Annual Manufacturing Conference Next Week - Monday Memo 9/25/23

September 25, 2023

Manufacturing Conference, Legends Luncheon NEXT WEEK

As I noted in last week’s memo, one of ABI’s most popular annual events will soon be here, coming up next week.  The 2023 ABI Iowa Manufacturing Conference will be held at the FFA Enrichment Center on the campus of Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) in Ankeny on October 4th.  Register now for this important event at Summary - Iowa Manufacturing Conference & Legends In Manufacturing Awards (  

A terrific program has been developed for the event.  High-value workshops, manufacturing tours, and two great keynote addresses by Director of Corporate Economics Dr.Kanlaya Barr (John Deere, Moline) and retired naval commander Dr. Mary Kelly, and more are all on tap.  The conference is even more special this year, as the annual Legends in Manufacturing Awards will be presented during the conference luncheon.  Click here to read more:  

Thank you to the leading sponsors for the event: ABI, Agri-Industrial Plastics, the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University (CIRAS), Community State Bank, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and RAMCO Innovations.  This event has become a must-attend for ABI members in recent years and the Legends Awards are always a fun celebration of Iowa manufacturing.  See you next week at DMACC.


Every two years, the ABI Public Policy staff, led by Vice President JD Davis and Senior Director Brad Hartkopf, puts together a fabulous slate of meetings in Washington DC.  This year is no different.  There will be meetings with the ALL members of the Iowa Congressional delegation in their offices.  Not with staff, with the senators and congressional representatives themselves.  There will be briefings at the National Association of Manufacturers and BIPAC as well. 

The 2023 Fly-In will take place October 17-19 and based on early feedback, the schedule looks to be the best ever.  Please contact Brad with questions.  

Leadership Iowa Class Announced; Will Convene in October for First Session

The ABI Foundation and Leadership Iowa last week announced the 2023-2024 Leadership Iowa class. View the class list here: Current Class & Schedule | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (   

As are all LI classes, this class is comprised of terrific young leaders from all around Iowa and they will meet for the first time October 4-6 in Winterset.  You can view the schedule here li42-session-schedule-2023-24-no-logo.pdf ( to see where the class is headed and what topics will be the focus of each session.  Congratulations to class members and best wishes for a great year. 

In other Leadership Iowa news, the program’s Board of Governors participated in a retreat last Monday.  LI is the Foundation’s flagship program and over the years, it has helped thousands of Iowans develop their skills to help their communities and their state.  Thank you to BOG members for their work in keeping LI the wonderful program it is. 

November 15 Board Meeting to be Held at ABI

The ABI Board of Directors will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, November 15.  The board will meet at ABI Headquarters at 400 East Court Avenue in Des Moines' East Village.  Watch for more information soon. 

The board will also meet at ABI on January 10 and March 6 of next year.  It is expected the board will meet in Des Moines in May.  The final board meeting of the fiscal year, as always, will take place during a fabulous annual conference in Davenport next June. 

CIRAS Advisory Council to Meet

The Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University is a key ABI partner and the CIRAS Industry Advisory Council will meet Thursday at ISU.  Several ABI member companies are represented on the council and over the years, many members of the ABI Board of Directors have also played leadership roles on the CIRAS Council. 

Thursday’s meeting will focus on a data review and advanced manufacturing assistance programs.  ABI Board Member Phil Jones (Rada Manufacturing, Waverly) will make a special presentation about his company.  Watch for news of CIRAS events and services to come your way in the near future. 

Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference Tomorrow, Wednesday

Every year, ABI and a number of other organizations partner in producing the Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference.  The 2023 conference will be held tomorrow and Wednesday at the Overland Park Convention Center in suburban Kansas City.  The agenda for the conference is packed full of information and your team members who attend will receive the very latest in environmental regulatory information.  There is still time to register and you can do so (and find more information) by clicking on    

NAM Report Leads with Interest Rate Analysis, Housing Data

This week’s Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, leads with a brief and interesting review of Fed action (or in this case, inaction) related to interest rates.  That leads to a review of a decline in housing sales and starts.  There is always a great deal of interesting information in the report and if you wish to see it for yourself, simply reply to this memorandum and I’ll get it to you at once. 

RBC Can Help Strengthen Cash Position

ABI is fortunate to have among its membership several strong financial services companies.  Related to that, many ABI members are seeking to build their cash positon relative to acquisitions or balance sheet improvements.  Longtime ABI member John Gilliland (Gilliland Group-RBC Wealth Management, Des Moines) recently contacted ABI about RBC’s Sale Leaseback Program.  You are familiar with these types of programs, in which a business sells assets, is paid for them, and leases them back so that operations continue unabated.  Reply to this memorandum if you wish to see more information and thanks, John, for sharing it. 

Kevin Lentz Touring Europe

It was fun last week to hear from ABI Board Member Kevin Lentz (Anthologic, Des Moines).  If you attended the ABI Executive Forum in Okoboji last month, you heard Kevin mention his exciting upcoming trip to Europe.  In his message to me last week, Kevin noted that his party had already been to three European countries, with more on tap before arriving back in Des Moines next month.  Thanks for keeping us posted, Kevin; best wishes for the rest of your trip!