Final 2015 ABI Board Meeting in Novemeber - Monday Memo 10/12/15

October 12, 2015

Next Board Meeting a Month Away; Board Will Meet at ABI in Des Moines

ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) is inviting all former chairs and members of the board to join him for the final board meeting of 2015.  The board will meet at ABI headquarters in Des Moines' East Village.

The board will meet on Wednesday, November 11.  Find more information and register now at  You can expect a very full agenda.  Again, this will be the final board meeting of the calendar year and I hope you can all attend.

Dick Smith Named a Manufacturing Legend

In last week's Memo, I noted the terrific ABI leaders and supporters that were named Legends in Manufacturing at last month's awards dinner.  It is a great group!

Well, there I go again, because I somehow omitted former ABI board member Dick Smith (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) from the list of honorees.  My sincere apologies to Dick and to everyone at Agri; congratulations and thank you, Dick Smith!

Bob Wersen Named Second Recipient of Annual ABI 'Advocacy in Action' Award

Last month's annual ABI Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference was a great success, with roughly 300 members participating.  One of those leaders was recognized as the second recipient of a prestigious award. 

Former ABI and ABI Foundation Chair Bob Wersen (Interpower Corporation, Oskaloosa) was presented with the ABI Advocacy in Action Award.  After comments about his service, support, and leadership, ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) and ABI Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain presented Bob with the award.  Paul and Nicole shared comments about Bob's strong support for the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee, about his strong relationships with policy makers around the state, and about the way he encourages his employees to be involved in ABI initiatives.

ABI salutes and congratulates Bob Wersen!

Latest Edition of Business Record Iowa Now Out

ABI's newest publication, Business Record Iowa, is published in conjunction with the Des Moines Business Record.  It has been very well-received by ABI members and others all across the state.

BR Iowa is found inside the Des Moines Business Record.  When you come to the section of the Business Recordthat is Business Record Iowa, you will see ABI Board Member Tom Yeoman (Yeoman & Company, Monticello)on the cover.  Thanks for being a terrific cover subject, Tom!

The latest edition of the newsprint journal came out Friday and it should be in your mailbox now.  If it isn't, let us know and we'll get a copy to you right away.  Or, click on this link to read it online: /index.cfm?NodeID=14894&AudienceID=1&preview=1.  In the meantime, let us know what you like about the publication and let us know how we can make it even better.  Thanks for your many comments already received.

ABI Advisory Council Meets Thursday

The monthly meeting of the ABI Advisory Council will be held Thursday in Des Moines.  As always, ABI thanks the members of the advisory council, who are all key resources for ABI members. 

Thank you to ABI Advisory Council members ATW Training Solutions, BCC Advisers, BerganKDV, Brick Gentry P.C., BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC, Focus OneSource, Global Reach,Manpower, Measured Intentions, LMC, Principal Financial Group, QPS Employment Group, Spindustry,Transition Point Business Advisors, and Wellmark.

2015-2016 Leadership Iowa Class Meets

As you read in last week's Memo, the initial session of the 2015-2016 Leadership  Iowa class was held last week at the Hotel Patee in Perry.  The 34th annual class heard  from terrific speakers, such ABI Board Member Todd McDonald (ATW Training Solutions, Urbandale), toured area companies, and got to know each other.   The class will meet again in November. 

As members of the board, you will have multiple opportunities to meet the LI class during the coming months.  In the meantime, thank you for your support of the LI program. 

Second Elevate Ambassadors Session to be Held in November

As you know, earlier this year, ABI held a gathering of people (literally from all around Iowa) to educate them about the "Elevate Advanced Manufacturing" initiative.   ABI Vice Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) was an important part of that event.  Since that session was held, these folks have served as Elevate Ambassadors and they have been helping spread the word about this terrific program.

