Exec Committee, Board Meetings Coming Up - Monday Memo 4/6/15

April 6, 2015

April Executive Committee Teleconference Wednesday; Board to Meet May 6 in Waverly, Dinner in Cedar Falls Night Before on May 5

ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) and members of the association’s Executive Committee will hold their regularly-scheduled April meeting by teleconference this Wednesday morning.  The committee will discuss a number of important items, including the usual reports and metrics.

Reports on these issues will also be on the agenda for the next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  The board will meet next month, on Wednesday, May 6.  Your participation in this meeting is essential in order for the association to take action on many important items.  It will be the final meeting of the board prior to the 2015 annual conference.

The May board meeting will be held at the Prairie Links Golf and Events Center on the south edge of Waverly.  For those of you coming to the Cedar Valley the night before the meeting, a block of rooms has been reserved at the Hilton Garden Inn in Cedar falls.  The hotel provides quick access to Waverly and you can click on this link to make a reservation or find more information: http://hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/iowa/hilton-garden-inn-cedar-falls-ALOCFGI/index.html.

The board meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. on the 6th and lunch will be served.  The night before, on May 5th, those members in Cedar Falls are invited to join ABI for dinner, hosted by the Executive Committee.  We'll dine at Montage (http://montage-cf.com/res2/), a very popular Cedar Falls restaurant.  Detailed information will be included in the board packet that you will receive about a week in advance of the meeting.

On behalf of Mark and our other officers, I look forward to seeing you in the Cedar Valley in May.

Leisa Fox to Leave ABI; Mark Your Calendars for April 15 Reception to Wish Her Well

Over ten years ago, Leisa Fox left a career in insurance sales to join ABI as Vice President, Membership.  A few years ago, Leisa was promoted to Senior Vice President, Revenue and Programs. 

During her time at ABI, Leisa met a lot of people, led ABI's programming, and played a lead role in helping ABI achieve strong growth in membership and revenue.  When I joined ABI in 2005, I asked Leisa to also take a leading role in building and rebranding ABI's annual convention.  She has excelled in that role.  Working together with ABI Member Programs Coordinator Holly Mueggenberg and terrific ABI members, the annual conference simply gets bigger and better each year.

Leisa recently shared that she has accepted an offer to join ABI member QPS Employment Services.  Leisa's final day at ABI will be April 17, but please mark your calendars and join us for a reception to thank Leisa and wish her well.  That event will be held in Des Moines late in the afternoon of Wednesday, April 15.  Final details will be announced soon for the event.

By the way, a search is already under way to fill this important position. A number of great candidates have already stepped forward and I believe more will follow.  I pledge to move swiftly and aggressive to find the very best person available to help us lead ABI programs to an even higher level of success.

In the meantime, we continue to be grateful to Leisa and grateful that her recovery from surgery is progressing.  Leisa did good things at ABI and our organization is better because of it.  Please join me in thanking her for her service and in wishing her and her family all the best.

ABI Connecting Leaders Event Thursday in Storm Lake

ABI will hold the next in a series of Connecting Leaders events this Thursday, April 9, in Storm Lake.  ABI leaders and Advisory Council members will lead this high-value program and you can register for this event here:http://www.cvent.com/events/connecting-statewide-leaders/event-summary-4bd66e6319dc429097458db8788676b0.aspx.

Don't miss the opportunity to join your ABI colleagues, members of the current Leadership Iowa Class, and regional leaders for this great event.  I hope to see you in Storm Lake on Thursday.

Next Legislative Teleconference Next Week

As they do each year during the annual session of the Iowa General Assembly, ABI lobbyists Vice President Government Relations Nicole Crain, Policy and Political Affairs Counsel Rachel Geilenfeld, and Policy and Regulatory Affairs Coordinator Zach Dalluge host a teleconference to give you the very latest information from the Statehouse.  Updates on bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters are covered in each call.  Your specific questions about those topics are also very much welcomed.

