Policy Meetings on Tap - Monday Memo 5/9/16

May 9, 2016

Register Now for ABI Regional Policy Meetings

All members will find value in the upcoming slate of regional public policy meetings.  At the meetings, you will hear how the actions of the legislature impacted your business, get the latest news about the upcoming elections, and help craft ABI policy for the next year.  ABI will be traveling the state throughout the month to meet with members about these topics. 

You can register for one or more of the sessions by going to the Events Page on the ABI website.  You will find that site here: https://www.iowaabi.org/events/.  The ABI public policy staff and I look forward to seeing you and your employees at the upcoming meetings. 

Flyer in Your Mailbox; 113th Annual ABI Convention Kicks-Off in Five Weeks

Registrations are flying in for next month’s Taking Care of Business Conference, which is ABI’s 113th Annual Convention.  Past history tells us that the busiest time for convention registrations is right now.  Thus, it is clear that another great crowd of 600 or so attendees will be on hand in Sioux City  next month.  

The 2016 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference will be held June 14, 15, and 16.  You should have recently received a flyer with convention information.  Many of you have commented to me that you liked the flyer and, more importantly, were excited about the program developed for the convention.  If you have misplaced your flyer, please go to the association’s website at www.iowaabi.com to find program and lodging information.  You will want to make your reservations now! 

I say it every year, because every year it is true… terrific speakers, exciting venues, great golf, new events, and the very best business networking in Iowa make the annual ABI convention a must-see event.  I know you will get a tremendous return on investment by attending this year’s convention.  

Board Invades Marshalltown, Holds Terrific Meeting

Many of you have taken the time to comment, call, or send an email message related to last week's ABI board meeting held in Marshalltown.  Many of us were in town for dinner with the ABI Board Tuesday evening.  Thank you to ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) for leading the dinner and the meetings of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors on Wednesday. 

The board meeting included an address by CEO Terry Buzbee (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown).  Terry's interesting comments about his global company and about business in general were very well-received.  Many of you have commented that this was a highlight of the Marshalltown meeting.  Thank you to Paul for making Terry's appearance possible and to Terry for his time and insights. 

The meeting concluded with board members' business reports and was followed by fascinating tours of the Emerson Innovation Center and the company's additive manufacturing operations and of the world-famous Fisher Flow Lab.  A special thank you to all of you who attended.  The meetings provided great energy as we now focus on the annual conference. 

Nominating Committee Meets Today

Immediate Past Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) also chairs the 2016 ABI Nominating Committee, which will meet later this morning at ABI.  Thank you to Mark and to the other members of the committee: John Riches (Alcoa,Davenport), Sarah McDonald Hasken (UnityPoint Health,Dubuque)Michael Sadler (CenturyLink, Des Moines)Alan Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan), and David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner)

You and other members will vote on the slate of officers and directors nominated by the committee.  That will take place during the association's annual business meeting, which will be held at lunchtime on the first day of the annual conference (Tuesday, June 14).  By the way, if you wish to nominate someone for board service (and self-nominations are welcomed and encouraged), please contact one of the committee members or me. 

ABI Manufacturers Featured on Elevate Iowa Website

Elevate Iowa is ABI's program to raise the profile of manufacturing jobs in our state and to connect Iowans with training and with those jobs.  Board leadership for Elevate has been well-provided by ABI officers Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield), Paul Gregoire (Fisher -Emerson, Marshalltown), and Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly)

You may not know that Elevate features ABI/Iowa manufacturing companies on its www.elevateiowa.com website under its “Made in Iowa” section.  This page educates Iowans about the many exciting opportunities available at Iowa’s advanced manufacturing companies.  The goal is to ultimately connect these Iowans with companies like yours.  

Please follow this link: http://www.elevateiowa.com/about/industry-involvement and click on the link to the "Made in Iowa form" under "Share your Company Story".  We can also provide examples of other company profiles if you wish.  

ABI Sponsors Iowa Entrepreneur, Advanced Manufacturing Podcast

Nobody tells the story of Iowa business better than ABI and we are ALWAYS looking for ways to spread the news about all that business does for our state.  We have two new forums for that important message. 

ABI and  some ABI member organizations sponsor Iowa Public Television's Iowa Entrepreneur program.  This new program highlights great entrepreneurial stories found right here in Iowa and many focus on ABI member companies that have seen great success.  Find more information here: http://site.iptv.org/about/iptv-news/iptv-premieres-new-series-iowa-entrepreneur

ABI also sponsors the Advanced Manufacturing Podcast: http://advancedmanufacturingpodcast.com/.  This new forum highlights manufacturing issues and you'll also hear news about ABI, about ABI's Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative, and about related items.  

Be sure and check out both of these new productions.  And remember to let us know about what it happening with your company so we can help spread the good news! 

