May 14, 2018

ABI Annual Conference Starts Just Three Weeks from Tomorrow; Surprises in Store!

ABI’s 115th annual meeting kicks off just three weeks from tomorrow.  All the indicators point to a terrific annual convention, with registrations continuing to run at a record pace.  The convention will be held June 5-7. There are many surprises in store, starting as soon as you exit I-80 and head to the main conference site, the Coralville Marriott and Conference Center.  Don’t miss this event! 

You can check out the terrific convention program and you can register NOW by going to  On behalf of the conference committee and our ABI officers, I look forward to seeing you at the 2018 Taking Care of Business Conference, for the first time in 10 years being held in Coralville-Iowa City. 

By the way, when you register for the conference, don't forget to make your lodging reservations.  Two of the official conference hotels have been sold-out, but plenty of other great options remain.  Find more information about another great lodging option at the link mentioned above. 

Discussing the conference provides an opportunity to again thank the conference planning committee, chaired by Donna Popp-Bruezewitz (Stellar Industries, Garner), and ABI staff members Member Programs Director Holly Mueggenberg, Vice President Member Development and Programs Kathy Anderson, Membership Coordinator Dorothy Knowles, Communications Director David Hildahl, Executive Administrative Assistant Michelle Vollstedt, and Bookkeeper Chrissy Viers. 

Rebecca Coady to Join ABI Foundation

Rebecca Coady, who leads volunteer activities and other initiatives related to the Iowa Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve Program, has accepted our offer to join the ABI Foundation as Development Director.  Many of you may know Becky, as she has been active in coordinating ESGR activities between the Guard and Leadership Iowa and is a member of this year’s LI class.  Becky has more than 10 years with the Department of Defense, has been a board member for several non-profits, has built a strong statewide network, and has demonstrated a terrific work ethic.  I know she will do a great job. 

Becky and her husband, Mark Coady, live in Urbandale.  They and their children have been very active in the community. 

Becky will begin her work with the ABI Foundation in June, when she will join our other exceptional Foundation team members, Kay Neumann-Thomas, Jessi Steward, and Jane Galloway.  As a member of the LI class, however, you will have an opportunity to meet Becky at the annual conference. Welcome, Becky! 

ABI Policy Meetings Ahead

Each year, following adjournment of the annual session of the Iowa General Assembly, the ABI public policy staff heads out on the road to meet with association members all over Iowa.  These regional meetings focus on information about the actions of the General Assembly in the session just completed, on the latest news from the Statehouse, and on gaining your counsel about ABI policies for the next year.  

After a meeting in Garner held early this month, the next regional Policy Meeting will be held in Council Bluffs on May 22nd.  A policy teleconference will be held on June 4.  Please register for these free meetings now at  

Thank you to ABI members for hosting ABI in your communities.  And on behalf of ABI Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain, Director Public Policy Jessica Hyland, and Coordinator Public Policy Brad Hartkopf, we look forward to seeing you at one of the remaining meetings. 

EPIC Interviews to be Held

Speaking of ABI's policy work, 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. ABI serves as the coordinating organization for the coalition. 

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 2018 election cycle will be held Thursday at ABI.  Watch for more information about this and upcoming EPIC sessions soon. 

Latest Edition of Business Record Iowa Now Out; ABI Leaders Featured

Each month, in partnership with the Des Moines Business Record, ABI publishes Business Record Iowa.  This newsprint publication reaches about 7,500 Iowa business leaders all across the state.  

The May edition, featuring several ABI leaders on the cover and inside the magazine, should now be in your mailbox, inside the Des Moines Business Record.  If you haven't yet received it, please let me know and another copy will be sent to you at once. 

You’ll enjoy seeing the cover photo of ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and former ABI Chairs Bob Wersen (Interpower Corporation, Oskaloosa) and Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield).  And, though they weren’t available for the cover shoot, inside you will enjoy seeing Immediate Past ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and former Chair Fred Buie (Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Company, Des Moines) and ABI Executive Committee Member Mary Landhuis (Lisle Corporation, Clarinda).  Thanks to each of these leaders for being interviewed for this month’s magazine! 

