Annual ABI Taking Care of Business Conference THIS WEEK - Monday Memo 6/13/22

June 13, 2022

It's Here; 119th Annual ABI Convention Starts Tomorrow!

The 119th Annual ABI Convention, also known as the 2022 Taking Care of Business Conference, kicks-off tomorrow.  The conference begins with golf at Dubuque Golf & Country Club and other activities around Dubuque.  The annual Gala Welcome Reception will be held tomorrow evening at the terrific Diamond Jo Casino and Mississippi Moon Bar. 

By the way, as I type this, over 500 people are set to attend the conference; but if you haven’t registered, it's not a problem.  Email me now or just show up and we’ll take care of you.  On behalf of ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa), his wife and former ABI Chair Sarah Hasken, and our other officers, we look forward to seeing you in Dubuque! 

Governor Reynolds to Address ABI Conference-Goers Thursday

ABI was among the very first organizations Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds addressed after becoming governor.  Governor Reynolds will again address ABI members at the annual conference this year, during Thursday morning’s session.  She is a great friend to ABI and we look forward to Governor Reynolds joining us again this year. 

Association Headquarters Closing for the Week Later Today

Due to the annual conference, the ABI headquarters in Des Moines will be closed later today through Friday.  Please don’t hesitate to contact staff members by cell phone and please never hesitate to contact me on my cell phone at the number above if you need assistance of any kind.  We look forward to being back in the office – and celebrating the completion of a great convention – bright and early a week from today. 

Heather Bruce, John Kenworthy on the Cover of the June Edition of Business Record Iowa

ABI members around Iowa have shared with us that they enjoy the Business Record Iowa publication that ABI produces in conjunction with the Des Moines Business Record.  This newsprint product is produced monthly (as opposed to quarterly with the ABI's previous publication) and goes to a much wider distribution list. 

The June edition of Business Record Iowa should have hit your mailbox last week, or will sometime early this week.  You will also find copies of the newsprint magazine at this week’s annual ABI conference.  Just look for the cover photo of former Heather Bruce (Osmundson Manufacturing, Perry) and ABI member John Kenworthy (Storey Kenworthy, Des Moines).

Latest Elevate “Not a Dirty Job” Video Out; Red Boot Distillery Featured

You all know that ABI’s Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative is doing great things in advancing manufacturing careers (and in helping you gain employees).  One of Elevate’s most fun projects is the “Not a Dirty Job” video series.  The videos highlight ABI manufacturers, their work with their local community college, and the great careers they provide.  Data shows that social media featuring the videos is getting watched by Iowans eager to start their career. 

The latest video highlights ABI member Red Boot Distillery.  It’s another terrific example of Iowa manufacturing and you can view it for yourself here: Red Boot Distillery | Not A Dirty Job - YouTube.  Remember, your company can also be featured in an Elevate video, simply reply to this memo if you want more information. 

By the way, the narrator for this video, as for all the videos, is ABI Board Member Todd McDonald’s (ATW Training and Consulting, Urbandale) daughter Tatum, and she does another fabulous job in this video.  Thank you, Tatum and Todd. 

And as I always say, there wouldn’t be an Elevate initiative if it weren’t for the great leadership of ABI Board Member Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale).  Michele produces the videos and runs Elevate – and does so much more.  Thank you, Michele!

Annual ABI Policy Tour Kick’s Off Wednesday at Conference; Policy Committees to Meet

Starting with a meeting in Dubuque Wednesday as a part of the annual conference, the association's public policy team will host the annual ABI public policy regional tour.  The next session will take place in Des Moines on June 30th and three more regional meetings across Iowa will be held before adjourning the tour in July. 

Following that, ABI’s policy work will move to the next phase.  Each of ABI's five policy committees, plus the Legislative Committee, will meet later this summer.  You and your employees are invited to participate in those meetings at no charge.  You can find more information or register for any of the meetings using this link:  

Board to Elect Officers for FY22

Thursday, all board members and former board chairs should have received an email message that included several documents related to the annual conference.  That message also highlighted the fact that the ABI Board of Directors will hold its final meeting of the association’s 2021-2022 fiscal year during the annual business meeting at the conference on Wednesday.  The board will hold the traditional 60-second meeting to elect officers. 

