May ABI Board Meeting next Week - Monday Memo 4/25/16

April 25, 2016

Board to Meet Next Week; Final Meeting Before Conference

The final ABI board meeting before the 2016 convention will be held next week.  ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) and the ABI Board of Directors will meet Wednesday, May 4 at the Emerson Innovation Center in downtown Marshalltown.  The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m.  

Please register your attendance now at  Look for your usual packet of meeting materials to arrive in your email in-basket later this week.   On behalf of our ABI officers, I look forward to seeing you next week. 

ABI Regional Policy Meetings Coming Up in May

Most observers believe this is the final week of the 2016 session of the Iowa General Assembly. Thus it is time for you to register for an ABI Regional Public Policy meeting coming to your area in May.  At the meeting, you will hear the latest report on the 2016 Iowa Legislative Session, the impact actions of legislators had on your business, and you will receive a preview of the coming campaign season.  You will also have the opportunity to share input about legislative issues that you and your employees believe should be the focus of ABI in 2017. 

You can register for one or more of the sessions by going to the Events Page on the ABI website. You will find that site here:  The ABI public policy staff and I look forward to seeing you and your employees at the upcoming meetings.  

ABI Foundation Seeks Your Nominations for Leadership Iowa, Business Horizons, LIU ; LI in Mason City Next Week

As I have noted in recent editions of this memo, this is the time of year that the ABI Foundation is seeking your help to nominate worthy individuals for acceptance in Foundation programs.  Business Horizons, Leadership Iowa, and Leadership Iowa University are all in the nomination phase.  Go to or to or to for more information. 

Thank you to those of you who have already nominated individuals for these great Foundation programs.  By the way, the current LI class will meet in Mason City next week.  

Wednesday: ABI Drug-Free Workplace Seminar

This Wednesday, the ABI Biennial Drug Free Workplace Workshop will be held at the ABI office in des Moines.  The program is designed to help your company create a drug free workplace.  Don't miss this opportunity to find the latest in rulings, best practice-sharing ideas, and other items related to drug testing at the meeting.  The registration link for the conference should be available this week.  Register here:

Nominating Committee to Meet May 9

As noted in last week’s Monday Memo, the ABI Nominating Committee will kick off its work soon.  The committee, which is chaired by Immediate Past Chair of the ABI Board of Directors Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly), will meet by teleconference on May 9. 

In addition to Mark, members of the Committee include ABI board members from each of the association's five state districts.  They are District 1 - John Riches (Alcoa, Davenport), District 2 - Sarah McDonald Hasken (UnityPoint Health, Dubuque), District 3 - Michael Sadler (CenturyLink, Des Moines), District 4 - Alan Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan), and District 5 - David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner).  

If you have someone you believe would make a great ABI board member, the committee wants to know about her or him.  Simply contact one of them, or me, and we’ll make sure the names are considered by the committee.  

Register NOW for 2016 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference; Two Hotels Sold-Out

The 113th Annual ABI Convention, the 2016 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference, will be held in Sioux City June 14-16.  As I noted last week, first class venues, terrific speakers, golf at one of the Midwest's courses, and the very best business networking in Iowa will make the 2016 meeting one for the record books.  Almost 300 people are already registered for the conference. 

In conference-related news, ABI was notified recently that two of the conference hotels are already sold-out.  Both the Hard Rock Casino Hotel and the Stoney Creek Inn are full. That's okay, because there are other terrific hotels, such as the Marina Inn, that will provide great lodging for conference attendees.  Click on this link for more information:

The bottom line is you want to make your lodging reservations -- and register for the conference -- NOW. Simply reply to this message and we’ll take care of the registration process for you!  Or, you can find the convention link it at the association’s website at  Just click on the convention icon near the top of the page.  See you in Sioux City in June! 

Search Update

As you know, the search for a ABI Foundation development director is well underway.  Dozens of terrific applications were received and we are now conducting preliminary interviews with selected candidates. Following that, officers will be invited to meet with a small group of finalists. 

As I noted last week, competition for the position is fierce.  Thanks to the fantastic leadership provided by the board of directors, ABI is a sought-after employer.  I am excited by the quality of applicants and I know the successful candidate will play a key role in taking the ABI Foundation to an even higher level of performance.  Stay tuned. 

