It's Annual Conference Time - Monday Memo 6/4/18

June 4, 2018

It's Here; 115th Annual ABI Convention Starts Tomorrow!

The 115th Annual ABI Convention, also known as the 2018 Taking Care of Business Conference, kicks-off tomorrow.  The conference begins with industry tours, golf at Brown Deer Golf Club in Coralville, and other activities around Greater Iowa City.  The annual Gala Welcome Reception will be held tomorrow evening at the beautiful Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Coralville. 

As I type this, something approaching 600 people are set for the conference; but if you haven’t registered, it's not a problem.  Email me now or just show up and we’ll take care of you.  If you have any questions or comments, simply call me on my cell phone at (515) 720-7248 and the ABI staff will get you registered.  On behalf of ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner), I look forward to seeing you in Coralville!

Governor Reynolds, Lieutenant Governor Gregg to Address ABI Conference-Goers Wednesday

ABI was among the very first organizations Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds addressed last year after becoming governor. Governor Reynolds will again address ABI members at the annual conference this year, during Wednesday’s annual meeting.  The Governor was a great friend to ABI in her past roles as Lieutenant Governor and State Senator, and she continues to be one in her role as the state’s chief executive. 

Governor Reynolds will be joined by Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, also no stranger to ABI.  We look forward to both leaders being with us in Coralville. 

Association Headquarters Closing for the Week at Noon Today

Due to the annual conference, the ABI headquarters in Des Moines will be closed starting at noon today through Friday.  Please don’t hesitate to contact staff members by cell phone and please never hesitate to contact me on my cell phone at the number above if you need assistance of any kind.  We look forward to being back in the office – and celebrating the completion of a great convention – bright and early a week from today. 

Annual ABI Policy Tour Concludes Today; Policy Committees to Meet

Later this morning by teleconference, the association's public policy team will host the final ABI public policy regional meeting of the spring.  This will mark the conclusion of the annual policy tour. Click here to register for the meeting:

ABI’s policy work now moves to the next phase.  Each of ABI's five policy committees, plus the Legislative Committee, will meet in August.  You and your employees are invited to participate in those meetings at no charge.  You can find more information or register for the meetings using this link:

Following the work of the committees, the ABI Board of Directors will consider and adopt 2018 policy statements at the September meeting.  Watch for more information in the coming months. 

Board to Elect Officers for FY18

Last week, all board members and former board chairs should have received an email message that included several documents related to the annual conference.  That message also highlighted the fact that the ABI Board of Directors will hold its final meeting of the association’s 2017-2018 fiscal year during the annual business meeting at the conference on Wednesday.  The board will hold the traditional 60-second meeting to elect officers. 

The previously-mentioned message shared the FY19 meeting schedule, budget and the 2018 Nominating Committee report.  Thank you to Nominating Committee Chair (and Immediate Past ABI Chair) Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) and committee members Andy Kretz (Dexter-Apache, Fairfield), Tom Determann (CRDC, Clinton), Kim Augspurger (Saxton, Des Moines), Alan Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan), and Larry Countryman (Wilson Trailer Company, Sioux City).  

The budget projects another year in the black and continues a string of successful years.  I take very seriously your charge to me related to strong financial performance and I am very proud of ABI’s record in that regard.  Thank you for your leadership, which is responsible for that success. 

Jack Lashier Honored with Leadership for Iowa Award

The ABI Foundation's highest honor is the Leadership for Iowa Award.  The award is presented periodically to an alumnus of the Leadership Iowa program who is a leader among leaders and who has demonstrated a commitment to serve Iowa. 

As you read last week, the award will be presented to longtime Iowa leader and former ABI Chair Jack Lashier.  Jack is well-known as a terrific leader and is well-deserving of the award.  Congratulations, Jack! 

Leadership Iowa to Celebrate; Current Class Will Graduate

The ABI Foundation's Leadership Iowa program marks another successful year with activities coinciding with the annual conference.  Go now to for more information. 

