Executive Committee Up this Morning - Monday Memo 8/15/16

August 15, 2016

Executive Committee Meets Today; First ABI Board Meeting of Fiscal Year September 14

In just a couple of hours, ABI Chair ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) and members of the association’s Executive Committee will hold their August teleconference.   The committee will work through a full agenda and will meet again immediately prior to the September board meeting. 

The ABI Board of Directors will meet September 14 at ABI headquarters in Des Moines.  The meeting will be preceded by a meeting of the ABI Executive Committee that morning and lunch will be served for all board members and former chairs in attendance.  You will receive much more information, including a detailed meeting packet and map, a week prior to the meeting. 

The September board meeting is typically well-attended and is important for several reasons.  It marks the first board meeting of the ABI fiscal year and the first meeting for newly-elected board members.  Because it also marks the first meeting of the board in three months, the agenda is typically full and involves action on a number of issues, including ABI's public policy agenda for the next year.  On behalf of Lori and our other officers, I look forward to seeing you in Des Moines for this important meeting. 

Join Schaefer-Weaton at IIPAC's Women in Business event on September 9

Speaking of ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield), she is a terrific leader for ABI's public policy work as well for the association's other initiatives. In fact, Lori is hosting a fundraiser for Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and female members of the Iowa General Assembly who have been endorsed by ABI’s PAC, the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee.  

The event will be on September 9 in Des Moines at Saxton, Inc. from 4:00-6:00 pm.  You will recall that Saxton's President is ABI Board Member Kim Augspurger (Saxton, Des Moines) and we thank her for her support for the event. Please consider attending this event to support those women who support pro-business policies at the legislature. You may contribute directly to Lt. Governor Reynolds or IIPAC. If you’re interested in attending, click here to view the invitation: http://www.iowaabi.org/upl/downloads/library/8-11-16-women-in-business-event-invite.pdf. If you have not yet given to IIPAC, this is a great opportunity to do so! 

New Board Member Orientations to be Completed

Following a meeting with newly-elected ABI Board member Alan Johnson (Norplex Micarta, Postville) this Wednesday, board orientation sessions with newly-elected board members will have been completed.  It is always exciting to see these members' operations and  to learn about the innovative things being done by these businesses.   

In addition to Alan, ABI members elected other exceptional people to the association's board of directors last June: Christine Carlson (Hillphoenix Specialty Products, Keosauqua), Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Clive), Drew Larson (RAM Pattern, LeClaire), Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Carlisle), Vince Newendorp (Vermeer Corporation, Pella), David Nicholl (Grip-Tite Mfg Co., Winterset), Kim Pang (Diamond Jo Worth, Northwood), and the honorary Leadership Iowa board member, Kelli Barrick (The Private Bank, West Des Moines).  As always, thank you to them and to all of you for your leadership. 

Annual Policy Development in Full Swing

Some of the most important work done by ABI each year relates to public policy advocacy.  And the most important part of that process is the active involvement and leadership of ABI members themselves.  In order to ensure that ABI members have every opportunity to lead and guide this critical task, ABI hosted several meetings around the state and two weeks ago initiated a series of meetings in Des Moines to develop public policy positions for 2017. 

It is the ABI Vice Chair who leads this process each year and thus David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) is chairing the 2016 process.  Two weeks ago, the ABI Workplace and Product Safety Committee, chaired by Rex Butler (CIPCO, Cedar Rapids), met in Des Moines.  Last week's meetings included those of the ABI Employment and Workforce Committee, chaired by Dennis Ingle (Manpower, Des Moines), and the ABI Environment Committee, chaired by Mick Durham (Grain Processing Corporation, Muscatine).  All three meetings enjoyed great crowds and terrific debate.  

There is still time for you and your employees to participate in the final two committee meetings.  The ABI Economic Growth Committee, chaired by Russ Cross (Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, West Des Moines), meets tomorrow and the ABI Tax Committee, chaired by Larry Countryman (Wilson Trailer Company, Sioux City) meets later this month.  Please go to www.iowaabi.org to register for these free meetings.  In the meantime and as you know, this process will conclude next month when you (the ABI Board of Directors and Past Chairs) meet to adopt final policies.  Thank you in advance for your involvement in this critical work. 

Latest BRIowa Now Out

As you know, in conjunction with member company Business Publications Corp., ABI publishes Business Record Iowa.  This monthly newsprint magazine is distributed to you and to business leaders all across Iowa as a part of the Des Moines Business Record

The August edition of BR Iowa was published last week and should be in your mailbox by now. It features two ABI leaders on the front cover, both executives with longtime ABI member Vermeer Corporation.  Vermeer Chairman and former ABI Chair Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella) and company President Jason Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella) are featured.  If you have not received your copy of BR Iowa, please contact me and one will be sent to you at once. 