Nominating Committee Meets; Board Slate Being Finalized

ABI Nominating Committee Chair (and Immediate Past ABI Chair) Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and members of the committee met by teleconference early last week.  The committee developed a full slate of nominations for the annual convention.  Contact is now being made with the nominees. 

In addition to Lori, committee members include ABI Board Members Andy Kretz (Dexter Apache, Fairfield), Tom Determann (CRDC, Clinton), Kim Augspurger (Saxton, Des Moines), Alan Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan), and Larry Countryman (Wilson Trailer Company Sioux City).  The committee will complete its work in the next couple of weeks and a full report will be a part of next month's annual business meeting. 

BH Board to Meet This Week

In other ABI Foundation-related news, the Foundation's Business Horizons Board of Directors will meet Wednesday in Des Moines.  The group is putting final touches on the 2018 Session of BH, which will take place in late June at Central College in Pella.  

ABI Advisory Council to Hold May Meeting Thursday

The ABI Advisory Council includes valued member companies that provide terrific programming assistance, as well as key financial support for ABI.  The council will hold its monthly meeting this Thursday at the ABI Office in Des Moines. 

THANK YOU to the members of the council!  Those companies are to 21st Century Rehab, BCC Advisers, Brick Gentry P.C., BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC Insurance, Far Reach, Focus OneSource, HDH Advisors, LMC Insurance and Risk Management, Principal Midwest Business Center, Shift Interactive, Tero International,The Iowa Clinic, Wellmark, and Wells Fargo.

NAM Global Manufacturing Update Says Data Trending Upward

The latest edition of the National Association of Manufacturers’ Global Manufacturing Economic Update was published last Thursday and it carries a variety of information to document upward-trending data.  For instance, the manufacturing economy grew nearly seven percent in the first quarter of 2018!  If you wish to see Update for yourself, please reply to this message and I will get it to you at once. 

Mores-Aldrich Nuptials Ahead

This month is a big one for at least one ABI Family. Jackson Mores, son of ABI Board Member Alan Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan) and his wife, Donna Christensen-Mores, garnered his Master’s degree in public health from Kansas last Saturday.  This weekend, he will wed Kaitlyn Aldrich in Des Moines.  His bride is a civil engineer with Burns and Mac, one of the largest engineering firms in the United States.  Jackson starts Physical Therapy School at KU on May 29.  

It doesn’t stop there. Alan and Donna’s daughter, Chandler Mores, will graduate from Stanford in June and then will head off to the University of Iowa Law School in the fall. And, after 32 years as the Director Human of Resources and attorney at the Myrtue Medical Center in Harlan, Donna retired last week.  While they have packed too much into too short of time for some, it is the usual busy time for the Mores Family!  ABI sends best wishes and congratulations all around! 

Vogel Paint Featured in ISU Business College Magazine

Prospectus, the magazine published by Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business, carries a terrific article about the Vogel Family and Vogel Paint Company in the current edition. ABI Board Member Drew Vogel (Vogel Paint Company, Orange City) is highlighted in the article and some great photos accompany the piece.  

By now, most ABI members know the wonderful story of Vogel Paint. It begins well over a hundred years ago, in Holland, with Drew’s grandfather and namesake, Andrew.  It involves a move to America in the early part of the last century.  And it involves the whole Vogel Family and especially Drew’s father, Frank.  The story makes for a great article and if you wish to read it, please reply to this message and I’ll get it to you at once.  In the meantime, congratulations to Drew and everyone at Vogel Paint on the great coverage!  And thank you to longtime ABI member Russ Samson (Dickinson law Firm, Des Moines) making sure I saw the article! 

Eugene Sukup Celebrates

Another great Iowa manufacturing family is celebrating. Last Friday, Eugene Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) marked his 89th birthday by sharing cake and other treats with his employees.  The Sukup Story is another great one.  Gene and his wife, Mary Sukup, founded Sukup Manufacturing five and a half decades ago… now, the company has 700 employees, has operations throughout the globe, and is one of the world’s largest independent grain bin companies.  

A wonderful photograph on Twitter Friday showed the three generations of Sukup family members that work in the company’s Sheffield headquarters, including company President and former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield).  Happy birthday to Gene Sukup and congratulations to the entire Sukup Family!