Fabulous Conference - Monday Memo 6/10/19

June 10, 2019

Wow!  What a Conference!!

You are used to reading that exclamation in the first Monday Memo after the annual ABI Taking Care of Business Conference; that’s because every year it is appropriate.  ABI members from across Iowa and from other parts of the nation converged on Ames last week for the association’s 116th Annual Convention.  A record-setting, fabulous crowd, local hospitality, exciting venues, nationally-known speakers, and terrific events made the 2019 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference something very special.  

As you know, the annual convention is important to ABI for several reasons.  While the revenue raised by the convention is one of those, even more important is the event’s value as a source of programming and information for members.  And even more important than that, the annual convention helps continue ABI’s momentum and provides members and sponsors with the very best business networking in Iowa.  It is abundantly clear that this annual meeting achieved the convention committee’s goals related to revenue, programming, and networking. 

On behalf of the ABI Board of Directors, THANK YOU to all members, sponsors, and convention attendees for your time and support last week.  Special thanks go ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City), a terrific conference committee chaired by Lisa Patterson (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City), and to staff leaders Holly Mueggenberg and Kathy Anderson.  Nicole Crain, Dorothy Knowles, Michelle Vollstedt, Jessi Steward, Jane Galloway, David Hildahl, McKenzie Kielman, Chrissy Viers, Brad Hartkopf, Becky Coady, Kay Neumann-Thomas, and Drew Wynes also deserve special thanks.   

ABI members are off to a convention in another great city for the 2020 conference.  See you back in Cedar Rapids next June! 

Cindy Dietz Elected New Chair of ABI

At the Annual Business Meeting held last Wednesday in Ames, ABI members elected new officers and directors for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.  Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) was elected Chair, Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) was elected Vice Chair, Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa) was elected Treasurer, and Kim Augspurger (Saxton, Des Moines) was elected Secretary.  David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) is Immediate Past Chair.  

Executive Committee members were also elected, including returning members J.D. Davis (MidAmerican Energy Company, Des Moines) and Jack McFarland (Miller Products Company, Osceola).  New committee members are Andy Bramstedt (SSAB, Muscatine), Peter Voorhees (Standard Golf, Cedar Falls), and Bruce Tamisiea (Tecton Industries, Spencer).  

New board members from across the state were also elected and they will take office (along with the new officers and Executive Committee) on July 1.  Retiring board members have provided important leadership for ABI and they will soon be officially recognized for their service. 

Cindy Dietz is a longtime ABI board member and a well-known Iowa business leader.  She is Associate Director, State Government Relations for Collins Aerospace in Cedar Rapids.  Cindy is active on several boards and initiatives, both in Cedar Rapids and throughout the state, and Governor Kim Reynolds appointed her to a leadership position on the Iowa STEM Council.  Congratulations to Cindy and to our other officers and directors! 

Governor, Lieutenant Governor Address Convention

Having the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Iowa address the annual convention is an honored ABI tradition.  Governor Kim Reynolds addressed the convention and paid tribute to ABI member companies throughout Iowa.  Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg also addressed the convention and thanked ABI members for their work.  It is always a treat to have the Governor and Lieutenant Governor with us.  Thank you to Governor Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Gregg for joining us in Ames.  

LI Class Graduates; Rick Tollakson Named 2019 Leadership for Iowa Award Winner; 2019 Business Horizons Session Fast Approaching

At a ceremony held Thursday, members of the 2018-2019 Leadership Iowa Class graduated.  Class members have demonstrated a real commitment to continuing their leadership activities and it is clear that our state will benefit from these committed young leaders.  Congratulations to everyone! 

Prior to the LI ceremony, the Leadership for Iowa Award was presented to longtime Iowa leader/ABI Board Member Rick Tollakson (Hubbell Realty Company, West Des Moines).  Rick gave a fabulous acceptance speech which was witty and powerful and in it, he challenged everyone to think big.  Rick has been a great leader for many years and ABI congratulates and sends best wishes to him. 

The focus of the ABI Foundation now shifts to the upcoming session of Business Horizons.  As you know, BH is a week-long entrepreneurial experience for Iowa high school students and this year’s session will take place next month on the campus of Central College in Pella.  Please go to http://www.businesshorizonsiowa.com/ for more information. 