The next call will be held a week from Friday, on April 17.  The call begins at 9:00 a.m. and you and your employees are encouraged to participate.  The call is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at/index.cfm/11274/65285/2015_abi_legislative_update_teleconference_members_only.

IEDA Internship Program Again Available

Many ABI member companies have utilized the Iowa Student Internship Program to get students into their facilities in the summer.  The program provides grants to small and medium-sized companies in advanced manufacturing, biosciences, and the IT field.  The goal is to provide financial support to companies to hire interns with the idea that the internship will lead to full-time employment.

For 2015, applications are due by April 30 and the internships must be completed by September 30.  The program is administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority.  For more information, contact IEDA staff member Alana Anderson at alana.anderson@iowa.gov or at (515) 725-3196.

Work Continues for Terrific 2015 Convention; Over 200 Attendees Already Registered

ABI’s 112th Annual Convention will be held in the Quad Cities in two months.  The convention, the 2015 Taking Care of Business Conference, will be held June 10-12. 

Registrations are already pouring in.  In fact, over 200 people have already registered!  You will want to finalize your plans now to join your ABI colleagues in June.  Go to the association’s website at www.iowaabi.org and click on the convention logo.  You’ll find more information and you can register right now. 

As you read in last week's memo, there are some absolutely terrific speakers and venues in store for conference attendees that make the 2015 ABI Convention a must-see event.  Again, register and make your lodging reservations now.  See you in the Quad Cities on June 10!

Next Issue of Business Record Iowa Out Soon

Next week and in partnership with the Des Moines Business Record, ABI will publish the next edition of Business Record Iowa.  This newsprint publication reaches about 7,500 Iowa business leaders each month.

Many of you have taken the time to comment on this new ABI publication and shared favorable comments and positive ideas for making it even better.  The publication has a greatly expanded reach and greatly increased publication schedule when compared to former ABI magazines.  Look for it to come to your mailbox inside the Des Moines Business Record. 

Leadership Iowa Class Meets This Week

Members of the 2014-2015 Leadership Iowa class will convene in Storm Lake this week.  The class will meet Thursday and Friday for a session that focuses on community vitality.  Look for a full report on the status of LI and other ABI Foundation programs at the next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

NAM Monday Economic Report Notes Mixed Results, Though Economy Grows

Last week's edition of the National Association of Manufacturers' Monday Economic Report carried a lead story about mixed results in the U.S. economy.  Also of interest was news that while results are mixed, the economy is indeed growing and more growth is expected.  Reply to this email if you wish to read the report and I'll get it to you at once.

Roberts, Weaton, Wersen Celebrate Birthdays

Today is a day of celebration for ABI Board Member Lori Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield), as today is Lori's birthday.  Saturday, former ABI Chair Bob Wersen (Interpower Corporation, Oskaloosa) celebrates his birthday.  And Board Member Steve Roberts (Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines) is celebrating his birthday this Sunday.  On behalf of ABI, happy birthday and congratulations to Lori, Bob, and Steve!

CIPCO Receives $2 Million USDA Grant to Support Economic Development Project

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack last week announced that longtime ABI member Central Iowa Power Cooperative has been awarded a $2 million USDA Rural Economic Development Grant.  CIPCO, in turn, will use the funds to help manufacturer Elplast America build a new building in the Marion, Iowa, Industrial Park.  Congratulation to all involved, including former ABI Chair and CIPCO CEO Dennis Murdock (CIPCO, Des Moines)!

UEA Named 2015 Cedar Valley Business of the Year

ABI Board Member Steve Dust (Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Waterloo) leads a great organization.  The Alliance & Chamber recently celebrated another year of success at a dinner at the PIPAC Center in Cedar Falls.

Among other companies honored at the dinner, longtime ABI member United Equipment Accessories was named the 2015 Business of the Year.  In part, UEA was honored because of a major expansion.  The company's employees and products were also cited for quality and excellence.  You can learn more by viewing this video:https://youtu.be/QPeubbU5jrA

This is terrific recognition for a terrific company!  Congratulations to everyone at UEA, including its President and CEO, ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly)!