ABI Board to Meet in Marshalltown in May - Monday Memo 4/11/16

April 11, 2016

Register Now for May Board Meeting in Marshalltown; Dinner Night before

With last week's meeting of the Executive Committee, ABI leadership meetings are complete until next month.  ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) will host the ABI Board of Directors in Marshalltown on Wednesday, May 4.  Following on the success of other board meetings held outside Greater Des Moines, the May board meeting will be held at the Emerson Innovation Center on the campus of Emerson/Fisher in downtown Marshalltown.  

Please register for the meeting here: http://www.cvent.com/events/may-2016-abi-board-meeting/event-summary-2a8b5097f1e141df93e9a5406bd56847.aspx.  Over 30 of you have already registered for the meeting, which will be the final meeting of the board until the annual convention in June. 

If you wish to stay overnight, the Hampton Inn on the south edge of town and the Historical Tremont Inn downtown are great places to stay.  Make your room reservation using these links: http://hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/iowa/hampton-inn-and-suites-marshalltown-MIWIAHX/index.html or http://www.tremontonmain.com/historical-tremont-inn.   The board meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. on the 4th and lunch will be served.  

The night before, on May 3rd, those members in Marshalltown are invited to join ABI for dinner, hosted by the Executive Committee.  We'll dine at Tremont on Main, a popular Marshalltown restaurant.  Click on the Tremont hotel link above to also learn more about the restaurant.  Detailed information will be included in the board packet that you will receive about a week in advance of the meeting.  As for dinner, all you need do is reply to this message to let me know you will attend the dinner.  There is no fee and no dinner registration necessary. 

Take ABI CEO Survey Now

You will recall that ABI surveys member CEOs each year in advance of the annual conference.  Please take this year's survey now; I promise it will take no more than 5 to 10 minutes.  Use this link http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07echx7ze3immhafk7/start to access the survey.  Then, look for the results in the June edition of Business Record Iowa. 


The 113th Annual ABI Convention, the 2016 Taking Care of Business Conference, is just two months away.  The annual conference flyer, which seems to be something everyone waits for every year, should have been in your mailbox last week.  Now is the time to make sure YOU are registered for the convention.  Doing so is easier than ever. 

Simply reply to this message and type “convention” or “register me” or just about anything… and then we’ll take care of it for you.  The ABI staff will ensure you are registered, send you a personal statement related to any fees involved, and send you information about your lodging choices.  All you need do is show up in Sioux City June 14-16.    

Speaking of the annual conference (access the conference website here: http://www.cvent.com/events/2016-annual-abi-conference/event-summary-9223d9ff385a486fabd62938fbfd74d2.aspx), it is clear there will be a terrific crowd of ABI members attending this year's event.  The SECOND conference hotel has already been sold-out! 

Both the Hard Rock Casino Hotel and the Stoney Creek Inn are completely full.  Many rooms remain available at the beautiful Marina Inn (http://marina-inn.com/), however.  And of course there are many other hotels available in Sioux City.  The point is, please make your lodging reservations now! 

2018 Conference Site Visit Friday

Speaking of the annual conference, plans are already underway to follow-up a smash 2016 conferee with a fabulous conference in Dubuque in 2017.  We never stop working to give you a fantastic conference experience, however, and so we have also already begun planning for the 2018 conference as well! 

This Friday, ABI Board Treasurer David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and 2018 Conference Committee Chair Donna Popp-Bruesewitz (Stellar Industries, Garner) and several of us on the ABI staff will make a site visit to the Iowa City-Coralville area.  This area has not yet been designated the conference location and on this trip we'll tour area convention facilities and attractions.  This visit marks ABI's first official activity related to the 2018 conference.  Stay tuned for more information as it develops. 

Final Call for FutureReady Iowa Summit Attendees; Andringa, Schaefer-Weaton to Speak

ABI has been heavily involved in helping advance the FutureReady Iowa initiative.  The initiative is a project of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor and is designed to improve the readiness of Iowa's workforce. 

Governor Terry E. Branstad is hosting a FutureReady Iowa Summit on Tuesday, April 19 in downtown Des Moines.  You can find more information here: https://www.futurereadyiowa.gov/.  

As a sponsor, ABI has several summit registrations available.  Most have been filled, but there are a just a few remaining.  If you or someone on your management team wishes to attend, please reply to this email message and I will ensure that a registration (at no charge) is provided. 

Several ABI-member companies will be represented on the agenda, but two members of the ABI Board of Directors in particular will be a part of the program.  Former ABI Chair Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella) and ABI Vice Chair Lori-Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) will both address the summit audience during the day.  Congratulations to Mary and Lori! 

Cedar Valley Manufacturing Conference This Wednesday

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and Hawkeye Community College are partnering to produce the Sixth Annual Cedar Valley Manufacturing Conference.  It will be held this Wednesday, April 13,  on the Hawkeye campus.  

