Register Now for 2016 ABI Legislative Reception - Monday Memo 11/30/15

November 30, 2015

State Leaders Will Attend 2016 ABI Legislative Reception; Register Now to Take Advantage of Early Registration Discount

As always, key state leaders such as Governor Terry Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, and all 150 members of the Iowa General Assembly have been invited to the 2016 ABI Legislative Reception.  As you know, this event is one of the most popular events ABI hosts all year long.  It is likely that 500 people will attend the event, including more legislators of both parties than at any other similar event. 

The attendance of these state officials is one more confirmation of your importance to Iowa policy makers.  They attend because YOU attend.

You can already register by clicking on the following link:  The 2016 ABI Briefing and Reception will be held Wednesday, January 13 at the Embassy Suites on the River in Downtown Des Moines.  Plenty of convenient parking is available nearby. 

I hope you will attend the reception, which is a very important event.  Of course it is a lot of fun and you’ll see great ABI colleagues from all over Iowa.  Even more vital, however, is your discussion with your local legislators.  Building relationships between legislators and ABI members is what the event is all about.   Your perspective (and that of your employees) is a crucial component in helping Iowa policymakers understand the needs and concerns of business people in our state.  On behalf of our ABI officers, I look forward to seeing you in Des Moines on January 13.

December Executive Committee Teleconference Next Week; January 13 is Date for Next ABI Board Meeting

The final meeting of the ABI Executive Committee for 2015 is scheduled to be  held a week from tomorrow on December 8.  Later this week, committee members will receive the usual packet to help in preparing for the meeting, which will be called to order by ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) at 9:30 a.m.

The board will meet next month.  The ABI Board of Directors will hold its regularly scheduled January meeting on Wednesday, January 14, 2016 and the ABI Executive Committee will meet immediately prior to the board. 

Because it falls on the same day as the annual ABI Legislative Reception, the January meeting is typically one of the best-attended of the year.  Please mark your calendars now for January 13.

Business Horizons Summer Experience at Central College July 17-21

As you know, one of the ABI Foundation's key programs is Business Horizons.  Though there are some other aspects to the program, it is best known for offering a week-long entrepreneurism experience for high school students.  The program is held each summer and after many years at Drake University in Des Moines and then Simpson College in Indianola, the program moved to the campus of Central College in Pella four years ago.

The 2016 Business Horizons experience will again take place at Central on June 28 - July 2, and you can already nominate students for this life-changing program.  To do so, please click on  It is easy to do and there is no cost to nominate a student.

Connecting Statewide Leaders Forum Next Week in Waverly

As you have read in previous editions of this memorandum, the next in a series of ABI forums will be held a week from Thursday in Waverly.  The ABI Connecting Statewide Forums  have already served as great networking events for ABI members and others. 

There are already many attendees registered for next Thursday's event and we encourage all area members to attend.  For more information or to register for the forum, which will be held at Wartburg College, please go to click on the links for the events.  See you in Waverly on Thursday, December 10.

Leadership Iowa Class to Converge on Waverly

Waverly is the site for the third session of the 2015-2016 Leadership Iowa Class.  Class members will meet next week on Thursday and Friday.  In fact, most members of the class will arrive for a special event Wednesday evening.  The session will focus on education in Iowa and a terrific slate of speakers is on tap.

As always, special thanks go to the Leadership Iowa Board of Governors and to the ABI Foundation Board of Directorsfor maintaining a terrific LI program. 

Iowa Student Internship Program Can be Resource for Small to Mid-Sized Companies

As you have read about in recent editions of this memorandum, Iowa Economic Development Authority officials remind ABI that IEDA announced the return of a program that has been utilized by many ABI members (such as Al-Jon in Ottumwa) in the past.  The Iowa Student Internship Program provides grants to small and medium-sized companies in the advanced manufacturing, biosciences and information technology industries to help support their internship programs with a goal of transitioning the interns to full-time employment in the state upon graduation.

IEDA will accept applications for funding through this program through April 30, 2015 or until the funds run out.  The program is available to Iowa-based companies with fewer than 500 employees and the intern must be paid at least minimum wage.  Obviously, a large portion of the wage payment can be covered through the IEDA grant.

Companies interested in participating in the Iowa Student Internship Program will find the application at  If you have questions about the program, please contact IEDA at (515) 725-3196.

Conference Committee to Meet; Remember to Make Your 2016 Annual Conference Lodging Reservations

The committee planning ABI's 2016 Taking Care of Business Conference will meet Thursday in Des Moines.  The conference, to be held in June of next year, will be one of the association's very best annual meetings. 

Related to that, last week's memo noted that it is not too early to make your lodging reservation for the 2016 conference.  There are three main conference hotels for the 2016 conference.  One is the fabulous new Hard Rock-Sioux City.  That hotel is already sold out!

The other main conference hotels are also terrific; they are the Stoney Creek and the Marina Inn.  Use these links to connect to the hotels:  for the Stoney Creek and for the Marina.  See you in Sioux City in June.

INF Sees 8 Graduate from Latest Leo Mores Leadership Institute Class

ABI member Harlan Newspapers is not some sleepy small-town bulletin.  It is one of the oldest businesses in Iowa and is a major printing and publishing company that does work for multiple vendors.  Its state of the art equipment has been featured on television and in news stories across the Midwest.

The company is also a leader in its industry.  As you have read in previous editions of these memos, longtime ABI Board member Alan Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan) and his brother Steve, endowed the Leo Mores Newspaper Leadership Institute at the Iowa Newspaper Foundation.  In addition, Alan is the current board president for the Iowa Newspaper Association Services Company, a major industry organization.

Speaking of the  Mores Institute, named after Alan and Steve's father, it has graduated dozens of industry leaders over the past several years.  Recently, the Institute celebrated the graduation of its most recent class, 8 leaders from across Iowa.  Congratulations to them and thank you to Alan and his family for THEIR leadership!

NAM Report Confirms Manufacturing Gains

Last week's Monday Economic Report from the National Association of Manufacturers was welcome.  That is because it confirmed modest but steady growth in manufacturing metrics over the course of the last quarter.

While gains have been seen earlier in the year, they were not sustained.  It appears that there is now some well-founded hope for further improvement in the coming year.  if you would like to see the report for yourself, please reply to this memo and I will get it to you at once.

Cedar Valley to Host International Trade Experts

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is an ABI member and a key partner.  The organization's president is a valued ABI board member, Steve Dust (Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Waterloo). 

The Alliance & Chamber is spearheading great development in the region.  One example of the group's always-looking-forward leadership is an upcoming session focused on international trade and doing business in Asia.  The event will be held on December 8 and will culminate with the Alliance & Chamber's annual legislative reception.  Congratulations to Steve and his team for their great work on behalf of the Cedar Valley in particular and Iowa in general.

Espeset Column Another Winner

At ABI, we appreciate all the member company newsletters we receive.  You frequently include information about business practices or general items in the newsletters that not only help us know your business, but help us learn.  ABI Board Member Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames) has again done just that in his column in his company's most recent newsletter, STORYLINE.

Mike's column is all about managing expectations.  He notes how important that is to his company -- and  to his customers.  If you wish to see the column for yourself, reply to this message and I'll get it to you.  In the meantime, thanks for sharing, Mike!

Past Chair David Fisher Will Celebrate

Former ABI Chair David Fisher (Onthank Co., Des Moines) will celebrate his birthday a week from today on  December 7.  ABI sends happy birthday wishes to David!