Annual Conference Registration is Live on Thursday - Monday Memo 2/17/20

February 17, 2020

Registration for the Annual Conference Opens Thursday

You have read previously about ABI's 117th annual convention, the 2020 Taking Care of Business Conference.  It will be held in Cedar Rapids June 9-11.  You do not want to miss this fantastic annual event. 

At the conference, you will find not one, but three headline speakers.  You will see fabulous venues, you will have access to terrific manufacturing tours, historical sites, and great golf at Elmcrest Country Club (home club of Masters Champion Zach Johnson), and of course you will take part in the best business networking anywhere.  Please register for the conference starting Thursday by going to  In the meantime, finalize your plans now and we will look forward to seeing you in Cedar Rapids in June! 

Register NOW for 2020 Iowa Business Day on the Hill

Be sure to register now for another popular ABI event, the 2020 Iowa Business Day on the Hill.  The event will be held Wednesday, March 11.  The day starts with registration at 8:30 a.m. at the ABI office in Des Moines' East Village.  

Thank you to our partners for this event.  They include the Iowa Business Council, the Iowa Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, the Iowa Taxpayers Association, and the National Association of Women Business Owners.  

You will want to be there to hear the latest news from the Iowa General Assembly.  Following that you will be taken by private coach to the Capitol for meetings with legislators and other leaders.  Register now at  See you in March. 

Annual Luncheon March 11; Watch for Speaker Announcement Soon

An invitation has gone out to a Statehouse leader to be the keynote speaker at the annual IIPAC Luncheon on March 11 (stay tuned for more information).  The luncheon is open to all IIPAC contributors of $50 or more.  If you haven’t yet made your annual IIPAC contribution, you can do so here:  You can also make your donation at the door on the 11th.  Please join us then to support IIPAC. 

ABI Board Will Meet March 11

Members of the ABI Board of Directors will meet at the ABI office on March 11.  ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) will call the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. 

The March meeting agenda will be a full one, with many important issues on tap.  In fact, there will be a full day of ABI events on March 11.  

Please register for the board meeting by simply replying to this email message.  The day will start with the annual Day on the Hill program that morning and the IIPAC luncheon at noon, followed by the meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  Plan now to join your fellow ABI board members and past chairs at ABI in March. 

Latest Business Record Iowa Now Out

The Des Moines Business Record is a great ABI member and partner.  The business weekly covers central Iowa and, once a month when it publishes (in conjunction with ABI) Business Record Iowa, it is a statewide newspaper.  

The latest edition of Business Record Iowa, ABI's monthly newsprint magazine, is now out and it should be in your mailbox by now.  If you haven't received it, please contact me and we'll get another copy out to you right away.  

In addition to the latest news about ABI members and programs, the focus of this edition is on the number one issue identified by ABI members for several years: workforce.  You will find a great photo of ABI member Karen Novak Swalwell (Francis & Associates, West Des Moines) and college President Rob Denson (DMACC, Ankeny) on the cover.  

Advisory Council Meets Thursday

The members of the ABI Advisory Council will hold their monthly meeting Thursday in Des Moines.  Please join me in thanking the members of the council.  They are 21st Century Rehab, ACS, BCC Advisers, BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC Insurance, Focus OneSource, Fredrikson & Byron, HDH Advisors, LMC Insurance and Risk Management, Principal Midwest Business Center, Shift Interactive, The Iowa Clinic, and Wells Fargo

Leadership Iowa Board to Meet

This is a busy time for ABI and the ABI Foundation.  The Foundation is in the middle of the 2019-2020 Leadership Iowa sessions and is now finalizing planning for the 2020 session of Business Horizons. 

Thankfully, just like ABI, the Foundation benefits from strong board leadership.  In that regard, the Leadership Iowa Board of Governors meets Thursday.  As for BH, Iowa’s premier summer entrepreneurial experience for high school students, it will again be held at Central College in Pella this summer. 

Episode 7 of Iowa Business Report Radio Show Produced

The seventh episode of ABI-supported Iowa Business Report radio show has now been broadcast statewide and if you missed it, you can listen online.  Click here to listen for yourself:  Links can also be found on the ABI website at  

ABI is pleased to support the show, which is produced by well-known Iowa broadcaster Jeff Stein and heard on stations all over Iowa.  The latest episode is another terrific edition.  ABI Foundation Programs Director Jessi Steward McQuerrey gives a great interview, as does ABI member company CEO Brent Cobb (World Class Industries, Hiawatha). Click on the links for more. 

March 26: Biennial Pre-Employment Testing Seminar

As you know, the biennial ABI Pre-Employment Testing Seminar will be held on March 26 at ABI.  The program will include the latest information about pre-employment testing and the latest information about best practices being utilized by other companies.  Click here for more information and to register:  We look forward to seeing you at the seminar on March 26. 

ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders, Building Business Value Events in Muscatine

The next event in ABI's Connecting Statewide Leaders series will be held in March.  The event will be held in Muscatine and will be followed by a high-value business seminar.  

Find more information and/or register for the Connecting Statewide Leaders event here:  Mark your calendars now to join fellow ABI members, Leadership Iowa Class members, local business leaders, and others for this event.   

Following that event, stick around for the Building Business Value Seminar.  A high-value panel will provide information that will lead to increased success for your business.  Click here for more information and to register: See you in Muscatine in March. 

Latest NAM Report Notes Mixed Signals

The latest edition of the Global Manufacturing Economic Update published last Thursday by the National Association of Manufacturers, notes that the manufacturing economy is experiencing a number of mixed signals.  The Manufacturing PMI is increased, while fears of the Coronavirus are slowing exports.  GDP is up slightly, but workforce challenges remain, and so on.  To read the report for yourself, reply to this message and I’ll get it to you at once. 

Andrew Butler Featured in Tri-State BizTimes Magazine

The February edition of the Tri-State BizTimes magazine carries a terrific feature about Andrew Butler (Cottingham & Butler, Dubuque).  Andy, a great ABI member and longtime Iowa business leader, is featured in a leadership focus.  Andy discusses his background, his view of leadership, and shares his advice and counsel for others.  It’s a great article.  If you wish to read it for yourself, simply reply to this message and I’ll get a copy to you at once.  In the meantime, congratulations to Andy on the terrific coverage! 

John Riches, Charles Sukup Celebrate

It is always fun to note the birthdays of great ABI leaders.  ABI Board Member John Riches (Arconic, Davenport) celebrated his birthday yesterday.  Former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) celebrates his birthday today.  Both John and Charles are terrific guys and terrific leaders and it is a pleasure to wish them happy birthday; best birthday wishes to John and Charles!