Important to Support IIPAC - Monday Memo 8/12/19

August 12, 2019

Goal:  100 Percent ABI Board Member Participation in IIPAC

ABI’s award-winning public policy work encompasses many elements.  One of those elements is the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee.  IIPAC is ABI’s political arm and it exists to support pro-business candidates, regardless of party.  As I often say, IIPAC will support a Democrat, a Republican, a Whig, or a Tory… as long as they support business. 

The IIPAC Board of Directors is chaired by former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines) and it consists of ABI members and IIPAC contributors who are focused on pro-business policies.  This is the time of year that the IIPAC Board and all of us at ABI are focused on raising funds for the PAC.  

One key component in IIPAC support has always been the ABI Board of Directors, as there is a goal every year to have ALL board members make an IIPAC contribution.  Several of us on staff contribute as well (for a list of IIPAC contributors, reply to this message).  If you aren’t an IIPAC contributor already, you should be (I am).  Click here now to make your donation:  Thank you and thank you to ALL IIPAC supporters! 

Executive Committee Meets Wednesday; First ABI Board Meeting of Fiscal Year September 11 in Cedar Rapids

In just a couple of days, ABI Chair ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) and members of the association’s Executive Committee will hold their August teleconference.   The committee will work through a full agenda and will meet again immediately prior to the September board meeting. 

The ABI Board of Directors will meet September 11 at the Cedar Rapids Marriott.  Lunch will be served for all board members and former chairs in attendance.  The meeting will be followed by tours of Collins Aerospace.  Those of us who have been to Collins previously can attest that this will be a very cool tour.  You will receive much more information, including a detailed meeting packet and map, a week prior to the meeting. 

The September board meeting is typically well-attended and is important for several reasons.  It marks the first board meeting of the ABI fiscal year and the first meeting for newly-elected board members.  Because it also marks the first meeting of the board in three months, the agenda is typically full and involves action on a number of issues, including ABI's public policy agenda for the next year.  On behalf of Cindy and our other officers, I look forward to seeing you in Cedar Rapids. 

Annual Policy Development Policy Committee Meetings on Tap

Some of the most important work done by ABI each year relates to public policy advocacy.  And the most important part of that process is the active involvement and leadership of ABI members themselves.  In order to ensure that ABI members have every opportunity to lead and guide this critical task, ABI hosted several meetings around the state earlier this spring and summer.  Last week, ABI began a series of meetings in Des Moines to develop public policy positions for 2020. 

It is the ABI Vice Chair who leads this process each year and thus Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) is chairing the 2019 process.  Last week’s meetings involved record attendance and it is likely more records will be set this week.  However, there is still time for you and your employees to participate in the policy committee meetings.  

The ABI Environment Committee, chaired by Mick Durham (Grain Processing Corporation, Muscatine), meets tomorrow.  The ABI Economic Growth Committee, chaired by Kelly Barrick (CIBC, West Des Moines), meets Wednesday.  And the ABI Tax Committee, chaired by Larry Countryman (Wilson Trailer Company, Sioux City), meets Thursday.  Please go to to register for these free meetings.  As you know, this process will conclude next month when you (the ABI Board of Directors and Past Chairs) meet to adopt final policies.  Thank you in advance for your involvement in this critical work. 

Latest BR Iowa Now Out

As you know, in conjunction with member company Business Publications Corp., ABI publishes Business Record Iowa.  This monthly newsprint magazine is distributed to you and to business leaders all across Iowa as a part of the Des Moines Business Record

The August edition of BR Iowa was published last week and should be in your mailbox by now.  It features two great ABI leaders on the front cover, ABI Board Member Randy Moore (Iowa-American Water Company, Davenport) and member company executive Kathryn Kunert (MidAmerican Energy Company, Des Moines).  If you have not received your copy of BR Iowa, please contact me and one will be sent to you at once. 

2020 Convention Planning Well Underway

ABI members are still talking about the terrific 2019 ABI Convention held in June in Ames.  The hospitality, speakers, and exciting venues made a lasting impression on all who attended.  

As you know, the 117th Annual ABI Convention (Iowa's Taking Care of Business Conference 2020) will be held in Cedar Rapids.  Community leaders there are pulling out all the stops to welcome ABI and you will see some absolutely terrific new venues.  Planning for the convention is well underway and is being ably led by a great committee.  Believe me when I say the 2020 conference is shaping up to be another spectacular meeting and you won’t want to miss it.  

ABI Executive Open August 26

The annual ABI Executive Open best ball golf outing will be held Monday, August 26 at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines, one of Iowa's most exclusive and beautiful private clubs.  Register now to play golf and enjoy a reception with your ABI colleagues (or just join us for the reception following golf).  To find more information or to register, please go to the ABI webpage at and click on the Events Calendar tab.  Well over a hundred ABI members have already registered! 

