Only Two Weeks to Go - Monday Memo 5/20/19

May 20, 2019

Just Two Weeks Away: The 116th Annual ABI Convention

Following great annual meetings that have received rave reviews, the 2019 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference is sure to continue that strong success.  The convention is now only two weeks away and will kick off June 4th in Ames.  Over 500 people are already registered to attend the convention!  Ladies and gentlemen, that number is a record for this point in the registration process.  Based on past history, we know hundreds more will register in the final two weeks.  On behalf of ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and our other officers, THANK YOU. 

Planners have put together an incredible program, which is well on its way to being one of the best annual meetings ever.  Fantastic venues, exciting speakers, terrific events, and Iowa’s best business networking will highlight the 116th Annual Convention. 

As I note every year at this time, the convention is important to ABI for several reasons.  While the revenue raised by the convention is one of those reasons, even more important is the event’s value as a source of programming and information for members.  And perhaps most importantly, the annual convention helps continue ABI’s momentum and provides members and sponsors with the very best business networking in Iowa.  If you haven’t already done so, register now at  See you June 4-6 in Ames! 

Fantastic Keynotes, Comments by Governor, Lt. Governor Among Conference Highlights

Speaking of the annual conference, you know that there will be terrific highlights.  The fabulous Ames/Iowa State University location is one.  Another highlight is terrific keynote speakers.  Click here and scroll down for more information.  Best-selling authors, nationally known speakers, and great information are hallmarks of our keynotes.  Also appearing will be Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg.  Be sure to be in attendance Wednesday to see them in person. 

Finally, fabulous golf, terrific venues (such as legendary Jack Trice Stadium and Hilton Coliseum) and, as I already mentioned above, the very best business networking in Iowa will make the annual conference something you simply can’t afford to miss.  

ABI Regional Policy Tour Heads to Clarinda, Orange City, Dubuque, and Pella

As you know, the ABI public policy staff today kicks-off the annual tour of meetings around Iowa to discuss the actions of the Iowa General Assembly.  During these meetings, next year's legislative session is also discussed.  Your counsel about issues ABI should champion in 2020 are also a focus. 

The regional meetings begin later today with a session in Clarinda.  The regional meetings continue with a session tomorrow in Orange City and then another session in Dubuque on Wednesday.  A final session will be held next week in Pella.  There is still time to register for one of the remaining meetings by clicking on

CIRAS Board Meets Thursday at ISU

A valued ABI member-partner is Iowa State University's Center for Industrial Research and Service.  CIRAS is a fabulous resource for Iowa manufacturers and businesses of all kinds.  Over the years, many ABI leaders have also been involved in CIRAS and several are current members of the CIRAS Industry Advisory Board. 

The board will meet Thursday at Iowa State.  Watch for news of any developments in next week's ABI Monday Memo

FABULOUS Items for Foundation Auction

As you know, the ABI Foundation holds an auction in conjunction with ABI's annual Taking Care of Business Conference.  Each year, the auction items are more spectacular.  This year is no exception and there are truly terrific items included in this year's auction. 

Watch for a link to a silent auction to be available soon.  And, be ready for the live auction on Wednesday evening of the conference. 

The foundation is at an all-time high as far as quality programs that benefit not just ABI, but all Iowans.  Our state's young people, young professionals, companies, and communities all benefit from great ABIF programs.  Thank you in advance for your support. 

Leadership Iowa Class will Graduate

As we continue speaking of the foundation, the ABI Foundation's flagship program, Leadership Iowa, is one of the nation's oldest leadership development programs.  Well over a thousand Iowans have graduated from LI over the past 30-plus years.  These individuals are now back in their communities, leading the way to a better Iowa. 

As for the current class, the 2018-2019 Class has been called the best ever.  Class members will graduate at a special ceremony to be held during the ABI conference.  Click here to view a list of LI class members:  Thank you to these emerging leaders for their participation in the program over the past year! 

Rich Phelan Recovers

It is great to be able to report that longtime ABI Board Member Rich Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton) is recovering well from a heart procedure last week.  Following an angiogram, doctors inserted seven cardiac stents.  Yes, seven… Rich always does things in a big way!  Rich reports he is doing great and that is terrific news indeed.  Very best wishes to Rich Phelan! 

Bill Kimball Passes

Former longtime ABI Board Member Bill Kimball (Medicap Pharmacies, Des Moines) passed away earlier this month in Des Moines.  Bill was especially active in ABI during the 1980s and early 90s.  He was well-known and well-liked.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Bill’s family.  Read more about Bill here:  

Jessi Steward and K.J. McQuerrey Wed

Everyone involved with the ABI Foundation knows and loves Jessi Steward, the Programs Director for the Foundation.  Well, Saturday was a time of celebrating as Jessi wed Kevin (K.J.) McQuerrey in a beautiful ceremony in downtown Des Moines.  Jessi and KJ live in West Des Moines with their pup, Jack (who is the subject of many great stories).  I can attest that a good time was had by all at Jessi and K.J.’s wedding and the celebration that followed!  ABI sends very best wishes and many happy returns to Jessi and K.J.!