Annual ABI Legislative Reception Next Week - Monday Memo 1/2/24

January 2, 2024

Next Week: Annual Legislative Briefing/Reception; Register Now

With only a little over a week to go, advance registrations for the 2024 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception are running at a very strong pace.  As I write today’s memo, it is clear that with ABI members, legislators and other officials, well over 400 attendees will be a part of the event.  I hope you have already registered, but if not, please register NOW by going to or by simply replying to this email.  

NOTE: Registering for the briefing/reception does not register you for the board meeting and vice versa.  If you have any doubts about your registrations, please reply to this message and let me know your plans.  I'll check on your registration status and make sure it reflects your wishes.  If not, we'll take care of it right away.  

This annual event is one of the association’s most popular and you won’t want to miss the 2024 edition.  Please join in the members-only briefing following the ABI Board Meeting and the Reception immediately follows.  All events will take place at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines.   

We expect Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg will be there, as will members of the General Assembly and other state officials and department heads.  YOU are the reason that this event draws more legislators and state officials than any other similar meeting.  Your attendance and time spent with legislators is a crucial part of ABI’s legislative advocacy.  Thank you in advance for your participation. 

ABI Board to Meet

As referenced above, the ABI Board of Directors will hold its first meeting of the calendar year a week from Wednesday.  You will receive an email message from me tomorrow or Thursday with a link to the usual packet of meeting materials.  ABI Vice Chair Chad Reece (Winnebago Industries, Forest City) and members of the association's Executive Committee will also convene for the committee’s first meeting of 2024 a week from Wednesday. We look forward to your participation next week.  

ABI Israel-Hamas War Update Thursday

ABI members and other Iowans have been following developments related to the Israel-Hamas War, initiated by Hamas when it attacked Israel on October 7th.  To bring you current with the very latest from the war, and with a focus on how it can be impacting your business, ABI has scheduled a Zoom webinar to share information.  It will be held this Thursday (January 4th), beginning at 10:15 and lasting 60 minutes.  Click here for more information and to register for this no-cost webinar: Israel/Hamas War; the Impact on Iowa and Your Workforce Webinar | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (  

ABI member company executive David Adelman (Cornerstone Government Affairs, Des Moines), who is a government relations professional and Israel geo-political expert, will provide an insightful conversation about the war. All Iowa business leaders will benefit from the discussion and have a better understanding of the current state in Israel and how it is affecting Iowans. 

January Leadership Iowa Session Next Week

The ABI Foundation’s 2023-2024 Leadership Iowa Class will hold its January session next week on Des Moines.  The session is jam-packed with terrific speakers, meetings with legislators, media presentations, and other activities.  The January session, as you can tell, focuses on state government and politics and is typically one of the program’s most popular.  You will have an opportunity to meet members of the LI class at the ABI Legislative Reception.  

Leadership Iowa Alumni Dinner Coming January 10

Speaking of Leadership Iowa, following the ABI Legislative Reception on Wednesday the 10th, Leadership Iowa will again host its annual Alumni Society Dinner and Celebration.  This event will take place at the Loft DSM near Downtown Des Moines.  The event provides a fun and unique dinner networking opportunity for LI alumni.  LI will be celebrated and other special things will make the night a lot of fun.  Click here for more information or to register: Summary - Leadership Iowa Alumni Society Annual Dinner (  

JD Davis to Represent ABI at Business Record Forum

ABI Vice President Public Policy JD Davis will represent the association at an upcoming legislative forum.  The forum, which will be hosted by the Business Record, will be held a week from today, on Tuesday, January 9.  JD and a panel of others will preview the 2024 session of the Iowa General Assembly and discuss other issues important to business.  

Click here to register for this free virtual event: Legislative Forecast Event - Business Record.  Congratulations to JD for being selected for the panel and thank you for representing ABI members and Iowa business. 

CNN Again Seeks your Questions, Participation Related to Presidential Candidate Town Hall Event

Staff members from the CNN Cable Television Network have again reached out to ABI (and some ABI members directly) about a presidential candidate town hall event this week in Des Moines. Thursday evening, a town hall with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley will take place. For more information, to submit a question, or to register attendance plans, please go here:  Please do so today if you are interested. 

Rescheduled Carroll ABI Automation Summit February 1

You will recall that ABI had scheduled another in the series of very popular summits focused on automation.  Originally scheduled for last Tuesday, due to conflicts for many ABI members, the summit has been rescheduled for February 1st.  It will be held at the Carroll Campus of Des Moines Area Community College.  

