November Board Meeting Coming Soon - Monday Memo 10/17/16

October 17, 2016

ABI Board Will Meet November 9 in Des Moines

The ABI Board of Directors will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, November 9 at the association's headquarters in Des Moines' East Village.  The meeting will begin at 11:30 a.m. 

ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield), board members, and former chairs will work through a full agenda of important items.  This will be the final meeting of the calendar year for the board and a number of important discussion topics will be highlights of the November session.  

Register now for the meeting at  Don't miss this meeting, which will include the latest information about association programs and other issues. 

Latest Edition of Business Record Iowa Now Out

ABI's newest publication, Business Record Iowa, is published in conjunction with the Des Moines Business Record.  It has been very well-received by ABI members and others all across the state. 

BR Iowa is found inside the Des Moines Business Record.  When you come to the section of the Business Record that is Business Record Iowa, you will see ABI Board Member Jason Gross (Nationwide, Des Moines) on the cover.  Thanks for being a terrific cover subject, Jason! 

The latest edition of the newsprint journal came out Friday and it should be in your mailbox now.  If it isn't, let us know and we'll get a copy to you right away.  In the meantime, let us know what you like about the publication and let us know how we can make it even better.  Thanks for your many comments already received. 

ABI Advisory Council Meets Thursday

In last week's Memo, I erroneously reported that the ABI Advisory Council would meet. I was off by a week, as the council will hold its monthly meeting this week, on Thursday in Des Moines.  As always, ABI thanks the members of the advisory council, who are all key resources for ABI members.  

Thank you to ABI Advisory Council members 21st Century Rehab, ATW Training Solutions, BCC Advisers, Brick Gentry P.C., BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC, Focus OneSource, Global Reach, LMC Insurance and Risk Management, Manpower, Measured Intentions, Principal Financial Group, Spindustry Digital, Transition Point Business Advisors, and Wellmark

IIPAC Survey Being Conducted, Please Participate

As you read last week, ABI's PAC, the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee, has initiated a project to further grow and develop its funding and donor base (both in terms of donors and giving amounts). A key part of that project is work being done for IIPAC by Sagac Public Affairs, a nationally-recognized firm helping ABI grow IIPAC. 

Many of you have received a survey to help ABI gauge awareness of the IIPAC program and its needs. Moving forward, we are working to make IIPAC better and your input is extremely important in that regard.  If you receive the survey, please take a few moments (it should take literally five minutes to complete) participate.  The result of this work will be an even more effective IIPAC and continued and improved strong advocacy for Iowa business. 

Dubuque Meetings Held

Over two days last week, ABI leaders held meetings with potential sponsors of the 2017 Taking Care of Business Conference, met with longtime member companies, and toured potential conference venues.  After being a part of these meetings, I can tell you that the 2017 conference will be spectacular! 

Special thanks to ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield), to former ABI Board Member Nate Weaton (Hillphoenix, Fairfield), ABI Board Members Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale)and Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa), to Conference Committee Sponsorship Chair Kelly Barrick (The Private Bank, West Des Moines), former ABI Chair Sarah McDonald Hasken (A.Y. McDonald, Dubuque) and to ABI Vice President Member Development and Programs Kathy Anderson. Look for more information about the conference to come your way soon. See you in Dubuque June 6-8! 

IIPAC, IAVOTES Promote Voting and PAC Support; Public Policy Staff on the Road

Speaking of IIPAC, the PAC is currently promoting a $40-for-40-Days-of-Voting program. The 40 Days of Voting refers to the period here in Iowa in which citizens can cast their vote (more and more people vote early and do not wait for election day).  For more information go to, ABI's nonpartisan voting/education/information website. 

To mark the voting period, IIPAC is seeking donations of a dollar per day. You should donate much more than $40 of course, but it's a start!  So go now to and make your donation today. 

By the, ABI Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain and Director Public Policy Jessica Harder spent much of last week on the road. Nicole and Jessica met with legislators in north Iowa and also met with officials with longtime ABI member Hormel in Austin, Minnesota.  

