ABI Executive Open Tees Off Today - Monday Memo 8/31/20

August 31, 2020

TODAY: The 2020 ABI Executive Open

As I noted last week, the annual ABI Executive Open is one of the association’s most popular events.  The 2020 Open starts in just a little while at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines. 

Also as I noted in last week’s memorandum, there are some differences in this year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Instead of a shotgun start, timed tee-offs will rule the day.  There will be one golfer per cart instead of two.  And there is no networking reception at the end of the day.  There will still be prizes, however, and as usual, the event is a sell-out.  Thank you to everyone for supporting the Open and have a great day. 

TOMORROW: Governor Reynolds, Trade Officials Highlight ABI USMCA Event

Something close to a hundred ABI members have registered for an important association event being held tomorrow, September 1, from 1:30 to 3:00 in the afternoon.  Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds will keynote a discussion and status report related to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA). 

There is still time to register for this event and you can go here to do so: https://web.cvent.com/event/28bb1490-37e4-4e57-bcc9-ed2415110816/summary.  You can also use that link to find more information about the event and about the trade officials from the United States, Canada, and Mexico that will speak.  ABI thanks longstanding member/partner the Office of the Consul General of Canada in Minneapolis for helping produce this event.  

IIPAC Board Also Meets Tomorrow

Also taking place tomorrow is an important meeting of the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee Board of Directors.  IIPAC, of course, is ABI’s PAC and it is an important resource in supporting pro-business candidates (of any party).  Chaired by former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines), the board will consider recommendations for support for candidates running in November’s general election.  Watch for more news as it develops. 

First ABI Board Meeting of 2021 Fiscal Year Next Week

The ABI Board of Directors, chaired by Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine), will hold its first meeting of the new fiscal year on Thursday, September 10.  The board will meet by Zoom and the meeting will be preceded by the monthly meeting of the ABI Executive Committee.  You will soon receive the usual meeting packet with an agenda, detailed reports, and other items to help you prepare for the meeting.  

A number of important issues will be reviewed and acted upon at the meeting.  One highlight, led by ABI Vice Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa), will be consideration of recommendations related to the association's 2021 policy positions.  Watch for more information in your board packet. 

If you haven’t already done so, please register now by replying to this memo.  All board members and Past Chairs are encouraged to join ABI for the board meeting.  On behalf of Steven and our other officers, I look forward to seeing you on September 10. 

ABI Advanced Manufacturing Conference September 30, Keynote by Matthew Lamons, ABI Leaders Panel to Close Event

ABI and the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University are the lead sponsors for the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference 2020.  The conference will be held by Zoom on September 30.  

As I noted in last week’s memo, the speakers for this event are terrific.  The keynote speaker is Matthew Lamons, nationally known author and consultant.  He is tailoring his remarks specifically for ABI and especially for the challenges being faced by ABI members, from pandemics to disaster recovery.  The final event of the day is a fantastic panel featuring three highly successful ABI leaders: former ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and ABI Board Members Mary Landhuis (Lisle Corporation, Clarinda) and Molly Varangkounh (Hy-Capacity, Humboldt).  Find more information and register now for the conference by clicking on this link: https://web.cvent.com/event/8be9b73e-34b9-481b-8820-19cf9f93358e/summary.  

2021 Conference Site Visit Wednesday

Perhaps because of the deep regret about having to cancel the 2020 conference, the 2021 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference is shaping up to be the best ever.  We say that every year, but every year it is true.  A subset of the committee planning the conference will hold another site visit in Iowa City and Coralville on Wednesday (be assured that all pandemic protection steps will be in force).  The trip is being led by ABI Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) and Committee Chair Janice Konshar(HNI Corporation, Muscatine)

The committee is working with some fabulous venues and speakers related to the conference.  Stay tuned for much more exciting news in the months and weeks ahead. 

Iowa Business Report Radio Program Broadcasts 35th Episode 

The Iowa Business Report’s 35th episode was broadcast over the weekend.  If you missed it, you can click here to listen for yourself: http://iowabusinessreport.buzzsprout.com/.  Links can also be found on the ABI website at https://www.iowaabi.org/news/iowa-business-report/.  The show is the result of a great a partnership between well-known Iowa broadcaster Jeff Stein and ABI. 

The company profile is another interesting one, as it highlights the story of the Burchett Brothers.  The brothers are the owners behind ABI member Mississippi River Distilling Company.  The company, based in LeClaire, is growing by leaps and bounds. 

State Offers COVID-19 Employer Assistance

State officials last week announced the creation of an additional Future Ready Iowa Innovation Fund of $5 million to help employers upskill workers. Funded by state and federal Coronavirus Relief dollars, the program will be in place for a short timeframe, will require no employer match, and will focus especially on workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Find more information and apply for funding here: https://www.futurereadyiowa.gov/innovation.  The maximum award amount is $100,000. 

Graphene Information Provided

Some ABI member have shared with me that they are looking at graphene and other structurally different forms of carbon for use in their manufacturing processes.  Former ABI member Steve Bisenius(Lee County Development Association, Fort Madison) is a member of the Graphene Advisory Council and has provided a link to webinars produced by that organization.  In case it is of interest to those of you considering this material, I include the link here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOcNmxyZljLsG1YjZqom7ZA/videos?view_as=subscriber.  

Sukup Celebrate Anniversary Thursday

Former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) and his wife, Mary Sukup, celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary this Thursday, September 3rd.  As I note every year, Charles and Mary are one of the all-time great couples.  It is a pleasure to send very best wishes and congratulations to Charles and Mary.  Happy anniversary to the Sukups! 

Harlan Newspapers Recognized for Derecho Assistance

Longtime ABI member Harlan Newspapers was in the news last week for the assistance it provided to other newspapers.  Newspaper publishers in Madrid and other locations suffered severe damage in the derecho that hit Iowa three weeks ago today.  Harlan Newspapers stepped up and published those papers while other publisher’s presses were down and being replaced or repaired. 

This is no small feat, because Harlan Newspapers is not some small, sleepy weekly newspaper publisher.  The company does publish the Harlan weekly, but it is also a large, sophisticated commercial printing company that produces many other publications and always has a full press schedule.  Congratulations and thank you to everyone at the company, especially to its Co-CEO, longtime ABI Board Member Alan Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan)

WaPo Kreg Tool Story Highlighted by Business Record

The electronic bulletin published by the Business Record Friday morning carried a highlight of a Washington Post article that featured longtime ABI member Kreg Tool Company.  The point of the article was to focus on some cool things companies like Kreg are doing to help employees who are stressed about their children’s education.  If you wish to read the story for yourself, reply to this memorandum and I’ll get it to you at once.  In the meantime, congratulations for the great coverage to everyone at Kreg, including company Chairman and ABI Board Member Todd Sommerfeld (Kreg Tool, Huxley)

Fairfield Trojans Win First Football Game of the Season

The mighty Fairfield Trojans defeated the Knoxville Panthers in last Friday night’s football game.  This is a big deal, because last season, the first under new head coach former ABI Board Member Nate Weaton (Weaton Capital, Fairfield), the wins were sparse (there weren’t any, Nate said).  With the rebuilding year behind them, the Trojans are off to a great start in 2020.  Congratulations Coach Weaton and team!