Annual Conference Next Week - Monday Memo 6/6/22

June 6, 2022

It’s Almost Here; 119th Annual ABI Convention NEXT WEEK

The 119th Annual ABI Convention, the 2022 Taking Care of Business Conference, kicks-off a week from tomorrow, starting with networking activities right out of the gate that morning and afternoon.  Various locations around Dubuque will be the focus next Tuesday.  The terrific Diamond Jo Casino and Mississippi Moon Bar is the setting for the Gala Opening Reception, which will be held Tuesday evening.  The Reception, a fun, high energy event, will be something you do not want to miss.  

As with every ABI convention, there are many program highlights from which to choose.  However, it is clear that the keynote sessions featuring internationally-known speakers Sheryl Connelly, Scott Kubie, and Clay Holderman will draw fantastic crowds.  Informative workshops will fill the afternoon on Wednesday.  

As I noted last week, the Chair’s Dinner Wednesday evening will be unlike any ABI has ever seen.  Held at the Millwork Ballroom and Event Center in Dubuque’s famous Millwork District, this event will be fabulous, fun, and tasty!  The annual ABI Foundation Auction will be held during the Chair’s event.  In keeping with tradition, Governor Kim Reynolds will also address the conference on Thursday.  The final keynote and Leadership Iowa graduation will take place Thursday morning.  This will definitely be a conference for the ages.  Always the source of the very best business networking in Iowa, come to the conference and choose your own highlight from the great series of events, speakers, and venues that await you.  

If you haven’t registered, that is not a problem… but almost 500 people HAVE already registered!  Go now to and click on the conference icon on the page.  Or simply reply to this message and I'll make sure you are registered right away.  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 next week in Dubuque! 

Terrific Foundation Auction Items; Silent Auction Starts TODAY

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.  There are two components to the auction, a silent auction and a live auction.  The live auction takes place on Wednesday night at the Chair’s Dinner in Dubuque.  

ABI Foundation staff member Becky Coady reported Friday that bidding on the silent auction starts TODAY!  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! 

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

ABI members around Iowa have shared with us that they enjoy the new 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 hit your mailbox late this week.  It is inside the Business Record - look for the cover photo of ABI Board Member Heather Bruce (Osmundson Manufacturing, Perry) and ABI member John Kenworthy (Storey Kenworthy, Des Moines).  Heather and John are great Iowa business leaders and we appreciate their service as cover models this month.  If you do not receive a copy of the latest BR Iowa, reply to this memo and we'll get a copy to you. 

Annual CEO Survey Results, Third-Quarter Business Survey on Tap

Speaking of Business Record Iowa, the June edition features a cover story about the annual ABI CEO Survey.  There is some fascinating information in the article and we hope you enjoy it. 

And… speaking of surveys, members of the ABI Board of Directors (including former Chairs of the board) should have received a message from me Friday with the link to latest survey.  If you didn’t, please let me know and I'll re-send it.  Watch for more information soon. 

Regarding the quarterly survey, former ABI Chair Bob Wersen (Interpower, Oskaloosa) had some interesting feedback.  Hiring seems to have picked-up, both at Interpower and at Bob’s other company, Tassel Ridge Winery.  Interpower has protected itself somewhat from supply chain issues by building inventory on both ends (something I have heard from other ABI members, too).  And, automation is something that is a bigger part of Interpower than it has been in the past (also something I have heard from other members).  Interesting feedback and thank you for sharing it, Bob! 

Nominating Committee Completes Work; Slate Developed for Annual Election

Members of the 2022 ABI Nominating Committee have now completed their work.  The committee developed a slate of officers and directors for consideration by the general membership at next week’s annual business meeting.  Thank you to these ABI leaders for their important work.  

The committee includes the following members: Immediate Past ABI Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) also serves as Chair of the Nominating Committee.  The committee includes representatives of each of ABI’s five Iowa districts.  Thank you to Steven and to these other ABI leaders for serving on the association's 2022 Nominating Committee: 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).  Thank you again for a job well done. 

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

Starting with a meeting in Dubuque next week as a part of the annual conference, the association's public policy team will host the annual ABI public policy regional tour.  Watch for more information soon about the other tour stops.  

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:  

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 next 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. 

The 2022 award will be presented to Iowa leader Jacque Andrew, a longtime executive with the Greene County Medical Center in Jefferson.  Jacque is a terrific leader and is well-deserving of the award.  Congratulations, Jacque! 

Calling All Students: Register for Business Horizons Now

Speaking of the Foundation, 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! 

Mindi Vanden Bosch Assumes New Role at Vermeer Corporation

ABI Board Member Mindi Vanden Bosch (Vermeer Corporation, Pella) was in the news last week.  Mindi, a third-generation leader in her family’s company, has been named Vermeer Corporation’s next Vice President of Operations.  

Read more about this exciting news here:  This is terrific news for Vermeer, for Mindi, and for all Iowans who follow this iconic manufacturer.  Congratulations, Mindi! 

Bywaters to Celebrate Saturday

This Saturday, June 11 will be a fun day in Iowa City.  That is because former ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and Angie Bywater will celebrate 28 years of marriage.  As I noted last year, it all started in high school when David invited Angie to the City High Prom!  ABI sends congratulations to the couple and best wishes for many more years together! 

Nicole Crain Featured in Simpsonian

Many of you know that ABI Executive Vice President Nicole Crain is an alumna of Simpson College.  She also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of her alma mater, and Nicole is Simpson through and through. 

That is why it was fun to see her featured in the latest edition of The Simpsonian magazine, the college’s flagship publication.  Nicole was highlighted in the magazine in a feature about her life and career.  It was a fun read and congratulations to Nicole!