LIU Completes Session

Last Thursday, the annual class of Leadership Iowa University was completed.  The program seeks to educate, inspire, and develop college students as a foundation for Iowa’s economic growth and to encourage their on-going involvement in community and state initiatives.  To get a feel for LIU, go to and click on the links to see what class members have to say and to watch videos that offer insight into this great program.  You can also use that link to see who is in the class and to access blogs students have written. 

The students are an intelligent and enthusiastic group and made the most of their time last week.  It is clear they are focused on business and advancing their careers in a way that brings value to them, their future employers, and to Iowa.  As I mentioned last week, class members come from public, private, and community colleges all across Iowa.  Thank you to ABI Board Member Rich Dwyer (Kent Corporation, Muscatine) for sharing his son with us.  Justin Dwyer, a great young man, was a member of this year’s LIU class. 

Deadline Extended for Legends in Manufacturing Awards Nominations

As you read last week, the nomination deadline for the Legends in Manufacturing Awards has been extended to August 16 (this Friday).  Go now to to make your nominations of worthy companies.  Then, plan on attending the annual Legends dinner in October. 

ABI Advisory Council Meets Thursday

Members of the ABI Advisory Council will meet Thursday for a networking session in Des Moines.  Thank you to ABI Advisory Council members 21st Century Rehab, ACS, BCC Advisers, Brick Gentry P.C., BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC, Far Reach, Focus OneSource, HDH Advisors, LMC Insurance and Risk Management, Principal, Shift Interactive, Tero International, The Iowa Clinic, Wellmark, and Wells Fargo

ABI, CIRAS Partner on Manufacturing Matchmaking Session

ABI, in conjunction with longtime member/partner CIRAS (the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa Strate University) will host a manufacturing matchmaking session as a part of the annual Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference on October 2nd.  To find more information and to register, please click on    

By the way, last fall, ABI and CIRAS partnered on a digital manufacturing tour that was quite successful.  Plans are underway for ABI to offer a second digital tour this fall.  Various stops will be made to pick up passengers and the group will tour businesses in Iowa and perhaps elsewhere in the Midwest.  The latest manufacturing technology will be on display and the tour will include live presentations by manufacturers who will share the latest in digital technology, process improvement, and best practices.  Watch for more information coming soon. 

YPIowa Conference Next Month in Ottumwa

As you know, the ABI Foundation provides administrative support to Young Professionals of Iowa, our state's leading organization for young professionals.  YPIowa's biggest annual event is the YPIowa Conference.  The 2019 edition of that event will be held next month (September 20) in Ottumwa. 

A terrific program is in store and the YPs on your staff will want to attend.  You are also invited and you can register at  Click on the link for more information. 

NAM Reports Decreased Manufacturing Exports

The latest Global Manufacturing Economic Update, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, reported that manufactured goods exports are down two percent over this same time last year.  The Report also noted a few other negative factors impacting manufacturing as well.  If you would like to see the publication for yourself, please reply to this message and I will send it to you at once. 

Steve Jacobs to Celebrate

A great guy and a great ABI board member celebrates his birthday this Saturday.  Longtime ABI Board member Steve Jacobs (BCC Advisers, Des Moines) celebrates his birthday on the 17th.  Happy birthday, Steve! 

Buies, Roberts Celebrate Anniversaries

Two great ABI leaders and their wives are celebrating wedding anniversaries this month.  Former ABI Chair Frederick V. Buie (Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Company, Des Moines) and his wife, Valeska Buie, and former longtime ABI Board Member Steve Roberts (Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines) and his wife, Dawn Roberts celebrate anniversaries.  ABI salutes and congratulates Fred and Valeska and Steve and Dawn!  Best wishes for many more happy years together! 

Latest BCC Advisers Newsletter Packed with High-Value Information

Reading ABI-member company newsletters is one of the perks of being on the staff and thank you for sharing them with us.  One of the best is baton, the newsletter published by longtime member BCC Advisers.  The latest edition is another one packed with great information. 

A cover story related to dealing with unsolicited offers (something I know many ABI company owners receive often), tips for dealing with valuations, and another great business lines column by the President of the firm and longtime ABI Board Member Steve Jacobs (BCC Advisers, Des Moines) are just some of the highlights.  You can read the newsletter for yourself at  Thanks to everyone at BCC Advisers for sharing the newsletter. 

Hausers to Celebrate 65 Years

Just a couple of weeks ago, it was fun to recognize a milestone wedding anniversary for a former longtime ABI staff member, Jan Meek and her husband, Bob Meek.  It is fun this week to recognize another milestone anniversary for another former longtime ABI staff member. 

August 28 will mark the wedding anniversary for former ABI Vice President/Interim President Don Hauser and his wife, Rose Hauser.  The Hausers were married in West Virginia 65 years ago.  In honor of this wonderful event, Des Moines Catholic Diocese Bishop Paul Pates issued a special certificate commemorating Don and Rose’s marriage.  Congratulations to the Hausers – and very best wishes upon this terrific occasion!