ABI Conference in Two Months

April 11, 2022

Conference Two Months Away; Conference Committee Meets Tomorrow

The 2022 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference will take place two months from this week.  The conference will be held in Dubuque June14-16.  Nearly 250 people have already registered, with many more than that already reserving rooms at the conference flagship hotel, the Hotel Julien.  If you haven’t done so, you can register now by clicking on https://www.iowaabi.org/events/annual-conference/.  Using that same link, you can access information about the terrific speaker lineup, see the fabulous venues, register for golf at the newly renovated Dubuque Golf & Country Club (https://www.dubuquegolf.org), and make plans to participate in the very best business networking in Iowa.  Register NOW; you don’t want to miss this event! 

Related to this, the ABI Conference Committee meets tomorrow.  ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa) and committee chair Brett Burkhart (Makusafe, Des Moines) and members have developed a fabulous event and again, you don’t want to miss it! 

ABI Legislative Update Friday

ABI Vice President Public Policy JD Davis and Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf will hold another Legislative Update this Friday (April 15).  Updates on bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters are covered in each Zoom.  You and your employees are encouraged to join us for the update at 8:00 a.m. Thus members-only update 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)

May Board Meeting in Four Weeks

The final pre-conference meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held May 12.  The board will meet at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames and a number of special components will make the meeting one not to miss.  Watch for more information soon. 

HR Simple Zoom Webinar on Leave Compliance, LI CONNECT  Wednesday

Two special events are being held on Wednesday of this week.  One is a free virtual webinar by ABI member HR Simple.  It will focus on compliance with laws and regulations related to employee leave policies.  ABI member may participate at NO CHARGE in the seminar.  Go here for more information and to register: HR Simple: Leave Compliance: FMLA, ADA, Worker’s Compensation | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org).  By the way, all participants will receive a free digital copy of an “Employers Guide to FMLA and ADA.” 

The other event Wednesday is another in the series of programs called LI CONNECT.  This week’s session will focus on education.  These programs are held virtually and there is no cost to participate.  Register and find more information here: Meeting Registration - Zoom

Foundation Board Meets Wednesday

The board of directors of the ABI Foundation will meet this week, also on Wednesday, the 13th.  Foundation Chair Kim Butler Hegedus (Community State Bank, Ankeny) will lead the board through a very full agenda.  

Watch for Annual ABI CEO Survey

Each year, ABI surveys member CEOs regarding issues important to them and their businesses.  The survey differs from the quarterly business survey, in that the annual CEO survey is distributed to ALL member company CEOs and it surveys general issues; not what is expected in the coming quarter.  It is anticipated that the survey will be ready for your attention very soon.

When it is, please complete the survey (it should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes).  You will be able to read the results in the June edition of Business Record Iowa

Nominating Committee Work to Begin

As you read in last week’s memo, the ABI Nominating Committee will meet in a few weeks.  The committee is chaired by Immediate Past ABI Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) and will meet by Zoom on April 27th.  Other committee members include Mindi Vanden Bosch (Vermeer Corporation, Pella), Peter Voorhees (Standard Golf Company, Cedar Falls), Taylor Teepell (Lumen, Des Moines), Mary Landhuis (Lisle Corporation, Clarinda), and Kirk McCollough (Seneca Foundry, Webster City).  If you have someone you believe would make a great ABI board member, the committee wants to know about her or him.  Simply contact one of them, or me, and we’ll make sure the names are considered by the committee.  

Advisory Council Meeting Next Week

The members of the ABI Advisory Council will hold their monthly meeting a week from Thursday Please join me in thanking the members of the council.  They are Anthologic, AssuredPartners, BCC Advisers, BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC Insurance, Focus OneSource, Fredrikson & Byron, HDH Advisors, Principal Midwest Business Center, The Iowa Clinic, and Wells Fargo.  These organizations can be terrific resources for you and your employees.  Don’t hesitate to contact them for information and assistance.  We are grateful for their premium support for ABI. 

