Next Week: 2018 ABI Legislative Reception - Monday Memo 1/2/18

January 2, 2018

Record Crowd for Next Week’s ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception, Governor and Lieutenant Governor to Attend; Policy Booklet Soon Available

You will not want to miss one of the association’s premier 2018 events, the annual ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception.  Both the briefing and reception are being held at an exciting new venue, the Iowa Taproom in Des Moines’ East Village, and will conveniently follow the ABI Board Meeting on January 10, which is Wednesday of next week.  

The briefing is your opportunity to hear the latest about legislative news and about ABI's pro-growth agenda.  ABI Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain, Director Public Policy Jessica Harder, and Coordinator Public Policy Brad Hartkopf have prepared a terrific program regarding the upcoming session.  

The annual legislative reception follows the briefing and a highlight will be the appearance of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg.  And, you’ll recall that more Iowa legislators attend this event (the ABI Legislative Reception) than any similar event hosted by any organization.  This is because YOU attend.  Legislators tell ABI all the time that they want to meet you, they want to learn about your business, and they value this opportunity to visit with you about issues.  

To register for this event, please go NOW to – or SIMPLY REPLY to this email and I’ll make sure you are registered.  Make no mistake; your attendance at next week’s reception, briefing, and board meeting is absolutely critical to advancing ABI’s 2018 legislative agenda.  It is clear that over 500 ABI members, legislators, and others will attend.  On behalf of our officers, thank you in advance for participating in this very important event.  

In the way of a final note related to ABI's public policy work, be on the lookout for your personal copy of the 2018 ABI Policy booklet.  The handbook has become a valuable reference tool for ABI members and legislators alike and the latest edition will be available very soon.  Thanks to Nicole, Jessica, Brad, and to ABI Communications Coordinator David Hildahl and ABI Executive Administrative Assistant Michelle Vollstedt for their work with the handbook. 

Important ABI Board Meeting a Week from Wednesday; Durham to Speak

The first ABI leadership meeting of 2018 will be held next week, on Wednesday, January 10.  The ABI Board of Directors will meet at 2:00 that afternoon.   This meeting is an important one, with discussion of association programs and finances on tap, as well as vital information related to the 2018 Session of the Iowa General Assembly.  

The board meeting will feature several highlights and our regular business.  The meeting will be held at the ABI office and will begin with remarks from Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham. By the way, the legislative briefing and reception will be held a block away, so you will not need to move your car or travel between meetings and events.  

All board members and past chairs are encouraged to attend the board meeting and stay for the annual legislative briefing and reception that follows.  ABI Vice President Member Development and Programs Kathy Anderson, Member Programs Director Holly Mueggenberg, Membership Coordinator Dorothy Knowles, and Bookkeeper Chrissy Viers have developed strong meeting arrangements.  Look for your usual meeting packet in your email in-basket later this week.  In the meantime, thank you in advance for attending this important afternoon of events. 

Leadership Iowa Event a Part of Next Week's ABI Activities

The ABI Foundation does great things for Iowa.  ABIF Vice President Programs Kay Neumann-Thomas, Marketing and Programs Coordinator Jessi Steward, Development Director Amanda Nuzum, and Foundation Assistant Jane Galloway are leading the way for great ABIF programs. 

On January 10, the day of the ABI board meeting and legislative briefing and reception, the Foundation will host the annual Leadership Iowa Networking and Reunion Dinners.  These dinners, more popularly known as the LI Alumni Dine-Arounds, will take place at several Des Moines restaurants.  They will be followed by a new event welcoming all LI alumni. 

These events will provide unique dinner and networking opportunities for LI alumni following the annual ABI Legislative Reception.  Find out more at  

Leadership Iowa Class to Hold January Session

Speaking of Leadership Iowa, members of the ABI Foundation’s 2017-2018 Leadership Iowa Class will convene next week for their January session.  The class will meet in Des Moines for a program that will focus on state government.  

Members of the class have been invited to join you and other ABI members for the annual legislative reception on Wednesday evening.  Should you come across LI class members at the reception, please greet them and make them feel welcome. 

Business Record Board Recognition Event Thursday

As you have been reading in recent editions of the Monday Memo, ABI partner and member the Des Moines Business Record compiles an annual book of lists.  One of the lists is a list of the top 25 most influential boards of directors in central Iowa and the state.  The ABI Board of Directors will again be recognized this year as one of the most influential boards.  

The Business Record is hosting an event this Thursday in Des Moines to promote the Book of Lists and all of you are invited at attend. You can find more information here:  If you are available, please join us and attend. 