2017 Convention Planning Well Underway

ABI members are still talking about the terrific 2016 ABI Convention held in June in Sioux City.  The hospitality, speakers, and exciting venues made a lasting impression on all who attended.  

As you know,  the 114th Annual ABI Convention (Iowa's Taking Care of Business Conference 2017) will be held in Dubuque.  City leaders there are pulling out all the stops to welcome ABI and you will see some absolutely beautiful brand new venues.  Planning for the convention is well underway and is being ably led by a great committee. Chairing the committee is ABI member executive Amy Jones (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield). Believe me when I say the 2017 conference is shaping up to be another spectacular meeting.  

ABI Executive Open August 29

The eighth annual ABI Executive Open best ball golf outing will be held Monday, August 29 at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines, one of Iowa's most exclusive and beautiful private clubs.  Register now to play golf and enjoy a reception with your ABI colleagues (or just join us for the reception following golf).  To find more information or to register, please go to the ABI webpage at www.iowaabi.org and click on the Events Calendar tab.  Nearly 130 ABI members have already registered! 

LIU Completes Opening Session

Last Thursday, the annual class of Leadership Iowa University students completed its opening session (the class will meet again in the coming months).  The program seeks to educate, inspire, and develop college students as a foundation for Iowa’s economic growth and to encourage their on-going involvement in community and state initiatives.  To get a feel for LIU, go to http://www.leadershipiowauniversity.com/ and watch two television commercials that offer an insight in to this great program.  You can also use that link to see who is in the class and to access blogs students have written. 

The students are an intelligent and enthusiastic group and made the most of their time last week.  It is clear they are focused on business and advancing their careers in a way that brings value to them, their future employers, and to Iowa.  As I mentioned last week, class members come from public, private, and community colleges all across Iowa. Thank you to former ABI Chair Bob Wersen (Interpower Corporation, Oskaloosa) and ABI Board Member Jason Gross (Nationwide, Des Moines), and others, for helping make the opening session a great success! 

YPIowa Conference Next Month in Ankeny

As you know, the ABI Foundation provides administrative support to Young Professionals of Iowa, our state's leading organization for young professionals.  YPIowa's biggest annual event is the YPIowa Conference.  The 2016 edition of that event will be held next month in Ankeny. 

A terrific program is in store and the YPs on your staff will want to attend.  You are also invited and you can register at http://ypiowa.com/events/yp-iowa-conference/.  Other events related to the conference will be held the night before, also in Carroll.  Click on the above link for more information. 

Elevate Website Getting Views; Visit Elevate at the State Fair

You know about ABI's Elevate Advanced Manufacturing campaign.  Elevate is all about raising the profile of manufacturing in Iowa and connecting workers with employers.  It is being led by ABI leaders Lori Schafer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield), Paul Gregoire (Emerson-Fisher, Marshalltown), Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly), and Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale).  Many folks are visiting the campaign website and you can, too, at: http://www.elevateiowa.com/

You can also visit the Elevate booth at the State Fair.  Look for it on the Fair's Grand Concourse on STEM Day,  August 21st, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  In the meantime, thank you to ABI Board Member Steve Dust (Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Waterloo) for promoting Elevate in NE Iowa! 

NAM Report Cites Improving Economy Post-Brexit

Many observers predicted a downturn in the global economy following the so-called Brexit vote, or the decision by voters in Great Britain to leave the European Union. In the Global Manufacturing Economic Update published last Thursday by the National Association of Manufacturers, the opposite seems to be the case. 

The Update cites evidence indicating the global economy has actually improved in recent months.  Uncertainty continues to exist, however.  This and other NAM publications are always good reading.  If you would like to see the Update for yourself, please reply to this message and I will send it to you at once. 

Steve Jacobs Celebrates

It is always great to mark a birthday of a great ABI Board member. Such is the case this week, as longtime ABI Board member Steve Jacobs (BCC Advisers, Des Moines) celebrates his birthday on August 17.  Happy birthday, Steve! 

Buies, Roberts Celebrate Anniversaries

Two great ABI leaders and their wives are celebrating wedding anniversaries this month. Former ABI Chair Frederick V. Buie (Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Company, Des Moines) and his wife, Valeska Buie, marked 38 years of marriage.  Longtime ABI Board Member Steve Roberts (Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines) celebrated 51 years of marriage with his wife, Dawn Roberts.  ABI salutes and congratulates Fred and Valeska and Steve and Dawn!  Best wishes for many more happy years together! 

Another Strong Espeset Column

You have read many times that I believe the company newsletters we receive from ABI members are terrific. They provide good insight in to your business -- and in to your culture, which is just as valuable. 

ABI Board Member Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames) leads his company to success year-in and year-out and his columns on the cover of STORYLine, the company newsletter, are always great.  Mike penned another strong column this month.  Thanks for sharing your insights, Mike!  If you wish to see a copy of Mike's column, please contact me and I will get it to you.