Register Now for Fabulous 2016 ABI Conference - Monday Memo 2/22/16

February 22, 2016

Register NOW for the Annual Conference

You have read previously about ABI's 113th annual convention, the 2016 Taking Care of Business Conference.  It will be held in Sioux City June 14-16.  You do not want to miss this fantastic annual event. 

At the conference, you will find not one, but several headline speakers.  One is Dick Vitale, the well-known and beloved former basketball coach, ESPN analyst, and best-selling author.  Another internationally- acclaimed writer and speaker, Steve Rizzo, is also speaking at the conference.  Throw in famed entrepreneur Johnny "Cupcakes" Earle, Emerson Corporation executive Katherine Button Bell, other terrific speakers, and great panelists, and you will find no better business program than this one. 

Fabulous venues, dinner in Sioux City's high-energy Historic Fourth Street entertainment district, great golf at a famous Arnold Palmer-designed  championship course, and the best business networking anywhere combine with the fantastic programming to make this year's conference a must-see.  Please register for the conference now by going to the event website at  See you in Sioux City in June! 

House Majority Leader to Keynote IIPAC Luncheon; Gerlach to Headline Day on the Hill

Business Day on the Hill 2016 will be held March 15 (the same day as the next ABI Board meeting) in Des Moines.  This is a popular event and registration fills quickly.  You can find more information and register here:  

You will never find a visit to the Statehouse as easy as this one.  After you park for free and see a brief, interesting program, you'll be picked up at ABI and taken directly by private coach to the front door of the Capitol.  ABI staff will be with you all the way as you clear security, head to the rotunda, and then connect with your legislators.  Upon the conclusion of your visits, you'll be picked-up at the front door and whisked back to ABI. 

As I noted in last week's Memo, one highlight of this year's event is a keynote address by BIPAC CEO (and former Congressman) Jim Gerlach.  Congressman Gerlach is leading BIPAC, one of ABI's premier partners on the national level, to new heights and he was very well-received during the ABI trip to Washington, DC last fall. 

A new feature of the Day on the Hill activities was added five years ago.  ABI will continue that new tradition and will again be hosting a luncheon benefiting ABI’s political arm, the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee.  On behalf of IIPAC Chair and former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee), you are invited to contribute to IIPAC and join in the luncheon.  

The keynote address at the luncheon will be given by the new Majority Leader of the Iowa House of Representatives, Representative Chris Hagenow of Windsor Heights.   The Majority Leader will give you the latest exclusive information from inside the Statehouse.  You don't want to miss it!  I look forward to seeing you at this year’s Business Day on the Hill events in March. 

Correction: Making Online IIPAC Donations

Speaking of IIPAC, in last week's Monday Memo, I included a link to use in making a secure, online donation to the PAC.  The only problem was the link didn't work.  I apologize for the error. 

Please use THIS link to make a donation:  Thank you for your support and thank you to ABI Executive Committee Member Dave Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) for letting me know about the problem. 

Register Now for DOTH Reception on March 14

Two terrific leaders for business in the Iowa General Assembly will headline the Second Annual Day on the Hill Reception, held the evening prior to Day on the Hill 2016.  Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives Linda Upmeyer and House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow will address ABI members (and members of the NFIB) at the reception held the night before the Day on the Hill.  

Register now for this event at  The reception will be held at the Scenic Route Bakery in Des Moines' East Village.  You will recognize the Scenic Route as one of the premier political hangouts for national media during the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.  Don't miss this event! 

Board to Meet March 15

Members of the ABI Board of Directors will meet at the ABI office on March 15.  ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) will call the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. 

The March meeting agenda will be a full one, with many important issues on tap.  In fact, there will be a full day of ABI events on March 15.  The day will start with the annual Day on the Hill program that morning and the IIPAC luncheon at noon, followed by the meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  Plan now to join your fellow ABI board members and past chairs at ABI in March. 

May Board Meeting to be Held in Marshalltown May 4

Speaking of the ABI Board of Directors, ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) recently announced that he will host the board's May meeting.  Following on the success of other recent meetings which were held outside the Des Moines area, Paul announced that the May meeting will be held in Marshalltown at Emerson/Fisher's Global Headquarters. 

Look for more information soon.  In the meantime, mark your calendars now and make plans to attend the May meeting. 

ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders Forum in Grinnell Next Week

As you know, the next event in ABI's Connecting Statewide Leaders series will be held next Thursday (March 3) in Grinnell.  A high-value panel, networking, and a luncheon will all be a part of the program, which will be held at Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company.   

For more information and to register, click on   Join fellow ABI members, Leadership Iowa Class members, local business leaders, and others for this event.   

ABI Members Invited to FutureReady Iowa Summit

Governor Terry Branstad and others will be featured speakers at the inaugural FutureReady Iowa Summit.  As an ABI member, YOU are also invited. 

The Summit will be held on Tuesday, April 19 at Hy-Vee Hall in downtown Des Moines.  State officials, business leaders, educators, and others will be a part of this event.  Watch for registration information soon.  If you know you are interested in attending, please reply to this message and I'll make sure that happens.  There is no cost to ABI board members for this event. 

IRS Announces New Stakeholder Liaison for Iowa

Iowa taxpayers, especially business taxpayers, have been well-served by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service's Stakeholder Liaison program.  The program seeks to assist business taxpayers and other with questions, tax issues, and compliance matters.  

Last week, the IRS announced a new liaison serving Iowa.  Ann Makres, Senior Stakeholder Liaison, will oversee Iowa and Minnesota.  Should you wish more information about the program or about how to contact the Liaison Office, please reply to this message. 

Gregoire, Hanawalt to Keynote Community College Conference Session

At 8:30 tomorrow morning, the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees will kick-off the second day of a conference marking the 50th anniversary of Iowa's community college system.  Who did IACCT name as the keynote speakers for this important event?  ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) and Immediate Past Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly), that's who. 

Paul and Mark will share comments with the attendees about what businesses and schools should expect from each other.  They will also speak about collaboration being the key to innovation.  The event is being held at the Embassy Suites on the River in downtown Des Moines.  Congratulations to Paul and Mark and thank you for representing ABI and business at this important conference! 

John Riches Celebrates

It is always a pleasure to wish ABI Board Member John Riches (Alcoa, Davenport) a happy birthday.  John celebrates his birthday this month; happy birthday, John!