Two Weeks to Go - Monday Memo 5/22/17

May 22, 2017

Just Two Weeks Away: The 114th Annual ABI Convention

Following great annual meetings that have received rave reviews, the 2017 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 6th in Dubuque.  Well over400 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 114th Annual Convention. 

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 6-8 in Greater Dubuque; you don’t want to miss it! 

ABI Regional Policy Tour Heads to Sioux City

As you know, the ABI public policy staff has kicked-off the annual tour of meetings around Iowa to discuss the actions of the annual session of the Iowa General Assembly.  During these meetings, next year's legislative session is also discussed.  Your counsel about issues ABI should champion in 2018 is also a focus. 

The regional meetings tour began earlier this month, with sessions in Muscatine, Fairfield, Des Moines, and Atlantic already in the books. The regional meetings continue with a session Wednesday in Sioux City.  Another session will be held later this month in North Iowa.  There is still time to register for one of the remaining meetings by clicking on

ABI Intern Begins Work Today

This year’s ABI Summer Intern begins her service today. Madison Galloway is the daughter of ABI Foundation Administrative Assistant Jane Galloway and her husband Paul.  Madison is a student at Loras College in Dubuque, with a double major in Public Relations and Media Studies.  She is a graduate of the ABI Foundation’s Leadership Iowa University program and she will celebrate her 21st birthday tomorrow.  We are excited to have her with us.  Welcome, Madison! 

Executive Committee to Review Year-End Data in June

ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and members of the Executive Committee will review data to mark the end of the ABI fiscal year in June.  Committee members should watch for more information soon. 

CIRAS Board Meets Thursday at ISU

A valued ABI member-partner is Iowa State University's Center for Industrial Research and Service.  CIRAS is a fabulous resource for Iowa manufacturers and businesses of all kinds.  Over the years, many ABI leaders have also been involved in CIRAS and several are current members of the CIRAS Industry Advisory Board. 

The board will meet Thursday at Iowa State.  Watch for news of any envelopments in next week's ABI Monday Memo

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 Wednesday 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. 

Leadership Iowa Class will Graduate

As we continue speaking of the foundation, the ABI Foundation's flagship program, Leadership Iowa, is one of the nation's oldest leadership development programs.  Well over a thousand Iowans have graduated from LI over the past 30-plus years.  These individuals are now back in their communities, leading the way to a better Iowa. 

As for the current class, the 2016-2017 Class has been called the best ever.  Class members will graduate at a special ceremony to be held during the ABI conference.  Click here to view a list of LI class members: Thank you to these emerging leaders for their participation in the program over the past year! 

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 2017-2018 ABI budget soon.  Watch for it in your email in-basket sometime soon. 

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 Paul Gregoire (Emerson-Fisher, Marshalltown), and any final details will be a part of the budget email message. 

China Site, Advance Payment Bond offered

Two separate ABI member firms came forward last week with programs that can add value to your company. If you are interested in further information about either or both, please let me know and I will connect you at once. 

In one case, an ABI-member Des Moines law firm is representing a client that is considering building a commercial property in China focused on Iowa companies. This commercial center would offer space and business services to Iowa companies wishing to do business in China. 

And, an ABI-member Des Moines insurance broker is offering an Advance Payment Bond. Essentially, a device to guarantee delivery of a product to a foreign customer, it can provide security for your customers overseas.  Again, please contact me for more information about either of these offerings. 

Iowa STEM Conference Next Month

Members of the ABI Board of Directors have been invited to participate in the annual Iowa STEM conference, this year focused on STEM and on Future Ready Iowa. The event will be held June 21 in Des Moines.  The conference will highlight best practices in STEM and provide attendees with information about Future Ready Iowa.  For more information, go to

ABI’s 2017 DC Fly-In Now Being Finalized

Every two years, a small group of ABI leaders heads to Washington, DC to meet with the Iowa Congressional Delegation and some of ABI’s national partners. It is a terrific tri!  Spots remain available.  Please reply to this message if you desire more information about the DC Fly-In, which will be held October 2-4. 

Rick Tollakson to Receive National Award

Early next month, at a national conference in California, longtime ABI Board Member Rick Tollakson (Hubbell Realty Company, West Des Moines) will be honored.  Rick will receive an award from the National Association of Regional Councils.  The award recognizes his service and leadership in work related to water trails.  

The honor is well-deserved! ABI sends best wishes and congratulations to Rick Tollakson! 

Jason Andringa Pens Register Essay

Last Tuesday’s Des Moines Register carried a great essay by the CEO of a valued ABI member company.  President and CEO Jason Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella) wrote about the need for broadband access as a critical part of our nation’s infrastructure.  It was a great column and you can read it for yourself here:  

Jim Krogman Passes

Jim Krogman, father of ABI Board Member John Krogman (Connect-A-Dock, Atlantic), passed away Thursday of last week.  John reports that Jim, 72, had been battling an incurable lung disease for many months.  After he contracted pneumonia, it was too much for his system and Jim did not make it.  A funeral will be held tomorrow in Alton.  Click here for more information:  Our thoughts and prayers are with John and his family.