Upcoming Board Meetings, DC Fly-In - Monday Memo 9/25/17

September 25, 2017

November Board Meeting to be Held at ABI

The ABI Board of Directors will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, November 8. The meeting will be held at the ABI office at 400 East Court Avenue in Des Moines' East Village.  Watch for more information soon. 

The board will also meet at ABI on January 10 and March 13 of next year. The board will meet in the Garner area, home of Stellar Industries, on May 2 and the annual conference will be held in Greater Iowa City June 5-7. 

Biennial ABI DC Fly-In One Week Away

One week from today, the 2017 edition of the Biennial ABI DC Fly-In will take off for Washington, DC. The Fly-In was created because you asked for it and we are always pleased to take ABI leaders to our nation’s capital. 

This high-value trip is packed with substantive meetings. There will be meetings with every single member of the Iowa Congressional delegation, briefings at the White House, at the National Association of Manufacturers, and with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  And there will be other highlights.  Thank you to those ABI leaders participating in the 2017 edition of the Fly-In. 

CIRAS Advisory Council to Meet

The Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University is a key ABI partner and the CIRAS Industry Advisory Council will meet Wednesday at ISU.  Several ABI member companies are represented on the council and over the years, many members of the ABI Board of Directors have also played leadership roles on the CIRAS Council. 

Wednesday’s meeting will focus on a data review and a board development seminar. Watch for news of CIRAS events and services to come your way in the near future. 

ABI Board Members Invited to Event featuring Chinese Consul General

The Chinese Association of Iowa is a partner of ABI and several other organizations and it focuses on strengthening education and commerce between China, Iowa, and the United States. Swallow X. Yan, the Executive Director of the association, is a regular visitor to ABI’s office in Des Moines. 

The association is inviting members of the ABI Board of Directors to an event featuring Lei Hong. Mr. Hong is one of only five Chinese Counsel Generals in the United States.  He leads the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Chicago. 

Consul General Hong will be the featured speaker at the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Chinese Association of Iowa.  The event will be held in the rotunda of the State Capitol on Saturday, September 30th.  An Iowa-China Education Forum will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., an Iowa-China Business Forum from 11:00 a.m. to noon, and the Iowa-Chinese Achievement Ceremony and Luncheon will be held at noon.  

If you do business with China or are interested in doing business with China, you might consider attending this event. There is a nominal fee associated with participation.  If you desire further information, please reply to this memo or contact me at (515) 235-0562.  If you know you wish to attend, simply RSVP to Swallow X. Yan at swallowxyan@yahoo.com or at (515) 988-0901. 

Leadership Iowa Class to Convene in Winterset for First Session

Beginning a week from Wednesday and ending that Friday afternoon, the members of the 2017-2018 Leadership Iowa Class will convene in Winterset.  This class is comprised of terrific young leaders from all around Iowa. 

Class members will hold the first session, become acquainted with each other and the program, and focus on learning about issues facing Iowa. Go to http://www.leadershipiowa.com/ for more information. 

Next Elevate Ambassador Training Session in November in Cedar Rapids

ABI’s Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative always has a lot going on to help get Iowans in to training and in to careers.  In addition to the Elevate Parent Nights and high school visits, another Elevate Ambassador training session will soon be held. 

The Elevate Ambassadors are a group of business leaders and others who tour the state talking about Elevate, ABI, and manufacturing careers. Training sessions have been held in Des Moines, Waterloo, and other locations and the next session will take place on November 14.  The session will be held on the campus of Kirkwood Community College and you can find more information by clicking on https://www.elevateiowa.com/news-and-events/.  Thank you to the many of you who serve as ambassadors and help tell the Elevate and ABI story. 

Last week’s Events Celebrated Iowa Manufacturing

Last week, ABI held the annual Iowa Advanced manufacturing Conference. A great crowd was on hand to hear terrific speakers, attend high-value workshops, and share best practice ideas with each other. 

The evening before, Iowa manufacturers were celebrated at the third annual Legends in Iowa Manufacturing Awards Dinner. Congratulations to these ABI leaders who were recognized at the Legends Dinner: Fred Buie (Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Company, Des Moines), Todd Sommerfeld (Kreg Tool Company, Huxley), David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner), Ron Cox and Mike O’Donnell (CIRAS, Ames), Dennis Murdock (CIPCO, Des Moines), and Kelly Barrick (CIBC, West Des Moines).  Garner Vermeer (Vermeer Corporation, Pella) was honored posthumously.  Thanks to all who attended! 

CBJ Features ABI Board Members Sukup, Van Meter

The Corridor Business Journal is an ABI-member and it does a terrific job of covering business news in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Corridor.  The publication is a must-read for business people in eastern Iowa and the rest of the state. 

Last week’s edition of the CBJ carried two fun items related to ABI board members. The journal carried a photograph of former ABI Chair and company President Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) in recognition of the company’s gift to Iowa State University to help in the funding of a new grain science complex. 

The journal also cited ABI member Van Meter, Inc. as one of the “Coolest Places to Work” in the Corridor. Having just visited Van Meter, I can attest to the company’s “coolness.”  Congratulations to everyone at Van Meter, including Honorary ABI Board Member Jenn Bliel (Van Meter, Cedar Rapids)

Vermeer Corporation Acquires McLaughlin Group

Longtime ABI member Vermeer Corporation announced last week that it had acquired McLaughlin Group, Inc. of Greenville, South Carolina. Vermeer first purchased an interest in McLaughlin in 2012. 

With this deal, Vermeer will incorporate McLaughlin’s products in to its lineup and further cement its industry leadership. Congratulations to everyone at Vermeer, including company Chair and former ABI Chair Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella)

Hank Evans Checks in With Difficult News

Many of you will well recall former longtime ABI Board Member Hank Evans (A.F. Johnson Millworks, West Des Moines). Hank is a retired naval officer, a great businessman, a leader for ABI and central Iowa, and all-around terrific guy. He and his wife, Ann Evans, are well-known to many. They retired some years ago and sold their business. 

Many of you, as did I, received a message from Hank last week and it shared difficult news. Ann’s health has continued to deteriorate and she has been moved to a nursing home. Hank reports that despite her challenges, Ann continues to be in good spirits. If you wish to see Hank’s message, please reply to this memo. I let Hank know last week -- and I say again now – he and Ann are always in our thoughts and prayers.