August Executive Committee Meeting Next Week - Monday Memo 8/8/16

August 8, 2016

Executive Committee Teleconference a Week from Today; Board Will Meet in September

ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) and members of the association’s Executive Committee will hold their August teleconference a week from today, on August 15.  Agenda items include discussions related to public policy, membership and events, and Foundation programs.  

Speaking of leadership meetings, the board will meet September 14 in Des Moines.  You will receive a complete packet of meeting materials in your email in-basket about a week prior to the meeting.  The board will meet at 10:30 a.m. at the ABI office in Des Moines. 

The September meeting is an important one for several reasons.  First, it marks the first meeting of the fiscal year and the first meeting for newly-elected board members.  Second, it will involve board consideration and approval of the policies developed through the annual policy development process (by September 14, literally hundreds of ABI members will have participated in meetings to propose a slate of policies for 2017).  This part of the meeting will be led by ABI Vice Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner).  Please mark your calendars and make plans now to attend this important meeting.  

ABI Employment and Workforce, Environment Committees Meet Tomorrow, Wednesday

Members of the ABI Employment and Workforce Committee will hold their annual policy meeting tomorrow in Des Moines.  This panel, which is chaired by ABI Advisory Council Member Dennis Ingle (Manpower, Des Moines), does a fantastic job of leading the association's work with regard to workforce issues.  The meeting will mark the second of ABI's annual policy committee meetings. 

That meeting will be followed on Wednesday by a meeting of the ABI Environment Committee, which is chaired by ABI member Mick Durham (Grain Processing Corporation, Muscatine). More committees will meet in the coming weeks.  You can register for any of these meetings by clicking on them in the ABI Events Calendar at

LIU Opens Session; Meet with Class This Week

The annual class of Leadership Iowa University kicked-off its 2016 session yesterday at ABI in Des Moines.  The program seeks to educate, inspire, and develop college students as a foundation for Iowa’s economic growth and to encourage their on-going involvement in community and state initiatives.  To get a feel for LIU, go to and watch two television commercials that offer an insight in to this great program.  You can also use that link to see who is in the class and to access blogs students have written. 

The students are an intelligent and enthusiastic group.  It is clear they are focused on business and advancing their careers in a way that brings value to them, their future employers, and to Iowa.  As I mentioned last week, class members come from public, private, and community colleges all across Iowa. 

You can meet the class at a reception this afternoon from 5:15-6:30.  It will be held at Iowa State University's fabulous new Economic Development Core Facility in Ames.  That will be followed by another reception tomorrow, hosted by ABI member Tassel Ridge Winery near Leighton.  Thank you to former ABI Chair Bob Wersen (Interpower Corporation, Oskaloosa) for the support.

Finally, you are welcome to participate in an LIU Leaders Luncheon Wednesday at Nationwide Insurance.  Thank you to ABI Board Member Jason Gross (Nationwide, Des Moines) for hosting the class Wednesday.  Many other ABI leaders will participate in LIU events throughout the week and that support is deeply appreciated as well.  

Visit Elevate Booth at the State Fair

Again this year, ABI's Elevate Advanced Manufacturing campaign will be a part of the Iowa State Fair.  Check the Elevate booth, which will be found on the Fair's Grand Concourse on STEM Day,  August 21st, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Learn more at 

Annual ABI Executive Open on the 29th

Many of you have commented to me that you are looking forward to the eighth annual ABI Executive Open best ball golf outing.  The open will be held on Monday, August 29.  As this memo goes to press, well over 100 ABI members have already registered (in fact, the event is nearing sold-out status). The event will be held at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club, a fabulous private golf course in West Des Moines.  Register now to play golf and have dinner with your ABI colleagues, or just join us for the reception following the outing. 

The day’s events are arranged in such a way that most of you will be able to spend time in the office that morning and then participate in the best ball that afternoon.  You’ll have fun and have an opportunity to network with great ABI members.  To find more information or to register, please go to the ABI webpage at and click on the events tab. 

ABI Advisory Council Meets Next Week

As you read in last week's memo, members of the ABI Advisory Council meet soon.  The council will meet on the 18th.  Thank you to ABI Advisory Council members 21st Century Rehab, ATW Training Solutions, BCC Advisers, Brick Gentry P.C., BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC, Focus OneSource, Global Reach, LMC Insurance and Risk Management, Manpower, Measured Intentions, Principal Financial Group, Spindustry Digital, Transition Point Business Advisors, and Wellmark

Claire Eide Completes Internship

Friday was the last day for ABI's summer intern, Claire Eide. Claire, the daughter of former ABI staff member Matt Eide, was a terrific addition to the staff.  She will soon return to her studies at Grinnell College where she will be a sophomore.  Thank you and best wishes, Claire! 

TAAC Programs Available to ABI Members

The federal government has a number of programs to help U.S. companies do business in foreign markets. One of these, the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, provides services through the U.S Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers.  The center serving Iowa is based in Independence, Missouri.  

The TAAC Director, Becky Nace, has reached out to ABI to make sure you are aware of the center's services. The center offers TAA grant funds to qualifying companies to help companies be competitive.  For more information, please go to

Hubbell to Celebrate 160 Years!

It is always fun to recognize the long history of success of ABI member companies. Not too many can match the record of Hubbell Realty Company

Tomorrow afternoon, in an event at the State Historical Building here in Des Moines' east Village, Hubbell marks 160 years as the leading provider of real estate solutions in Central Iowa (and beyond).  That is a fantastic milestone and ABI salutes and congratulates everyone at Hubbell, including Company President and ABI Board Member Rick Tollakson (Hubbell Realty Company, West Des Moines)

Governor Branstad to Recognize Latest Accumold Expansion

It seems that every few months, ABI member Accumold initiates an expansion of its manufacturing campus in Ankeny.  It seems that way, because that is the case!  Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will help celebrate the company's latest expansion at a ceremony at the plant tomorrow morning.  Congratulations to everyone at Accumold, including ABI Board Member and company President Roger Hargens (Accumold, Ankeny)

Alcoa, ITC Midwest Receive Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards

As you read in last week's ABI e-newsletter, several ABI member companies were honored by Governor Terry Branstad last week. Two of those companies are represented on the ABI Board of Directors. 

Longtime member Alcoa was honored with an award for energy efficiency/renewable energy and ITC Midwest received special recognition in habitat restoration.  You can read more here:  Congratulations to these two terrific companies and to their ABI Board Members: John Riches (Alcoa, Davenport) and Krista Tanner (ITC Midwest, Des Moines)

Senator Grassley Tours Seneca

One of the most important things that ABI member can do to help advance the association's agenda is to invite federal and state officials in to see their operations first-hand. The latest example of that important work is a tour last week of a hundred-year old business, Seneca Foundry, by U.S. Senator Charles Grassley.  Thank you to everyone at Seneca, including company President and ABI Board Member Kirk McCollough (Seneca Foundry, Webster City)

John Schreurs New CEO at Strategic America

Strategic America is a valued ABI member company. For many years, SA was represented on the ABI Board of Directors by its President and Chief Operating Offer, John Schreurs (Strategic America, West Des Moines).  SA announced last week that John has now been named CEO.  John is a great leader and a great guy; congratulations to John and to Strategic America!