2016 ABI Conference is Here - 6/13/16

June 13, 2016

It's Here; 113th Annual ABI Convention Starts Tomorrow!

The 113th Annual ABI Convention, also known as the 2016 Taking Care of Business Conference,  kicks-off tomorrow.  The ABI Board of Directors will meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Sioux City Convention Center and the convention will convene an hour later at the same location.  The annual Gala Welcome Reception will be held that evening at the fabulous Hard Rock Casino Hotel in downtown Sioux City. 

As I type this, over 400 people are set for the conference; but if you haven’t registered, it's not a problem.  Email me now or just show up and we’ll take care of you.  On behalf of ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown), I look forward to seeing you in Sioux City! 

Editor's Note: There is a great deal of road construction in the Greater Siouxland area this summer.  Some of this was expected, as we knew of several highway improvement projects planned for this time.  However, on my commute to the ABI office this morning, I heard that the recent heat wave has caused several streets in Sioux City to buckle.  The good news is that these streets are outside the downtown core.  While the ABI conference will take place at several venues, nearly all of them are located in the downtown core.  Once you get to your conference hotel, you should have no problems related to roads and/or transportation. 

Lieutenant Governor Reynolds to Address ABI Conference-Goers Thursday

Remember that Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will address ABI members at the annual conference.  She will speak at the luncheon at the convention center on Thursday.  

Association Headquarters Closing for the Week at Noon Today

Due to the annual conference, the ABI headquarters in Des Moines will be closed starting at noon today through Friday.  Please don’t hesitate to contact staff members by cell phone or leave messages on voicemail (which will be checked often).  We look forward to being back in the office – and celebrating the completion of a great convention – bright and early a week from today. 

Amanda Nuzum Starts Today; Claire Eide Started Last Week

As you all know, a very successful search ended in the hiring of Amanda Nuzum of Des Moines as the ABI Foundation's new Development Director.  Amanda begins her work with the Foundation today.  

Also starting recently (last week) is ABI's summer intern, Claire Eide.  You read about Amanda and Claire in recent editions of the Monday Memo.  You will have the opportunity to meet both women in Sioux City this week, and I hope you will welcome Amanda and Claire to ABI.  We are excited they are with us! 

Annual ABI Policy Tour Concludes; Policy Committees to Meet

Last Thursday morning, the association's public policy team hosted a teleconference for ABI members who were not able to attend one of the five regional meetings held around Iowa.  This event marked the conclusion of the annual policy tour. 

All that means is that the work continues, it just moves to a new phase.  Each of ABI's five policy committees, plus the ABI Legislative Committee, will meet in August.  You and your employees are invited to participate in those meetings at no charge.  You can find more information or register for the meetings using this link: https://www.iowaabi.org/events/2016-08-02/

Following the work of the committees, the ABI Board of Directors will consider and adopt 2017 policy statements at the September meeting.  Watch for more information in the coming months. 

Board to Elect Officers for FY17; Will Meet Tomorrow

Last week, all board members and former board chairs should have received an email message that included several documents related to the upcoming board meeting and annual conference.  That message also highlighted the fact that the ABI Board of Directors will hold its final meeting of the association’s 2015-2016 fiscal year during the annual business meeting at the conference on Tuesday.  The board will hold the traditional (but very brief) meeting to elect officers.

Prior to the election during the annual business meeting, the board will hold its final regular meeting of the year at 10:00 tomorrow morning.  The Board will meet at the Sioux City Convention Center and the annual conference kicks-off at 11:00 a.m. at the same location. 

The previously-mentioned message shared the FY17 budget and the Nominating Committee report.  Thank you to Nominating Committee Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) and committee members (ABI Board Members) John Riches (Alcoa, Davenport), Sarah McDonald Hasken (UnityPoint Health, Dubuque), Michael Sadler (CenturyLink, Des Moines), Alan Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan), and David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner).  

The budget projects another year in the black and continues a string of years ending with budget surpluses.  I take very seriously your charge to me related to strong financial performance and I am very proud of ABI’s record of recent years in that regard.  Thank you for your leadership, which is responsible for that success. 

Leadership Iowa to Celebrate; Current Class Will Graduate

The ABI Foundation's Leadership Iowa program marks another successful year with activities coinciding with the annual conference.  Go now to www.leadershipiowa.org for more information. 

Also happening Thursday is the graduation of the current LI class.  I know you join me in congratulating all class members. 

Wes Ehrecke Honored with Leadership for Iowa Award

The ABI Foundation's highest honor is the Leadership for Iowa Award.  The award is presented periodically to an alumnus of the Leadership Iowa program who is a leader among leaders and who has demonstrated a commitment to serve Iowa. 

As you read last week, the award will be presented to longtime Iowa leader Wes Ehrecke (Iowa Gaming Association, West Des Moines).  Wes is well-deserving of the award and I know all ABI members salute him.  Congratulations, Wes! 

Access Website to See Terrific Foundation Auction Items

Each year, the ABI Foundation holds an auction in conjunction with the Taking Care of Business Conference.  There are always many terrific items available and as I have noted the post couple of weeks, this year is no exception.  