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 focuses on solutions for issues facing Iowa’s evolving workforce. ABI member company executive Emily Schmitt (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) can be found on the cover.  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. 

Iowa Food Industry Seminar Coming May

ABI and CIRAS (the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University) are partnering to produce the Iowa Food Manufacturing Industry Overview and Challenges Seminar.  The seminar will be held on May 4th at ISU in Ames.  Substantive topics such as supply chains and logistics, government regulations, environmental considerations, and much more will be a part of the program.  Tours of terrific industry facilities on campus will be a part of the event.  The Food Polymer Lab, Meat Science Lab, and tours of other cutting-edge facilities will be available.  You can find more information and register for the seminar by using this link: Summary - Iowa Food Manufacturing Industry Overview and Challenges Seminar (cvent.com).  Please mark May 4 on your calendar. 

2022 ABI Okoboji CEO Forum Will Be Another Terrific Event

Right now, we are focused on producing a fabulous annual Taking Care of Business Conference in June.  Thanks to terrific work by the Conference Committee and so many others, I assure you that you will not be disappointed.  It WILL be a fabulous conference.  However, planning for another event is also well underway and it, too, is shaping up to a good one. 

Some years ago in response to members, ABI created the ABI Okoboji CEO Forum.  Each year, the event gets better and better.  

A great keynote is almost finalized.  A spectacular owner’s panel, including Sherri Behrendt (Vantec, Webster City), Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield), and Katy Susong (Cardinal Construction, Waterloo) is also a part of the program.  Also included is a high-value panel presented by the ABI Advisory Council.  And the event will be capped off with a tour and remarks by an ABI member in the Lakes Region.  Everything kicks-off at the beautiful Waterfront Events Center on East Lake Okoboji on July 28.  Watch for more information soon, but for now, block your calendar for this terrific event.  Don’t miss it! 

EMBARC Job Fair April 29

EMBARC (Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center) is well-known in Des Moines.  EMBARC will be hosting a job fair in Des Moines on April 29 and employer requests are still being accepted.  The job fair will be a great opportunity for employers to meet and recruit this group of minorities.  Some of those attending will be just starting their careers, others will be experienced professionals.  Up to six language groups will be present, with interpreters available.  For more information, about EMBARC, click here: EMBARC (embarciowa.org).  For more information about the job fair, click here: Post | LinkedIn

STEM Scholarship in RAPIL Application Deadline is May 1

ABI was contacted last week by Dr. Jeff Weld, who leads the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.  Jeff is encouraging folks to apply for the Regents Alternative Pathway to Intern Licensure scholarship.  The RAPIL scholarship is a $3,600 PER SEMESTER scholarship that is renewable for up to four semesters.  The program seeks to encourage Iowans to teach in STEM fields in Iowa schools and the deadline to apply is May 1.  Find more information and apply here: Regents Alternative Pathway to Iowa Licensure (RAPIL) | (iowateacherintern.org).  

IEDA Survey Deadline Extended

As you have read previously, the Iowa Economic Development Authority is once again partnering with the University of Northern Iowa to undertake a survey to assess the current economic conditions and ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on Iowa’s businesses and nonprofit organizations.  The deadline to take the survey has been extended to Friday, April 15.  Click on this link to complete the survey. 

Roberts Memorial Service Tomorrow in Des Moines

Steve Roberts (David Brown Law Firm, Des Moines) was one of the longest serving ABI board members of all time, serving for over 30 years.  Steve left the board when he retired from the full-time practice of law several years ago.  Steve passes away on November 7, 2020.  Because that was during the height of the pandemic, no service was held (though we noted the loss at that time). 

Steve’s widow, Dawn Roberts, and their family have now arranged a memorial service to be held tomorrow afternoon at Central Presbyterian Chuck in Des Moines.  Steve was an incredible leader and supporter for ABI, and a prominent and well-respected lawyer.  He was also a terrific guy.  Our thoughts and prayers have continued to be with Dawn and the family.  Read more about Steve here: Steve Roberts Obituary (1939 - 2020) - Des Moines, IA - the Des Moines Register (legacy.com).