This program is designed for manufacturers of any size, as well as those interested in workforce solutions and automation. Local manufacturers, workforce organizations, and national cobot leaders will be in attendance. Click here to register or to find more information: Summary - Automation Summit (  If you registered for the original date, your registration has already been transferred to the new date.

Remember: You Can Receive ABI Updates through Twitter, Facebook

ABI was one of the first associations to use new social media technologies to keep in touch and inform members of new developments.  With next Monday’s convening of the legislative session, it seems like a good time to remind you that you can receive updates via Twitter as legislative developments are happening.  ABI's public policy staff regularly tweets LIVE from the committee rooms at the Statehouse. 

ABI also has a Facebook site, shares information via the web, and of course continues to utilize all the traditional media to ensure that you receive the latest information in the format that works best for you.  If you have other ideas for other ways we can communicate with you effectively, please let me know. 

NAM Report: Stabilization, Growth in Manufacturing

In the December 21st edition of the monthly Global Manufacturing Economic Update from the National Association of Manufacturers, NAM noted some increasingly positive numbers.  In November of 2023, manufacturing PMI posted its best numbers since early last spring.  And, two of the top markets for American manufactured goods (China and Japan) are growing.  If you are interested in viewing the report for yourself, reply to this message and I will send it to you. 

Bywater’s Focus of Fun Story

While trying to find something on the Internet, I stumbled across a very fun story involving the Bywater Family, one of ABI’s Founding Families.  It focused on the role that City High School (Iowa City) has played in the family’s history and it is a great read.  Click here to see it for yourself: The Little Hawk | City High: In The Family.  Congratulations to two former chairs of the association, Bill Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and David Bywater(Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and to David’s son, Adam Bywater, who are all pictured in the story - what a terrific article! 

Todd Sommerfeld Celebrates

Every year, I forget to mention this before it happens.  So, belatedly again, I share that a great ABI leader is celebrating.  Longtime ABI Board Member Todd Sommerfeld (Kreg Tool, Huxley) celebrated his birthday recently.  Happy birthday and congratulations to Todd! 

Mike Espeset Column Involving Tommy Spaulding

We always enjoy your company newsletters.  The newsletter published by longtime ABI member Story Construction is always a good one.  The column written by Story President and ABI Board Member Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames) was also a good one again in this edition.  Mike makes reference to Tommy Spaulding and the focus of his speech in Ames.  Click here to read Mike’s column: President's Perspective: What will your stadium sound like? - Story Construction.  You will be able to hear more from Mr. Spaulding when he address ABI members in Davenport in June.  In the meantime, thank you, Mike, for your column. 

Mores Family to Celebrate Wedding

It is always fun at ABI to receive your holiday cards.  Many of you send them each year and we all enjoy the updates on families, etc.  

The card sent each year by the Mores Family is always interesting.  The big announcement this year is that former longtime ABI Board Member Alan Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan – ret.) and his wife, Donna Mores, will celebrate another family wedding this fall.  Alan and Donna’s daughter, Chandler, is marrying Josh Cohen in September in Napa.  Congratulations all around! 

January Always an Important Month for ABI; Aggressive Agenda for 2024

It seems like every year about this time, I note that while January is the first month in the calendar year, it marks the seventh month in the annual ABI fiscal year (which concludes June 30).  For many reasons, January is a critical month for association programs.  

The first ABI meetings of the year are held this month and these events help set the tone for the year.  Your participation in these meetings is vital to our success.  Also, ABI’s Leadership Iowa program conducts critical work each January and that is important.  Of course, the Iowa General Assembly convenes in January and there is no more important work ABI does than aggressively advance a pro-business agenda before the legislature.  Finally, January is ABI’s most important month for revenue, with more of our annual revenue coming in this month than any other. 

Thanks to your leadership and your investment, ABI enters 2024 in as strong a position as it has ever enjoyed.  We never take for granted that it is ABI members which make that success possible.  On behalf of Association Vice Chair Chad Reece (Winnebago Industries, Forest City) and our officers, thank you for that support.  Big goals are a part of ABI's plans for 2024.  ABI has developed a strong record of success and those big goals for 2024 include continued growth in members and revenue, increased programming of value, legislative success, and increases in Foundation activity, among many other things.  In fact, don’t miss a very special anno0ucement that will be a part of the event on January 10. 

For now, your participation in the ABI events to be held this month is an important part of starting the year successfully.  We need your leadership to continue the aggressive and impactful record of the past years.  THANK YOU again for all you do for ABI and for Iowa business.