2021 Leadership Iowa University Now Underway - Monday Memo 8/9/21

August 9, 2021

LIU Opens Session; Meet with Class This Week

The annual class of Leadership Iowa University kicked-off its 2021 session yesterday at ABI in Des Moines.  The program seeks to educate, inspire, and develop college students as a foundation for Iowa’s economic growth and to encourage their on-going involvement in community and state initiatives.  Go to http://www.leadershipiowauniversity.com/ to learn more. 

The students are an intelligent and enthusiastic group.  It is clear they are focused on business and advancing their careers in a way that brings value to them, their future employers, and to Iowa.  As I mentioned last week, class members come from public, private, and community colleges all across Iowa. 

You can meet the class at a reception Wednesday afternoon from 5:15-6:30.  It will be held at ABI member R&R Realty’s Westfield Campus in West Des Moines.   The event is FREE and all you need do to attend is reply to this memo.  

Many other ABI leaders will participate in LIU events throughout the week and that support is deeply appreciated as well.  Finally, thanks, too to ABI Foundation team members Jessi Steward, Becky Coady, Jane Galloway, and McKenzie Kielman for their work makes which LIU possible. 

Executive Committee Meets Thursday; First ABI Board Meeting of Fiscal Year September 9th in Maquoketa

Later this week, ABI Chair ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa) and members of the association’s Executive Committee will hold their August meeting (the committee will meet via Zoom on Thursday morning).  Jack will be in the ABI office and we look forward to seeing him.  

The ABI Board of Directors will meet September 9th in Maquoketa.  You will receive much more information, including a detailed meeting packet, a week prior to the meeting.  You will want to attend, because the meeting will be followed by a tour of Jackson Mfg. and you will enjoy seeing this terrific ABI manufacturer. 

The September board meeting is typically well-attended and is important for several reasons.  It marks the first board meeting of the ABI fiscal year and the first meeting for newly-elected board members.  Because it also marks the first meeting of the board in three months, the agenda is typically full and involves action on a number of issues, including action on ABI's public policy agenda for the next year.  On behalf of Jack and our other officers, I look forward to seeing you. 

Connecting Statewide Leaders Event Wednesday

Leadership Iowa University always includes an event that is a part of the ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders series.  This year, that event, which is focused on the New Normal (after COVID), will be held Wednesday at 3:30 in the afternoon.  It will be held at R&R Realty’s famous Westfield Campus in West Des Moines. 

Find more information and register here: Summary - Connecting Statewide Leaders - Des Moines (cvent.com).  This is your opportunity to get to know the LIU class – and to recruit them to your business! 

Goal: 100 Percent ABI Board Member Participation in IIPAC

ABI’s award-winning public policy work encompasses many elements.  One of those elements is the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee.  IIPAC is ABI’s political arm and it exists to support pro-business candidates, regardless of party.  As I often say, IIPAC will support a Democrat, a Republican, a Whig, or a Tory… as long as they support business. 

The IIPAC Board of Directors is chaired by former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines) and it consists of ABI members and IIPAC contributors who are focused on pro-business policies.  This is the time of year that the IIPAC Board and all of us at ABI are focused on raising funds for the PAC.  

One key component in IIPAC support has always been the ABI Board of Directors, as there is a goal every year to have ALL board members make an IIPAC contribution.  Several of us on staff contribute as well (for a list of IIPAC contributors, reply to this message).  If you aren’t an IIPAC contributor already, you should be (I am).  Click here now to make your donation: https://www.iowaabi.org/public-policy/iipac/.  Thank you and thank you to ALL IIPAC supporters! 

Annual Policy Development Policy Committee Meetings Start Today

Some of the most important work done by ABI each year relates to public policy advocacy.  And the most important part of that process is the active involvement and leadership of ABI members themselves.  In order to ensure that ABI members have every opportunity to lead and guide this critical task, ABI hosted several meetings around the state earlier this summer.  Starting today, ABI will begin a series of meetings in Des Moines to develop public policy positions for 2022. 

It is the ABI Vice Chair who leads this process each year and thus Kim Augspurger (Saxton, Des Moines) is chairing the 2022 process.  The meetings always involve strong participation and it is likely that will continue this week.  However, there is still time for you and your employees to participate in the policy committee meetings.  

