ABI Heads to DC - Monday Memo 10/25/21

October 25, 2021

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 fifth 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 head to BIPAC and to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  We’ll close the trip with a meeting with Iowa officials based in DC.  And we’ll be back late on Thursday.  

Four key issues will be the focus of our discussions with members of Iowa’s Congressional Delegation.  Infrastructure, reconciliation legislation, workforce, and regulatory challenges are the leading issues we’ll discuss.  Thank you to ABI Vice President Public Policy JD Davis and especially to Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf, who led planning for the trip. 

YOU are Invited to NAM “Creators Wanted” Event at Vermeer Corporation

One of ABI’s most valued partners is the National Association of Manufacturers.  Both ABI and the NAM seek to promote and advance manufacturing and build the manufacturing workforce.  In that regard, the NAM is hosting a series of events around the nation entitled “Creator’s Wanted.”  This campaign is the NAM’s largest campaign to date to build the workforce of tomorrow and to show Americans what modern manufacturing is all about. 

On November 9th at the Vermeer Global Pavilion in Pella (the Global Pavilion is the eastern-most building on the Vermeer Corporation Campus – popularly known as The Mile), ABI will join the NAM, Pella Corporation, Vermeer Corporation, and others in hosting an Iowa edition of Creators Wanted.  The folks at Creators Wanted have specifically invited the members of the ABI Board of Directors to attend this free program from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.  Click here for more information and to register: Home | Creators Wanted Live in Pella Premier Event (bizzabo.com).  I’ll see you there! 

Final ABI Board Meeting of 2021 in Two 1/2 Weeks

The final board meeting of the calendar year will be held two weeks from Thursday.  The November meeting is an important one for ABI and it is typically one of the best-attended meetings of the year.  

The ABI Board of Directors, chaired by Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa), will convene at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 11.  The board will meet at the ABI Office in Des Moines’ East Village and you can register for the board meeting by simply replying to this memo. 

As noted above, the November board meeting is an important one.  Members will work through a very full agenda of reports and action items.  Look for the usual packet of reports and materials to help you prepare for the meeting to arrive in your email in-basket late next week.  

At a meeting held a while back, a board member mentioned that it was nice that the board meetings were enjoying strong participation.  He indicated that wasn't always the case.  As I replied then to that comment, strong board participation is much more than nice.  In fact, your participation in board meetings is all-important.  Our association needs your leadership and it is board leadership that has made the difference in ABI's growth and return to prominence.  Thank you in advance for your attendance and participation in the upcoming meeting. 

Leadership Iowa to Hold Second 2021-2022 Session in Mt. Pleasant

The ABI Foundation's 2021-2022 Leadership Iowa class is comprised of a terrific group of Iowans.  The class will meet for its second session beginning Wednesday of next week in Mt. Pleasant.  This session will focus on agriculture and renewable resources.  

Weekly ABI Newsletter PACKED with Useful Information

For decades, through good times and bad, ABI has published The Voice of Iowa Business newsletter.  This weekly publication always leads with the latest in public policy news, not just what is happening with regard to the Iowa General Assembly, but just about anything government-related that can impact your business is covered.  It also includes information about high-value events, about ABI programs that help your bottom line, news from the ABI Foundation, and a ton of other information and resources that provide value for you, your company, and your employees. 

Why do I share this?  Simply to remind you to be on the lookout for the newsletter each Friday morning and to remember to take advantage of the information you’ll find in it.  If you don’t already receive it, respond to this message and ABI Executive Administrative Assistant Michelle Vollstedt will make sure you are signed-up.  And, if ever you want to re-read back editions, you’ll find them on the ABI website.  Click here to access the newsletters: Voice of Iowa Business | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org).  

Register Now for Connecting Statewide Leaders Event December 2 in Pella

As you read in last week’s memo, the first 2021-2022 Connecting Statewide Leaders event will be held December 2 in Pella.   This forum is the next opportunity to participate in the popular series of events ABI has hosted around Iowa over the course of the past few years.  

A luncheon follows the meeting and you will have a great opportunity to visit with fellow ABI members, meet the new Leadership Iowa class, and develop new customers.  Register now for this program, which will feature a manufacturing panel: Summary - Connecting Statewide Leaders - Pella (cvent.com).  Make your plans now to join the LI class and ABI members in Pella in December. 

And Also Register Now for 2022 ABI Legislative Reception

ABI’s second most popular event each year is the annual Legislative Briefing and Reception.  Well over 500 people attend this event, many more than attend any other similar event.  Related to that, folks are already finalizing plans to attend the 2022 event to be held in Des Moines on January 12.  You, can get registered by clicking on this link: Summary - Legislative Briefing and Reception (cvent.com)

The 2022 Legislative Reception will again be held at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines.  Make plans now to attend. 

Rick Tollakson Celebrates Birthday Wednesday

An ABI and IIPAC leader is celebrating his birthday this week.  Longtime ABI Board Member Rick Tollakson (Hubbell Realty Company, West Des Moines) is will mark his birthday on Wednesday (October 27th).  ABI sends best birthday wishes to you, Rick! 

Another Great Espeset Column

Reading your company newsletters is always helpful.  You have read previously that the column ABI Board Member and company President Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames) writes for his firm’s newsletter is always a good read.  In the latest edition, Mike covers leadership and yes, it is another good read.  If you wish to read the column for yourself, click here: President's Perspective: Leadership & Management - Story Construction.  Thanks for sharing StoryLine – and your interesting columns - with us, Mike! 

Jenny Steffensmeier Featured in Punchbowl News

ABI Board Member Jenny Steffensmeier (Steffensmeier Welding and Manufacturing, Pilot Grove) was featured last week on Punchbowl News.  Punchbowl is an online political news daily produced in Washington, DC. 

Jenny was featured in a segment that included U.S. Senator Joni Ernst and it focused on the uneven economic recovery of some woman-owned small businesses.  As a business owner herself, Jenny’s input was key.  Congratulations on the coverage and thank you, Jenny! 

The Business of ABI: Moving Forward

You know that from time to time in these memos I like to provide information about ABI's internal operations, what I call the business of ABI.  As you know, I believe ABI needs to operate as a business and provide value to its customers (ABI has customers, we just happen to call them members). 

One thing that is clear from all of you is that one part of what you all do in leading your companies is always move forward.  You are always innovating, always meeting new demands, always providing value.  ABI sure needs to do that as well.  

Over the years, you have allowed us to try new things.  Some have worked very well and grown (Elevate Advanced Manufacturing and BizWize and Leadership Iowa University and the Iowans for Jobs Initiative and many others).  Some have grown and we have spun them off to flourish on their own (VentureNet Iowa and others).  Some have not worked as well, or others are doing them better, so we stopped doing them (ABI Jobs Fair).  The point is that by following your example and with your leadership, ABI continues to enjoy growth and increase.  THANK YOU.