Exceutive Committee to Meet; Kay Neumann-Thomas to Transition - Monday Memo 3/26/18

March 26, 2018

ABI Executive Committee to Meet Next Week; Board Will Meet in May in Garner

ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and members of the association’s Executive Committee will meet by teleconference next week.  The April EC teleconference takes place the afternoon of April 4 and committee members can expect to see the usual packet of meeting materials in their email in-basket later this week. 

As for the ABI Board of Directors, that body will meet again on May 2.  The meeting will be held in Garner and I hope you make plans now to join your ABI colleagues at the beautiful Garner Golf Club (http://www.garnergolfcourse.com/).  The board meeting will be followed by a tour of the newly-expanded Stellar Industries campus.  I guarantee you will enjoy these events.  See you in Garner in May! 

Transition Ahead for Kay Neumann-Thomas

Later this year, on September 30, Kay Neumann-Thomas will transition to a new role. Kay will step down from her position as ABI Vice President, Foundation Programs in order to spend more time with her family.  She will leave her role as Vice President, but Kay hopes to remain involved in a part-time way with the Foundation she loves. 

Kay and her husband, Bill Thomas, have two sons and a daughter (and the accompanying spouses) and are expecting their fifth grandchild this summer. Kay began her career in broadcast media, spending time with WHO Television, KDSM Television, and Mediacom Advertising here in Des Moines in the past.  She is a proud graduate of the prestigious School of Journalism at the University of Missouri and spent her summers helping run her family’s resort at the Lake of the Ozarks.  She is very involved in her church and in the community of Indianola. 

Kay Neumann-Thomas marks her 20th year with ABI this year.  In my opinion, during my time with ABI, there are at least two occasions that there wouldn’t even have been an ABI Foundation if it weren’t for Kay.  She single-handedly kept programs going and served Foundation constituents.  More than simply appreciating her work, everyone who knows Kay knows her to be a wonderful, caring person.  She is beloved by Leadership Iowa graduates and others all across Iowa. 

Watch for news of an event to be held later this year to honor and recognize Kay for her many terrific contributions to ABI and the ABI Foundation. All of us are deeply grateful to know Kay, to get to work with her, and to see her commitment to ABI and to Iowa.  Thank you, Kay! 

ABI to Hire New Foundation Development Director, Will Transition to Vice President

With the resignation of the ABI Foundation Development Director earlier this month and with a transition ahead involving Kay Neumann-Thomas, ABI is hiring a new Foundation staff member. That person will begin as Development Director, but as of October 1, will become Vice President, Foundation.  She or he will be in charge of development programs but will also handle management issues involving the Foundation Board of Directors, the annual budget, financial matters, etc.  Please reply to this message if you know of potential candidates or if you have questions or comments. 

Foundation Board to Meet Thursday

In other Foundation matters, the ABI Foundation Board of Directors will meet in Des Moines this week. Former ABI Chair and Foundation Board Chair Bill Brown (BrownWinick, Des Moines) will convene the meeting at 10:00 Thursday morning.  As you can imagine after reading the items above, the agenda is a full one.  

Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference in Two Weeks

ABI and a number of other organizations partner each year in producing the Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference.  The 2018 conference will be held on April 11-12 at the Kansas City Convention Center in downtown Kansas City. The agenda for the conference is packed full of information and your compliance team members who attend will receive 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, which is being held about a month earlier than usual. Find out more information and register by clicking on http://mecconference.com/.    

ABI Legislative Update Teleconference April 20; Great Roundtable Held in Cedar Rapids

Because of the swift pace of legislative developments in recent days, I was asked about the date of the next ABI Legislative Update Teleconference. That call will be held Friday, April 20 at 8:00 a.m.  The call is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at http://www.iowaabi.org/events/detail/95-abi-members-only-legislative-conference-calls/.  It is my belief that there will be major developments to discuss on the call.  In any event, this is a busy time at the Statehouse; don’t miss your opportunity to hear the very latest information. 

Speaking of legislative meetings, the latest in a series of ABI Legislative Roundtables was held in Cedar Rapids Friday. Hosted by ABI member company International Paper at its mill there, several association members from the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area attended to hear remarks by Representative Ashley Hinson.  A special thank you to ABI Vice Chair David Bywater (Economy Advertising, Iowa City) and ABI board Member Cindy Dietz (Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids) for joining the crowd! 

Great Foundation Auction Items Requested

As the time for the annual conference (including the annual auction benefitting the programs of the ABI Foundation) nears, you will recall that the ABI Foundation staff is calling for your donations for terrific auction items.  Foundation staffers are looking for packages/donations for both the live and silent auction.  If you have donated in the past, please do so again.  If you haven’t donated items to the auction, please take a moment to think about how you or your business can contribute. 

One hundred percent of the proceeds of the auction go to Foundation programs.  To make arrangements, please contact Kay Neumann-Thomas at (515) 235-0564 or at kthomas@iowaabi.org.  Thank you for your consideration. 

Convention Sponsorships Going Fast

As you know, ABI's 115th Annual Convention, the 2018 Taking Care of Business Conference, will be held in Greater Iowa City in June.  You can click here http://www.cvent.com/events/2018-abi-taking-care-of-business-conference/event-summary-10c1c9760a3e4dd682c42cdc092b358e.aspx to register or to find more information.  

Related to the convention, sponsorship opportunities are now being reserved and they are going fast.  The convention just gets bigger and better each year and sponsors want to be a part of Iowa’s most important business networking event.  You can find sponsorship information on the convention website, but you can always contact ABI directly with your questions or comments.  Thank you to all of the many companies who have already made their sponsorship reservations! 

