Final 2018 Board Meeting Wednesday - Monday Memo 11/5/18

November 5, 2018

Board, Executive Committee to Meet Wednesday; Board Information Sent Saturday

Both the ABI Board of Directors and the ABI Executive Committee will meet Wednesday (November 7).  ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) will call to order the final board meeting of 2018 at noon at the ABI office in Des Moines.  

A review of tomorrow’s general election, a special announcement related to the annual conference, and your business reports are highlights of the agenda. In addition, the board will receive the annual audit and review the usual operational reports.  

If you haven't already done so, please register your attendance by simply replying to this message.  A link to access the usual packet of reports and reference materials was distributed by email Saturday.  If you did not receive that message, please let me know and the information will be sent to you at once.  In the meantime and on behalf of our ABI officers, I look forward to seeing you Wednesday. 

Also Wednesday: University of Iowa Leaders to Address ABI

Prior to the November ABI board meeting, leaders from the University of Iowa will host a panel discussion in the ABI Board Room.  University officials asked for this opportunity to share information and seek input from you, our association’s directors and former board chairs.  A similar presentation involving the UI and ABI was held a few years ago. 

The panel presentation will take place from 9:00 to 10:30 at ABI on November 7.  This is your opportunity to interact personally with senior UI officials.  Please reply to this memorandum if you haven’t already registered to attend. 

Viers, Neumann-Thomas return This Week

Two great ABI staff members return to the office this week. Longtime ABI Bookkeeper Chrissy Viers and former ABI Foundation staff leader Kay Neumann-Thomas will be back. 

Chrissy returns from maternity leave (though she maintained a partial set of duties even while she was out). Chrissy and her husband, Luke Viers, have a son, Lucas, and now a daughter, Lyddie.  After retiring at the end of September, Kay returns on a part-time basis to help engage alumni of Foundation programs in an ongoing way.  She’ll be working with the new Foundation staff leaders, Becky Coady and Jessi Steward, and with Foundation staffer Jane Galloway. 

Welcome back, Chrissy and Kay! 

Foundation Board Meets Thursday

Former ABI Chair Bill Brown (BrownWinick, Des Moines) is the Chair of the ABI Foundation Board of Directors.  Bill and his fellow board members will convene for the quarterly Foundation board meeting Thursday morning at ABI.  The Foundation has just begun its fiscal year and big plans are underway to make it one of the organization’s best ever.  Watch for more news as it develops and in the meantime, thank you to the Foundation’s board members for their leadership! 

2019 ABI Legislative Reception on January 16

One of the association's most popular events is the annual legislative reception.  ABI members are proud that the reception has traditionally drawn more Iowa legislators (of both parties) than similar events hosted by any other organization.  All 150 legislators and the Governor and Lieutenant Governor will again be invited to join you at the 2019 reception, which will be held January 16 (the same day as the January ABI Board Meeting) at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention center in downtown Des Moines.  

Mark your calendars now.  You can register for the event/find more information about the event by clicking on  Your attendance at this important event is vital for ABI to advance its pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda.  

Register Now for December 6 Oskaloosa Events

On December 6th, ABI will host two events that will bring value to your company. That morning, ABI will host the next in a series of Connecting Statewide Leaders events.  Following that event and lunch with the Leadership Iowa class, ABI will then hold a value-building seminar. 

The Leaders forum will feature Debi Durham, the Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority.  The Director will share news regarding Iowa economic development projects and related matters.  You can register for this event now at  The seminar about building business value will immediately follow lunch.  You can register and find more information here:  Both events will help your business succeed. 

DMACC Invites ABI Board to Tuesday Event

Officials at Des Moines Area Community College have invited members of the ABI Board of Directors and former Chairs of the board to a DMACC Faculty and Business Networking Event.  The event will be held tomorrow afternoon from 4:30 to 6:30.  The focus of the event is to explore potential partnerships between business and DMACC, all with an eye towards getting more trained workers for your business.  Faculty representing several DMACC disciplines will be on-site and participating in the event. 

There is no cost to attend the event and refreshments will be available. You can register and find more information here:  Thank you to DMACC for the invitation. 

Conference Committee to Meet Next Week; Breakout RFPs Due December 1

Committee Chair Lisa Patterson (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and the members of the ABI Conference Committee will meet a week from tomorrow in Des Moines.  The committee is putting together plans for a spectacular 2019 Taking Care of Business Conference. 

