Get Involved in ABI's Elevate Program - Monday Memo 7/20/15

July 20, 2015

ABI's Elevate Program to Host Ambassador Training Tomorrow; Legends in Manufacturing Nominations Due August 1; Elevate Sponsorships Available

As many of you know, ABI's Elevate program has had a busy summer so far.  A new group of supporters, the Elevate Ambassadors, will convene at ABI for training tomorrow.  There is still time to participate in this free program; please contact Robyn Denson at for more information.

In addition, Elevate is currently accepting nominations for the first-ever "Legends in Manufacturing Awards,"  which are due August 1.  Please click on this link for more information:/index.cfm/11274/70002/deadline_to_apply_legends_in_manufacturing_awards.

Finally, Elevate has sponsorship opportunities available.  Your company can join many other ABI members in supporting this campaign to raise the profile of manufacturing careers, connect workers to training, and connect workers to jobs in ABI companies.  Click here more information about Elevate sponsorships.  In the meantime, thank you in advance for your support.

Lieutenant Governor Reynolds, ABI to Appear at NAM Institute Event in Davenport

Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds is the keynote speaker for an event to be held Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at Davenport's River Center convention center at 135 East Third Street.  The event, sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers' Manufacturing Institute, will highlight organizations called Get Skills to Work and Hiring Our Heroes and is focused on hiring veterans.  

The event is also an opportunity for employers to visit with the Lieutenant Governor and other officials about workforce needs and other issues.  Please consider this your official invitation to attend.

Mark Your Calendars Now for  Annual ABI Executive Open Best Ball

In recent editions of this memorandum, I have been sharing information about the Seventh Annual ABI Executive Open.  This best ball golf tournament has quickly grown into one of ABI's most popular annual events. 

This year's event will be held on August 31st at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines.  Perhaps  Iowa's most beautiful private club, Des Moines Golf is sure to be a fabulous venue for this always-popular event.  Register now at  See you in West Des Moines for what many ABI members call our association's most fun event.

Dozens of Members Already Registered for Next Month's Policy Development Meetings

Over the years, ABI members have always played close attention to the association's annual policy development process.  Some members travel from out of state to participate and the end result has been successful and award-winning public policy outcomes.

Again this year, the policy development process has been advanced to increase the opportunity for success.  It appears that members like that decision, because dozens of you have already signed-up for next month's meeting.  If you aren't one of those, there is still plenty of time for you and your employees to register for these free meetings.  Go to/en/events_calendar/ to register for the committee meetings of interest to you and your employees.  The ABI Board of Directors will act on the recommendations of these committees at the September board meeting.

YPIowa Conference in Carroll in September

The ABI Foundation has long provided organizational support to Young Professionals of Iowa, our state's leading organization for YPs.  The YPIowa Annual Conference is coming up in two months.  This will be YPIowa's 12th annual conference. 

The conference will be held in Carroll on September 24th and 25th.  The agenda is robust and represents an excellent professional development experience for your YPs.  Register today at

New Board Member Orientations Ongoing

Orientations continue with ABI's newly-elected board members.  That list includes Cindy Dietz (Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids), Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa), and Krista Tanner (ITC Midwest, Des Moines), and the honorary Leadership Iowa board member, Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Carlisle).  You will have the opportunity to meet these leaders at the next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors on September 23rd in Des Moines.

ABI Advisory Council Holds July Meeting

As you know, the ABI Advisory Council has been a chief reason for the increased value and quantity of ABI programming.  Technical conferences, issue seminars, weekly webinars and much more have all been made possible thanks to the leadership of the council.

The council continued its work related to programming at its monthly meeting held last Thursday afternoon at ABI.  Many thanks to members of the council for their leadership and support.  Thank you to  ATW Training, BCC Advisers, Bergan Paulsen, Brick Gentry, 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.

IIPAC Board Needs Your Support

The Iowa Industry Political Action Committee is ABI's political arm.  The organization is chaired by former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee).  Now is the time of the year that IIPAC is heavily engaged in raising money to support pro-business candidates for state offices.

If you have already contributed to IIPAC this year, thank you.  If you haven't, now is the time.  Go to/en/public_policy/iipac/ to make your donation today.  Again, many of you (and many of us on staff) have already made contributions.  As the rest of you get ready to make yours, thank you in advance for your support.

2016 Annual Conference Planning Site Visit Upcoming; 2017 Not Far Behind

You know that planning never really ends with regard to the ABI Annual Conference.  In fact, plans for a truly amazing 2016 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference are well underway and a team of us will be Sioux City in the near future for more planning.

