See You in Sioux City in Two Weeks - Monday Memo 5/31/16

May 31, 2016

Two Weeks Away: The 113th Annual ABI Convention; YP Challenge Issued

Following great annual meetings that have received rave reviews, the 2016 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference is sure to continue that strong success.  The convention is now only two weeks away and will kick off June 14th in Sioux City.  Over 400 people are already registered to attend the convention.

Planners have put together an incredible event, which is well on its way to being one of the best annual meetings ever.  Fantastic venues, exciting speakers, terrific events, and Iowa’s best business networking will highlight the 113th Annual Convention. 

Related to the annual conference, you know that ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) has issued a YP challenge to all ABI members and to all young professionals in our state.  Click here for more information:  

As I note every year at this time, the convention is important to ABI for several reasons.  While the revenue raised by the convention is one of those reasons, even more important is the event’s value as a source of programming and information for members.  And perhaps most importantly, the annual convention helps continue ABI’s momentum and provides members and sponsors with the very best business networking in Iowa.  If you haven’t already done so, register now at  See you June 14-16 in Sioux City; you don’t want to miss it! 

ABI Board to Meet June 14 in Sioux City at Conference; Executive Committee to Meet in June

The ABI Board of Directors will meet during the annual conference.  That meeting will be held at the Sioux City Convention Center at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 14.  This brief meeting will allow the board to review metrics and get a jump on conference activities. 

ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) and members of the Executive Committee will also hold a fiscal year-end meeting late in June.  Board and committee members should watch for more information soon. 

Executive Committee, Board to Receive Proposed  Budget

It is the time of year for the usual operational details prior to the start of the next fiscal year.  You and your fellow members of the ABI Executive Committee and Board of Directors will receive the proposed 2016-2017 ABI budget soon.  Watch for it in your email in-basket. 

By the way, you will also receive other information related to final preparations for the annual conference.  The report of the ABI Nominating Committee, chaired  by ABI Past Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly), and any final details will be a part of the message. 

Amanda Nuzum to Start June 13

Another reason to attend the annual conference is because you will have opportunity to meet the newest member of the ABI staff, Amanda Nuzum.  Amanda's first day as the new Development Director for the ABI Foundation will be June 13.  She will travel with the staff to Sioux City, where she will help make sure the annual conference is a smash success.  Be sure you meet her and welcome her to ABI. 

FABULOUS Items for Foundation Auction

As you know, the ABI Foundation holds an auction in conjunction with ABI's annual Taking Care of Business Conference.  Each year, the auction items are more spectacular.  This year is no exception and there are truly terrific items included in this year's auction. 

Watch for a link to a silent auction to be available soon.  And, be ready for the live auction on Thursday evening of the conference. 

The foundation is at an all-time high as far as quality programs that benefit not just ABI, but all Iowans.  Our state's young people, young professionals, companies, and communities all benefit from great ABIF programs.  Thank you in advance for your support. 

ABI Regional Policy Tour Concludes Next Week in Council Bluffs

After stops around Iowa the previous three weeks, the annual ABI public policy tour will conclude next week.  The tour's final stop will be in Council Bluffs a week from today on June 7.  Click here to register for the meeting:

The agenda includes a review of the 2016 session of the Iowa General Assembly, upcoming elections, and your thoughts about ABI's priorities for 2017.  The participation of so many members across Iowa is what makes the meetings so successful.  

Many thanks to those who attended a terrific policy meeting in Cedar Rapids last week.  Among many others, the crowd included ABI Vice Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton ( Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield), ABI Executive Committee Member David Bywater (Economy Advertising, Iowa City), and ABI Board Members Cindy Dietz (Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids) and Jeanine Penticoff (Alliant Energy, Cedar Rapids).  Thank you to these ABI leaders and to all who attended. 

EPIC Interviews Held

Speaking of ABI's policy work, I was remiss in not mentioning ABI's coordination of EPIC in last week's Memo.  You will recall that Economic Progress for Iowa's Citizens (EPIC) is a coalition of business organizations that seeks to identify and promote pro-business candidates for state office. 

One key function of EPIC is to invite all candidates for open seats, regardless of party, to introduce themselves to EPIC members in an informal interview setting.  The first round of interviews for the 2016 election cycle was held Wednesday at ABI.  

There was  large crowd on hand and the order of the day was interesting discussion with candidates from around Iowa.  Special thanks to former Chairs Myron Linn (Pella Corporation, Pella) and Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee) who led the interviews.  Watch for more information about upcoming EPIC sessions soon.

Alex Monaghan is New Elevate Coordinator; Measured Intentions Celebrating 8th Anniversary

In case you missed the news Alexandra Monaghan is the new Elevate Coordinator.  As such, she will lead work related to ABI's Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative.  Alex joined the team earlier this spring and has already hit the ground running in continuing Elevates success.  Welcome, Alex. 

By the way, if you haven't seen the latest Elevate newsletter, you should.  It's packed with news about what has been happening with this exciting campaign.  Reply to this memo and I will send you the latest edition. 

You all know that ABI Advisory Council member Measured Intentions is the firm that manages Elevate for ABI.  Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale) tells me that  tomorrow marks the firm's 8th anniversary.  Congratulations to Michele, Kathleen Riessen (Measured Intentions, Urbandale), and the whole Measured Intentions team! 

Clare Eide Starts Thursday as ABI Summer Intern

Each summer, ABI brings an Iowa college student on board as an intern.  Starting Thursday, Clare Eide of Des Moines will fill that role. 

Clare is the daughter of former ABI staff member Matt Eide and his wife, Sara Eide.  Clare just completed her freshman year at Grinnell College, where she is pursuing a BA and majoring in Art History and Islamic Art, with a minor in Global Development Studies.  Welcome, Clare. 

Iowa STEM Conference June 29

Members of the ABI Board of Directors have been invited to participate in the annual Iowa STEM conference, this year called the Iowa STEM School+Business Innovations Conference.  There is no charge to attend and it  will be held June 29 in Des Moines.  For more information, go to

The Business of ABI: Fiscal Year-End

There is roughly one month remaining in ABI's fiscal year.  While I never lose sight of where our organization stands as it pursues the objectives you set for us each year, I pay particular attention at this time of the year. 

In doing some research for ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown), I was able to verify that this has been a record-setting year in many ways.  Attendance at events, legislative accomplishment, program development, hiring, financial achievement, all are exemplary.  That is due to YOUR leadership and support and I never that that fact for granted. THANK YOU.