Final Pre-Annual Conference Board Meeting Next Week - Monday Memo 4/23/18

April 23, 2018

Board to Meet Next Week; Final Meeting Before Annual Conference

The final ABI board meeting before the 2018 convention will be held next week.  ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and the ABI Board of Directors will meet Wednesday, May 2 at the Garner Golf Club in Garner.  The meeting will begin at noon and lunch will be served.  Tours of Stellar Industries follow the meeting. 

If you haven’t already done so, please register your attendance now by replying to this message.  Look for your usual packet of meeting materials to arrive in your email in-basket later this week.   And by the way, if you are in Garner the night before (May 1), join ABI for dinner.  We’ll be having dinner in Clear Lake, at the Surf District Grill, next door to the legendary Surf Ballroom. 

Reply to this message for details.  On behalf of our ABI officers, I look forward to seeing you next week.  As always, thank you to ABI Member Programs Director Holly Mueggenberg for her great help in handling meeting arrangements and related issues.  And thank you, too, to ABI Membership Coordinator Dorothy Knowles and Bookkeeper Chrissy Viers also play key roles in membership work for ABI. 

ABI Regional Policy Meetings Coming Up in May

It is now time for you to register for an ABI Regional Public Policy meeting coming to your area in May.  At the meeting, you will hear the latest report on the 2018 Iowa Legislative Session, hear news about the impact of legislator’s actions on your business, and you will receive a preview of the legislative interim.  You will also have the opportunity to share input about legislative issues that you and your employees believe should be the focus of ABI in 2019. 

You can register for one or more of the sessions by going to the Events Page on the ABI website.  You will find that site here:  The ABI public policy staff and I look forward to seeing you and your employees at the upcoming meetings.  Thank you to ABI Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain, Director Public Policy Jessica Hyland, Coordinator Public Policy Brad Hartkopf, and ABI Executive Administrative assistant Michelle Vollstedt for their terrific work during the session, which hopefully adjourns very soon. 

First Regional Policy Meeting Next Week in Garner

Speaking of the regional policy meetings, the first in the series will be held next week in Garner. It will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 2nd, right before the May ABI board meeting and at the same location, the Garner Golf Club. 

The ABI public policy team will present one in a series of meetings focused on the results of the 2018 Iowa General Assembly. Attend the meeting to get the most complete information about business issues and the Iowa Legislature. In addition, ABI staff members will discuss the coming election and even address the 2019 legislative session. Click here for more information and to register:

Register NOW for 2019 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference; Two Hotels Sold-Out

The 115th Annual ABI Convention, the 2018 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference, will be held in Coralville-Iowa City June 5-7.  As I noted last week, first class venues, terrific speakers, golf at one of Iowa’s finest courses, and the very best business networking in Iowa will make the 2018 meeting one for the record books.  Over 300 people are already registered for the conference. 

In conference-related news, two of the conference hotels have been sold-out for weeks.  Both the Coralville Marriott and the Homewood Suites are full.  That's okay, because there are other terrific hotels that will provide great lodging for conference attendees.  Click on this link for more information:

The bottom line is you want to make your lodging reservations -- and register for the conference -- NOW. Simply reply to this message and we’ll take care of the registration process for you!  Or, you can access the link above.  In the meantime, thank you to ABI Vice President Member Development and Programs for her great work in sponsor development related to the conference.  See you in Greater Iowa City in June! 

Take Annual ABI CEO Survey Now

As you read last week, it is time for ABI’s Annual CEO Survey.  ABI surveys member CEOs regarding issues important to them and their businesses.  The survey is available now and your participation is encouraged and desired.  Also as I noted in last week's memorandum, it will take no more than 5 to 10 minutes.  Use this link to access the survey.  You will be able to find the results in the June edition of Business Record Iowa. Thank you to ABI Communications Coordinator David Hildahl for his work in developing the survey. 

Nominating Committee to Meet May 8

As noted in last week’s Monday Memo, the ABI Nominating Committee will kick off its work soon.  The committee, which is chaired by Immediate Past Chair of the ABI Board of Directors Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) will meet by teleconference on May 8. 

In addition to Lori, members of the Committee include ABI board members from each of the association's five state districts.  They are District 1 – Andy Kretz (Dexter-Apache, Fairfield), District 2 – Tom Determann (Clinton Regional Development Corporation, Clinton), District 3 – Kim Augspurger (Saxton, Des Moines), District 4 – Alan Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan), and District 5 – Larry Countryman (Wilson Trailer Company, Sioux City).  

If you have someone you believe would make a great ABI board member, the committee wants to know about her or him.  Simply contact one of them, or me, and we’ll make sure the names are considered by the committee.  

ABI Foundation Seeks Your Nominations for Leadership Iowa, Business Horizons, LIU; LI in Clinton Next Week

As I have noted in recent editions of this memo, this is the time of year that the ABI Foundation is seeking your help to nominate worthy individuals for acceptance in Foundation programs.  Business Horizons, Leadership Iowa, and Leadership Iowa University are all in the nomination phase.  Go to or to or to for more information.  Thank you to those of you who have already nominated individuals for these great Foundation programs.  

By the way, the current LI class will meet in Clinton next week.  The class will convene on Wednesday evening for session that runs through noon on Friday.  The session will focus on Iowa’s changing demographics and workforce.  We thank ABI Vice President Foundation Programs Kay Neumann-Thomas, Marketing and Programs Coordinator Jessi Steward, and Administrative assistant Jane Galloway for their great work in making sure the Foundation programs run smoothly. 

Tomorrow Night in Fairfield: Elevate Parents Night at Agri

The latest example of a terrific program produced by ABIs Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative will be held tomorrow night.  It is the Elevate Parent’s Night. 

These events involve a panel discussion about your company and the great careers available there, tours, and fun, food, and prizes. They give parents and students an opportunity to see first-hand what kind of great careers are in store right in their area. 

The next event in this series will be hosted by Agri-Industrial Plastics in Fairfield tomorrow.  Thank you to Immediate Past ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and the team at Agri for hosting! 

Productivity Seminar at ABI Wednesday; Operational Excellence Roundtable to Participate

ABI will host well-known time management expert Randall Dean for a seminar on productivity and making the most of your time. This 90-minute seminar will begin at 2:00 p.m. on April 25 at ABI in Des Moines.  Please click here: to find more information or to register.  Members of the ABI Operational Excellence Roundtable will also participate in the seminar. 

Search Update

Over 20 resumes were received related to ABI’s search for a new member of the team at the ABI Foundation. The list of candidates was narrowed and preliminary interviews are now underway.  By the end of this week, we’ll have the list of candidates narrowed further to 2 or 3, and second interviews will be conducted.  We look to have someone on board in May.  Please stay tuned. 

Check the ABI Events Calendar Often

Between ABI and the ABI Foundation, our organization is sponsoring events throughout Iowa all year long.  Please allow this note to serve as a reminder to check the ABI Events page often for information about upcoming events.  Simply go to  for the latest events information.  There you can get further details about upcoming meetings and seminars, register your attendance, or find other information.  The page changes weekly so visit it frequently for the most up-to-date data. 

NAM Report Cites Manufacturing Optimism

As are many of you, I am an avid reader of the National Association of Manufacturers' Monday Economic Report.  Last week's report was more good reading. 

Manufacturers surveyed recently reported the second-highest rate of optimism in 20 years. The bottom line is that a variety of economic data is trending positive.  As always, it is hoped that manufacturing activity can lead to growth in the economy in general.  Please reply to this memo if you wish to receive last week's NAM report.