Our group will be led by ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) and we will tour venues and sites which will be a part of the upcoming conference.  Several highlights will make the 2016 event one for the record books.  Make your plans now to join ABI in Sioux City next June.

While you are at it, make plans to join ABI in Dubuque in June of 2017.  ABI Vice Chair Lori Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) will be leading a site visit to that city in August.

Time for Annual Iowa M&A Conference; ABI Members Invited at No Charge

Last year's second-annual Iowa Mergers and Acquisitions Conference, hosted by ABI member Faegre Baker Daniels,  was a huge success.  The program for the 2015 conference on August 6 has just been announced. 

Because of your ABI membership, you have been invited to this high value event at no charge.  If you wish to attend the conference and use the ABI code, the Faegre Bakers Daniel folks have made that possible.  Simply contact me and I will get the appropriate information to you.

Eastern Iowa Light & Power Receives Record USDA Loan

ABI member Eastern Iowa Light & Power last week was awarded the largest-ever Iowa loan by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  U.S. Ag Secretary Tim Vilsack made the announcement of the loan last Friday in Wilton.  The loan will fund system upgrades and other improvements. 

This is a busy time for Eastern Iowa Light & Power, as the company just recently moved into its brand new headquarters, its first move since 1949.  Congratulations all around, especially to ABI Board Member and coop President Kirk Trede (Eastern Iowa Light & Power, Wilton)!

Mark Hanawalt, Myron Linn, Steve Martin Celebrate Birthdays; Mark on the Radio

Three longtime ABI Board Members are celebrating birthdays this month.  Former Chair Myron Linn (Pella Corporation, Pella) celebrated his birthday on the 17th and former ABI Board Member Steve Martin (Hagie Manufacturing, Clarion)celebrated his yesterday.  Today, Immediate Past Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly)celebrates his birthday.  ABI sends best birthday wishes to Mark, Myron, and Steve!

Speaking about Mark, he made an appearance on the Insight on Business radio show a couple of weeks ago.  The topic was the U.S. Export-Import Bank and Mark did his usual terrific job representing ABI and Iowa business.  Listen for yourself here:

New Board Members Longenecker, Hasken Host Congressman Young, Former Senator Santorum; LatestBusiness Record Iowa Now Out

One of the best things ABI members can do is to host elected officials and candidates in your manufacturing plant or office.  Giving these officials an opportunity to see businesses operate firsthand is a key way to help them understand the impact of their decisions.  As former Chair Fred Buie (Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Company, Des Moines)used to say, "It's About Jobs."

Two newly-elected ABI board members hosted officials recently.  Early last month, Honorary Leadership Iowa ABI Board Member Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Carlisle) and her team hosted U.S. representative David Young at the company's Carlisle mill.  Kellan reports that following a tour, she and her staff discussed Iowa business and manufacturing initiatives with the Congressman.  By the way, thank you to Kellan for serving as the cover feature for this month's edition of ABI's Business Record Iowa, which should be on your desks by now.

Last Wednesday, new ABI Board member Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa) hosted former U.S. Senator and current presidential candidate Rick Santorum in his Maquoketa plant.  Jack and his team led Senator Santorum on a tour and then held an in-depth conversation about American manufacturing.  Jack received great media coverage of the event and you can check out just one example of that coverage here: .  Thank you, Jack, and Kellan, for hosting these important visits.

It's Another Great Edition of Metalcraft's Autographics

At the ABI office, we are privileged to receive copies of company newsletters published by several ABI members.  One of the best is Autographics, published by longtime member Metalcraft.

The latest edition is another great read.  In it, company President Steve Doerfler (Metalcraft, Mason City) writes about the new vision for Metalcraft.  In his essay, Steve discusses how the Metalcraft team arrived at the new vision and what has gone in to its implementation.  Let me know if you would like to read it and I'll get it to you at once.

Hank Evans Checks In

Many of you well remember former longtime ABI Board Member Hank Evans (A.F. Johnson Millworks, West Des Moines).  Hank and his wife, Ann Evans, are retired and after selling their company, are now travelling the world’s waterways aboard their ship. Queen Anne’s Revenge.  Hank reports all well and also offered some sight-seeing advice (which we gladly accepted) regarding the vacation my wife and I took to Florida recently.  It is always good to hear from Hank and he sends good wishes to all of you.  Thank you, Hank!

Former Board Member Essman Featured in Business Record

Former ABI Board Member Denise Essman (Essman Companies, Des Moines) is featured on the cover of the current edition of the Des Moines Business Record.  Denise is a part of an article about CEOs and their off-work activities.  Click here to read the article:  Congratulations on the great coverage, Denise!