Register NOW for NAFTA Forum - Monday Memo 2/6/18

February 5, 2018

This Friday: NAFTA Forum at ABI; Ernst Keynote Speaker

ABI, in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, is co-sponsoring a forum focused on the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement. 

The forum will be held at ABI this Friday, February 9, from 10:00 a.m. to noon. ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) will introduce U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, who will deliver keynote remarks.  In addition, former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) and ABI member company executive Tony Hogan (Kreg Tool Company, Huxley) will be among a group of panelists addressing the impact of NAFTA and what could be lost if the agreement is not maintained. 

For more information, please click here:  To register, simply reply to this memorandum or send an email message to ABI Executive Administrative Assistant Michelle Vollstedt at  

Executive Committee Meets Wednesday; Board Meets March 13

The ABI Executive Committee will hold its regular February meeting this Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.  To be convened by ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner), this teleconference will mark the committee’s second meeting of 2018.  Look for a full report on any news from the meeting at the March board meeting. 

Speaking of the ABI Board of Directors, that meeting will be held at ABI on March 13.  That day will see a full day of ABI meetings and events, as the annual Day on the Hill program and other events will also take place then.  

2018 Iowa Business Day on the Hill March 13

During the first quarter of the year, much of ABI's work focuses on public policy and the Iowa General Assembly.  A few years ago, following on the exploding success of the annual ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception, ABI created the annual ABI Day on the Hill.  The event capitalizes on members’ wishes to get even more involved in ABI’s public policy work.  

This event gives ABI members an opportunity to get the very latest news from the Capitol in the heat of legislative activity.  Members are taken by private coach to the Capitol to meet with and hear from key state officials, legislative leaders, and their legislators.  The event has grown bigger and better each year and this year's event will again be conducted in partnership with the Iowa Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, the Iowa Chamber Alliance, and the National Association of Women Business Owners.   

Day on the Hill 2018 is being held Tuesday, March 13.  The program begins with registration that morning at the ABI office near the State Capitol.  Following a report on legislative news and updates on related issues, and including other information, DOTH participants will head to the Capitol for meetings with legislators? Register now at    

 March 13 is also the day of the March meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  Thanks in advance for your participation in these important meetings. 

Legislative Update Teleconference a Week from Friday

Periodically throughout the legislative session, ABI lobbyists Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain, Director Public Policy Jessica Hyland, and Coordinator Public Policy Brad Hartkopf host a teleconference to give you the very latest information from the Statehouse.  Updates on bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters are covered in each call.  Your specific questions about those topics are also very much welcomed. 

The next call will be held a week from Friday, on February 16th, at 8:00 a.m. and you and your employees are encouraged to participate.  The members-only call is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at  

Waverly Public Policy Roundtable on March 2

The next in an ongoing series of legislative roundtables will be held at United Equipment Accessories in Waverly on March 2nd.  Senator Craig Johnson and Representative Sandy Salmon will be on hand to discuss issues with ABI members.  Many thanks to former ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) and his team for hosting this important event.  For more information, click here:  

Register Now for March 1 Connecting Leaders Sessions in Fairfield

More in the series of Connecting Leaders Forums are ahead.  In fact, the next one will be held March 1. 

Please click on this link for more information or to register:  You won't want to miss this event.  For one thing, it will be held in the beautiful Fairfield Arts and Convention Center.  For another, the program is terrific.  Click on the link above and we'll see you in Fairfield next month. 

Biennial ABI Drug Testing Seminar March 22 in Des Moines

The association will host its biennial Drug Testing Seminar late next month.  This is the place to find the latest information about employee drug testing programs and to learn the best practices utilized by other companies.  

The seminar will be held at the ABI office on March 22. Click here for more information and to register:  We look forward to seeing your HR, risk management, and compliance teams at ABI on March 22nd. 

Elevate Scholarships Available

You know how important ABI's Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative is to our state.  Manufacturing firms supply nearly 209,000 jobs to Iowans. These well-paying careers require education and training beyond high school, but many don’t require the often burdensome cost of a bachelor’s degree. Recent studies have shown that two-year degree holders, especially in high-demand manufacturing occupations, can earn salaries that surpass those of college graduates.

A career in manufacturing means getting to work sooner with less debt. 

Elevate Advanced Manufacturing promotes great careers in advanced manufacturing. In 2018, Elevate is offering (15) $500 scholarships to Iowa high school seniors interested in studying a manufacturing-related career at one of Iowa’s 15 Community Colleges – One award will be made per college region.  Interested candidates can apply by completing the application at

Register Now for Future Ready Iowa Summit to be Held April 3in Des Moines

In the Monday Memo of January 15, I told you of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds plans to hold a Future Ready Iowa Summit this spring. More details have now been announced for the event, which will be held April 3rd at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

The event is being hosted by the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and a thousand business, education, government, and other leaders are expected to attend. Nationally-known speakers will highlight the event, including former ABI Chair Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella) among them.  ABI members are specifically invited to attend.  Registration is now open at  

Quad Cities Chamber Event Wednesday

Wednesday evening in Des Moines, ABI member Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce is hosting its annual legislative event at HOQ.  The restaurant is just across the street from the ABI office.  Congratulations to the QC Chamber for what is always a great event.  ABI Board Member John Riches (Arconic, Davenport) and other terrific leaders will attend. 

Mercer Program Shares Future-Ready Health Strategies

ABI member company Mercer is a national leader in employee benefits and related fields.  The company is known for its health benefits survey. 

Mercer staff members will share insights from the most recent study and from thought-leaders on building a future-ready benefits strategy for your company. They’ll look beyond cost-shifting to real strategies to make a difference in employees’ health and in your bottom-line. 

Presentations will be made February 27 at 8:00 a.m. in Urbandale and 8:00 a.m. on February 28 in Iowa City. Click here for more information and/or to register:  Thanks to the folks at Mercer for these valuable representations. 

Standard Golf Now an ESOP

Longtime ABI member Standard Golf is an icon in Cedar Falls and in the golfing industry.  Over a hundred years old, the company is one of the leading golf course supply companies in the world.  Company President and ABI Board Member Peter Voorhees (Standard Golf, Cedar Falls) marks the third generation of his family to lead the company. 

A plan has been created and now initiated to transfer ownership of the company from the Voorhees Family to the company’s employees. The plan ensures that the company will continue its legacy in Cedar Falls and not be moved out of Iowa.  Read more about the transition here:

ABI salutes and congratulates everyone involved, especially Peter and his family. Best wishes for another century of growth and success! 

Bill Goodwin Passes

Former ABI Board Member Bill Goodwin (Goodwin Companies, Des Moines) passed away recently.  He had not been active in ABI for many years, but I know some of you will recall Bill.  You can read about his life here:  ABI sends condolences to Bill’s family. 

Thoughts are with Dorothy Knowles and Family

Many of you know longtime ABI staff member Dorothy Knowles. Dorothy leads the association’s database and billing work, among other things.  Dorothy grew up a in a very large and close-knit family on the east side of Des Moines.  One of Dorothy’s sisters, Judy Campbell, passed away a week ago.  You can read about Judy here:  Our thoughts and prayers are with Dorothy, her husband Bob, and their family.