The previously-mentioned message shared the monthly financial report, FY23 meeting schedule, and the 2022 Nominating Committee report.  Thank you to Nominating Committee Chair (and Immediate Past ABI Chair) Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) and committee members Mindi Vanden Bosch (Vermeer Corporation, Pella), Peter Voorhees (Standard Golf Company, Cedar Falls), Taylor Teepell (Lumen, Des Moines), Mary Landhuis (Lisle Corporation, Clarinda), and Kirk McCollough (Seneca Foundry, Webster City).  

With one month to go in ABI’s fiscal year, the May financial report shows that ABI will end another year well in the black and continue a lengthy string of successful years.  I take very seriously your charge to me related to strong financial performance and I am very proud of ABI’s record in that regard.  Thank you to ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa) and to all of you for your leadership, which is responsible for that success. 

Terrific Foundation Auction Items

Each year, the ABI Foundation holds an auction in conjunction with the Taking Care of Business Conference.  There are always many terrific items available and as I have noted the post couple of weeks, this year is no exception.  Everything takes place on Wednesday night at the Millwork Ballroom Events Center in Dubuque.  

Don’t miss it and please click here for more information: 2022 ABI Foundation Auction | 32auctions.  All the proceeds from the auction go to benefit the programs of the ABI Foundation and Iowans who participate in them.  Thank you in advance for your support. 

Your support for the Foundation is important, appreciated, and it is never taken for granted.  Leadership Iowa, Leadership Iowa University, and Business Horizons have made our state a better place and impacted the lives of thousands of Iowans.  Thank you again! 

Get Your Students Registered for Business Horizons Now

The ABI Foundation's Business Horizons program has been phenomenally successful, literally changing the lives of Iowa's young people over the years.  The 2022 edition of this terrific program will be held next month at Central College in Pella.  There are still slots left for students and I hope you will consider nominating the high school-age sons and daughters of your employees.  It's free and it won't take long to do it.  Please click here:  Thank you for your help! 

Leadership Iowa to Celebrate; Current Class Will Graduate

The ABI Foundation's Leadership Iowa program marks another successful year with activities coinciding with the annual conference.  Go now to for more information. 

The LI graduation ceremony will take place on the Main Stage during Thursday morning’s conference session.  It will be a highlight of the annual conference for attendees to honor the LI Class, which has been noted by some as the best ever.  I know you join me in congratulating all class members. 

Jacque Andrew Honored with Leadership for Iowa Award

The ABI Foundation's highest honor is the Leadership for Iowa Award.  The award is presented periodically to an alumnus of the Leadership Iowa program who is a leader among leaders and who has demonstrated a commitment to serve Iowa. 

As you read in ABI’s weekly newsletter, the award will be presented to longtime Iowa leader Jacque Andrew, an executive with the Green County Medical Center in Jefferson.  Jacque is a terrific leader and is well-deserving of the award.  Congratulations, Jacque! 

West Des Moines Schools Seeking Business Partners; You Get Future Employees

The West Des Moines Community Schools are well-known for their work to connect students with career opportunities.  The district has a variety of programs that seek to expose students to the workplace and provide them with options for worthwhile careers once their school days are over. 

The district has students involved in welding, software development, and customer service careers, among others.  District officials are seeking partnerships with Greater Des Moines businesses to get their students into your facility.  This can be a terrific way to recruit future employees. 

If you have an opportunity and want to involve students, please contact Shane Scott, an Education Specialist in the West Des Moines Schools’ Teaching and Learning Services Department, at  This could be a win-win for the students and for you! 

NAM Report: Manufacturing Data (Mostly) Shows Improvement

Last week’s Global Manufacturing Update, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, shared mostly positive data.  For example, 9 of the world’s top 10 export markets showed positive numbers last month.  And there was other positive data, though China continues  to be bogged down by the COVID-19 Pandemic.  If you wish to read the report for yourself, please reply to this memo and I’ll get it to you at once. 

Jessi McQuerrey YPIowa Chair

Young Professionals of Iowa (YP Iowa) is our state’s leading organization for young professionals.  It provides a great network for personal and career development for your YP staff. 

I am pleased to report that the ABI Foundation’s Programs Director Jessi McQuerrey has been elected Chair of the YPIowa Board of Directors.  Jessi has long been active with YPIowa, both as volunteer member/leader and as a board resource and it is exciting to see her take this new role.  Congratulations, Jessi!