ABI Day on the Hill Next Week - Monday Memo 2/28/22

February 28, 2022

Day on the Hill Events A Week from Tomorrow 

During the first quarter of the year, much of ABI's work focuses on public policy and the Iowa General Assembly.  Many years ago, ABI created the annual ABI Day on the Hill.  The event capitalizes on members’ wishes to get even more involved in ABI’s public policy work.  

This event gives ABI members an opportunity to get the very latest news from the Capitol in the heat of legislative activity.  Members are taken by private coach to the Capitol to meet with and hear from key state officials, legislative leaders, and their legislators.  

ABI Day on the Hill 2022 will be held Tuesday, March 8 (the same day as the next ABI board meeting) at the ABI office in the East Village in Des Moines.  Day on the Hill is followed by the annual luncheon.  Top statehouse officials have been confirmed for that event and you won’t want to miss it.  The day concludes with the March meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  To register or find more information, click here: Summary - Day on the Hill 2022 (cvent.com).  THERE IS NO CHARGE for ABI board members and former chairs who participate.  See you next week! 

ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders Event in Council Bluffs this Thursday

The next event in ABI's Connecting Statewide Leaders series will be held in this Thursday, March 3rd.  The event will be held in Council Bluffs in conjunction with the Leadership Iowa session. 

ABI Board Member Kathryn Kunert (MidAmerican Energy Company, Des Moines) and other leaders will be a part of a panel for the event.  Find more information and/or register for the Connecting Statewide Leaders event here: Summary - Connecting Statewide Leaders - Council Bluffs (cvent.com).    Mark your calendars now to join fellow ABI members, Leadership Iowa Class members, local business leaders, and others for this event.  See you in Council Bluffs later this week. 

2022 Convention Website Live; Register for Convention NOW!

Many of you have already made your reservations for the ABI Annual Convention, the 2022 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference.  For those who have not yet registered, you can do so now.  Simply click on Taking Care of Business Conference | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org) for all kinds of information about the convention speakers and terrific Dubuque venues.  

Based on our fantastic speakers, fabulous Dubuque location, and great program, I can assure you this 119th annual convention, which will be held June 14-16, will be a spectacular event.  The bottom line is that you simply won’t want to miss it.  Click on the link above and make your convention reservation now. 

Leadership Iowa Class in Council Bluffs

Council Bluffs is the location of the next session of the 2021-2022 Leadership Iowa class, which will be held 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 economic development and workforce.  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 8. 

ABI Board to Meet Next Week; May Meeting in Ames

The next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held a week from tomorrow, on Tuesday, March 8.  ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa) will call the meeting to order that afternoon at the ABI Office in Des Moines’ East Village.  

As you have read previously and in addition to an important meeting, the board will also participate in other events throughout the day.  Things actually begin with the annual Day on the Hill program that morning and the annual luncheon at noon, followed by the Board of Directors meeting.  See you in Des Moines on March 8.  

The board’s next meeting will be held at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center on May 12 in Ames.  Watch for more information soon.  

Legislative Update Zoom Friday

ABI Vice President Public Policy JD Davis and Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf will again host a Zoom update to give you the very latest information from the Statehouse.  Updates on bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters will be covered in the call.  Your specific questions about those topics are also very much welcomed. 

The next call will be held a week this Friday, on March 4th, 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).      

Now is the Time for Your Business Horizons and Leadership Iowa Nominations

As you know, Business Horizons and Leadership Iowa are two of the ABI Foundation’s most successful programs.  For several decades, these programs have been making our state better. 

Your nominations are vital to ensuring the quality of the programs continues.  Nominating your employees and community people is easy and it is FREE.  Go to https://www.iowaabi.org/abi-foundation/foundation-programs/ for general program information and to make your nominations.  And, look for a full report about Foundation activities at next week's meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

Biennial Pre-Employment Testing Seminar Later This Month

Every two years, ABI hosts a Pre-Employment Testing Seminar.  This year's event will be held on March 30 at ABI.  

The program will include the latest information on the subject, as well as information about best practices being utilized by other companies.  Click here for more information and to register: https://www.iowaabi.org/events/detail/184-pre-employment-testing-process-seminar/.   

Secretary of State Provides IBAT Assistance

You will recall that ABI is pleased to participate in Iowa Businesses Against Trafficking (IBAT), an initiative being led by Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate.  IBAT is a statewide recognition and education initiative to empower businesses to help in the fight to end human trafficking in Iowa through training and outreach.  Over 450 businesses have become a member of IBAT. 

The Iowa Secretary of State also administers an address confidentiality program, Safe at Home (SAH). Which provides a legal substitute address, mail-forwarding and confidential voter registration/absentee voting to survivors of trafficking, domestic violence, and other violent crimes.  For more information and assistance regarding these programs, please visit Iowa Safe At Home or Iowa Businesses Against Trafficking | Iowa Secretary of State.  If you have any questions, please contact Safe at Home Outreach Coordinator Sydney Fox at syndey.fox@sos.iowa.gov

Newly Ramped-Up FMA Meets

Per capita, Fairfield is one of our state’s strongest manufacturing communities.  It is certainly a great ABI town, as the association has many members there.  And it has been home to one of Iowa’s most vibrant manufacturing organizations, the Fairfield Manufacturers Association.  Due to the pandemic and other issues, the group had fallen off a bit. 

That all changed last week when longtime ABI member Weaton Capital hosted the FMA’s first meeting of 2022.  Dozens of local manufacturers were there and so were several of us from the ABI team. 

It was great to be a part of the energy Friday and the tour of ABI leader Nate Weaton’s (Weaton Capital, Fairfield) plant prior to the meeting.  The place is nearly unrecognizable compared to when it was purchased by Nate and a ton of very cool manufacturing is taking place there.  Thank you to Nate and everyone for hosting us, and congratulations and thank you to all FMA members for their leadership! 

NAM Report: Mixed

This week's edition of the National Association of Manufacturers'Monday Economic Report is mixed.  The publication reports strong retail sales growth, but increased concerns about materials costs sand supply chain issue.  It highlights several data points that confirm a great deal of volatility.  If you wish to read the report for yourself, simply reply to this memo and I will get it to you at once. 

Mindi Vanden Bosch Now Vermeer Vice President of Operations

There was big news out of Pella last week involving ABI Board Member Mindi Vanden Bosch (Vermeer Corporation, Pella).  Mindi has been named Vice President of Operations for Vermeer Corporation.  As is her brother, company President and CEO Jason Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella), Mindi is a third generation family leader at the company.  Congratulations to Mindi and to Vermeer Corporation, including company Chair and former ABI Chair (and Jason and Mindi’s mother) Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella)

Henningsen Construction Hosts Senator Grassley

You’ve heard me say that the single best thing you can do to help advance ABI’s public policy work is to host elected officials in your plant.  Thankfully, many of you do just that and you do it often. 

The latest example is longtime ABI member Henningsen Construction.  The folks there hosted U.S. Senator Charles Grassley at their Atlantic facility last Wednesday.  See more and listen to radio coverage of the event here: Grassley stops in Atlantic, speaks with construction workers « KJAN | Radio Atlantic, IA – AM 1220.  In the meantime, thank you to longtime ABI Board Member Mike Henningsen (Henningsen Construction, Atlantic) and company president Brad Henningsen (Henningsen Construction, Atlantic)!