ABI DC Fly-In This Week - Monday Memo 10/16/23

October 16, 2023

Tuesday: Wheels-Up for DC

Early tomorrow morning, several ABI leaders and staff will leave Des Moines International Airport for Reagan National in Washington, DC.  This marks the sixth edition of the Biennial ABI DC Fly-In. 

This will be a very busy, high-value trip.  ABI members will begin with a meeting with the National Association of Manufacturers and then move on to meetings with every single member of the Iowa Congressional delegation (not staff, with the elected officials themselves).  We’ll make a stop at BIPAC and we’ll be back on Thursday.  

Four key issues will be the focus of our discussions with members of Iowa’s Congressional Delegation.  Workforce, regulatory challenges, taxes, and government funding/spending are the leading issues we’ll discuss.  Thank you to ABI Vice President Public Policy JD Davis, ABI Executive Administrative Assistant Michelle Vollstedt, and especially to Senior Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf, who led planning for the trip. 

Latest ABI Business Monthly Now Out

The October edition of the ABI Business Monthly is now out and should be on your desk by now.  The cover story is a focus on partnerships and three great ABI members are featured: Hubbell Realty, Diamond Vogel, and Grow Fairfield (which involves several ABI members among its membership).  If you haven’t yet received a copy of the Business Monthly, let me know and we’ll get one sent to you right away.  In the meantime, thank you to our partner in publishing the Business Monthly, ABI member Corridor Media Group

Four and a Half Weeks until November ABI Board Meeting

The November meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be an important one.  On the agenda will be the usual operations and finance reports, a public policy update, discussion by the board on association-related issues, and receipt of the annual audit, among other business.  

ABI Vice Chair Chad Reece (Winnebago Industries, Forest City) and board members will meet at the ABI office in Des Moines at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 15.  Many of you have already registered for this free board meeting, but if not, please reply to this memorandum and I’ll make sure you are registered.  You will receive your board packet by email in about two weeks.  In the meantime, thank you in advance for participating in this final board meeting of 2023. 

Make Plans Now for 2024 ABI Legislative Reception

It is not too early to finalize your plans to participate in the 2024 edition of the ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception, our organization’s second biggest annual event.  The 2024 Legislative Reception, which will take place on January 10th, will be held at Hy-Vee Hall at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines.  Please make plans now to join your ABI colleagues and attend. 

Conference Workshop Proposals Sought

Preparations are well underway for the 2024 Taking Care of Business Conference.  A fabulous program, exciting new venues, and terrific speakers will make the conference one of the very best ever.  Mark your calendars now and join us in June in Davenport. 

Related to the annual conference, ABI uses a sophisticated and competitive process to determine the content of breakout sessions that will be a part of the conference.  If you or your company are interested in submitting a workshop proposal, please go: Taking Care of Business Conference | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org) and click on the button at the bottom of the page.  

ABI and Lean TECHniques to Host Free Webinar on Digital Transformation in Manufacturing

On October 27th, ABI and Lean TECHniques will host a free virtual seminar related to the digital transformation taking place in Iowa manufacturing.  Join the webinar for a discussion with leaders from Iowa manufacturing companies as they share about their organization’s digital transformation and key learnings from their journey so far.  Click here for more information and to register: State of Digital Transformation in Iowa Manufacturing Webinar Panel | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org)

NAM Report Cites Concerning Manufacturing Data

In last week’s edition of the National Association of ManufacturersMonday Economic Report, data was highlighted that cited a slight rebound in new manufacturing orders.  On Thursday of last week, the NAM’s workforce report carried a number of interesting facts about the current state of manufacturing workers.  The NAM reports are always interesting reading and if you would like to see them for yourself, reply to this memo and I’ll get them to you at once. 

Haskens Celebrate

Two great ABI leaders (and a great couple) celebrate the anniversary of their wedding this week.  ABI sends very best wishes to Former ABI Chair Sarah Hasken and Former ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa).  Jack and Sarah will celebrate 43 years of being married on Wednesday.  Happy Anniversary, Jack and Sarah! 

Ms. Dianne Martin, 1946-2023

In last week’s Memo, I shared news regarding the passing of Ms. Dianne Martin.  Ms. Martin was the mother of Kris Reece, spouse of ABI Vice Chair Chad Reece (Winnebago Industries, Forest City).  Ms. Martin was buried following a funeral in Council Bluffs Friday.  You can read more about her wonderful life here: Obituary information for Beverly Dianne Martin (cutleroneill.com).  Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Kris and Chad and their family. 

Nate Weaton for School Board

It was cool to learn last week that ABI Board Member Nate Weaton (Weaton Companies, Fairfield) is continuing a longstanding tradition of great ABI members running for a seat on their local (in this case, the Fairfield, Iowa) Board of Education.  In addition to running his group of very successful companies, Nate is also the Head Coach of the Fairfield Trojans football team.  And of course, Nate and his wife, former ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) have sent several children though the Fairfield Community Schools.  For all these reasons and more, Nate is a perfect choice for the school board.  Good luck and best wishes, Nate! 

Bill Trent Celebrates Today

Every year about this time (and I say the same thing every year, because it is true), I note that former ABI Chair Bill Trent (KENT Corporation, Muscatine) is well-known as a longtime business executive, community leader, former state legislator, and as an all-around good guy.  Bill still follows ABI and still stays in touch (he even reads these memos once in while).  Bill is celebrating his birthday today, October 16th.  Happy birthday, Bill! 

Added Note: Focus on China

Many of you know that one of my sons is a supply chain management professor in Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business (Dr. Peter Ralston: Faculty - Ivy College of Business (iastate.edu)) and Director of the Ivy Supply Chain Forum.  Over the weekend, Peter texted me an article from Business Insider that discussed the many ways China’s dream of being the leading global economic power is fading (It’s official: The era of China’s global dominance is over (msn.com)).  This mirrors the position of Peter Ziehan (Homepage - Zeihan on Geopolitics).  You will recall Mr. Ziehan from his appearance at the ABI Taking Care of Business Conference some years.  He has an uncanny ability to predict geopolitical developments and he has been outlining China’s problems for some time. 

The bottom line of both the article and Mr. Ziehan’s view is that China is in deep trouble… and so, too, are companies that rely on it for supply chain or market share.