New Elevate Newsletter Available

ABI board members are of course well familiar with the association’s Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative, ABI’s public-private partnership to raise the profile of manufacturing careers and to connect Iowans with manufacturing jobs.  And, as members of the ABI Board of Directors, you should already be receiving the periodic Elevate newsletters, which provide the latest information about what is happening with the initiative and its programs. 

The most recent Elevate newsletter was published last week. In it, you will find an update about program scholarships, you can view manufacturing videos, and you can review other great information.  If you didn’t receive the newsletter, reply to this message and I’ll get it to you at once.  In the meantime, THANK YOU for your support for Elevate

First Quarterly ABI Iowa Business Survey Draws Notice

The new ABI economic survey (which will be conducted quarterly) received a lot of attention by the media. See the past two weekly ABI newsletters for more information.  We’ll survey your views again in advance of the second quarter of 2018.  In the meantime, thank you once more for your participation in this exciting new initiative.  

US Manufacturers Optimistic

By the way, ABI members aren’t the only ones optimistic about the coming year. According to the Monday Economic Report published by the National Association of Manufacturers, the Manufacturers Outlook Survey indicated that 94.6 of the respondents were optimistic about 2018.  If you wish to read the report, please contact me and I will forward it to you at once. 

Paul Gregoire to Retire

Everyone at ABI knows Paul Gregoire (Emerson-Fisher, Marshalltown).  In addition to formerly chairing the board of directors, Paul is a longtime ABI leader and was heavily involved in ABI’s public policy work.  Paul announced late in December that he will be retiring in March.  

Paul led many initiatives for Emerson during his career and traveled all over the world. He will be missed at Emerson.  All of us at ABI congratulate Paul on a great career and we look forward to seeing him at future meetings!  Best wishes to Paul and to his wife, Karn Gregoire

Todd Sommerfeld Celebrates

Another great ABI leader is celebrating a birthday.  Board Member Todd Sommerfeld (Kreg Tool Company, Huxley) gets his new year off to a good start by celebrating his birthday, which is tomorrow.  Congratulations and happy birthday, Todd! 

Story Construction Christens New Headquarters

In the latest edition of StoryLine, the newsletter of longtime ABI member Story Construction, the company shares photos of its beautiful new headquarters building in Ames.  The new facility is fabulous and it includes a community room.  That befits Story, a company well-known for its community involvement. 

If you would like to see the newsletter for yourself, simply reply to this message and I’ll get you a copy at once. In the meantime, congratulations and best wishes to everyone at Story, including company President and ABI Board Member Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames)

Mores Family Prepares for Big 2018

If there is a more fun annual Christmas card than the one produced by longtime ABI Board Member Alan Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan) and his family, I haven’t seen it.  The card is actually a six-page color brochure chock full of terrific photographs and news of family happenings.  From reading the 2017 edition, it is clear that 2018 will be a very big year for the Mores Family! 

In 2018, son Jackson will earn his MPA and begin work on a doctorate, daughter Chandler will graduate from Stanford, wife Donna will retire after 32 years as an executive with Myrtle Medical Center, and Alan will mark the end of his service as Chair of the Iowa Newspaper Association Board of Directors.  Oh… and Jackson will also be married to his fiancé, Kaitlyn Aldrich of Des Moines.  Whew!  Congratulations to Alan and the whole Mores family on the coming events! 

Merle Pederson Celebrates Wedding Anniversary and Birthday in January

Every January, former longtime ABI Board Member Merle Pederson (Principal, Des Moines) celebrates a couple of big days.  Merle and his wife, Jan Pederson, are celebrating their wedding anniversary this month and Merle also celebrates his birthday this month.  Happy anniversary, Merle and Jan, and happy birthday, Merle! 

Hank Evans Checks In

Many of you well recall former ABI Board Member Hank Evans (A.F. Johnson Millworks, West Des Moines) and his wife, Ann Evans.  Hank and Ann are terrific people and as they enjoy a well-deserved retirement, they must also deal with some serious health issues involving Ann. 

Hank included ABI on the list for his annual Christmas Letter and if you wish to read it, please contact me. Our thoughts and prayers are with Hank and Ann and we wish for them a 2018 full of peace. 

As Always, ABI has Aggressive Agenda for New Year

Thanks to the leadership of ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and all of you on the ABI Board of Directors, lots of action on big goals are a part of ABI's plans for 2018.  ABI has developed a strong record of success and those big goals for 2018 include continued growth in members and revenue, legislative success, and increases in Foundation activity, among many other things. 

For now, your participation in next week’s events is an important part of starting the year successfully.  We need your leadership to continue the aggressive and impactful record of the past years.  THANK YOU again for all you do for ABI and for Iowa business.