Reception Smashes Records - Monday Memo 1/15/18

January 15, 2018

ABI Holds Fantastic Legislative Briefing, Reception

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, the leadership of the Iowa General Assembly, dozens of legislators of both parties and chambers, statewide elected officials such Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, Auditor of State Mary Mosiman and Secretary of State Paul Pate, state department heads, and ABI members have shared great comments regarding the 2018 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception held last week. 

Prior to the reception, the annual legislative briefing was highlighted by remarks by ABI Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain, ABI Vice President Member Development and Programs Kathy Anderson, ABI Director Public Policy Jessica Hyland, and ABI Coordinator Public Policy Brad Hartkopf.  The briefing included a preview of the 2018 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference to be held in Iowa City-Coralville in June. 

The reception following the briefing seems to grow larger each year, with close to 600 ABI members and state officials participating.  ABI members from every corner of the state and from many states outside Iowa were on hand to connect with state officials.  It is that interaction with legislators that is so vital and that makes the event such a critical component to advancing ABI’s agenda each year.  

By the way, while we appreciate the huge crowd, what is more satisfying is the number of the attendees who say they conduct business and make important connections at the events.  Check the ABI website soon for photos from the event. 

In the meantime, many thanks for the good words you have shared about the event and for the work of ABI staff.  THANK YOU for making the 2018 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception exceptional events.  

Board Holds First Meeting of 2018

Members of the ABI Board of Directors met Wednesday.  ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) led the board through a fast-paced meeting, which was the board's first of 2018.  Strong attendance and participation marked what was a great meeting of the board.  

Iowa Economic Development Authority Debi Durham addressed the board about the Iowa Year of Manufacturing and resources available to help manufacturers grow. The board approved ABI acting as fiscal agent for Million Women Mentors – Iowa, formalized a partnership with Iowa’s Community Colleges (watch for more news about that soon), and received updates about ABI programs and services.  The meeting was followed by the annual legislative briefing and reception.  Thank you to all of you who joined us in Des Moines last week. 

Latest Business Record Iowa Out; Chair David Zrostlik and ABI Public Policy Team on Cover

As you know, over three years ago, ABI partnered with the Des Moines Business Record to publish the brand new Business Record Iowa magazine.  This newsprint magazine is published monthly (as opposed to six times per year for the previous ABI publication) and is distributed statewide to about four times the audience. 

We hear more and more frequently from members that they find value in BRIowa and that's good.  If you have questions or need additional copies, please contact me.  And if you have story ideas, we are always interested in those, too.  

In the meantime, congratulations and thank you to this month's BRIowa cover stars, ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and the ABI Public Policy team.  This team is leading ABI’s push for another great year at the Iowa Statehouse. 

Annual Resource Guide Available Soon

ABI Communications Coordinator David Hildahl, Membership Coordinator Dorothy Knowles, Executive Administrative Assistant Michelle Vollstedt, and Bookkeeper Chrissy Viers have led the association's work with regard to a key publication.  The annual ABI Business Resource Guide and membership directory is being finalized and will be printed and available soon. 

Look for your 2018 directory to arrive soon.  In the meantime, please join me in thanking these staff members for their work on this important project. 

First ABI Legislative Teleconference of 2018 Friday

ABI's Public Policy team will again hold monthly teleconferences related to the work of the Iowa General Assembly.  The first call of the 2018 session is this Friday (January 19) at 8:00 a.m.  

Members have told us they appreciate these calls, which offer the very latest in news from the Statehouse.  As I noted in last week's memo, the calls typically last about 30 minutes, and you and your employees are invited to participate.  Please click here for more information about the call, free and open to ABI members only:   

Conference Committee Meets; Primary Hotel Nears Sold-Out Status

ABI's 115th Annual Meeting, Iowa's Taking Care of Business Conference 2018, will be held June 6-7 in Iowa City-Coralville.  There will be many highlights to the conference, including terrific speakers and exciting venues such as Kinnick Stadium.  Another highlight is golf at the beautiful Brown Deer Golf Club (  

The committee planning this fantastic conference, which is chaired by Donna Popp-Bruesewitz (Stellar Industries, Garner) met last week at ABI.  As always, terrific staff leadership is provided by ABI Member Programs Director Holly Mueggenberg and Vice President Member Development and Programs Kathy Anderson. 

One issue discussed at the meeting was the fact that the main conference hotel, the Coralville Marriott, is very nearly sold-out.  Plenty of rooms are still available at other conference hotels and watch for more information soon. 

ABI events have been breaking attendance records for the past several years, with each drawing a larger number than the previous events of the same kind.  On behalf of ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner), please consider this your personal invitation to attend the ABI Conference.  We'll see you in Greater Iowa City in June. 

Leadership Iowa Class Meets, Alumni Event Held

At 35 years, the ABI Foundation's Leadership Iowa program is one of the nation's oldest statewide leadership development programs.  As you know, LI enjoys a strong base of alumni. 

Those alumni met last week for the annual LI Alumni Networking Dinners, more popularly known as the Foundation Dine-Arounds.  The dinners, held at restaurants throughout Des Moines, enjoyed strong participation and much esprit de corps. 

In other LI news, the 2017-2018 class held its January session in Des Moines.  The session focused on government and terrific speakers, such as ABI Board Members Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames) and Stacey Pellett (John Deere, Johnston) marked the program.   

Thank you to the ABI Foundation staff for their great work with LI and other programs.  Thank you to ABI Vice President Foundation Programs Kay Neumann-Thomas, Foundation Development Director Amanda Nuzum, Foundation Marketing and Programs Coordinator Jessi Steward, and Foundation Administrative Assistant Jane Galloway. 

ABI Advisory Council Continues Strong Support; Will Meet Thursday

Members of the ABI Advisory Council provide incredible value for the association's general membership.  Terrific information, technical programs, subject-matter expertise, and more are available to ABI members thanks to the Advisory Council. 

The council will hold its January meeting Thursday at ABI.  Thank you to 21st Century Rehab, BCC Advisers, Brick Gentry P.C., BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC Insurance, Far Reach, Focus OneSource, HDH Advisors, LMC Insurance and Risk Management, Principal Midwest Business Center, Shift Interactive, Tero, The Iowa Clinic, Wellmark, and Wells Fargo

Future Ready Iowa Summit April 3rd

Many ABI board members are active in Governor Kim Reynolds’ Future Ready Iowa initiative. The first Future Ready Iowa Summit, focused on work-based learning, will be held in Des Moines on April 3rd.  We'll share more information as it becomes available. 

Mary Landhuis, Nate Weaton Celebrate Birthdays

January is a busy time for ABI board members' birthdays.  In addition to board members already noted in previous editions of the Monday Memo, two more ABI leaders are also celebrating.  Happy birthday to board member Mary Landhuis (EZ Way-Lisle Corporation, Clarinda) and to former board member Nate Weaton (Hill Phoenix, Keosauqua)!  

Joanne Stockdale Passes

Former ABI Chair Joanne Stockdale (Northern Iowa Die Casting, Lake Park) passed away peacefully last Wednesday at the Pearl Valley Care Center in Lake Park.  Joanne chaired ABI in fiscal year 1997. 

Joanne was well-known all over Iowa, because she was involved in so many activities and served on several state boards and commissions. In recent years, we saw her less and less, but when we did see her, Joanne always made it special.  You can learn more about Joanne here:  Our thoughts and prayers are with Joanne’s husband, Ned Stockdale, and their family.