2020 ABI Annual Meeting TODAY - Monday Memo 6/29/20

June 29, 2020

Electronic Voting for ABI 2020 Annual Business Meeting Today; Officer Election Tomorrow

As you read in last week’s Monday Memo, in keeping with the association’s bylaws and in accordance with state law, ABI is required each year to hold an annual bushiness meeting of members.  That meeting is usually a highlight of the annual Taking Care of Business Conference.  Because that event had to be cancelled this year, notice was mailed to all members the week before last about the annual meeting. 

The annual meeting is taking place TODAY.  In a little over two hours, each ABI member company primary contact will receive an email message.  That message will include links to the minutes from last year’s annual meeting and to the slate of ABI directors proposed by the 2020 Nominating Committee.  A third link will connect to a page for voting.  Voting will open at 10:00 this morning and close at 4:00 this afternoon.  Thank you for participating in the annual meeting. 

One final step will take place tomorrow morning.  Again in keeping with the association’s bylaws and in accordance with state corporation law, directors of the association must elect officers for the coming year.  Thus, tomorrow morning around 8:00, all directors and past Chairs will receive an email message from me with the list of officers as proposed by the Nominating Committee.  Please respond to that message with a simple aye (or nay) and that will conclude the annual election of directors and officers. 

So that you know, officers nominated for FY21 include Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine), Vice Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa), Treasurer Kim Augspurger (Saxton, Des Moines), Secretary Richard Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton), Immediate Past Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) and District Vice Chairs Andy Bramstedt (SSAB, Muscatine), Peter Voorhees (Standard Golf Company, Cedar Falls), Casey Cason (Wells Fargo, Des Moines), Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Avon), and Bruce Tamisiea (Tecton Industries, Spencer).  These individuals, upon being elected, will serve as the ABI Executive Committee for FY21.  Thank you for your attention to these elections.  And thank you for your leadership for ABI.

Executive Committee Teleconference Next Week

The ABI Executive Committee will hold its July teleconference a week from Wednesday.  Newly-elected ABI Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) and members of the committee will hold what is typically a brief meeting, but one which marks the start of the new fiscal year.  News regarding developments will be a part of the September meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

Business Record Invites ABI Participation in COVID-19 Survey

The Des Moines Business Record is a great ABI member.  ABI values our partnership with the Business Record in publishing Business Record Iowa, ABI’s monthly newsprint journal. 

Editorial staff at the Business Record have now invited all ABI members to take a survey related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The survey is being produced by the company of former ABI Board Member Denise Essman (Essman Research, Des Moines).  Click here to take the survey: https://businessrecord.activehosted.com/index.php?action=social&chash=73c14008d55c730e10bb9412a5be1a16.4172&s=bad97c655476f96a390a72c05a742011.  Results will be shared after the survey closes.  Thank you in advance for participating in this project. 

IIPAC Fundraising Ongoing

ABI’s political arm, the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee, supports candidates for statewide and legislative office who support pro-business policies.  I always say IIPAC will support a Republican, a Democrat, a Whig, or a Tory, as long as that candidate supports business. 

In order for others to know a positive business climate is important for Iowa, IIPAC needs a strong financial report.  If you are an ABI board member who has not yet contributed, please consider a personal contribution today.  You can donate here: https://www.iowaabi.org/public-policy/iipac/.  Your investment is used to maximize support of candidates who support economic growth polices around Iowa.  In the last election, the IIPAC-endorsed candidate won in 95% of the races.  

For more information about the PAC or why you should continue, please contact us at ABI by replying to this message.  In the meantime, thank you to former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines) and our other IIPAC board members for their leadership.  And thank you to all IIPAC contributors for your support! 

Plan Now to Participate in Virtual Regional Policy Meetings and in Annual Policy Development Process

As you know, ABI has significantly stepped-up its award-winning public policy programming.  Already recognized for years as one of Iowa's most effective public policy organizations, ABI over the years dramatically increased events (held throughout Iowa), added new events, and altered its annual policy development process to increase its impact. 

To that end, the association's annual regional policy meetings will this year be held through Zoom.  They will take place in July and you will soon see information about how to participate.  There will be an Eastern Iowa Regional Meeting, a Central Iowa Regional Meeting, and a Western Iowa Regional Meeting.  There are no set boundaries and you determine which region your company resides in.  You may participate in one meeting or all three.  

