ABI Board to Meet in November - Monday Memo 10/24/22

October 24, 2022

Final ABI Board Meeting of 2022 in Two 1/2 Weeks

The final board meeting of the calendar year will be held two weeks from Wednesday.  The November meeting is an important one for ABI and it is typically one of the best-attended meetings of the year.  

The ABI Board of Directors, chaired by Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines), will convene at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 9.  The board will meet at the ABI Office in Des Moines’ East Village and you can register for the board meeting by simply replying to this memo. 

As noted above, the November board meeting is an important one.  Members will work through a very full agenda of reports and action items.  Look for the usual packet of reports and materials to help you prepare for the meeting to arrive in your email in-basket late next week.  

Every once in a while, a board member will remark to me that it is nice that the board meetings are enjoying strong participation.  As I always reply when I hear such comments, strong board participation is much more than nice.  In fact, your participation in board meetings is all-important.  Our association needs your leadership and it is board leadership that has made the difference in ABI's growth and return to prominence.  Thank you in advance for your attendance and participation in the upcoming meeting. 

Tomorrow: Director Beth Townsend Featured Speaker at ABI, IWD Webinar about New IWD Business Engagement Division

Tomorrow (Tuesday, October 25th) at 10:00 a.m., ABI is partnering with Iowa Workforce Development to host a webinar related to resources available through IWD’s new Business Engagement Division.  The division is meant to be a one-stop shop for employers.  There, you can find help with building your workforce, training your workforce, and retaining your workforce. 

A highlight of the event will be remarks by IWD Director Beth Townsend.  Also during the webinar, you’ll hear from IWD officials and have the opportunity to share specific input about your needs and issues.  To register, please click here: Webinar: Iowa Workforce Development Joins ABI Members to Discuss the New Business Engagement Division | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org).  There is no cost to participate in this webinar.  

Leadership Iowa to Hold Second 2022-2023 Session in Red Oak/Stanton

The ABI Foundation's 2022-2023 Leadership Iowa class is comprised of a terrific group of Iowans.  The class will meet for its second session beginning Wednesday of next week in the communities of Red Oak and Stanton (Stanton aggressively sought to have LI come to town, which is a sign of how highly-regarded is the program).  This session will focus on agriculture and renewable resources.  

Register now for November ABI/CIRAS Supply Chain Seminars

On November 10th and again on November 15th, ABI will partner with CIRAS(the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University) to produce seminars related to supply chain.  The seminar on the 10th focuses on managing supply chain challenges.  On the 15th, the focus is on supply chain issues in chaotic times such as those being experienced now. 

For the November 10th seminar, which takes place in Atlantic, click here to register: Summary - State of Manufacturing: Supply Chain Challenges (cvent.com).  For the event on the 15th, which will be held in Oskaloosa, please click here: Summary - Supply Chains in Times of Chaos (cvent.com).  I look forward to seeing you at either or both events. 

Michele Farrell Represents ABI, Elevate at Manufacturing Institute Conference

In last week’s memo, I shared plans for ABI Executive Vice President Nicole Crain to attend The Manufacturing Institute Workforce Summit.  She worked very hard to make that happen, but due to flight delays and schedule changes, Nicole wasn’t able to participate after all.  

The very good news and what I forgot to share last week, is that ABI Board Member Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale) was also planning to participate in the Summit and she made it.  The summit was designed to help provide innovative solutions to America’s ongoing workforce shortage.  We are deeply grateful to Michele for participating and bringing information back from Cincinnati.  In addition to serving as an ABI board member, Michele is the volunteer leader of ABI’s Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative (Elevate Iowa - Home).  Thank you for all you do, Michele! 

Weekly ABI Newsletter PACKED with Useful Information

For decades, through good times and bad, ABI has published The Voice of Iowa Business newsletter.  This weekly publication always leads with the latest in public policy news, not just what is happening with regard to the Iowa General Assembly, but just about anything government-related that can impact your business is covered.  It also includes information about high-value events, about ABI programs that help your bottom line, news from the ABI Foundation, and a ton of other information and resources that provide value for you, your company, and your employees. 

Why do I share this?  Simply to remind you to be on the lookout for the newsletter each week and to remember to take advantage of the information you’ll find in it.  If you don’t already receive it, respond to this message and ABI Executive Administrative Assistant Michelle Vollstedt will make sure you are signed-up.  And, if ever you want to re-read back editions, you’ll find them on the ABI website.  Click here to access the newsletters: Voice of Iowa Business | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org).  

