November Board Meeting on the 12th - Monday Memo 10/12/20

October 12, 2020

ABI Board Will Meet November 12

Unlike last week’s edition, let’s see if I can start this week’s memorandum without mistakes.  The ABI Board of Directors will hold its next meeting on Thursday, November 12 by Zoom.  The meeting will begin at 11:30 a.m. 

ABI Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine), 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.  Look for registration information to come your way soon.  

ABI Childcare Event Tomorrow

Tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, ABI will host an event entitled “Childcare Best Practices for Business.”  The virtual event starts at 10:00 a.m. and the program features businesses that have adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide childcare solutions for employees.  To find more information and to register for this free event, click here:  

Latest Edition of Business Record Iowa Now Out; ABI Leaders Featured

ABI's monthly news journal, Business Record Iowa, is published in conjunction with the Des Moines Business Record.  It has been very well-received by ABI members and others 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 two longtime ABI members on the cover: Doug Neumann and Barbra Solberg of the Metro Economic Alliance in Cedar Rapids. 

Also featured in this week’s Business Record are two great ABI leaders, Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and Molly Varangkounh (Hy-Capacity, Humboldt).  Lori and Molly were terrific panelists at the recent Advanced Manufacturing Conference.  Finally, another nice feature is a column by Jeff Stein, the producer of the Iowa Business Report radio program.  

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. 

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 December 31, 2020 for the spring 2021 program and April 30, 2021 for the summer 2021 program.  Please click on this link for information. 

ABI Foundation Board to Meet Wednesday

Members of the ABI Foundation Board of Directors, which is chaired by longtime ABI leader Kim Butler Hegedus (Community State Bank, Ankeny), will hold their regular quarterly meeting on Wednesday.  The Foundation marked the end of its fiscal year on September 30.  Global pandemics notwithstanding, it was another strong year for Foundation programs.  Watch for any news from the meeting to be shared at next month’s ABI board meeting. 

ABI Environment Committee Meets Next Week

Association members from inside and outside Iowa participate in the work of the ABI Environment Committee.  The committee will hold its next meeting a week from tomorrow, on October 20.  Featured in the program are Ed Tormey and other officials from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  The latest information about DNR regulatory practices will be a focus.  Learn more and register at  

ABI Begins Webinar Series Later This Month

Members have asked for it and ABI is delivering it: more quality programming.  ABI will kick-off a six-part webinar series on October 29.  Between then and early December, ABI will present a series of programs on a variety of business-related topics. 

The first webinar focuses on e-commerce and association member Michael Bird (Spindustry, Clive), a digital and e-commerce expert, will be the keynoter.  Go here for more information:  Check the ABI Events page for more info. 

Listen to the Weekly Iowa Business Report Radio Program Broadcast

The Iowa Business Report radio program is broadcast weekly on stations all over Iowa.  The program is the result of a great a partnership between well-known Iowa broadcaster Jeff Stein and ABI.  A highlight of this week’s show is a terrific interview with former ABI Chair Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella).  Mary discusses leadership succession, family interests, and much more in a fascinating interview.  A great ABI partner, Joe Murphy (Iowa Business Council, Des Moines) also provides very interesting comments about the IBC’s latest Iowa business survey. 

If you missed the latest episode, you can click here to listen for yourself:  Links can also be found on the ABI website at  

Plan Now to Attend 2021 ABI Legislative Reception

Every year, more people attend and participate in the annual ABI Legislative Reception than in any other similar event in Iowa.  The 2021 Legislative Reception will be held January 13th at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines.  Make plans now to attend. 

Reminder: 2021 Annual Conference Workshop Proposals Now Being Accepted

The RFP process related to annual Taking Care of Business Conference workshops is now open.  The workshops/breakout sessions are a highlight of the annual conference.  As I noted last week, competition for these presentation slots has been keen and I am sure that will be the case again this year. 

RFPs related to the workshops are now being accepted by ABI.  Go here for more information or to submit a proposal:  The deadline for submissions is December 1. 

NAM Reports Manufacturers Adding Jobs

Last week's edition of the Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, carried an article about American manufacturers adding 66,000 jobs in September.  That marks the fifth straight month of increases for manufacturing jobs.  Other data is mixed, with the impact of a number of factors slowing growth.  If you wish to read the report for yourself, please reply to this memo and I will forward it at once. 

Bill Trent Celebrates Wednesday

Former ABI Chair Bill Trent (Kent Corporation, Muscatine) is well-known as a longtime business executive, community leader, former state legislator, and as an all-around good guy.  Bill still follows ABI and still stays in touch (he even reads these memos once in while).  Bill is celebrating his birthday later this week, on Friday the 16th.  Happy birthday, Bill! 

The Business of ABI: The Very Best Business Public Policy Advocacy Programs

(Editor’s Note: A few of years ago at this time, several of us on the ABI staff were receiving inquiries from members who were being requested to provide financial support for non-ABI lobbying activities.  I included the following in the Monday Memo each of the past three years and it still applies today.) 

You have heard me say often that I like things that can be measured, because they let us know whether or not we are having success in achieving the goals that the board sets for us each year.  Some goals are easy to measure, such as the condition of our balance sheet (it is strong).  Other things are more difficult to measure, but are measurable nonetheless.  One example of that is ABI’s public policy work.  Is the association getting passed into law the bills that will help members grow and create jobs?  And, is the association stopping advancement of bills that hinder that growth?  The answer to both questions, for decades through today, is a resounding yes. 

You don’t have to take my word for it.  National recognition, awards, mentions by media about how strong and effective ABI’s policy work is, all these things attest to ABI’s success. 

In fact, as it pertains to public policy, no business organization has had more success than ABI…none.  For over a hundred years, ABI has been at the Statehouse; year in, year out, achieving success in public policy advocacy and doing the hard and tough work of representing business interests. 

You already receive that award-winning public policy work as a benefit of your membership in ABI.  You don’t have to pay extra for it.  Between ABI and our programs such as the Iowans for Jobs Initiative, ABI annually puts together the strategy that will bring victory…and then achieves it.  

Success.  It is what you are paying for when you make your annual investment in ABI.  You already receive Iowa’s best pro-growth, pro-business public policy work as a result of your membership in ABI.  And, thanks to your continued investment in ABI, continued success is assured.