ABI Business Day in Des Moines a Hit - Monday Memo 3/11/24

March 11, 2024

Second Annual ABI Business Day in Des Moines a Big Success

ABI is celebrating a very successful second edition of Business Day in Des Moines held last Wednesday.  Nearly 200 ABI members from Iowa and beyond participated in Business Day.  Governor Kim Reynolds, top legislative officials, and BIPAC political expert Jim Ellis headlined the event.  We appreciate your attendance and your favorable comments.  We also seek your ideas about ways to make this great new event even better.  Thank you again. 

Legislative Update Friday

As you know, every two weeks throughout the legislative session, ABI lobbyists host a Zoom meeting to give you the very latest information from the Statehouse.  Updates on bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters are covered in each call.  Your specific questions about those topics are also very much welcomed. 

The next Zoom update will be held this Friday (March 15) at 8:00 a.m. and you and your employees are encouraged to participate.  The members-only call is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at Legislative Update (Members Only) | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org).  

ABI Executive Committee Meeting April 10; Next Board Meeting May 8

The ABI Executive Committee will next meet on April 10.  That meeting, which will take place by Zoom, will begin at 10:00 a.m.  

The next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors is scheduled for Wednesday, May 8 (not May 10, as I wrote last week).  It will be held at the Des Moines facilities of longtime member Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company.  The location is easy to get to on Army Post Road south of the Des Moines International Airport.  As I noted last week, the day will include a tour of this terrific facility and its fabulous new automated palletizing system).  Special thanks to ABI Board Member Rob Feeney (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines) for making the visit possible! 

Busy Time for Nominations for ABI Foundation Programs

This is a busy time for the ABI Foundation programs.  In recent editions of this memorandum, I noted that now is the time to make nominations both for Business Horizons and Leadership Iowa.  Doing so is easy, free, and doesn't take a lot of time.  Click on https://www.leadershipiowa.com/ and/or http://www.businesshorizonsiowa.org/ for more information and to make your nominations.  

'Best-Ever' Conference Coming in June; Register NOW

The 2024 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference, ABI's 121st annual convention, will be a spectacular event.  This event, which has been predicted to be the best-ever by some ABI members, will be held June 4-6 in Davenport.  

As you know, one of the hotel options for the 2024 conference is already sold-out.  There are other great options available.  For now, you can register for the conference by clicking on this link: https://www.iowaabi.org/events/annual-conference/.  

When you click on the link above, you will be able to view a brief, fun, and informative video about what you can expect at the conference.  It is simply Iowa’s best statewide business networking event.  See you in the Quad Cities in June! 

LI CONNECT on March 20 and April 17, Next ABI Automation Summit on April 17

Two more events to be sponsored by ABI’s Leadership Iowa program will be held March 20 and April 17.  The latest sessions in the LI CONNECT series of programs, the first will focus on healthcare.  Register here LI Connect: Healthcare | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org) for a Zoom session that will begin at 11:30 a.m. on March 20.  The second will focus on education and it will be held by Zoom at 8:30 a.m. on April 17.  Click here for more information: LI Connect: Education | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org).    

Also to be held April 17 is the latest in the very popular series of ABI Automation Summits.  It will be held at Scott Community College (part of Eastern Iowa Community College) in Davenport.  Registration will soon be available at Automation Summit | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org).  

Drew Vogel Named Amazing Outside Director

It was great last week to see (a bearded!) longtime ABI Board Member Drew Vogel (Diamond Vogel Paint, Orange City).  Drew is a great board member and Iowa business leader and an even greater guy. 

It was also fun to learn that Drew has been named an “Amazing Outside Director” by Bankbeat magazine.  By the way, I am deeply grateful to longtime ABI member and ABI Foundation leader Kim Butler Hegedus (Community State Bank, Ankeny) for sharing this news with me.  In an article published in the current edition of Bankbeat, Drew is highlighted for his leadership at Diamond Vogel and at his family’s banking company.  You can read the article for yourself here: Amazing Outside Directors 2024: Drew Vogel - BankBeat.  Congratulations and very best wishes to Drew Vogel! 

The Business of ABI: Programs and Services

As you know, from time to time in these memos, I like to share a little bit about some internal aspect of the way ABI operates.  As I always say, ABI ought to function like a business.  We have customers, we just happen to call them members.  If we aren't delivering value for you, there is no reason for you to support our work. 

Almost 20 years ago, at the direction of the ABI Board of Directors, ABI conducted a review of its internal operations and programs and services.  When it came to internal operations, hemorrhaging cash and being involved in vendor relationships that didn't serve the association or its members were some of the challenges identified.  Outdated data systems and other challenges also existed and over the years, thanks to your leadership, these have been addressed.  

The good news then is good news today.  ABI's core programs of public policy advocacy, member meetings and events, and Foundation programs were strong and continue to be strong.  Over the years, new programs have been added (such as VentureNet Iowa, Elevate Iowa, and others).  Events have been created, and some things have been transformed (ABI's annual conference and our monthly newsmagazine come to mind).  This kind of change and growth must continue for ABI to be the dynamic resource for Iowa business that you deserve. 

One of ABI’s original services continues to be vital to this day.  That is our association’s public policy work.   This year, as has been the case for many years, ABI is experiencing some of its most successful work ever at the Statehouse.  Longstanding ABI objectives have been and are being advanced.  That is thanks to some terrific work on the part of a talented staff and by YOUR leadership, participation, and support.  Thanks to YOU, the business of ABI is strong and getting even better.