This Week: Iowa Business Day on the Hill - Monday Memo 3/9/20

March 9, 2020

Big Day of ABI Meetings and Events Wednesday

As I note every year about this time, ABI has been very busy hosting many events and meetings of late.  And, as always, that’s good; if the association is fulfilling its mission, we better be busy (and productive). 

Wednesday, ABI will host several events.  The annual Business Day on the Hill program starts things off.   Thank you to our partners the Iowa Business Council, the Iowa Chamber Alliance, the Iowa Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, the Iowa Taxpayers Association, and the National Association of Women Business Owners.Following the Business Day on the Hill events, the annual luncheon will be held, with some terrific speakers on tap.  Registration is nearing capacity for Business Day on the Hill and if you have questions about the luncheon, please reply to this memo.  In the meantime, please click here to register or for more information:  

Following the luncheon, the March meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held (the ABI Executive Committee will not meet on the11th so that members can participate in the other events).  A full agenda will be the focus of the board meeting.  

Your attendance at these important meetings and events is appreciated.  On behalf of ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) thank you in advance for your participation. 

Legislative Update Friday

Periodically throughout the legislative session, ABI lobbyists 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 this Friday, March 13th, 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      

2020 ABI Pre-Employment Testing Seminar March 26

The 2020 edition of ABI's biennial Workers Compensation Seminar will be held later this month.  The seminar will be held at the ABI office on Thursday, March 26.  

The seminar will include the latest information on the status of drug tests and other pre-employment processes and what they mean for your company.  The program will also include other information, such as best-practice data from other companies.  To register, please go to this link:  I look forward to seeing your HR, risk management, or other staff members at the seminar. 

Make Your Convention, Lodging Reservations Now; FLAGSHIP HOTEL SOLD-OUT

ABI members and staff are heavy into planning for the association’s 117th annual convention.  The 2020 Taking Care of Business Conference will be held June 9-11 in Cedar Rapids and it is shaping up to be a spectacular event.  

Many ABI members have already made their reservations for the conference.  In fact, one of the hotels, the DoubleTree by Hilton, is already sold-out.  A second hotel, the Hotel at Kirkwood Center, is also filling fast.  Plenty of other great options remain, however.  If you haven't made your reservation yet, you can go to  and take care of it today.  That link will provide you with information about lodging and information about the conference agenda and speakers, information about terrific venues and special events, and information about the incredible list of things to do in Cedar Rapids.  Perhaps most importantly, you can also register for the convention.  

All the information you need is on this website.  Or, if you wish to have the ABI staff handle your reservation, simply reply to this email message and I’ll make sure it gets handled.  See you in Cedar Rapids in June! 

Call is Out for Great Foundation Auction Items

Speaking of the annual conference, one of the highlights of the conference each year is the auction that benefits the programs of the ABI Foundation.  And, as you read in the Monday Memo of a month ago, the ABI Foundation staff is calling for your donations for terrific auction items. 

With the annual conference in Cedar Rapids just a few months away, Foundation staffers are looking for packages/donations for both the live and silent auction.  If you have donated in the past, please do so again.  If you haven’t donated items to the auction, please take a moment to think about how you or your business can contribute. The conference auction is vital to the success and sustainability of the Foundation’s life-changing programs. Thank you for your consideration. 

This Week in the Iowa Business Report Radio Program

The 10th episode of the ABI-supported Iowa Business Report radio program has now been broadcast on radio stations all over Iowa.  It’s another terrific program that includes great information and that helps tell the story of Iowa business. 

If you haven’t yet listened an episode of the Iowa Business Report, you need to do so.  Click here to listen for yourself:  Links can also be found on the ABI website at  ABI is pleased to support the show, which is produced by well-known Iowa broadcaster Jeff Stein.  The latest episode is another terrific edition.  

