New Fiscal Year Begins - Monday Memo 7/3/17

July 3, 2017

Executive Committee Teleconference Next Week

The ABI Executive Committee will hold its July teleconference a week from Wednesday.  ABI Chair Dave Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and members of the committee will hold what is typically a brief meeting, but one which includes a full agenda of reports and action items.  News regarding developments will be a part of the September meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

New Board Member Orientations Begin; ABI Board Will Meet in September

Orientation sessions with new members of the ABI Board of Directors have begun.  A terrific group of new board members was elected to the board in June and they join an already strong group of Iowa business leaders.  

Thank you to the new members for their commitment to the association.  The new members will join you for the first time at the board’s next meeting, which is set for Wednesday, September 13.  

At the September meeting, which will mark the first meeting of the board for the fiscal year, ABI will officially welcome new association board members.  Elected to the board for terms beginning July 1 were Kelly Barrick (The Private Bank, West Des Moines), Tim Bianco (Iowa Spring, Adel), and Stacey Pellett (John Deere, Johnston), and the honorary Leadership Iowa board member, Jenn Bleil (Van Meter, Cedar Rapids).  Just last month, of course, Jerry Patterson (Principal, Des Moines) was elected to the board. 

Jerry kicked-off the board orientations last month and it was a pleasure to learn about the latest news involving a great ABI member, Principal. We look forward to getting an update from the other companies as well.  Thanks again to these new board members for their service! 

Registrations Coming In for “Bringing ‘Boji Back”

The Bringing ‘Boji Back event, the next in a series of ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders events, will be held in the Iowa Great Lakes August 3rd and 4th.  Registrations are already coming in for this fun and high-value event. 

If you are interested in great programming, great networking, and great venues, you will want to attend this event. ABI Board Member Bruce Tamisiea (Tecton Industries, Spencer) will host attendees for a tour of his terrific company in Spencer.  That will be followed by a reception and dinner at former ABI Chair Toby Shine’s (Shine Bros. Corp., Spencer) famous Okoboji Classic Cars facility.  The next day, a program featuring ABI member CEO Ro Crosbie (Tero International, West Des Moines) will be held at the New Waterfront Conference Center on East Lake Okoboji.  

Find more information and register now at:  See you at the Lakes in August! 

Plan Now to Participate in Annual Policy Development Process

As you know, ABI has significantly stepped-up its award-winning public policy programming.  Already recognized for years as one of Iowa's most effective public policy organizations, ABI over the years dramatically increased events (held throughout Iowa), added new events, and altered its annual policy development process to increase its impact. 

To that end, the association's annual policy committee meetings have already been scheduled.  Please go to the ABI Events Calendar at to register for the committee meetings of interest to you and your employees.  The ABI Board of Directors will act on the recommendations of these committees at the September board meeting. 

Business Horizons 2017 a Huge Success

As you read about in last week's edition of this memorandum, the 2017 session of the ABI Foundation's Business Horizons high school experience was held last week.  Around 80 students from all over Iowa converged on the campus of Central College in Pella to participate in this terrific program.  

The week provided a fabulous experience for all involved. Making it so was another great group of students, terrific ABI members, and leaders.  BH 2017 was a huge success, with students and parents sharing praise for the curriculum and the connections made during the week.  This program is simply a terrific event each year and it is possible only through the support of you, your company, and your employees.  

Mark Your Calendars for Ninth Annual ABI Executive Open August 28

ABI holds an annual golf event to promote member programs and to thank members for their support and participation.  The event has proven incredibly popular.  The ninth annual event will be held Monday, August 28.  The past four opens have sold-out and we expect that will be the case again this year.  Join us for golf and for an afternoon of fun and networking. 

The ABI Executive Open will again be held at Des Moines Gold and Country Club in West Des Moines, one of Iowa's most exclusive private clubs.  This is a fabulous course and registration is now open for this always-great event.  Please click on to register now.  See you at Des Moines Golf in August! 

Conference Survey Reminder; View Photos Online

Many of you have been great to share very positive feedback from last month’s 114th Annual ABI Taking Care of Business Conference.  We appreciate that, but we are always looking for constructive criticism as well, so please know that your feedback of any kind is important to us. 

Remember that the 2017 Convention Survey is ready for your attention.  Click here: to take the survey.  And be sure and view the photos from the conference (you might be in them!):   Again, thank you for your participation and assistance in helping make the 2017 ABI Convention a terrific success. 

Dave Zrostlik Quoted in Register Story About Workforce

ABI Chair Dave Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) was quoted several times in a story in yesterday’s Des Moines Register.  The front-page article was focused on the difficulties faced by Iowa employers in finding enough workers.

That focus, finding workers, is of course something that ABI members have taking about for years. In the article, Dave talked about his efforts and those of the team at Stellar to attract and retain workers.  It was good reading.  Thank you, Dave, for helping focus Iowans on this important issue! 

Agri, UEA Host Elected Officials

As you know, one of the very best things that ABI members can do to help advance pro-business public policy is to host elected officials in your plant. Thank you for taking that to heart. 

Last Tuesday, longtime ABI member United Equipment Accessories hosted Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg at its Waverly facility.  Both Governor Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Gregg had visited UEA before, but this was their first time in their new roles and since the major expansion as completed.  You can media coverage of the visit here:  Congratulations and thank you to former ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) and everyone at UEA regarding the tour! 

Next week, longtime ABI member Agri-Industrial Plastics will host U.S. Senator Charles Grassley at its Fairfield plant.  Senator Grassley has visited Agri before, but this will be his first visit since Agri also underwent a major expansion.  So, congratulations and thank you, too, to everyone at Agri, including Immediate Past ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) for the tour! 

Atlantic Bottling Featured on IPTV’s Iowa Entrepreneur Program

Longtime ABI member Atlantic Bottling Company is over a century old.  The company’s history is dotted with success and growth and you can learn all about it in the latest episode of Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Entrepreneur program. 

Featured prominently in the program are two former Chairs of ABI: Jim Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Atlantic) and Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee).  Click here to watch for yourself:; it is a terrific story!  Congratulations to Jim and Kirk and everyone at Atlantic Bottling! 

ABI Begins New Fiscal Year, Focus is on Value for Members

Each July, I note the passing of the fiscal year, more for what opportunities lie ahead than for anything having to do with the past (though make no mistake, in so many ways, the past year was a record-setter for ABI). 

Last Saturday, ABI began a new fiscal year.  

As always, ABI's focus is on providing high value for members.  The beginning of a new year brings new opportunities to serve existing members, gain new ones, and build a better Iowa business climate.  As we start the year, all of us at ABI are thinking about how we can do things even better than they have been done in the past.  

You have heard me say often that I like things that can be measured, because they let us know how we are doing at achieving the agenda you set for us each year.  Revenue at ABI has increased over the course of the past several years, thanks to new members, new sponsors, and (we hope) more value for your company.  Still, we take seriously our charge to not waste your investment. 

At ABI, it's all about the members!  We are always looking forward and building for growth.  If we aren't moving ahead, we are falling behind and that is not acceptable.  Thanks to your leadership and a great staff, we are achieving that goal.  It is not just rhetoric to say that your leadership has ensured that ABI continues its resurgence and growth as one of our state’s leading organizations.  Thank you.