Search Progressing

The search for a new development director for the ABI Foundation is progressing well.  An interview group of ten was selected from the 30-plus applications received.  Preliminary interviews have been completed and the list of applicants has now been narrowed to five semifinalists.  Second-round interviews are now being conducted and then Foundation officers will be meeting with two or three finalists.  Watch for more news soon. 

ABI Staff Members and Twitter

Whether it is during a legislative committee hearing, a manufacturing meeting, an association conference, or at some other event, you might see ABI staffers busily typing away on their mobile devices.  They aren't ignoring the proceedings, they're tweeting.  Every time you are at an ABI event of any kind, you can expect that someone is tweeting about it. 

As you know, ABI was one of the first organizations to embrace Twitter and other social media and our members say they want more of it.  Just like your business, we want our customers (our members) to have access to the very latest information about what is happening at a given meeting.  Twitter and other social media allow that to occur.  

If you want to follow ABI, go to www.iowaabi.org and lick on the "t" that is the Twitter logo in the lower left-hand corner of the page (just above the ABI logo).  It will take you to the ABI Twitter homepage, where you can see that ABI has almost 4,000 followers.  You can follow ABI's general account and the accounts of several ABI staffers (including me).  If you need help, reply to this email and I'll ask a staffer to get in touch with you. 

Step It Up Iowa Conference Next Week

As you read in last week's Monday memo, ABI is supporting the Healthiest State Initiative.  The program was created to improve the overall health and wellness of Iowans.  As a part of the initiative, ABI has assisted with development of the Step It Up Conference.  This conference is an effort  to promote health in the state and it will be held a week from Thursday (May 19th) in Ames.  Companies interested in strengthening their tools related to walkability, health, and wellness should go  http://www.iowahealthieststate.com/stepitupiowa to register. 

NAM Report: Economy Static

if you have been reading these memos for any length of time, you know that I am fan of the publications produced by the National Association of Manufacturers.  The NAM does great work and is a key ABI partner.  Its publications are top-notch, with some of the very latest and best information you will find available anywhere. 

Last Monday's NAM Manufacturing Economy Daily was another example of excellent reporting.  Much information was summarized related to trade, manufacturing in particular, and the American economy in general.  The bottom line is that the economy is static, with little or no growth in most sectors.  It is good reading.  If you would like to see the report, please reply to this message and I will get it to you at once. 

Diamond Vogel Paint Celebrates 90 years of Success

One of the highlights of last week's board dinner and board meeting was a report by Drew Vogel (Vogel Paint Company, Orange City) related to the company's recent celebration of its 90 years as a successful company.  As you might expect, the celebration focused on Vogel employees, customers, and on the community.  

In 1926, Drew's grandfather, Andrew Vogel, began the company with two small machines that made five gallons of paint each.  The company now has over 800 employees and 67 store locations.  The company is a world-leader in paints and coatings of all kinds.  

Click on this link: http://www.vogelpaint.com/history/ to see a web presentation regarding Drew's company.  ABI salutes Drew, his family, and all the employees of Vogel Paint Company on this fantastic milestone!  Congratulations! 

Atlantic Bottling QUADRUPLES its Business This Year

Longtime ABI member Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company is in the middle of a fascinating process related to the substantial expansion of its business.  You all know that the company is one of the best independent bottlers in the world, but later this year, it will complete the acquisition of new service territories that will make it one of the largest as well.  In addition to its huge footprint in Iowa, the company will have business in parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Missouri.  Congratulations to two former ABI chairs who lead the company: Jim Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Atlantic) and Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company (Waukee)

First Decade of Tassel Ridge in the Books

Many of you know that former ABI Chair Bob Wersen (Interpower Corporation, Oskaloosa) owns and runs a very successful international manufacturing business.  You may not know that Bob is the owner of another ABI-member company, Tassel Ridge Winery.  

The winery is marking its tenth anniversary and it is a pleasure to congratulate Bob and his wife, Sharman Wersen, on this achievement.  Tassel Ridge is much more than a place to purchase good wine, it is a destination, with great shopping, tours, and tastings.  Congratulations again, Bob! 

IADG Moves to New Office

ABI member Iowa Area Development Group has moved to a beautiful new office.  Formerly in West Des Moines, IADG is now located in the same building as ABI member Central Iowa Power Cooperative just a few blocks west of Terrace Hill in Des Moines.  Congratulations to IADG and its President, ABI Board Member Rand Fisher (IADG, Des Moines) and its board Chairman, former ABI Chair Dennis Murdock (CIPCO, Des Moines)

John Butler Marks Birthday

Former ABI Chair  John Butler (Cottingham & Butler, Dubuque) was a great leader for the association and he continues to be an important business leader for Iowa.  John is celebrating a birthday and ABI joins so many others in sending happy birthday wishes his way.  Happy birthday, John!