In other Foundation news and thanks to all of you, last Wednesday evening's Foundation Auction was a huge success.  A special thank you goes to former ABI Board Member Nate Weaton (Weaton Capital, Fairfield), who led the auction.  Thank you, Nate! 

Third Annual ABI Okoboji Executive Forum This Summer

Former ABI Chair Dennis Murdock (CIPCO, Des Moines) used to say that an official ABI conference had to be held in Okoboji.  Dennis relented in recent years, because as he told me, he enjoyed the ever-growing ABI conferences.  But ABI members still love the Iowa Great lakes. 

In response to the great many of you who asked for a Lakes-area event, ABI three years ago created an executive forum.  The event, held at Okoboji, focuses on high-value programming for top executives.  It has been was a huge success and it is ABI’s fastest-growing event. 

The third annual forum will be held the first of August in Okoboji.  Plans are for an even bigger and better event, with President and CEO Terry Handley (Casey’s General Stores, Ankeny) as the keynote speaker.  Watch for more information and we’ll look forward to seeing you there! 

Latest Edition of Business Record Iowa Published Last Week

ABI members around Iowa have shared with us that they enjoy the new Business Record Iowa publication that ABI produces in conjunction with the Des Moines Business Record.  This newsprint product is produced monthly (as opposed to quarterly with the ABI's previous publication) and goes to a much wider distribution list. 

The June edition of Business Record Iowa should have hit your mailbox last week (or been at your hotel room door at the conference).  It is inside the Business Record - look for the cover photo of ABI member company executives Daryl Bouwkamp (Vermeer Corporation, Pella), Elizabeth Coonan (BrownWinick, Des Moines), and Ro Crosbie (Tero International, Clive). If you did not receive a copy of the latest BR Iowa, we'll get a copy to you.  

ABI Staff Deserves Your Thanks

At the end of this month, ABI will complete the association’s 2018-2019 fiscal year.  Thanks to strong leadership by all of you, the past year has been filled with success.  ABI completes its year in a position of great strength. 

Another factor in ABI’s success is strong staff work.  Nicole Crain, Kathy Anderson, Holly Mueggenberg, Chrissy Viers, Dorothy Knowles, Michelle Vollstedt, Jessi Steward, Brad Hartkopf, David Hildahl, Becky Coady, Jane Galloway, McKenzie Kielman, Kay Neumann-Thomas, and Drew Wynes are doing simply great work.  At ABI, we never forget that it is all about the members and these staffers ensure that is the case.  Please join me in thanking them for their efforts. 

Yanney Pens Journal Op-Ed

Former ABI Chair Charese Yanney (Guarantee Roofing and Siding, Sioux City) has long been a leader in Iowa and especially in her hometown of Sioux City.  She is involved in education there and recently wrote an op-ed published in the Sunday, June 2nd edition of the Sioux City Journal.  Charese lays out the case as to why passage of the extension of Iowa’s one-cent tax for school infrastructure projects was a good thing.  It is typical Charese, straight-forward and well-reasoned.  

You can read it for yourself by going to the Journal's website.  Congratulations, Charese!  And thank you to ABI Board Member Alan Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan) for making sure we were aware of the piece! 

Sukup Sate T Home Featured at Living History farms and in Family Living

The Sukup Safe T Home, manufactured by longtime ABI member Sukup Manufacturing Company, has been a terrific resource for storm-ravaged parts of the world.  It has provided life-saving shelter for people around the globe. 

The Safe T Home was featured in an article in Family Living, the journal published monthly by the Iowa Farm Bureau federation.  The home is also being featured at Living History farms this summer.  Congratulations and thank you to everyone at Sukup, especially including company President and former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield)

Tylers Celebrate

Former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines) and his wife, Janel Tyler, recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.  Congratulations to Kirk and Janel and their family on this terrific milestone! 

The Business of ABI: Convention Edition

As you know, the metrics associated with ABI’s annual convention have been steadily growing over the past several years.  There is a very real momentum at ABI that ensures the association’s long and proud history is leading to an even stronger and more successful future.  Members tell me they can hardly wait until next year’s 117th Annual ABI Convention to see what will happen.  On behalf of Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and soon-to-be Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) and our other officers, THANK YOU for making the convention – and our association – so successful.