Speaking of the annual conference, now is the time for interested parties to submit their responses to the breakout session RFP.  Conference attendees have given very high marks to the breakout sessions in recent years and much of that is due to the very competitive process related to those sessions.  The deadline for proposals is December 1 and you can click here for more information:  The conference will be held in Ames June 4-6 of next year.  Mark your calendars now and watch for more information soon. 

SW Iowa Leadership Iowa Session Held

The ABI Foundation's 2018-2019 Leadership Iowa class held its second session last week (in SW Iowa, in Clarinda and Shenandoah) for a session focused on agriculture and renewable energy.  Many terrific speakers addressed the class, including longtime ABI Board Member Mary Landhuis (Lisle Corporation, Clarinda).  Thank you to Mary and others for supporting LI! 

CIBC Economist Expects Growth to Slow

A member company executive from CIBC shared a fascinating outlook at a meeting in Newton last week.  Director and Chief Economist Royce Mendes (CIBC, Toronto) spoke at a gathering of CEOs on Thursday. 

Mr. Mendes gave an engaging and interesting talk, covering interest rates (he’s not sold on the conventional wisdom calling for many big increases by the Fed), the impact of tax cuts (very positive, but storm clouds ahead in 2020), the state of leveraged households in Canada (not good as it relates to some of the United States’ best customers), and trade (there is both good and bad to come). All in all, Mr. Mendes predicts continued growth in the global economy, but he also predicts a slowing in the rate of growth. 

Thank you to him and to his sponsor for the event, ABI Board Member Kelly Barrick (CIBC, West Des Moines).  It was a terrific presentation! 

NAM Report Documents Growth

Last week's Monday Economic Report from the National Association of Manufacturers presented information that confirms growth in the American economy.  There is a lot of great information in the bulletin and, while the outlook is somewhat mixed for now, growth in the economy is indeed happening.  If you wish to read the report, please contact me and I will send it to you at once. 

UEA Acquires Alpha Slip Rings

There was a big announcement out of Waverly last week, as longtime ABI member United Equipment Accessories purchased Alpha Slip Rings.  Located in Austin, Texas, Alpha was founded in 1985 and serves a variety of customers in the oil and gas industries.  The acquisition will allow UEA to build additional efficiencies in engineering, product development, and manufacturing support functions, while experiencing increased sales.  Congratulations to everyone at UEA, including company President and former ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly)

Cindy Dietz Celebrates Tomorrow

Longtime ABI Board Member Cindy Dietz (Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids) celebrates her birthday on election day this year (tomorrow, November 6).  ABI sends big happy birthday wishes to Cindy Dietz! 

Cliff Wilson Passes

Former ABI Chair Cliff Wilson (Ritchie Industries, Conrad) was a great leader.  The company he led, Ritchie Industries, is going strong and ABI grew under Cliff’s leadership, too.  And he was a terrific guy.  For all those reasons, I was sad to learn of Cliff’s death.  He died peacefully Thursday morning.  

You can read more about Cliff’s life here:,-Jr/.  Our thoughts are with his family, including his son-in-law and current Ritchie President and CEO, former ABI Board Member Leon Yantis (Ritchie Industries, Conrad)

The Business of ABI; Strong Results in 2017

Editor's Note: The following is a message that has become a tradition about this time each year; it has been edited for accuracy and so that it objectively applies to the current year.

When I created the Monday Memo, my goal was to provide you with sort of an “inside baseball” view of what is happening at ABI each week.  Too many times, this weekly memo becomes simply a list of upcoming events.  Given that, I especially like to share news related to developments and projects (other than events) and news of what is happening with your fellow board members and past chairs.  And, I like to share news regarding what I call the business of ABI.  

The business of ABI refers to key information about the metrics that provide insights as to whether or not our association is achieving the goals you establish for it every year.  In that regard and in keeping with a tradition started over a decade ago, I typically share some information in the memo that appears the week of the final board meeting of the year to provide some information about association results during the past 12 months.

For many years, I listed several bullet points related to ABI's work in public policy, programs, with the work of the ABI Foundation, and as it pertains to our operational and financial success.  Because that became repetitive, I took a different tack the last few years and I'll do that again now.  

Let me simply say that ABI experienced strong results in 2018.  I need to point out that is not just rhetoric.  Simply saying something is the case does not make it so.  In measurable ways, ABI enjoyed success this year.  When it comes to public policy advocacy, membership growth, participation in events, conference revenue, Foundation programs, creation of new initiatives, and in so many other ways, 2018 has been a truly record-breaking year. 

ABI board members demand results.  Thanks to your leadership and thanks to a hard-working staff at both ABI and the ABI Foundation, strong results were achieved.   THANK YOU.