Elevate, Quality Manufacturing to Host Parents Night; LyondellBasell Hosts Students

You know that there are great opportunities for a successful, rewarding career in manufacturing. In that regard, ABI’s Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative has had great success in raising the profile of manufacturing careers with students AND their parents through Parent’s Night Events. 

The next in a series of such events will be held April 12 at 6:00 p.m. at Quality Manufacturing Corporation in Urbandale. All parents and students are invited to attend.  You’ll get terrific information about careers and learn about Quality Mfg. and about training opportunities.  Please reply to his memorandum for more information. 

In other Elevate news, longtime ABI member LyondellBasell recently partnered with Elevate to host 45 students from Clinton high School for a tour and informational presentation at the company’s Clinton plant.  The Clinton complex is one of the largest chemical and plastics facilities in the world.  The students learned about the company, its products, and the types of careers to be had there.  Click year to read media coverage of the event: http://www.clintonherald.com/news/local_news/students-tour-lyondellbasell-complex/article_806bceb6-2e29-57c0-bd3c-46c200b12458.html.  Congratulations to Site Manager Jim Hillier (LyondellBasell, Clinton) and longtime ABI Board Member Rich Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton) on the successful event! 

Leadership Iowa Class to Converge on Hampton Next Week

The 2017-2018 Class of the ABI Foundation’s Leadership Iowa program has been another in a string of terrific groups.  Class members have been strongly engaged in the LI sessions and they will have an opportunity to come together again next week. 

Beginning with an informal session next Wednesday evening, the class will convene in Hampton (and locations in Franklin County) through Friday, April 7.  This session will focus on agriculture and renewable energy.  A wonderful slate of speakers has been developed to address the LI class.  Look for a full report at the next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  

Get Real-Time Updates from ABI via Twitter

ABI members tell me all the time how much they value the up-to-the-minute news they receive from ABI.  Quite a few ABI staffers tweet information all day long.  

At this time of the year, the real-time updates from the ABI Public Policy team of Nicole Crain, Jessica Hyland, and Brad Hartkopf are particularly valuable.  You can get news AS IT IS HAPPENING directly from the floor of the General Assembly or from a committee room.   As you know, just a few years ago, Nicole was ago ranked as one of Iowa's top tweeters for business news by the Des Moines Register

If you are already familiar with Twitter, follow Nicole, Jessica, Brad, Kathy Anderson, Kay Neumann-Thomas, me, and various ABI and ABI Foundation program feeds.  If you aren't a Tweeter or need assistance, just reply to this email and we'll get you set up. 

Nominate Students for Leadership Iowa and Business Horizons

Leadership Iowa and Business Horizons desire your nominations.  It’s easy to nominate and you can do so by going to https://www.iowaabi.org/abi-foundation/about/ and clicking on the program links.  Thank you in advance for nominating participants for each of these important programs. 

ABI Members Can Golf at Two Fantastic Courses in the Weeks Ahead; Conference Outing June 5; Executive Open August 27

You'll have the opportunity to play two great golf courses in the coming months.  Brown Deer Golf Club (http://www.browndeergolf.org/510/Brown-Deer-Golf-Club), the site of the annual conference golf outing on June 5, is a beautiful course minutes away from the main conference hotels in Coralville.  From the bent grass tees and fairways to the arts and crafts style clubhouse, you will really enjoy this award-winning course.    

You will also again have the opportunity to play the gorgeous Des Moines Golf and Country Club (https://www.dmgcc.org/) in West Des Moines, one of Iowa's most exclusive private golf clubs.  This fall, the association will host the tenth annual Executive Open at the club.  A huge crowd is expected for the event, which routinely sells-out.  Please mark your calendars for August 27 and make plans to join your ABI colleagues for a terrific time. 

Iowa City-Coralville Venues for 2018 Iowa Taking Care of Business Conference are Spectacular

Every year at this time, I admit to being given to a bit of hyperbole when describing things related to the annual conference.  In my own defense, however, every year I am right. 

ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner), members of the conference planning committee, chaired by Donna Popp-Bruesewitz (Stellar Industries, Garner), and several of us on staff have made many visits to Coralville and Iowa City and you will be amazed at the venues to be experienced there.  The area is simply beautiful. 

From the fabulous Iowa River Landing District, to the great hotels and conference center, to the terrific restaurants, and to historic Kinnick Stadium, you will be enchanted.  Use this link: http://www.cvent.com/events/2018-abi-taking-care-of-business-conference/event-summary-10c1c9760a3e4dd682c42cdc092b358e.aspx and register now for the annual conference. 

David Lind, Cost of Medical Errors Featured Cover Story in Business Record

During the meeting of the ABI Board of Directors held earlier this month, one of the issues covered was a report by the Heartland Heath Research Institute related to the increase in errors by Iowa providers. These errors cost Iowans – and Iowa employers – a lot of money.  To say nothing of the impact they have an on individual’s overall health. 

The cover story in this week’s Des Moines Business Record is about the very same issue and longtime ABI member David Lind (David P. Lind Benchmark, Clive) is featured on the cover.  If you haven’t yet seen it and wish to read it for yourself, please contact me or go to https://businessrecord.com/.  Thank you, David, for your focus on this important issue! 

NAM Report: Manufacturing Expands, Fastest Rate of Growth in Six Months

Last week’s Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, was a strong one.  The report outlined several positive data points and noted that manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest rate in six months.  If you wish to read the report for yourself, please reply to this memo and I will forward it to you at once. 

Denise Essman Celebrates

Former ABI Board Member Denise Essman (Essman Companies, Des Moines) is celebrating her birthday this week on Saturday, March 31.  ABI sends happy birthday wishes to Denise!