ABI Business Day in Des Moines Wednesday - Monday Memo 3/4/24

March 4, 2024

Big Day of ABI Events Wednesday: Business Day in Des Moines, March Board Meeting

As I note every year about this time, ABI has been very busy hosting many events and meetings of late.  And, as always, that’s good; if the association is fulfilling its mission, we better be busy (and even more importantly, productive). 

Wednesday is a big day for ABI, as the association will host the second Business Day in Des Moines.  At the event, which will be held at the Des Moines Heritage Center in Des Moines’ East Village, ABI members will hear from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, House Speaker Pat Grassley, Senate Majority leader Jack Whitver, Senate Democratic Leader Pam Jochum, and House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst.  These are the top policy officials in Iowa and they will all be on hand to speak with you in person. 

Nationally-known political expert Jim Ellis (BIPAC, Washington DC) and ABI team members Nicole Crain, JD Davis, and Brad Hartkopf round out Business Day in Des Moines.  Click here for more information: Summary - Business Day in Des Moines (cvent.com).  A crowd approaching 200, dwarfing the typical crowd of the previous annual event known as Day on the Hill, has registered for the event.  See you Wednesday!  Your attendance at Business Day in Des Moines, and at the March meeting of the ABI Board of Directors that follows, is greatly appreciated.  On behalf of ABI Vice Chair Chad Reece (Winnebago Industries, Forest City), thank you. 

Dubuque Connecting Statewide Leaders Program at Hotel Julien Thursday

The ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders events held over the past several years have proven to be popular events.  This Thursday, March 7 (the day after Business Day in Des Moines), we’ll be in Dubuque for a CSL event focused on healthcare.  A truly terrific speaker will present the program.  Dr.Jennifer Olson (MercyOne, Des Moines), who is President of MercyOne Medical Group, will address trends in health care and discuss finance issues that may impact employers.  You can register and find more information here: Summary - Connecting Statewide Leaders - Dubuque (cvent.com).  Don’t miss this terrific program.  The program will be held at a favorite location among ABI members, the beautiful Hotel Julien in Dubuque.  I’ll be there and I hope you will, too. 

Leadership Iowa Class in Dubuque

Dubuque is also the location of the next session of the 2023-2024 Leadership Iowa class, which will be later this week.  Some members of the class will convene Wednesday evening.  The majority of the session will take place Thursday and Friday and will focus on healthcare.  This group of class members has been another in a string of terrific LI classes.  Look for more information at the board meeting on March 6. 

Next Legislative Update a Week from Friday

Periodically 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 call will be held a week from Friday, on March 15th, 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).  

Make Your Conference, Lodging Reservations Now; HOTEL BLACK HAWK ALREADY SOLD-OUT

ABI members and staff are heavy into planning for the association’s 121st annual convention.  The 2024 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference will be held June 4-6 in the Quad Cities and it is shaping up to be a spectacular event.  

Many ABI members have already made their reservations for the conference.  In fact, one of the conference hotels, the Hotel Black Hawk, is already sold-out!  Plenty of other great options remain, however.  Additional hotels can be found at the conference website at https://www.iowaabi.org/events/annual-conference/.  At that site you can take care of your lodging reservation.  That link will provide you with information about lodging and information about the conference agenda and speakers, information about terrific venues and special events, and other information.  Perhaps most importantly, you can also register for the convention.  Please note: Registering for your lodging does not take care of registering for the conference. 

All the information you need is on this website.  Or, if you wish to have the ABI staff handle your conference reservation, simply reply to this email message and I’ll make sure it gets handled.  See you in Davenport in June! 

Leadership Iowa University to be held in August; Nominate Your Summer Interns/Students to Participate; BH 2024 also Accepting Student Applications

Leadership Iowa University (LIU), a part of ABI’s Foundation programming, will be held August 4-8 in the Des Moines area. Any student currently enrolled in an Iowa college or university is eligible to participate, and more information can be found by visiting www.LeadershipIowaUniversity.com

The program seeks to develop college students as a foundation for Iowa’s economic growth. These students will be tomorrow’s workforce, so continuing to educate them on community and state initiatives is of utmost interest to statewide business and industry.  LIU provides high-quality speakers and terrific networking events that help participants find careers right here in Iowa. Many ABI leaders will participate in LIU events throughout the week and that support is deeply appreciated as well. Please watch for more information and updates about LIU in the coming months.

And don’t forget to go to Business Horizons | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org) and get your high school students registered for Business Horizons.  As I noted in last week’s Monday Memo, the 2024 edition of this terrific program will take place July 14-18 on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines. 

ABI Board to Meet at Atlantic Bottling’s Des Moines Facility in May

The May meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held at ABI member Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company’s Des Moines facility on Wednesday, May 10.  Atlantic Bottling is easy to get to on Army Post Road south of the Des Moines International Airport.  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 day possible! 

Lieutenant Governor Visits HNI

You have heard me say often that the single best thing you can do to help advance ABI’s public policy agenda is to host elected officials in your plant or office.  Thankfully, many ABI members do that as a routine course of business. 

The latest example of such a visit took place at longtime ABI member HNI Corporation Friday.  That afternoon, Iowa Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg toured HNI and met with employees.  Good work to all involved and thank you to ABI Board Member Kelly McGriff (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) for letting us know about the visit! 

Chad Reece Reports from NAM Event

ABI Vice Chair Chad Reece (Winnebago Industries, Forest City) has a travel schedule that keeps him flying all over the country.  Last week, Chad checked in from Phoenix, where he was attending an event being hosted by a great ABI partner, the National Association of Manufacturers.  It is always fun to hear about ABI leaders crossing paths far from Iowa, and in that regard, Chad noted that he had greeted Former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) and ABI Board Member Rich Dwyer (KENT Corporation, Muscatine), and he was looking forward to seeing some folks from Vermeer Corporation in Pella as well.  Safe travels, everyone! 

Todd McDonald to Celebrate

ABI’s Business Day in Des Moines is not the only big thing happening this Wednesday.  March 6 is also the birthday of longtime ABI Board Member Todd McDonald (ATW Training Solutions, Urbandale).  Todd is a great board member and a great guy; happy birthday, Todd! 

Jessica Stringer Completes ABI Internship

You will recall (and may have met) Jessica Stringer, who has interned with ABI for a period of time.  Jessica is a senior at Simpson College in Indianola and will graduate in May.  Jessica’s last day in the office is tomorrow, though you will see her at Business Day on Wednesday.  Jessica has successfully completed many projects during her time at ABI and was a big help to our work; we are grateful to her.  Congratulations upon your impending graduation, Jessica, and very best wishes on your future endeavors!