2016-2017 Leadership Iowa Class Meets; LI Board to Meet Tomorrow

As you read in last week's Memo, the initial session of the 2016-2017 Leadership  Iowa class was held last week in Red Oak.  The 35th annual class heard  from terrific speakers, such ABI Board Member Todd McDonald (ATW Training Solutions, Urbandale), toured area companies, and got to know each other.   The class will meet again in November.  

Thank you to ABI Vice President Foundation Programs Kay Neumann-Thomas, ABI Foundation Marketing and Programs Coordinator Jessi Steward, and ABI Foundation Development Director Amanda Nuzum for leading a great LI session. 

As members of the board, you will have multiple opportunities to meet the LI class during the coming months.  In the meantime, thank you for your support of the LI program.  

And, speaking of Leadership Iowa, the LI Board of Governors will hold its next meeting tomorrow. The LI board will meet at the ABI office in Des Moines Tuesday afternoon. 

Annual IEDA Internship Program Application Process Now Underway

ABI member companies across Iowa have utilized the Iowa Economic Development Authority's Iowa Student Internship Program.  The program is a great way to get students into your plant. 

The program provides grants to small and medium-sized companies to help pay a stipend to interns.  Applicant companies must have 500 or fewer employees and must offer the internships to Iowa students (students of Iowa post-high school institutions or Iowa students attending post-high school institutions outside the state), and stipends must be at the level of a wage of $14.50 per hour or greater. 

Applications are now being accepted, with a deadline of April 30, 2017 for the summer program.  Go to for information. 

First of 2016-2017 Connecting Statewide Leaders Events December 8 in Pella

A few years ago, at the request of members looking for more association events in locations outside Des Moines, ABI created the Connecting Statewide Leaders Forums.  The events have proven very popular and are held throughout the fall, winter and spring all around Iowa.  The first event in the 2016-2017series will be held December 8 in Pella.  

Each of the Connecting Leaders events has drawn a great crowd and the series has resulted in new association members.  The forum on December 8 is the next opportunity to participate in this terrific series.  

At the luncheon following the forum, you will have a great opportunity to visit with fellow ABI members, meet the new Leadership Iowa class, and develop new customers.  Please mark your calendar now and watch for more details to come your way soon. 

NAM Reports Ongoing Mixed Manufacturing Signals

Last week's edition of Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, carried a lead story about mixed signals related to manufacturing in the U.S. and abroad.  For that reason, manufacturers across the U.S. remain cautious about the economy.  If you wish to reads the report for yourself, please reply to this memo and I will forward the report at once. 

Bill Trent Marks Birthday

Former ABI Chair Bill Trent (Kent Corporation, Muscatine) wore many hats during an incredible career with the company.  In addition to being a senior executive with Kent, Bill is known as a former legislator, as an ABI leader, as a former Chair of the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee Board of Directors, and for many other leadership positions.  In fact, Bill remains of counsel to Kent to this day. 

Yesterday, Bill celebrated his birthday. ABI joins many others in sending best birthday washes to Bill Trent! 

More Great Work by ABI Staff

Elsewhere in this memorandum, I have noted the terrific work of some ABI staff members. Other staff members are also doing their usual fine work during one of the association's busiest years ever.  Thank you to those already mentioned and thank you, too, to Michelle Vollstedt, Dorothy Knowles, Holly Mueggenberg, Jane Galloway, Emily Schettler,  and Chrissy Viers.  Membership Development Services team members  Gary Nash and Kerry Servas are also doing great work.  Thanks to all of these key staffers. 

Wall Street Journal Editorial Should be Required Reading

Today's Wall Street Journal carries a terrific and thoughtful lead editorial about legislative oversight gone astray.  It should be required reading in all business and civics classes.  If you can't get your hands on a copy of the Journal and wish to read the editorial, please reply to this message and I will get it to you at once.