Register Thursday for 2019 ABI Annual Convention - Monday Memo 2/18/19

February 18, 2019

Registration for the Annual Conference Opens Thursday

You have read previously about ABI's 116th annual convention, the 2019 Taking Care of Business Conference.  It will be held in Ames June 4-6.  You do not want to miss this fantastic annual event. 

At the conference, you will find not one, but three headline speakers.  You will see fabulous venues, such as legendary Jack Trice Stadium, Hilton Coliseum, and more.  You will have access to terrific manufacturing tours, historical sites, and great golf at the Ames Golf and Country Club, and of course you will take part in the best business networking anywhere.  Please register for the conference starting Thursday by going to  In the meantime, finalize your plans now and we will look forward to seeing you in Ames in June! 

Register NOW for 2019 Iowa Business Day on the Hill

Be sure to register now for another popular ABI event, the 2019 Iowa Business Day on the Hill.  The event will be held Wednesday, March 13.  The day starts with registration at 8:30 a.m. at the ABI office in Des Moines' East Village.  

Thank you to our partners for this event.  They include the Iowa Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, the Iowa Chamber Alliance, and the National Association of Women Business Owners.  

You will want to be there to hear the latest news from the Iowa General Assembly.  Following that you will be taken by private coach to the Capitol for meetings with legislators and other leaders.  Register now at  See you in March. 

Annual IIPAC Luncheon March 13; Watch for Speaker Announcement Soon

An invitation has gone out to a Statehouse leader to be the keynote speaker at the annual IIPAC Luncheon on March 13 (stay tuned for more information).  The luncheon is open to all IIPAC contributors of $50 or more.  If you haven’t yet made your annual IIPAC contribution, you can do so here:  You can also make your donation at the door on the 13th.  Please join us then to hear this important legislative leader and to support IIPAC. 

Drew Wynes Joins ABI Public Policy Staff Today

Today is the first day at ABI for our newest staff member, Drew Wynes.  Drew joins ABI Senior Vice President, Public Policy Nicole Crain and Director, Public Policy Brad Hartkopf as a member of ABI’s full-time lobbying team.  Drew’s title is Coordinator, Public Policy. 

As I noted a couple of weeks ago, Drew had a very successful stint as a field director responsible for Iowa House candidates in nine targeted districts in SE Iowa last fall.  He also has experience with some other political and policy organizations and he holds a degree from Augustana College in Rock Island.  We are eager for you to meet him.  Welcome, Drew! 

ABI Board Will Meet March 13

Members of the ABI Board of Directors will meet at the ABI office on March 13.  ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) 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 13.  

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 Iowa City May 8

Speaking of the ABI Board of Directors, ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) will host the board's May meeting.  Following on the success of other board meetings which were held outside the Des Moines area, David will host the May meeting in Iowa City.  The board will meet at MERGE in downtown Iowa City.  Following the meeting, optional tours of Bankers Advertising/Tru Art will be available.  Mark your calendars now and make plans to attend the May meeting. 

Advisory Council Meets Thursday

The members of the ABI Advisory Council will hold their monthly meeting Thursday in Des Moines. Please join me in thanking the members of the council.  They are 21st Century Rehab, ACS, BCC Advisers, 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

BH Board to Meet

This is a busy time for ABI and the ABI Foundation.  The Foundation is in the middle of the 2018/19 Leadership Iowa sessions and is now finalizing planning for the 2019 session of Business Horizons. 

Thankfully, just like ABI, the Foundation benefits from strong board leadership.  In that regard, the Business Horizons Board of Directors meets Wednesday.  BH is Iowa’s premier summer entrepreneurial experience for high school students.  It will again be held at Central College in Pella this summer. 

March 27: Biennial Workers Compensation Seminar

As you know, the biennial ABI Workers Compensation Seminar will be held on March 27 at ABI.  The program will include the latest information about work comp issues and the latest information about best practices being utilized by other companies.  Click here for more information and to register:  We look forward to seeing you at the seminar on March 27. 

ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders, Building Business Value Events in Cedar Falls-Waterloo in April

The next event in ABI's Connecting Statewide Leaders series will be held in April.  The event will be held in Cedar Falls-Waterloo and will be followed by a high-value business seminar.  

Find more information and/or register for the Connecting Statewide Leaders event here:  Mark your calendars now to join fellow ABI members, Leadership Iowa Class members, local business leaders, and others for this event.   

Following that event, stick around for the Building Business Value Seminar.  A high-value panel will provide information that will lead to increased success for your business.  Click here for more information and to register:  See you in the Cedar Valley in April. 

John Riches Celebrates

It is always fun to note the birthday of another great ABI leader.  ABI Board Member John Riches (Arconic, Davenport) celebrated his birthday Saturday.  John is a terrific guy and it is a pleasure to wish him a happy birthday; belated happy birthday, John! 

Krista Tanner Moves Up

Longtime ABI Board Member Krista Tanner (ITC Holdings Corp, Des Moines) has been promoted.  She remains President and CEO of ITC Midwest, but is now also Senior Vice President and Chief Business Unit Officer for the parent company, ITC Holdings Corp.  Read more about Krista’s promotion here:  Congratulations, Krista Tanner! 

Charles Sukup, NAM’s Jay Timmons Pen Register Essay

Yesterday’s Des Moines Register carried an essay written by two manufacturing leaders.  Former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup manufacturing Co., Sheffield) and National Association of Manufacturers’ President Jay Timmons wrote the piece, which suggested making the 2020 U.S. presidential race all about continuing the growth of manufacturing jobs.  It was a great piece and you can read it here:  

By the way, the link above also includes some terrific video of third-generation Sukup Family members at work in the company’s plant in Sheffield.  Thank you, Charles and Jay! 

Nick Gerhart Appointed to National Board

Another ABI board member is in the news.  Nick Gerhart (FBL Financial, West Des Moines) has been appointed to the board of directors for the National Insurance Producer Registry.  Nick was appointed as a representative of the American Property and Casualty Insurance Association.  As a former Iowa insurance commissioner and top industry executive, Nick is a perfect choice for the role.  Congratulations, Nick! 

Former Chair Phil Goddard Passes

Back in 1977, ABI was still known as the Iowa Manufacturer’s Association.  IMA’s Chair that year was a longtime member, Phil Goddard (Tension Envelope, Des Moines).  Phil was a well-known executive, an engineer, a veteran and he was liked by all. 

Phil passed away last month and the news was brought to my attention by former longtime IMA/ABI staffer Don Hauser (thank you, Don).  Click here to read Phil’s obituary:  ABI salutes Phil’s terrific life and service and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.