Dubuque June 6-8. 

Leadership Iowa Class Convenes in Red Oak for First Session

Beginning next Wednesday and ending Friday afternoon, the members of the 2016-2017 Leadership Iowa Class, the 35th LI class, will convene in Red Oak.  This class is comprised of terrific young leaders from all around Iowa. 

Class members will hold the first session, become acquainted with each other and the program, and focus on learning about technology issues facing Iowa.  Look for a full report at next month's ABI board meeting. 

ABI Directory Updates Due by End of This Week

As you read in last week's memorandum, this is the time of year that ABI's member database is being updated.  Information from the database will be checked, formatted, and put in to hard copy form for inclusion in the 2017 ABI Resource Guide.  The guide, in addition to including member data, includes information on the association's people, programs, and events. 

If there are no changes in your personnel or company information, you need do nothing.  If you have updates, simply send an email to Dorothy Knowles at  The deadline to receive updates is this Friday, October 7.  Thank you in advance for helping us make sure your information is accurate. 


The hashtag #GivingTuesday signifies a global day of giving fueled by the power of 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.  

The ABI Foundation hopes you will participate in #GivingTuesday this November 29 by supporting their incredible programs. Many of you, or your family members, or your employees (sometimes all three) have participated in these great 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. 

Spindustry Makes Book Available to ABI Board

At the September meeting of the ABI Board of Directors, the board heard reports from some terrific members of the ABI Advisory Council. One of those was Steven Fry (Spindustry, Clive).  During his remarks, Steve mentioned a book recently produced by the Spindustry team. 

Steve has graciously provided several copies of the book (Run, Grow, Transform; A Manufacturer's Guide to Digital Marketing) to those who are interested.  If you wish to receive a copy, please reply to this memorandum and I'll make sure a book comes your way, courtesy of Steve Fry and Spindustry.  Thanks, Steve! 

There I go Again: Correcting An Error from Last Week's Memo

It is a rare Monday when I produce this memo void of any errors. Unfortunately, last Monday was a typical Monday and the error I made was glaring.  In an item about a Business Record feature on Jason Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella), I mentioned his mother, former ABI Chair Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella), and his grandfather, Iowa business icon Gary Vermeer (Vermeer Corporation, Pella).  However, for some reason, I indicated that Mr. Vermeer founded the company in Oskaloosa.  That is wrong, of course. Vermeer Corporation was founded in Pella and remains there (with facilities all over the world) today.  I deeply apologize for the error. 

Birthday Wishes to Kim Augspurger, Art Slusark, and John Krogman

Several ABI board members are marking birthdays. In fact, ABI sends belated happy birthday wishes to Board Members Kim Augspurger (Saxton, Des Moines) and Art Slusark (Meredith Corporation, Des Moines), who celebrated recently.  And, this Wednesday, ABI Board Member John Krogman (Connect-A-Dock, Atlantic) will also celebrate his birthday.  Happy birthday to Kim, Art, and John! 

The Business of ABI: Hiring and Attention to Process

A couple of things came up recently that got me thinking about the way ABI members lead their businesses. Frankly, we try to copy your success at ABI.  If we follow your lead in the way you grow your business, we'll grow ABI.  At least that has been the case for several years now.  Thanks to your leadership, ABI is growing all the time. 

The first issue involves our hiring at ABI. Someone recently asked me why we set out to hire so many women.  I was quite surprised.  I said that we didn't set out to hire so many women; as is the case with ABI members' hiring, we simply set out to hire the best candidate for position.  And that's what we did.  Gender wasn't part of the equation. 

The second issue revolved around process. An ABI member mentioned that their business was experiencing a down quarter and their results had been lacking lately.  I asked why that was and expected them to talk about the economy or the marketplace.  Instead, they talked about their internal operations and processes.  The speaker told me that when they develop and use the best process related to whatever is the task at hand, positive results seem to be the outcome.  He told me that the company had lost that attention to process, but a return to it was brinbing much better results. 

That was a good reminder for us at ABI. Based on the advice of ABI leaders some years ago, we set out to develop strong processes and they have indeed led to better and better results.  Thank you for your support, counsel, and leadership; they make all the difference!