Check the ABI Events Calendar Often

Between ABI and the ABI Foundation, our organization is sponsoring events throughout Iowa all year long.  Please allow this note to serve as a reminder to check the ABI Events page often for information about upcoming events.  Simply go to  for the latest events information. 

There you can get further details about upcoming meetings and seminars, register your attendance, or find other information.  The page changes weekly so visit it frequently for the most up-to-date data. 

Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference Open to ABI Members

As you know, ABI is among a number of organizations that are collaborating in producing the Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference.  The conference will be held May 11-13 at the Overland Park Marriott in Overland Park, Kansas.  The agenda for the conference is terrific and packed full of high-value information.  Your compliance staff will find no better resource for the very latest in environmental regulatory information. ABI receives financial support for every Iowa participant that registers for the conference.  While that is a great incentive, the real reason to attend is for the high-value program.  Please consider sending your staff to the conference.  Find out more information and register by clicking on  

NAM Report Cites Manufacturing Growth, But Static Economy Persists

As are many of you, I am an avid reader of the National Association of Manufacturers' Monday Economic Report.  Last week's report was more good reading. 

The bottom line is that American manufacturing continues to see minor growth .  Predictions for the general economy call for things to see slow growth as well.  As always, it is hoped that manufacturing activity can lead to growth in the economy in general.  Please reply to this memo if you wish to receive last week's NAM report.  

Innovative Lighting GENIYSYS System is Amazing

One of the very best things about being a member of the ABI staff is the opportunity for fascinating plant tours and incredible product showcases. Through those opportunities over the years, I have learned that ABI member companies are the most innovative businesses anywhere. 

Friday morning, I visited the Ankeny plant of Innovative Lighting.  The company is a great ABI member with facilities in Roland, Ankeny, and Albia.  You may recall the company's President and CEO, Jerry Handsaker (Innovative Lighting, Roland), from his remarks at the 2010 ABI Convention.  Jerry is passionate about his company, his people and his products. 

Last week, Jerry and Wendell Strong (Innovative Lighting, Ankeny) shared information about the company's brand new GENISYS PoE lighting System.  It is hard to describe this system, but I can share that it is better, cheaper, more green, and more secure than traditional lighting systems -- by far.  Click on this link: to learn more.  I was so struck by the system that I just had to share it with you. 

I believe you will have the opportunity learn more about GENISYS at an upcoming ABI event (perhaps the June conference). For now, thank you, Jerry and Wendell, for a fascinating visit. 

Tollakson Receives Award, Bass Part of Business Record CRE Forum

Two ABI board members were a part of last week's Des Moines Business Record Commercial Real Estate Forum.  ABI Board Member Rick Tollakson (Hubbell Realty Company, West Des Moines) was a panelist and, as you read in a previous edition of this memorandum, also received the award naming him the 2016 Greater Des Moines Commercial Real estate Professional of the Year.  

In addition, Rick was highlighted in a great feature story in the current edition of the Des Moines Business Record. You can read it for yourself here:  Congratulations to Rick! 

The award Rick received was presented to him by ABI Board Member Doug Bass (Great Western Bank, Clive).  It was great to see Doug at the Forum as well! 

Joe Ryan Passes Away

Former ABI Chair Joe Ryan (Delevan Corporation, West Des Moines) passed away the week before last.  Joe was a terrific leader for ABI and was respected and loved by all who knew him.  he had been experiencing health issues related to Parkinson's in recent years, but he died peacefully after battling the disease for so long.  

Click here to read Joe's obituary for yourself: Many thanks to former ABI Chair John Butler (Cottingham & Butler, Dubuque) for making sure we learned of Joe's passing.  As John notes, the mention of ABI is not correct, but we know that Joe loved ABI nonetheless.  Thank you for making sure we knew of Joe's passing, John. 

Thank you too, to ABI member John Gilliland (Gilliand Group at Morgan Stanley, Des Moines) for reminding me that, in addition to Joe's leadership as Chair and as an ABI board member for so many years, Joe was also active on the board of directors for the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee for many, many years.  ABI celebrates the life and work of a great Iowa leader, Joe Ryan.