2023 ABI Legislative Reception to be Held January 11

ABI’s second most popular event each year is the annual Legislative Briefing and Reception.  Well over 500 people attend this event, many more than attend any other similar event.  Related to that, folks are already finalizing plans to attend the 2023 event to be held at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines on January 11.  Watch for registration to be available soon.  In the meantime, make plans now to attend. 

Gazette Carries Second Edition of ESOP Insert

For the second year in a row, the Cedar Rapids Gazette has published a special insert related to Iowa ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) companies.  The publication is a part of and is called Celebrating Employee Ownership Month and it is an interesting read.  Please click here to see it for yourself: ESOP - Celebrating Employee Ownership Month - 2022 - Flipbook by ashleen.baker | FlipHTML5.  Special thanks to longtime ABI member company CEO Daniel Goldstein (Folience, Cedar Rapids) for sending the link. 

ABI Office Closed Wednesday for Staff Retreat

At the end of today’s memorandum, you’ll see a brief item about how we try to mirror your operations in what we do at the ABI office.  One of those ways is to periodically hold staff planning retreats.  We haven’t done that for a long while and it is time to do it again. 

Thus, this Wednesday, October 26th, the ABI office will be closed so that the staff can participate in the day-long retreat.  The meeting will take place at longtime member Central Iowa Power Cooperative.  CIPCO’s Des Moines headquarters will be a wonderful setting for the retreat and we are grateful to the folks at CIPCO for hosting us.  The goal of the retreat?  To better serve you and all ABI members.  Watch for more information soon. 

Rick Tollakson to Celebrate

An ABI and IIPAC leader is celebrating his birthday this week.  Longtime ABI Board Member Rick Tollakson (Hubbell Realty Company, West Des Moines) is will mark his birthday on Thursday (October 27th).  ABI sends best birthday wishes to you, Rick! 

Great Advice from an Atlantic Bottling Employee

Longtime ABI member Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company was on my mind last week.  It was on my mind partly because of the big ownership transition the company recently announced (Iowa-based Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company Announces Leadership Transition « KJAN | Radio Atlantic, IA – AM 1220).  And it was on my mind and because ABI Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf and I had the opportunity to tour another fabulous company facility (this one in Walcott, Iowa Locations (atlanticbottling.com)

However, the company was mainly on my mind because the latest edition of the company newsletter, The Fizz, arrived in my in-box last week.  It’s another good one and I was particularly struck by some simple but smart counsel advanced by Michael Corcoran, Atlantic Bottling’s Cedar Rapids Area Sales Manager.  Mr. Corcoran was the object of the employee spotlight in this month’s Fizz.  In the profile, he shared some advice for anyone just starting out as a company employee: “Ask questions often.  Find someone you think does a great job and work with them as much as you can.  Be interested in your co-workers and listen.”  That is wise advice for anyone! 

Espeset Column A Good One

Speaking of company newsletters, you have read previously that I enjoy Storyline, the newsletter from longtime ABI member Story Construction.  One of the highlights of each edition is the President’s Column, written by company President and ABI Board Member Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames).  His latest column is another good one and the gist is that people matter.  Read it for yourself here: Don't Cry Because It's Over, Smile Because It Happened - Story Construction.  Thank you for sharing, Mike. 

The Business of ABI: Moving Forward

You know that from time to time in these memos I like to provide information about ABI's internal operations, what I call the business of ABI.  As you know, I believe ABI needs to operate as a business and provide value to its customers (ABI has customers, we just happen to call them members). 

One thing that is clear from all of you is that one part of what you all do in leading your companies is always move forward.  You are always innovating, always meeting new demands, always providing value.  ABI sure needs to do that as well.  

Over the years, you have allowed us to try new things.  Some have worked very well and grown (Elevate Advanced Manufacturing and BizWize and Leadership Iowa University and the Iowans for Jobs Initiative and many others).  Some have grown and we have spun them off to flourish on their own (VentureNet Iowa and others).  Some have not worked as well, or others are doing them better, so we stopped doing them (ABI Jobs Fair).  The point is that by following your example and with your leadership, ABI continues to enjoy growth and increase.  THANK YOU.