As I noted in last week’s memorandum, members of the ABI Environment, Employment and Workforce, and Workplace and Product Safety Committees will hold their annual policy meetings today, tomorrow, and Wednesday.  These committees will meet at ABI and thank you to Committee Chairs Kelly Jorgensen (AGP/Ag Processing, Eagle Grove), Amy Larsen (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) and Rex Butler (CIPCO, Cedar Rapids).  The ABI Economic Growth Committee and ABI Tax Committee meet later in the month. Please go to www.iowaabi.org to register for these free meetings.  As you know, this process will conclude next month when you (the ABI Board of Directors and Past Chairs) meet to adopt final policies.  Thank you in advance for your involvement in this critical work. 

ABI Advisory Council Meets Next Week

Members of the ABI Advisory Council will meet a week from tomorrow for a networking event at Twisted Vine Brewery in West Des Moines (Twisted Vine Brewery – Get Twisted! – fun note, the brewery is owned by ABI Foundation staffer Jane Galloway and her husband Paul, among others).  Thank you to ABI Advisory Council members Anthologic, ACS, BCC Advisers, BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC, Focus OneSource, Fredrikson & Byron, HDH Advisors, LMC Insurance and Risk Management, Principal, The Iowa Clinic, and Wells Fargo

2022 Convention Planning Well Underway

The 119th ABI Annual Meeting (Iowa's Taking Care of Business Conference 2022) will be held in Dubuque next June.  Community leaders there are pulling out all the stops to welcome ABI and you will see some absolutely terrific new venues.  Planning for the convention is well underway and is being ably led by a great committee.  Believe me when I say the 2022 conference is shaping up to be another spectacular meeting and you won’t want to miss it.  See you in Dubuque June 14-16! 

Two ABI Executive Opens (in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids) Coming Up

The annual ABI Executive Open best ball golf outing is always a fun event.  The open will be held on Monday, August 30.  Over 60 ABI members have already registered. The event will be held at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club, a fabulous private golf course in West Des Moines.  Register now to play golf. 

The same goes for a second golf outing that ABI is hosting in Cedar Rapids.  Elmcrest Country Club, the home club of PGA Champion Zach Johnson, will be a terrific locale for golf on September 27.  By participating, you’ll have fun and have an opportunity to network with great ABI members.  To find more information or to register, please go to the ABI webpage at www.iowaabi.org and click on the events tab. 

Rand Fisher to Retire from IADG in January

Big news came out of longtime ABI member Iowa Area Development Group last week.  The organization’s President, longtime ABI Board Member Rand Fisher (IADG, Des Moines), announced his retirement.  Rand has led the group to great success – and helped a lot of Iowa businesses and communities -- for decades.  Rand’s last day at IADG will be January 31, 2022, a day that will mark his 25 year of leadership to the organization. 

In addition to providing exceptional leadership for IADG, Rand has been a terrific ABI board member and a tireless promoter for Iowa.  Rand reports he will still “be around” and we hope so!  Congratulations, Rand! 

Mississippi River Distilling Completes Expansion

ABI member Mississippi River Distilling Company also had big news to share last week. The company completed expansion into the building next door to its facility in downtown LeClaire and opened the Celebration Center.  The expansion includes space for major events AND a rooftop patio overlooking the Mississippi River.  

You can find out more by clicking on links to some pretty terrific media coverage of the expansion: https://www.wqad.com/article/news/local/mississippi-river-distilling-company-addition/526-7ed8add2-f1d3-4ab9-b41a-8657d6791683 and https://www.kwqc.com/2021/08/02/mississippi-river-distilling-co-opens-celebration-center-le-claire/ and https://www.mrdistilling.com/celebration-center/.  Congratulations to everyone at the company, including owner and ABI Board Member Garrett Burchett (Mississippi River Distilling Company, LeClaire)

More Gillilands Go to State

I am late with this report, but former ABI staff member and current member/sponsor John Gilliland (Morgan Stanley, Des Moines) has ANOTHER son who is a terrific athlete.  John and his wife, Holly Gilliland, have four children.  Their son Max Gilliland is a terrific football player and was a multi-year starting offensive lineman for Van Meter High School.  Last fall, Max and the Bulldogs played in the State Championship football.  He now is a scholarship football athlete at national power Grandview University. 

Earlier this summer, John and Holly’s son Ben Gilliland also made it to state… in baseball.  Ben, a starting catcher, and his Bulldog teammates won the championship.  Congratulations to Max and Ben… and to their parents!