Monthly ABI Executive Teleconference Today - Monday Memo 8/14/17

August 14, 2017

Executive Committee Meets Today; First ABI Board Meeting of Fiscal Year September 13

In just a couple of hours, ABI Chair ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) 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 13 at ABI headquarters in Des Moines.  The meeting will be preceded by a meeting of the ABI Executive Committee that morning and lunch will be served for all board members and former chairs in attendance.  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 Dave and our other officers, I look forward to seeing you in Des Moines for this important meeting. 

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 and this week will initiate a series of meetings in Des Moines to develop public policy positions for 2018. 

It is the ABI Vice Chair who leads this process each year and thus David Bywater (Economy Advertising, Iowa City) is chairing the 2017 process.  There is still time for you and your employees to participate in the policy committee meetings.  

The ABI Economic Growth Committee, chaired by Russ Cross (Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, West Des Moines), meets tomorrow.  The ABI Workplace and Product Safety Committee, chaired by Rex Butler (CIPCO, Cedar Rapids), meets Wednesday.  And the ABI Environment Committee, chaired by Mick Durham (Grain Processing Corporation, Muscatine), 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. 

Elevate Website Getting Views; Visit Elevate at the State Fair

You know about ABI's Elevate Advanced Manufacturing campaign.  Elevate is all about raising the profile of manufacturing in Iowa and connecting workers with employers.  It is being led by ABI leaders Lori Schafer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield), Paul Gregoire (Emerson-Fisher, Marshalltown), Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly), and Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale).  Many folks are visiting the campaign website and you can, too, at:

You can also visit the Elevate booth at the State Fair.  Elevate will be featured at the Farm Bureau Shelter at the Fair on Wednesday afternoon.  Thank you to everyone involved in Elevate! 

Send Your HR Staff to ABI for September 7 Immigration Seminar

ABI members tell us they have challenges managing staff matters involving immigration issues. With workforce pressures so intense, handling immigration issues well can be important to your business. 

In response to your comments, ABI is hosting an immigration seminar at the ABI office in Des Moines on September 7. Click here to register and for more information:  This will be a high-value event for a very, very nominal fee.  Your HR staff will not want to miss this event! 

Madison Galloway Completes Service, Communications Coordinator Search Update

Each summer, ABI employs at least one intern. This summer, our intern has been Madison Galloway.  Maddie is the daughter of ABI Foundation Administrative Assistant Jane Galloway and her husband, Paul Galloway.  

Maddie was a great addition to the ABI staff this summer and it seems like only yesterday that she joined us. Maddie’s last day with ABI is tomorrow.  She will be returning to Loras College in Dubuque, where she will be a senior.  Thank you and best wishes to Maddie! 

Also regarding staffing matters, preliminary interviews were held last week with five finalists who are hoping to join ABI in our vacant Communications Coordinator position. Following that first round of interviews, the list of finalists was reduced. 

Following a second round of interviews this week, I anticipate having an offer made and accepted next week. The goal is to have the successful candidate on board at ABI sometime in early September.  Watch for more news soon. 

Latest BRIowa 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 a great ABI leader on the front cover, ABI Board Member Todd Sommerfeld (Kreg Tool Company, Huxley).  If you have not received your copy of BR Iowa, please contact me and one will be sent to you at once. 

2018 Convention Planning Well Underway

ABI members are still talking about the terrific 2017 ABI Convention held in June in Dubuque.  The hospitality, speakers, and exciting venues made a lasting impression on all who attended.  

As you know, the 115th Annual ABI Convention (Iowa's Taking Care of Business Conference 2018) will be held in Greater Iowa City.  Community leaders there are pulling out all the stops to welcome ABI and you will see some absolutely beautiful brand new venues.  Planning for the convention is well underway and is being ably led by a great committee.  Chairing the committee is ABI member executive Donna Popp-Bruesewitz (Stellar Industries, Garner).  Believe me when I say the 2018 conference is shaping up to be another spectacular meeting.  

ABI Executive Open August 28; Play Golf at the Site of the Solheim Cup!

The ninth annual ABI Executive Open best ball golf outing will be held Monday, August 28 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 100 ABI members have already registered! 

You will see a lot of the Des Moines Golf and Country Club on national television this week. That is because the club is hosting the biennial women’s golf championship known as the Solheim Cup.  The tournament features a team from Europe playing a team from the USA. YOU can play the very same course these stars are playing!  See you on August 28. 

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 watch two television commercials that offer an insight in to 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 Jason Gross (Nationwide, Des Moines), who hosted the class last Wednesday, for helping make the opening session a great success! 

YPIowa Conference Next Month in Ankeny

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 2017 edition of that event will be held next month in Ankeny. 

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  Other events related to the conference will be held the night before, also in Carroll.  Click on the above link for more information. 

NAM Reports Cite Improving Manufacturing Economy

Despite many negative media reports, ABI members cite strong business cycles, with others up and sales strong. Last week’s Monday Economic Report published by the National Association of Manufacturers, confirms that view. 

The Report cites manufacturing jobs growth in seven of the last eight months and an increase in manufacturing earnings.  This and other NAM publications are always good reading.  In fact, last week’s NAM Global Manufacturing Economic Update also shared positive economic data.  If you would like to see either publication for yourself, please reply to this message and I will send them to you at once. 

Zrostlik Family Celebrates

ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and his wife Joan Zrostlik are celebrating the weekend wedding of their son, Evan Zrostlik.  Evan and his bride reside in Des Moines.  Congratulations and very best wishes to the happy couple and to the whole Zrostlik family! 

Agri-Industrial Plastics Honored by Iowa Farm Bureau

Longtime ABI member Agri-Industrial Plastics Company was honored last week by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.  Agri received the Farm Bureau’s Renew Rural Iowa Entrepreneur Award in recognition of being a major regional employer.  Click here for more information:  Congratulations to everyone at Agri, including founder and former ABI Board member Dick Smith (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield), former ABI Chair and company President Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield), and all the rest of the Agri team! 

Jim Tyler, Steve Jacobs Celebrate

It is always great to mark a birthday of a great ABI Board member.  When there are two, it is even better. 

Yesterday, former ABI Chair Jim Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Atlantic) turned 92 years old!  Congratulations and happy birthday to this great ABI leader, war hero, and terrific guy. 

Another great guy and great leader also celebrates this week. Longtime ABI Board member Steve Jacobs (BCC Advisers, Des Moines) celebrates his birthday this Thursday (August 17).  Happy birthday, Steve! 

John Riches Having Eye Surgery

Longtime ABI Board Member John Riches (Arconic, Davenport) is having cataract surgery today.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you, John. 

Mary Andringa, David Fisher Pen Register Essays

Former ABI Chair Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella) wrote a thoughtful essay carried by the Des Moines Register last Tuesday.  In her essay, Mary discusses the need for increased investment in the latest technologies and the critical nature of such policy for Iowa.  It was a great read and you can see it for yourself here:  Thank you for bringing attention to this important topic, Mary! 

Mary wasn’t the only former ABI chair to have an essay published by the Register lately.  Former ABI Chair David Fisher (Onthank Company, Des Moines) authored an editorial that ran in yesterday’s newspaper.  David, a former member of the Iowa Board of regents, offered counsel on tuition policy.  Read it for yourself here:  Thank you, David, for your thoughtful essay! 

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, marked 30 years of marriage.  Longtime ABI Board Member Steve Roberts (Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines) celebrated 52 years of marriage with his wife, Dawn Roberts.  ABI salutes and congratulates Fred and Valeska and Steve and Dawn!  Best wishes for many more happy years together!