LI, BH Nominations Encouraged; BH Board to Meet

Leadership Iowa and Business Horizons are two of the ABI Foundation’s flagship programs.  LI is one of America’s oldest and most successful leadership development programs.  BH provides a terrific week-long entrepreneurial experience for Iowa high school students each summer.  The 2020-2021 Leadership Iowa Class will convene in October and Business Horizons 2020 will be held in July at Central College in Pella. 

Now is the time that you can help the program in an important way.  Nominate participants for LI and students for BH.  Making nominations doesn’t cost a cent and is easy to do.  Simply click on and/or for more information and to make your nominations.  

Speaking of Business Horizons, the BH Board of Directors will meet Friday at ABI in Des Moines.  Thank you to these leaders for overseeing one of the ABI Foundation’s most successful programs.  

Muscatine LI Session Big Success; ABI Statewide Leaders Event Draws Crowd, Board Members Attend

The 2019-2020 Leadership Iowa Class held its latest session last week in Muscatine.  The class heard from an incredible array of terrific speakers and you'll have an opportunity to meet the class at next month's ABI legislative reception. 

By the way, a part of the LI session included the latest in ABI’s “Connecting Statewide Leaders” series of events.  A terrific panel comprised of ABI manufacturers was the highlight.  A number of ABI board members attended the event and/or helped in big ways to make this event (and the LI session in general) a big success.  Special thanks to these ABI leaders:  Vice Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine), Immediate Past Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City), and board members Kelly Barrick (CIBC Bank, West Des Moines), Andy Bramstedt (SSAB, Muscatine), Tom Determann (CRDC, Clinton), and Rich Dwyer (Kent Corporation, Muscatine).   

ABI Members Invited to Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference

For many years, ABI has been among a number of organizations that are collaborating in producing the Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference.  Past editions of the conference have been a huge success. 

The 2020 conference will be held April 30-May 1 at the Kansas City Convention Center in downtown Kansas City.  If you have been to the convention center, you know how accessible it is, with plenty of convenient parking.  The agenda for the conference is terrific and packed full of high-value information.  Your compliance staff will find no better resource for the very latest in environmental regulatory information. 

ABI receives financial support for every Iowa participant that registers for the conference.  While that is a great incentive, the real reason to attend is for the high-value program.  Please consider sending your staff to the conference.  Find more information and register by clicking on    

ABI Executive Committee Meeting April 8; Next Board Meeting May 13

The ABI Executive Committee will next meet by teleconference on April 8.  The next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held May 13 in Des Moines.  Please watch for more information. 

Strategic America Marks 40 Big Years in 2020

Longtime ABI member Strategic America is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.  Many ABI members do business with SA and the company is well-known for its expertise and first class service.  In 40 years, the company has done nothing but grow in employees, clients, and reputation.  Congratulations to former ABI Board Member John Schreurs (Strategic America, West Des Moines), his brother Mike Schreurs (Strategic America), and to everyone on the SA team! 

Linn, Yanney, Crain Appointed by Governor

Two former ABI Chairs were appointed by Governor Kim Reynolds to state boards and commissions last week.  Former ABI Chair Myron Linn (Pella Corporation, Pella) was appointed to the Iowa Employment Appeal Board.  Former Chair Charese Yanney (Guarantee Roofing and Siding, Sioux City) was re-appointed to the Iowa Transportation Commission.  In addition, ABI Executive Vice President Nicole Crain was appointed to the Iowa Judicial nominating Commission.  The appointees now move to the Iowa Senate for confirmation. 

Many other persons with ABI ties were appointed to other boards and commissions.  Congratulations to all involved!

Morgan Stanley Names John Gilliland Associate Vice President

Longtime ABI member and sponsor John Gilliland (Morgan Stanley, Des Moines) is well-known as a former key member of the ABI staff.  There is big news to share about John, as it was announced last week that he has been promoted to Associate Vice President at Morgan Stanley.  That’s great to hear; congratulations, John Gilliland!