It's Here Next Week - Monday Memo 5/28/19

May 28, 2019

It’s Almost Here; 116th Annual ABI Convention NEXT WEEK

The 116th Annual ABI Convention, the 2019 Taking Care of Business Conference, kicks-off a week from today, starting with networking activities right out of the gate that morning and afternoon.  Various locations around Ames will be the focus next Tuesday.  The terrific Gateway Hotel and Conference center is the setting for the Gala Opening Reception, which will be held Tuesday evening.  The Reception, a fun, high energy event, will be something you do not want to miss.  Following great annual meetings in recent years, the 2019 conference is building on that success.  

As with every ABI convention, there are many program highlights from which to choose.  However, it is clear that the sessions featuring internationally-known speakers Peggy Noonan, Paul Shirley, and Rowena Crosbie (Tero International, Clive) will draw fantastic crowds.  Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg will also address the conference.  Always the source of the very best business networking in Iowa, come to the conference and choose your own highlight from the great series of events, speakers, and venues that await you.  

If you haven’t registered, that is not a problem… but more than 500 people HAVE already registered!  Go now to and click on the conference icon on the page.  Or simply reply to this message and I'll make sure you are registered right away.  On behalf of ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and our other officers, we look forward to seeing you next week in Ames! 

Executive Committee, Board to Receive Nominating Committee Report

The report of the ABI Nominating Committee, chaired by ABI Past Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner), and any final pre-conference information will sent your way later this week.  Please watch for the information in your email in-basket soon. 

FABULOUS Items for Foundation Auction; ABIF Board to Meet

As you know and as I noted last week, the ABI Foundation holds an auction in conjunction with ABI's annual Taking Care of Business Conference.  Each year, the auction items are spectacular.  This year is no exception and there are truly terrific items included in this year's auction.  Click here for more information:  

This year, both the silent and live auctions will take place on site.  Be ready for the live auction on Wednesday evening of the conference.  A special thank you goes to former ABI Board Member Nate Weaton (Weaton Capital, Fairfield), who will again serve as the auctioneer for the evening.  We are deeply grateful to him and to all of you for your support.  

In the meantime, special thanks to Jason Gross (EMC Insurance, Des Moines) for serving as last year’s auctioneer!  

In other ABI Foundation news, the Foundation Board of Directors will meet this Thursday in Des Moines.  Thank you to Chair (and former ABI Chair) Bill Brown (BrownWinick, Des Moines) and the other directors for their leadership!

ABI Regional Policy Tour Concludes This Week; Great Stops Held Last Week

After previous stops around Iowa, the annual ABI public policy tour will conclude this week.  The tour's final stop will be a presentation at Central College in Pella at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday.  Click here to register for the meeting:

The agenda includes a review of the 2019 session of the Iowa General Assembly and obtaining your thoughts about ABI's priorities for 2020.  The participation of so many members across Iowa is what makes the meetings so successful.  

In that regard, regional meetings held across Iowa last week were marked by very strong attendance.  Special thanks to ABI Executive Committee member Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa), who had the ABI Public Policy Team address his CEO Roundtable in Dubuque last Wednesday.  Other board members attending were ABI Executive Committee Member Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) and former ABI Chair (and Jack’s wife) Sarah Hasken

Special thanks as well to ABI Board Members Mary Landhuis (Lisle Corporation, Clarinda) and Stacey Pellett (John Deere, West Des Moines) who participated in the Clarinda regional meeting and to longtime ABI Board Member Drew Vogel (Vogel Paint Company, Orange City), who hosted the Orange City meeting.  And finally, thanks to former ABI Chair Charese Yanney (Guarantee Roofing and Siding, Sioux City), for joining the ABI team for dinner while we were in Sioux City.  It was terrific to see each of these great board members during the regional policy tour. 

Kirk Tyler Checks in from Australia, Will Address IGA Convention

Former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines) is the current Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Beverage Association.  And he is on the go!  Last week, Kirk checked in from Brisbane, Australia (and I thought I was traveling a distance by traveling around Iowa). 

In other news involving Kirk, it is fun to see that he will be addressing the members of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association at that organization’s annual convention in Cedar Rapids in July.  Kirk and another longtime ABI member CEO, Miriam Erickson Brown (Anderson Erickson Dairy, Des Moines), will speak to IGIA members on July 10.  Congratulations to Kirk and Miriam! 

Jim Tyler Featured on Smithsonian Channel

In other Tyler Family news, it was wonderful see to former ABI Chair Jim Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Atlantic) featured in a television program over the weekend.  The Smithsonian Channel carries a show called Air Warriors.  One episode of that show focused on one of World War II’s most famous combat aircraft, the P-38 Lightning.  Jim, of course, was a P-38 combat pilot himself. 

Jim is featured prominently in the program and it was terrific to see him.  Click here for more information:  Thank you, Jim Tyler, for your service and congratulations on this great coverage! 

Haskens Welcome Grandson

It was wonderful to run in to ABI Board Member Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa) and his wife, former ABI Chair Sarah Hasken, in central Iowa over the weekend.  Even more wonderful was the news they shared: their first grandson was born over the weekend.  Jack and Sarah’s daughter Heather and her husband, Matt, welcomed Jack Charles to the world this weekend.  Everyone is doing great.  Congratulations to Heather and Matt, to young Jack, and to his grandparents! 

Hildahls Celebrate New Baby

It was a great weekend for babies, as ABI Communications Director David Hildahl and his wife, Libby Waterbury-Hildahl, also welcomed a new son.  Will James Waterbury-Hildahl was born at 11:24 a.m. yesterday.  I have seen photographic evidence and can attest to Will’s handsomeness.  Congratulations to David and Libby, to Will, and to big sister Natalie! 

Meeks Mark Good News

Most of you well recall Jan Meeks, who was a key member of the ABI staff for decades.  Jan checks in from time to time and it is always good to hear from her. 

Among other things, Jan shared news last week about a serious health issue involving her husband, Bob Meeks.  The great report is that Bob’s issue was addressed through surgery and he is now doing well.  Terrific news about Bob and it is always good to hear from Jan.

The Business of ABI: Fiscal Year-End

There is roughly one month remaining in ABI's fiscal year.  While I never lose sight of where our organization stands as it pursues the objectives you set for us each year, I pay particular attention at this time of the year. 

Based on metrics across the board, it is clear that this has been another record-setting year.  Attendance at events, legislative accomplishments, program development, financial achievement… all are at highpoints.  That is due to YOUR leadership and support as members of the board.  Be assured that I never that that fact for granted. THANK YOU.