Governor to Speak at ABI Conference - Monday Memo 9/21/20

September 21, 2020

Governor to Address Participants at Next Week’s Advanced Manufacturing Conference

Late last week, it was announced that Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds will be a part of next week’s ABI Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference.  That event will take place a week from Wednesday, on September 30, and you can go here to register and/or find more information:  

There is a fantastic lineup of speakers ( and terrific breakouts (yes, virtual breakouts) in store at the conference.  One of the highlights will be the concluding session, which will feature great ABI leaders Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield), Mary Landhuis (Lisle Corporation, Clarinda), and Molly Varangkounh (Hy-Capacity, Humboldt).  Don’t miss this great program; register now at the link above. 

November Board Meeting to be Held Virtually

The ABI Board of Directors will hold its next meeting on Thursday, November 12.  The meeting will again take place using the Zoom video conferencing platform.  Watch for more information soon. 

The board will also meet on January 13.  For now, it is planned that meeting will take place in person in Des Moines.  And don’t miss the annual conference, which will be hosted by ABI Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) in Iowa City/Coralville next June. 

CIRAS Advisory Council to Meet

The Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University is a key ABI partner and the CIRAS Industry Advisory Council will meet Thursday at ISU.  Several ABI member companies are represented on the council and over the years, many members of the ABI Board of Directors have also played leadership roles on the CIRAS Council. 

Thursday’s meeting will focus on a data review and advanced manufacturing assistance programs.  Watch for news of CIRAS events and services to come your way in the near future. 

Leadership Iowa Class Announced; Will Convene Next Month in Atlantic for First Session

The 2020-2021 class of the ABI Foundation’s Leadership Iowa program was announced last week.  Click here to see more information about class members:  As are all LI classes, this class is comprised of terrific young leaders from all around Iowa and they will meet for the first time October 7-9 in Atlantic. 

For now, plans are to have the class convene in person.  Stringent protocols will be in place to ensure health and safety.  Class members will hold the first session, become acquainted with each other and the program, and focus on learning about issues facing Iowa.  Go to for more information. 

Speaking of Leadership Iowa, the 2019-2020 class graduated during a ceremony held in Des Moines last Friday.  Congratulations to these terrific Iowans. 

ABI Directory Updates Due by Friday, October 9

This is the time of year that ABI's member database is being updated.  Information from the database will be checked, formatted, and put into hard copy form for inclusion in the 2021 ABI Resource Guide.  The guide, in addition to including member data, includes information on the association's people, programs, and events. 

If there are no changes in your personnel or company information, you need do nothing.  If you have updates, simply send an email to Dorothy Knowles at  The deadline to receive updates is Friday, October 9.  Thank you in advance for helping us make sure your information is accurate. 

Episode 38 of Iowa Business Report Radio Program Broadcast; ABI Survey Highlighted

The Iowa Business Report broadcast its 38th episode over the weekend and it was another in a series of terrific shows.  As you know, the show is the result of a great partnership between well-known Iowa broadcaster Jeff Stein and ABI.  If you missed it, you can click here to listen for yourself:  Links can also be found on the ABI website at  

By the way, if you don’t catch the program on your local station or if you haven’t yet listened to an episode, click the link and give it a listen.  Jeff Stein really is Iowa’s best business broadcaster.  The lead feature on this week’s episode is a focus on the latest edition of the ABI Quarterly Iowa Business Survey (see below).  

Quarterly ABI Board Survey Projects Strong Sales, Increased Capital Expenditures; Notes Concerns

And speaking of that survey, association board members were surveyed in the latest edition of the ABI Quarterly Iowa Business Survey.  The survey covers the fourth quarter of the year (October-December of 2020). 

ABI board members expressed strong optimism.  Fully 90 percent of those responding expect sales to increase or at worst, stay the same in the quarter.  Fully 90 percent expect to make new hires or at worst, hold steady on employment.  Also remarkable is that nearly 60 percent plan to make capital expenditures in the quarter.  That is great news for ABI member and great news for Iowa.  

Concerns were also noted.  ABI members continue to cite workforce shortages as a primary issue.  Concern about employees’ health and well-being were also expressed.  And not everyone is experiencing strong business cycles right now.  Thank you for taking time to participate in the survey and click here if you would like to see the media release about it:  

LHH Study Provides Valuable Information

Speaking of information, valuable information is found in the Severance and Separation Benefits Study published annually by ABI member Lee Hecht Harrison.  The study utilizes information from a variety of sources to provide a great benchmarking tool for you and your company.  Longtime Iowa LHH leader Dick Reasons (Lee Hecht Harrison, Des Moines) can be a great resource on these matters.  If you wish to see the study for yourself or obtain contact information for Dick, please reply to this message and I’ll get it to you at once. 

CenturyLink Now Lumen

Longtime ABI member CenturyLink last week announced a new name: Lumen.  You read about the new name in last Thursday’s ABI newsletter.  The re-brand recognizes the company’s move to a leadership position among technology platforms in communications and elsewhere.  Congratulations to everyone at Lumen, including ABI Board Member Taylor Teepell (Lumen, Des Moines)

Principal Charity Classic Sets Record amid Pandemic

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Principal Charity Classic, an annual stop on the PGA Champions Tour, had to be cancelled.  Longtime ABI member and title sponsor Principal did not let that cancellation hinder its work on behalf of the charities that benefit from the tournament. 

In fact, a record-high of $6.7 million was raised to support Iowa children.  Since the company became the title sponsor in 2007, more than $30 million has been raised.  Congratulations to everyone at Principal, including ABI Board Member Matt Ahmann (Principal, Des Moines), and thank you! 

Todd McDonald’s Son-in-Law Plays for 49ers

Longtime ABI Board Member Todd McDonald (ATW Training Solutions, Urbandale) has talented children.  In fact, his daughter Tatum Reynolds works in the business.  

What I didn’t know is that Tatum’s husband, Ross Reynolds, also has an interesting job.  He plays football for the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL.  You can read about him here:  Ross played college football for the Iowa Hawkeyes.  It was fun to learn about Tatum and Ross!  Now, uh, Todd, about game tickets… 

Johnne Syverson Leads Motorcycle Trip to Toby Shine’s Okoboji Classic Cars

Many of you know that former longtime ABI Board Member Johnne Syverson (Syverson Strege, West Des Moines) is active in his church.  One nontraditional ministry of Johnne’s church is a motorcycle club.  

Johnne reports that a week ago Saturday, he led the group on an excursion to a favored ABI designation, Okoboji Classic Cars.  OCC, of course, is the famous “man cave on steroids” created by former ABI Chair Toby Shine (Shine Bros. Corp., Spencer) that has become a popular tourist stop in the Iowa Great Lakes Area.  Johnne reports a great time was had by all, and the group even received a welcome and presentation by Toby’s wife, Sylvia Shine.  Thanks for the report, Johnne! 

Rose Hauser Passes

Many of you well recall Don Hauser, who served the Iowa Manufacturers Association/ABI in various leadership positions for parts of four decades.  Don still stays in touch and he and his wife, Rose, have been experiencing some health issues.  Those issues ultimately became too much for Rose and she passed away during the night of September 15.  You may read more about Rose here:  

Don and Rose shared an incredible love story.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Don and his family at this time.