Each meeting will include a summary of the recently-adjourned session of the Iowa General Assembly, a review of federal activity, and then a discussion of your priorities for ABI public policy activity for 2021.  Please join ABI for one of these meetings. 

And, speaking of ABI public policy, following the regional meetings, the annual policy committee meetings have already been scheduled.  Please go to the ABI Events Calendar at http://www.iowaabi.org/events/ to register for the committee meetings of interest to you and your employees.  The ABI Board of Directors will act on the recommendations of these committees at the September board meeting. 

August 19 is the Date for the Biennial ABI Pre-Employment Testing Process Seminar

As you know, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ABI’s biennial Pre-Employment Testing Process Seminar had to be rescheduled.  That event will now be held at ABI on Wednesday, August 19.  

A good crowd has already registered for this popular seminar and your HR and risk-management teams will find value in the information shared through this event.  Expert speakers and the latest information about best practices and current trends will be shared.  Register now at: http://www.cvent.com/events/pre-employment-testing-process-seminar/event-summary-4585231707b146178b17c93a1247762f.aspx.  

Annual LIU Program Goes Virtual this August

The newest of the ABI Foundation programs is Leadership Iowa University.  The program, open to all Iowa College students (community college and four-year colleges, public or private colleges and universities), provides leadership and career development training and other opportunities to students in a week-long course.  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LIU will take place using a virtual format this year.  The 2020 program will be held in August and more information will be available soon at: https://www.iowaabi.org/leadership-iowa-university/about/.  

Mark Your Calendars for Annual ABI Executive Open August 31

ABI holds an annual golf event to promote member programs and to thank members for their support and participation.  The event has proven incredibly popular.  The twelfth annual event will be held Monday, August 31.  The past seven opens have sold-out and global pandemic notwithstanding, it appears that may be the case again this year.  Join us for golf and for an afternoon of fun and networking. 

The ABI Executive Open will again be held at Des Moines Gold and Country Club in West Des Moines, one of Iowa's most exclusive private clubs.  This is a fabulous course and registration is now open for this always-great event.  Please click on https://web.cvent.com/event/096af229-a2f3-4913-9947-10fd65dce17f/summary to register now.  See you at Des Moines Golf in August! 

26th Episode of Iowa Business Report Radio Program Broadcast

The Iowa Business Report radio program’s 26th edition was broadcast statewide over the weekend.  ABI is proud to sponsor this terrific program.  Click here to listen for yourself: http://iowabusinessreport.buzzsprout.com/.  Links can also be found on the ABI website at https://www.iowaabi.org/news/iowa-business-report/.  The show is produced by well-known Iowa broadcaster Jeff Stein.  

A couple of highlights in this episode include ABI Board Member Steve Dust (Waterfront Corporate Services, Ottumwa) discussing economic development and a report by ABI policy team members JD Davis and Brad Hartkopf about the just-completed session of the Iowa General Assembly.  Jeff Stein also shares interesting comments about video meeting protocols.  It’s another great episode. 

ABI Office to Re-open

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ABI office has been closed to outside visitors since the middle of March.  The office will reopen Wednesday, July 1 and we look forward to seeing members and to scheduling meetings.  CDC protocols remain in place, of course.  Social distancing, frequent handwashing, wearing of masks if the situation calls for it; all these things continue to be important.  

ABI Begins New Fiscal Year, Focus is on Value for Members

ABI begins a new fiscal year Wednesday.  As always, ABI's focus is on providing high value for members.  The beginning of a new year brings new opportunities to serve existing members, gain new ones, and build a better Iowa business climate.  As we start the year, all of us at ABI are thinking about how we can do things even better than they have been done in the past.  

You have heard me say often that I like things that can be measured, because they let us know how we are doing at achieving the agenda you set for us each year.  Well, the metrics for the past year look dramatically different than what was expected when we began the year.  ABI’s balance sheet took a significant hit, due to the COVID-19 pandemic of course, during FY 20. 

Even so, FY 20 has been a good year and ABI will finish it in the black.  That is due to your support and the leadership of the ABI Board of Directors.  We are always looking forward and building for growth.  If we aren't moving ahead, we are falling behind and that is not acceptable.  Thank you again for your support.