The LI graduation ceremony will take place on the Main Stage during Thursday morning’s conference session.  It will be a highlight of the annual conference for attendees to honor the LI Class, which has been noted by some as the best ever.  I know you join me in congratulating all class members. 

Terrific Foundation Auction Items

Each year, the ABI Foundation holds an auction in conjunction with the Taking Care of Business Conference.  There are always many terrific items available and as I have noted the post couple of weeks, this year is no exception.  Everything takes place on Wednesday night at Kinnick Stadium.  Don’t miss it! 

All the proceeds from the auction go to benefit the programs of the ABI Foundation and Iowans who participate in them.  Thank you in advance for your support. 

Your support for the Foundation is important, appreciated, and it is never taken for granted.  Leadership Iowa, Leadership Iowa University, and Business Horizons have made our state a better place and impacted the lives of thousands of Iowans.  Thank you again! 

Calling All Students: Register for Business Horizons Now

The ABI Foundation's Business Horizons program has been phenomenally successful, literally changing the lives of Iowa's young people over the years.  The 2018 edition of this terrific program will be held next month at Central College in Pella.  

There are still slots left for students and I hope you will consider nominating the high school-age sons and daughters of your employees.  It's free and it won't take long to do it.  Please click here:  Thank you for your help! 

ATW Training Solutions to Celebrate New Location with Open House; You are Invited!

ABI members are familiar with and have utilized the services of fellow ABI member company ATW Training Solutions.  The company recently moved to a new location in Urbandale. 

To mark the occasion, ATW is hosting an Open House next week, on the afternoon of June 14. The open house will be held at the new and expanded training facility from 4:00 to 7:00.  Company President (and ABI Board Member) Todd McDonald (ATW Training Solutions, Urbandale) invites all ABI board members and your staffs to stop by from some barbeque, beverages, and ice cream.  For more information, please click here: ATW Training Open House

Congratulations to Todd and everyone at ATW on the new location! See you at the Open House! 

Atlantic Bottling Nearly Triples Production

You will recall that longtime ABI member company Atlantic Bottling nearly tripled in size about 20 months ago. The company acquired an expanded territory/operations that cover almost all of Iowa and parts of several other states.  Recently, the company also nearly tripled production at its award-winning Atlantic plant.  

The company formerly produced 60,000 to 65,000 cases of beverages at the facility each week. After adding a second shift, production is now at 160,000 cases weekly.  That is incredible growth!  Congratulations to everyone at Atlantic Bottling, including former ABI Chair and company Executive Chairman Jim Tyler (Atlantic Bottling Company, Atlantic) and company Chairman and former ABI chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Bottling Company, Des Moines)

MidAmerican Energy Achieves 100 Percent Goal

Last week, ABI member company MidAmerican Energy announced it had achieved its goal, set just four years ago, to have one hundred percent of its energy come from renewable sources.  The company has invested billions of dollars in Iowa to make that happen. 

The company also announced its latest wind energy project, Wind XII. The project will involve almost another billion dollars and be completed within two years.  Read more here:  Congratulations to everyone at MidAmerican, including longtime ABI Board Member J.D. Davis (MidAmerican Energy, Des Moines)!  

The Business of ABI: Financial Performance

As you know, I periodically and briefly review various association business/operational issues in these memos.  Last week, I mentioned that during the year almost over, ABI had achieved several records in such things as participation, event attendance, sponsorships, legislative accomplishment, etc. 

That success applied to financial performance.  The association’s finances during the past year have been well over-seen by ABI Board Treasurer John Krogman (Connect-A-Dock, Atlantic).  

I say it often, because it is true: thanks to terrific leadership by the Board of Directors and association members, ABI’s financial status is dramatically better than it was 12 years ago.  Revenue is something like five times what it was then.  Of course, expenses are also much increased, but instead of running a deficit, ABI now generates funding in excess of expenses.  Program delivery is of course greatly expanded as well.  Cash on hand, members, staff, events, etc. are all increased.  

Providing value to members is what ABI is all about.  Thanks to YOU, we have the resources to get that done.  I promise you we never take your investment for granted and your support is always, always appreciated.  THANK YOU.