As I noted last week, the conference is a great value.  The registration fee is only $15 and you'll receive resources and information to help grow your business.  Click on this link for more information and to register: http://www.hawkeyecollege.edu/business-and-community/cedar-valley-manufacturing-conference.aspx?utm_source=wcfcourier&utm_medium=cvbm-ad&utm_campaign=2016-Manufacturing-Conference.  In the meantime, thank you to ABI Board Member Steve Dust (Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Waterloo) for making sure ABI members have been included in the invitation list.

Drug-Free Workplace Seminar to be Held April 27

Please allow this to serve as a reminder of the ABI Biennial Drug Free Workplace Workshop to be held this month.  The program is designed to help your company create a drug free workplace. 

This year's workshop will be held on April 27 at the ABI office in Des Moines.  Your HR staff will find the latest in rulings, best practice-sharing, and other items related to drug testing at the meeting.  The registration link for the conference should be available this week.  Please check ABI's events page soon for details: https://www.iowaabi.org/events/

ABI Foundation Search Update

As you know, ABI is searching for a new Development Director for the ABI Foundation.  Vice President Foundation Programs Kay Neumann-Thomas is leading the search and she reports that a great many well-qualified applicants had submitted resumes as of the application deadline (which was last Friday). 

Some preliminary telephone interviews are being conducted and then Kay and I will meet with a smaller list of semi-finalists.  We'll further narrow the list and then involve others in the final round of interviews.  My goal is to have the successful candidate identified by the time the board meets on May 4.  Watch for more news as it develops. 

Foundation Program Boards to Meet

Speaking of the ABI Foundation, this is a busy time for all of its programs.  Today and tomorrow in particular will see a lot of action, with a meeting later today of the Business Horizons Board of Directors and a meeting tomorrow of the Leadership Iowa University Board of Trustees.  A full report regarding Foundation programs will be provided at the May meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

ABI Members Invited to Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference

For the third year in a row, ABI is among a number of organizations that are collaborating in producing the Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference.  The past two editions of the conference have been a huge success. 

The third annual conference will be held on May 11-13 at the Overland Park Marriott in Overland Park, Kansas (a part of the Kansas City, Missouri Metropolitan Area).  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 http://mecconference.com/kansas-city/.  

Latest Edition of Business Record Iowa Now Out

Each month, in partnership with the Des Moines Business Record, ABI publishes Business Record Iowa.  This newsprint publication reaches about 7,500 Iowa business leaders all across the state.  The April edition of the magazine should now be in your mailbox, inside the Des Moines Business Record.  If you haven't yet received it, please let me know and another copy will be sent to you at once.

INF Mores Leadership Institute Celebrates Eight Years Serving Iowa Newspaper Industry

As you know from reading past editions of this memorandum, Iowa newspaper industry leaders Steve Mores and his brother, longtime ABI Board Member Alan Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan), endowed the Leo Mores Leadership Institute at the Iowa Newspaper Foundation. The Mores Institute supports the creation of future leaders in the newspaper industry and it has had much success. 

The Institute, which is now accepting nominations for the next class, is marking its eighth year  in 2016.  Congratulations to Alan, Steve, their family, and their industry on this special occasion! 

Paul Gregoire Gets Globetrotters Rematch

It was about two years ago that the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters played a game in Marshalltown.  Ever since, ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown), who was a member of the team the Globetrotters faced, has been looking for a rematch. 

Well, Paul is getting his wish, as later today, the Globetrotters return to Marshalltown.  They will help the community celebrate a multi-million renovation of Marshalltown High School's iconic Roundhouse.  Paul played a leading role in that huge community project and he will no doubt play a leading role as a member of the World All-stars team that will face the Globetrotters.  In fact, he told ABI that expects to fully double his point total from the previous game!  Here's hoping you get those four points tonight, Paul!  Seriously, congratulations to Paul and everyone in Marshalltown for their work on this successful and important project! 

Wersen, Roberts Celebrate this Week; Bob in the News

Two longtime ABI leaders are celebrating birthdays this week.  Former ABI Chair Bob Wersen (Interpower Corporation, Oskaloosa) is marking his birthday today.  ABI Board Member Steve Roberts (Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines) will mark his tomorrow.  ABI sends best birthday wishes to these great fellows.  Happy birthday, Bob and Steve! 

Speaking of Bob Wersen, during my commute to the office this morning, I heard Bob on WHO Radio.  Bob was speaking about the growth of the Iowa Wine industry.  Bob, of course, is the owner of Tassel Ridge Winery near Leighton, Iowa.  Governor Terry Branstad is recognizing Iowa vintners by signing a proclamation naming April Iowa Wine Month.  Congratulations on the great coverage, Bob! 

New Edition of STORYLINE Another Good One

As you know from reading these memoranda over the years, all of us at ABI value the company newsletters you publish.  It is fun to learn more about ABI members and we also learn from the business practices you highlight. 

The latest in these great newsletters arrived last week with the publication of the Spring 2016 Edition of Storyline, the company newsletter for ABI member Story Construction.  The cover essay about the "planful" approach Story utilizes is terrific.  And the back cover feature about Story's Construction Production 2.0 system is great.  These articles are terrific reading regardless of your industry (you don't have to be in the construction industry to find value).  Thank you to ABI Board Member and Story President Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames) for the great insights!