Wednesday is a Big Day at ABI - Monday Memo 3/11/19

March 11, 2019

Big Day of ABI Meetings and Events Wednesday; Registration FULL

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.   Following the Business Day on the Hill events, the annual luncheon will be held, with some terrific speakers on tap.  Registration is full for Business Day on the Hill and if you have questions about the luncheon, please contact Nicole Crain ( or me.  

Following the luncheon, the March meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held (the ABI Executive Committee will not meet on the13th 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 David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) 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 15th, 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    

Latest Edition of Business Record Iowa Now Out; Three Great ABI Leaders on the Cover

The latest edition of ABI’s monthly newsmagazine, Business Record Iowa, has now been published.  The magazine is made possible through a partnership between ABI and Business Publications Corporation, publishers of the Des Moines Business Record

Iowa workforce and workplace culture issues are a focus of this edition and you can read about that and more in this month’s magazine.  You can’t miss it, as former ABI Chairs Frederick V. Buie (Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Company, Des Moines), Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly), and David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) grace the cover.  If you don’t receive your copy in the mail today or tomorrow, contact the ABI office and we’ll get another copy to you at once. 

2019 ABI Workers Compensation Seminar March 27

The 2019 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 27. 

The seminar will include the latest information on the status of work comp changes 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 116th annual convention.  The annual conference will be held June 4-6 in Ames. 

The 2019 Taking Care of Business Conference is shaping up to be a spectacular event.  The conference planning committee, chaired by Lisa Patterson (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City), is putting together a terrific program. 

Many ABI members have already made their reservations for the conference.  In fact, one of the hotels, the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center, is already sold-out.  A second hotel, the best Western University Park Hotel & Suites, is nearly sold-out.  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 the Ames region.  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 Ames 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 Ames 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. 

LI, BH Nominations Encouraged

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 2019-2020 Leadership Iowa Class will convene in October and Business Horizons 2019 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.  

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 2019 conference will be held on April 23-24 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 out more information and register by clicking on    

ABI Executive Committee Meeting April 10; Next Board Meeting May 8

The ABI Executive Committee will next meet by teleconference on April 10.  The next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held May 8 in Iowa City.  Please watch for more information. 

This Week in NAM Report: Encouraging Data

Longtime readers of this memorandum know I appreciate the reports published by the National Association of Manufacturers, even when the data isn’t positive.  Last week’s NAM Monday Economic Report was somewhat sobering, because it highlighted volatility in the financial markets and the negative impact that volatility was having on the economy. 

The news is much better this week, with the report citing growth in the U.S. economy being the strongest since 2005.  As always, if you wish to see the report, simply reply to this message and I will get it to you at once.  

Vice President Pence Honors Sukup Family

Speaking of the National Association of Manufacturers, several ABI members are also members of the NAM Board of Directors.  The NAM Board convened two weeks ago in Arizona for its regular meeting. A special guest was on the agenda: Vice President Mike Pence.  

Former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) is a member of the NAM Board and he and his wife, Mary Sukup, were among those assembled to hear from the Vice President.  Imagine their surprise when, in the course of his remarks, Vice President Pence shared comments about Charles and his father, Eugene Sukup, and about the company and its terrific success.  It was a wonderful moment and you can view it here:  What terrific recognition for a wonderful family and a wonderful company.  Congratulations, Charles! 

Krista Tanner to Celebrate Friday

ABI Board Member Krista Tanner (ITC Midwest, Des Moines) will mark her birthday this Saturday, on March 16.  ABI sends best birthday wishes to a great ABI leader.  Happy birthday, Krista! 

Former Chair Myron Linn Inducted in to Official’s Hall of Fame

At halftime of the Class 2-A state championship basketball game at Wells Fargo Arena Friday, former ABI Chair Myron Linn (Pella Corporation, Pella) was inducted in to the Iowa High School Athletic Association Official’s Hall of Fame.  Myron, of course, has been a high school and college athletic official for over 35 years. 

The state tournament program noted that Myron was pulled into service by his father as a fast-pitch softball umpire when Myron was 18.  Since then, he has officiated football, baseball, and softball.  Myron and his crew have officiated many post season and championship games.  I once said to Myron that being an official, he was likely a quiet fan.  The answer surprised me, as Myron said he can be a boisterous fan (he may even challenge a call here and there)!  In any event, many best wishes and congratulations to Myron upon receiving this well-deserved honor!  And thank you to former ABI staffer and now strong ABI member John Gilliland (Morgan Stanley, Des Moines), who made sure we knew about it! 

Jack Pray Recuperating

Longtime ABI Board Member Jack Pray (Reynolds & Reynolds, Des Moines) had surgery in December and has been undergoing chemotherapy since then.  The good news is that Jack is in great spirits, as he always is, and if things go according to plan, his treatment schedule should start to slow at the end of the month.  You are in our thoughts and prayers, Jack; all of us at ABI are hoping for a complete recovery for you! 

Ann Evans, Wife of Hank Evans, Passes

Former longtime ABI Board Member Hank Evans (A.F. Johnson Millworks, West Des Moines) is well-known as a great guy and a great business leader.  His best friend and partner in all his many adventures was his wife, Ann Evans.  As most of you know, Ann had been dealing with serious health issues the last few years. 

Last Sunday afternoon, (March 3), Ann succumbed to brain cancer and passed away.  As only U.S. Navy Commander (Ret.) Hank could put it, Ann cast away her worldly lines and took her final cruise to Heaven.  ABI mourns Ann’s life, but we celebrate the life of this wonderful lady.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Hank and his sons and their family.