It's a Record-Breaker - Monday Memo 1/21/19

January 21, 2019

ABI Holds Record-Breaking Legislative Briefing, Reception

The leadership of the Iowa General Assembly, dozens of legislators of both parties and chambers, statewide elected officials such Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and Auditor of State Rob Sand, state department heads, and ABI members have shared great comments regarding the 2019 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception held last week.  The crowd was a record-breaker, with 500-600 people attending. 

Prior to the reception, the annual legislative briefing was highlighted by remarks by ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City), Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain, ABI Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf, and ABI Vice President Member Development and Programs Kathy Anderson.  The briefing included a preview of the 2019 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference to be held in Ames in June.

The reception following the briefing seems to grow larger each year.  ABI members from every corner of the state and from many states outside Iowa were on hand to connect with state officials.  It is that interaction with legislators that is so vital and that makes the event such a critical component to advancing ABI’s agenda each year.  

By the way, while we appreciate the huge crowd, what is more satisfying is the number of the attendees who say they conduct business and make important connections at the events.  Check the ABI website soon for photos from the event. 

In the meantime, many thanks for the good words you have shared about the event and for the work of ABI staff.  THANK YOU for making the 2019 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception exceptional events.  

To be Held Friday: First ABI Legislative Teleconference of 2019

ABI's Public Policy team will hold 2019’s first monthly teleconference related to the work of the Iowa General Assembly this Friday.  The call will be held January 25 at 8:00 a.m.  The calls typically last about 30 minutes and you and your employees are invited to participate.  Please click here for more information about the call, free and open to ABI members only: Register now at

Board Holds First Meeting of 2019

Members of the ABI Board of Directors met Wednesday.  ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) led the board through a fast-paced meeting, which was the board's first of 2019.  Strong attendance and participation marked what was a great meeting of the board.  The meeting was followed by the annual legislative briefing and reception.  Thank you to all of you who joined us in Des Moines last week. 

May Board Meeting to be in Iowa City

More information will be coming your way soon, but please remember that the May meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held in Iowa City.  ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) will convene the meeting in Iowa City on May 8.  

Iowa City, of course, is a terrific college town with a strong business base.  The board meeting will be he held at MERGE:  Merge is a co-working space and innovation hub in the center of downtown Iowa City.  You will enjoy learning more about this entity, which is a joint venture involving several organizations led by Iowa City Area Development (ICAD).  Optional tours of Bankers Advertising/Tru Art and other special features will be a part of the meeting. 

Please mark your calendars now for what is always a great meeting, as it is the final meeting in advance of the annual conference.  And watch for more information to come your way soon. 

2019 ABI Convention Generating Buzz; Hotels Filling Fast

You know that the annual ABI Taking Care of Business Conference has been growing in terms of attendance and support for the past several years.  The upcoming meeting will be ABI's 116th Annual Meeting, and it will be held June 4-6 in Ames.  

The 2019 conference is generating a lot of buzz, with people in Ames especially excited to host ABI members from all over Iowa.  At the conference, you will hear from terrific speakers and get great information.  And of course you will see Iowa's best business networking occur at this event. 

Work continues to ensure the conference is a fabulous event.  Many ABI leaders are headed to Ames in the coming weeks.  Media events and other meetings are on tap, all designed to promote the conference and expand attendance.  

Two conference hotels, the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center and the Best Western University Park, are filling fast.  But don’t worry; there will be plenty of great rooms available and a third hotel will be added soon.  Click here for more information:  By the way, the conference registration website will go live a month from today.  

ABI Legislative Reception Photos Available Soon; Check Events Calendar

As you know, the 2019 ABI Legislative Reception was a record-breaker in terms of numbers of members, state officials, and legislators attending.  The event was incredibly successful and was an important part of advancing ABI’s public policy agenda for the year. 

Photographs will soon be posted to the ABI website (and more will be coming).  Please check them out here:  You might be in them!  

In the meantime, many of you have asked about upcoming events.  I encourage you to check the ABI events calendar often at to see the extensive list of ABI meetings and events coming up in the next few weeks.  There is always a lot happening at ABI. 

Elevate Again Offering Community College Scholarships

Each year, ABI’s Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative offers scholarships for Iowa high school students.  In 2019, Elevate is again offering 15 $500 scholarships to Iowa high school seniors interested in studying a manufacturing-related program of courses at one of Iowa’s community colleges.  One award is made per each of Iowa’s’ 15 community college regions.  

Go to the Elevate webpage at for more information.  Or simply reply to this message and I will get you more information at once.  

Annual Resource Guide Available Soon

As you read in last week's memo, the association's annual Business Resource Guide and membership directory is being finalized and will be printed and available soon.  Look for your 2019 directory to arrive in a few weeks.  

Iowa STEM Advisory Council Partners on Externships

Over the last few years, several ABI member companies have participated in the externship program administered by the Iowa Governor's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Advisory Council.  The externships are six-week terms for educators to get actual experience inside a business. 

The program helps educators by exposing them to practical experience in the business world.  It can help your company by gaining additional staff for a short period and by exposing educators to what their students will find when they graduate.  For more information, please go to this link:  

Business Record Again Names ABI Board One of “Most Influential”

Each year, ABI partner and member the Des Moines Business Record compiles a book of lists.  One of the lists is a list of the top 25 most influential boards of directors in central Iowa and the state.  I am proud to say that for the past several years and again this year, the ABI Board of Directors is recognized (as it should be) as one of the most influential boards. 

As Kathy Anderson noted during last week’s board meeting, the ABI board is the first non-central Iowa/statewide board listed.  Congratulations to all of you and THANK YOU for your leadership! 

Paul Gregoire and John Schreurs Mark Birthdays

Two more ABI leaders are marking birthdays.  Celebrating this month are former ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Fisher-Emerson, Marshalltown) and former Board Member John Schreurs (Strategic America, West Des Moines).  Happy birthday to Paul and John!