Now, there is another opportunity for you to help Elevate spread its message by recruiting one of your employees to be an "Ambassador" and to represent Elevate in your local area.  Your Ambassador will make presentations and attend events to spread the word about opportunities in manufacturing and at your particular company (we ask for 5 presentations/events a year).  Elevate will train all ambassadors in the message and in public speaking - a great professional development opportunity for your employee.  The next Ambassador training is November 12th from 10 - 2 at ABI. Contact Robyn Denson for more information at

ABI Board Members Invited to DMACC Breakfast, Hong Kong Trade Seminar Tomorrow

Members of the ABI Board of Directors have been invited to attend two events coming up this week and next.  Both invitations are offered at no charge.

The first of the two events is an event being held tomorrow in Des Moines.  The event will provide information about doing business in Asia through Hong Kong.  Attendance is free of charge and the seminar will be held from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. at the Metropolitan Planning Organization office in downtown Des Moines.

The event is being hosted by the Greater Des Moines Partnership  and other organizations, including the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.  The Trade Development Council's Midwest Director, Winchell Cheung, will be the keynote speaker.  If you wish to attend or need further information, please contact me and I'll get it to you at once.

The second event is a breakfast sponsored by longtime ABI member/partner Des Moines Area Community College.  The event is being held to mark the college's 50th anniversary and it will be held on October 23rd in Des Moines.  Should you wish to attend, simply reply to this message and I will make sure you are registered. 

First of 2015-2016 Connecting Statewide Leaders Events December 10 in Waverly

A few years ago, at the request of members looking for more association events in locations outside Des Moines, ABI created the Connecting Statewide Leaders Seminars.  The events have proven very popular and are held throughout the fall, winter and spring all around Iowa.  The first event in the 2015-2016 series will be held December 11 in Ames. 

Each of the Connecting Leaders events has drawn a great crowd and the series has resulted in new association members.  The luncheon following the event on December 10  will provide a great opportunity to visit with fellow ABI members, meet the new Leadership Iowa class, and develop new customers.  Please mark your calendar now and watch for more details to come your way soon.

YPIowa Board to Meet by Teleconference

The ABI Foundation runs several programs.  It also administers one, the Young Professionals of Iowa.  As you know, YPIowa is our state's largest association of YP organizations and programs.  The group held recently held its annual conference in Carroll.

The YPIowa Board of Directors will hold its next regular meeting this Friday by teleconference.  Watch for more information as it develops.

Slower Growth Predicted in NAM Report

Last Thursday's Global Manufacturing Economic Update, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, predicted slowing growth for the fourth quarter of the calendar year.  Citing data from the International Monetary Fund, the NAM report predicted growth slowing to 3.1 percent.

The bottom line is that at least nominal growth is still expected for both calendar 2015 and 2016.  If f you wish to read the Report, please contact me and I will forward it to you at once.

Tim Conlon Leads Greater Dubuque Development

ABI Board Member Tim Conlon (Conlon Construction, Dubuque) was elected Chairman of the Board  of Directors of the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation.  This important organization has been recognized nationally for its incredible success in growing companies, jobs, and the economy in the Greater Dubuque region.  Congratulations to GDDC and to Tim Conlon!

SA to Mark 35th Anniversary

Longtime ABI member Strategic America will mark its 35th anniversary at an event tomorrow in West Des Moines.  The firm started in Waterloo, expanded and moved its base to Greater Des Moines some years ago, and now is a national leader in the industry.  Congratulations to everyone at SA, including company President and former ABI Board Member John Schreurs (Strategic America, West Des Moines)!

Greater Cedar Valley Launches New Website

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is a wonderful ABI member/partner.  Last week, the Alliance & Chamber announced the launch of its newly formatted, business-focused website.  

The responsive design makes access to Alliance & Chamber information available to mobile users via smart phones and tablets as well as providing  a more robust version for laptop and desktop computers.  You can access the new website at  Congratulations on the new website to the Alliance & Chamber and to its President, ABI Board Member Steve Dust (Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Waterloo)!