Click on this link to see the items and to place bids for the Foundation Auction: https://www.32auctions.com/organizations/20006/auctions/30157?reset_filter=1 and here: http://www.cvent.com/events/2016-annual-abi-conference/custom-117-9223d9ff385a486fabd62938fbfd74d2.aspx.  All the proceeds from the auction go to benefit the programs of the ABI Foundation and Iowans who participate in them.  Thank you in advance for your support. 

Your support for the Foundation is important, appreciated, and it is never taken for granted.  Leadership Iowa, Leadership Iowa University, and Business Horizons have made our state a better place and impacted the lives of thousands of Iowans.  Thank you again! 

Calling All Students: Register for Business Horizons Now

The ABI Foundation's Business Horizons program has been phenomenally successful, literally changing the lives of Iowa's young people over the years.  The 2016 edition of this terrific program will be held July 17-21 at Central College in Pella.  

There are still slots left for students and I hope you will consider nominating the high school-age sons and daughters of your employees.  It's free and it won't take long to do it.  Please click here: http://www.businesshorizonsiowa.org/en/nominate_a_student/.  Thank you for your help! 

Morgan Stanley Sees Strength in Manufacturing Ahead

Former longtime ABI senior staff member John Gilliland (Gilliland Group at Morgan Stanley, Des Moines) is a valued ABI member.  Last week, John shared a video from the Morgan Stanley team that highlights the economy's manufacturing sector and notes that there are signs of a resurgence ahead.  That's good news and you can watch the three-minute video for yourself here: http://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/industrials-resurgence/.  Thank you, John for sharing this great information! 

Great Media Coverage for Vogel Paint Groundbreaking

Readers of the Monday Memo will recall an announcement of a major expansion, made earlier this year, by longtime ABI member Vogel Paint Company.  The company broke ground on a $12.5 million expansion of its Peridium Powder Coatings Plant.   Former ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) and ABI Board Member Larry Countryman (Wilson Trailer Company, Sioux City) and I toured the plant last year and it is fascinating.  The expansion will double its size.  

The expansion also marks just the first step in a five-phase, nearly $30 million expansion of the Vogel campus.  You can see some of the press coverage of the groundbreaking here: http://siouxlandnews.com/news/local/diamond-vogel-breaks-ground-in-orange-city.  Congratulations to longtime ABI Board Member Drew Vogel (Vogel Paint Company, Orange City) and to everyone at the company on this terrific event! 

Andy Kretz Named Dexter Apache Holdings President and CEO

ABI Board Member Andy Kretz (Dexter Apache Holdings, Fairfield) is a strong, quiet leader who has added great value to the association.  It was wonderful to learn recently that Andy has now been named President and CEO of Dexter Apache Holdings.  Dexter Apache is the parent company for Dexter Laundry, where Andy had been chief executive previously. 

Andy will now oversee all six Dexter Apache companies doing business all over the globe.  This is big news is an exciting development for the company and for Iowa.  ABI salutes and congratulates Andy Kretz! 

It's 25 years for the Espesets

Later this week, ABI Board Member Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames) and his wife, Ann Espeset, will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their wedding.  Mike and Ann have three children and live in Ames, where Mike is a member of the Ames School Board.  Congratulations, Mike and Ann Espeset! 

Kneen Family Opens Fresno Business

Former ABI Chair Kendig Kneen (Al-Jon, Ottumwa) checked in last week and it was exciting to learn about the Kneen Family's latest venture.  They are back in the scrap business with a self-serve auto salvage yard.  The business was opened two weeks ago in Fresno, California.  Congratulations, Kendig! 

Hank and Ann Evans Now in Tennessee

Many of you well remember longtime ABI Board Member Hank Evans (A.F. Johnson Millworks, West Des Moines).  Hank was a strong presence on the board for many years, until he sold his business and he and his wife, Ann Evans, toured the world's waterways on their boat, Queen Anne's Revenge. 

Hank sent a poignant and touching note last week (some of you likely received, too).  Due to some serious health issues involving Ann, Hank and Ann have moved back to Ann's family hometown in Tennessee.  If you wish to read the message for yourself, let me know and I will forward it to you at once.  We are all thinking of Hank and Ann and wish them both the very, very best. 

The Business of ABI: Financial Performance

As you know, I periodically and briefly review various association business/operational issues in these memos.  Two weeks ago, while checking data for ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown), I mentioned that during the year almost over, ABI had achieved several records in such things as participation, event attendance, sponsorships, legislative accomplishment, etc. 

Last Thursday, I was preparing some notes for ABI Board Treasurer David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and comparing financial reports from this year to those of ten years ago.  That is the last time ABI held an annual conference in Sioux City.  I never forget  those days, as they were dark days for ABI financially.  The conference held then played a large role in starting a turnaround. 

I say it often, because it is true: thanks to terrific leadership by the Board of Directors and association members, ABI 's financial status is dramatically better than it was then.  Revenue is approaching four times that of June 2006.  Of course, expenses are also much increased, but instead of running a deficit, ABI now generates funding in excess of expenses.  Program delivery is of course greatly expanded as well.  Cash on hand, members, staff, events, etc. are all increased.  

Providing value to members is what ABI is all about.  Thanks to YOU, we have the resources to get that done.  I promise you we never take your investment for granted and your support is always, always appreciated.  THANK YOU.