Governor to be at Business Day in Des Moines - Monday Memo 2/26/24

February 26, 2024

Governor Confirmed for Business Day on the Hill; Event Takes Place Next Week

During the first quarter of the year, much of ABI's work focuses on public policy and the Iowa General Assembly.  That work will now be highlighted by ABI’s newest annual event, Business Day in Des Moines, a luncheon that will bring business leaders together to hear from Iowa’s top elected officials.  Making the event even more special, ABI learned last week that Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds WILL be on hand to address attendees at the event.  The Governor joins all four legislative leaders (from both parties and both chambers) and nationally known political analyst Jim Ellis (BIPAC, Washington, DC) as speakers for the event. 

ABI Business Day in Des Moines 2024 will be held Wednesday, March 6 (one week from this Wednesday and the same day as the next ABI board meeting) at the Des Moines Heritage Center in Des Moines’ East Village.  To register (120 of you already have) or find more information, click here: Summary - Business Day in Des Moines (  See you next week! 

2024 Convention Website Live; Register for Convention NOW!

Many of you have already made your reservations for the ABI Annual Convention, the 2024 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference.  For those who have not yet registered, you can do so now.  Simply click on Taking Care of Business Conference | Iowa Association of Business and Industry ( for all kinds of information about the convention and its speakers and terrific Quad Cities venues.  

Based on our fantastic speakers, fabulous Davenport location, and great program, I can assure you this 121st annual convention, which will be held June 4-6, will be a spectacular event.  The bottom line is that you simply won’t want to miss it.  Click on the link above and make your convention reservation now. 

ABI to Host Education/Business Webinar Tomorrow

It is not too late to participate in an ABI webinar designed to help your company create effective partnerships with local educators.  Tomorrow morning at 9:00, ABI will host “Moving the Needle with Education and Business Partnerships,” a Zoom webinar that will be held free of charge.  Your management and HR teams will find the webinar particularly useful.  Click here to register: Meeting Registration - Zoom.  Thank you to ABI member Momentum Studios for leading the webinar. 

Connecting Statewide Leaders Program at Hotel Julien in Dubuque on March 7

ABI will next week host the latest edition of the popular Connecting Statewide Leaders series of events.  On Thursday, March 7 (the day after Business Day in Des Moines), we’ll be in Dubuque for a CSL event focused on healthcare.  A truly terrific speaker will present the program.  Dr.Jennifer Olson (MercyOne, Des Moines), who is President of MercyOne Medical Group, will address trends in health care and discuss finance issues that may impact employers.  You can register and find more information here: Summary - Connecting Statewide Leaders - Dubuque (  Don’t miss this terrific program.  The program will be held at a favorite location among ABI members, the beautiful Hotel Julien in Dubuque.  I’ll be there and I hope you will, too. 

Leadership Iowa Class in Dubuque

Dubuque is the location of the next session of the 2023-2024 Leadership Iowa class, which will be held next week.  Some members of the class will convene Wednesday evening.  The majority of the session will take place Thursday and Friday and will focus on healthcare.  This group of class members has been another in a string of terrific LI classes.  Look for more information at the board meeting on March 6. 

ABI Board to Meet Next Week; May Meeting in Des Moines

The next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held a week from Wednesday, on Wednesday, March 6.  ABI Vice Chair Chad Reece (Winnebago Industries, Forest City) will call the meeting to order that afternoon at the Des Moines Heritage Center in Des Moines’ East Village.  

As you have read previously and in addition to an important meeting, the board will also participate in Business Day in Des Moines on that day.  See you in Des Moines on March 6.  The board’s next meeting will be held in Des Moines on May 10 and we’ll be touring longtime ABI member Atlantic Coca-Cola’s Bottling Company’s Des Moines distribution center (and seeing its fabulous new automated palletizing system).  Watch for more information soon.  

Business Horizons to be held in July; Register Your Students Now

Business Horizons, the ABI Foundation’s annual entrepreneurism experience for high school students, will be held July 14-18 on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines. All students in grades 9-12 can register to participate by clicking here:

The program brings together students from across Iowa to learn about the opportunities that exist here. All throughout the week, dynamic speakers, business tours, and valuable workshops help demonstrate these opportunities. The program’s curriculum also incorporates an on-campus, independent living experience and the unique ability to work as part of a cross-functional, leadership team. 

2024 marks over 40 years of Business Horizons. Your employees, whether they serve as industry advisors or in other roles, are critical to the continued success of this important program.  Thank you for your support!  Please watch for more information and updates about Business Horizons in the coming months. 

Next Legislative Update Zoom March 1

ABI Vice President Public Policy JD Davis and Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf will again host a Zoom update to give you the very latest information from the Statehouse.  Updates on bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters will be covered in the call.  Your specific questions about those topics are also very much welcomed.  The next update will be held this Friday, on March 1st, at 8:00 a.m. and you and your employees are encouraged to participate.  The members-only call is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at Legislative Update (Members Only) | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (  

Subscribe to New ABI Partners CBJ, QCBJ at 50 Percent Off

As you know, starting a year ago January 1, ABI entered into a new partnership with longtime member Corridor Media Group, publisher of the Corridor Business Journal and the Quad Cities Business Journal.  ABI’s brand new newsprint journal, the Business Monthly, is carried twice each month (once in each magazine).  You should receive a copy of the Business Monthly inside the CBJ/QCBJ as a function of your being an ABI board member. 

Many of you have asked about subscribing so that you can receive ALL the CBJ/QCBJ editions (not just the ones that carry the ABI magazine).  Corridor Media Group is making it possible for you to subscribe at 50 percent off the regular subscription rate.  If you subscribe, you will also receive the company’s other publications, such as Corridor Leaders 250, Corridor Largest Privately Held Companies Index, and Quad Cities Leaders. As a subscriber, you would also receive full-access to the CBJ or QCBJ website.  If interested, please reply to this memorandum and I’ll connect you with the Corridor Media Group folks. 

NAM Report: Mixed

This week's edition of the National Association of Manufacturers'Monday Economic Report is mixed.  The publication reports that manufacturing activity increased at a rate not seen since last fall.  However, the European PMI rate dipped.  The report highlights several other data points that confirm a great deal of volatility.  If you wish to read the report for yourself, simply reply to this memo and I will get it to you at once. 

Paul Gregoire Visits

It has been some time since we have seen former ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson Fisher, Marshalltown – Ret.) in the ABI office, but Paul stopped by Friday for a good visit.  Now retired, Paul is active as ever in leadership roles in Marshalltown (along with his wife, Karn Gregoire) and recently had rotator cuff surgery (though that is not slowing him down one bit).  Thanks for stopping, Paul, and best wishes for a speedy recovery from surgery! 

Jessi McQuerrey Selected for Forty Under 40

Everyone knows ABI’s Jessi McQuerrey, as Jessi has led foundation programming for many years.  Those programs annually receive very high marks from participants.  And we all know Jessi is simply a wonderful person.  For those reasons and more, all of us at ABI were excited last week to learn that Jessi has been selected by the Business Record to be a member of the 2024 Forty Under 40 class.  The group is comprised of young and up-and-coming leaders from across Greater Des Moines.  Click here to read more: Business Record | Forty Under 40 (  Jessi is perfect choice and we give her our congratulations and very best wishes; way to go, Jessi!