Biennial ABI DC This Week - Monday Memo 10/14/19

October 14, 2019

Wednesday: Wheels-Up for DC

Two days from now, several ABI leaders and staff will leave Des Moines International Airport for Reagan National in Washington, DC.  This marks the fourth edition of the Biennial ABI DC Fly-In. 

This will be a very busy, high-value trip.  ABI members will head to the National Association of Manufacturers and to meetings with every single member of the Iowa Congressional delegation (not staff, with the elected officials themselves).  We’ll head to the White House for a briefing, to BIPAC, and to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for another.  And we’ll be back late on Friday.  

Four key issues will be the focus of our discussions with members of Iowa’s Congressional Delegation.  Trade, workforce, controlling health care costs, and regulatory challenges are the leading issues we’ll discuss.  Thank you to ABI Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain, Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf, and Executive Administrative Assistant Michelle Vollstedt for their work in planning the trip. 

ABI Board Will Meet November 6 in Des Moines

The ABI Board of Directors will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, November 6 at the association's headquarters in Des Moines' East Village.  The meeting will begin at 11:30 a.m. 

ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids), board members, and former chairs will work through a full agenda of important items.  This will be the final meeting of the calendar year for the board and a number of important discussion topics will be highlights of the November session.  

If you haven’t yet registered for the meeting (of course there is no charge to attend the meeting and lunch will be served), simply reply to this memorandum.   Don't miss this meeting, which will include the latest information about association programs and other issues. 

Latest Edition of Business Record Iowa Now Out

ABI's monthly news journal, Business Record Iowa, is published in conjunction with the Des Moines Business Record.  It has been very well-received by ABI members and others across the state. 

BR Iowa is found inside the Des Moines Business Record.  When you come to the section of the Business Record that is Business Record Iowa, you will see longtime ABI Board Member Todd McDonald (ATW Training Solutions, Urbandale) on the cover.  

The latest edition of the newsprint journal came out Friday and it should be in your mailbox now.  If it isn't, let us know and we'll get a copy to you right away.  In the meantime, let us know what you like about the publication and let us know how we can make it even better.  Thanks for your many comments already received. 

Manufacturing Best Practices Road Show in November

On November 12 and 13, ABI will take a manufacturing technology trip to north Iowa and to Minneapolis, Minnesota.  You, your operations team, and senior engineering staff will find value in this trip.  Go here for more information:

Annual IEDA Internship Program Application Process Now Underway

ABI member companies across Iowa have utilized the Iowa Economic Development Authority's Iowa Student Internship Program.  The program is a great way to get students into your plant. 

The program provides grants to small and medium-sized companies to help pay a stipend to interns.  Applicant companies must have 500 or fewer employees and must offer the internships to Iowa students (students of Iowa post-high school institutions or Iowa students attending post-high school institutions outside the state), and stipends must be at the level of a wage of $14.50 per hour or greater. 

Applications are now being accepted, with a deadline of December 30, 2019 for the spring 2020 program and April 30, 2020 for the summer 2020 program.  Please click on this link for information. 

First of 2019-2020 Connecting Statewide Leaders Events December 5th in Fort Dodge

A few years ago, at the request of members looking for more association events in locations outside Des Moines, ABI created the Connecting Statewide Leaders Forums.  The events have proven very popular and are held throughout the fall, winter and spring all around Iowa.  The first event in the 2019-2020 series will be held December 6 in Fort Dodge.  

Each of the Connecting Leaders events has drawn a great crowd and the series has resulted in new association members.  The forum on December 5 is the next opportunity to participate in this terrific series.  

At the forum, you will have an opportunity to hear a great program, visit with fellow ABI members, meet the new Leadership Iowa class, and develop new customers.  Please mark your calendar now and watch for more details to come your way soon. 

Not Too Early to Register for 2020 ABI Legislative Reception

Every year, more people attend and participate in the annual ABI Legislative Reception than in any other similar event in Iowa.  It is not too early to register for the 2020 edition of the reception and you can do so here:     

The 2020 Legislative Reception will be held January 15th at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines.  Make plans now to attend. 

Reminder: 2020 Annual Conference Workshop Proposals Now Being Accepted

The RFP process related to annual Taking Care of Business Conference workshops is now open.  The workshops/breakout sessions are a highlight of the annual conference.  As I noted last week, competition for these presentation slots has been keen and I am sure that will be the case again this year. 

RFPs related to the workshops are now being accepted by ABI.  Go here for more information or to submit a proposal:  The deadline for submissions is December 1. 

NAM Reports: 2/3 of Manufacturing Leaders Optimistic for Coming Year

Last week's edition of the Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, carried a lead story about optimism among American manufacturing leaders.  Over two-thirds of those responding to a poll feel positive about sales in the coming year.  If you wish to read the report for yourself, please reply to this memo and I will forward it at once. 

Phil Jones Quoted in Wall Street Journal

In Saturday’s edition of the Wall Street Journal, ABI Board Member Phil Jones (Rada Cutlery, Waverly) was quoted in a story about counties across the country that have voted for the winner in every presidential election since 1980.  Bremer County, Iowa, where Waverly is the county seat, is one of those just 19 counties nationwide. 

If you want to see the section of the article that discusses Bremer County, reply to this message and I’ll get it to you at once.  It is a very interesting story and congratulations to Phil for the great coverage!  

Bill Trent Celebrates Wednesday

Former ABI Chair Bill Trent (Kent Corporation, Muscatine) is celebrating his birthday Wednesday.  Happy birthday, Bill! 

Correction: Both Dashers Prominent Iowa State Supporters

Many thanks to former ABI Chair Bill Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City), who shared with me news about the passing of former longtime ABI Board Member John Dasher.  As you read in last week’s Memo, Mr. Dasher passed away last month in Wisconsin (  

Bill had also shared with me that Mr. Dasher had been active in numerous projects of philanthropy at Iowa State University in Ames.  A project related to Iowa State’s iconic campanile was just one of many.  I mistakenly said Mr. Dasher and Bill’s wife, Linda Bywater, had worked together on that particular project.  Bill called again this past week to tell me it wasn’t Linda Bywater, but Linda Dasher.  Mr. and Mrs. Dasher were leading supporters of that project and many more at Iowa State.  I am grateful to Bill for letting me know of my error and I apologize for it.  The bottom line is that the Dashers (and the Bywaters, I might add) have done much to support Iowa State.  Thank you, Bill, for letting me know. 

The Business of ABI: The Very Best Business Public Policy Advocacy Programs

(Editor’s Note: A couple of years ago at this time, several of us on the ABI staff were receiving inquiries from members who were being requested to provide financial support for non-ABI lobbying activities.  I included the following in the Monday Memo each of the past two years and it still applies today.) 

You have heard me say often that I like things that can be measured, because they let us know whether or not we are having success in achieving the goals that the board sets for us each year.  Some goals are easy to measure, such as the condition of our balance sheet (it is strong).  Other things are more difficult to measure, but are measurable nonetheless.  One example of that is ABI’s public policy work.  Is the association getting passed into law the bills that will help members grow and create jobs?  And, is the association stopping advancement of bills that hinder that growth?  The answer to both questions, for decades through today, is a resounding yes. 

You don’t have to take my word for it.  National recognition, awards, mentions by media about how strong and effective is ABI’s policy work, all these things attest to ABI’s success. 

In fact, as it pertains to public policy, no business organization has had more had more success than ABI… none.  For over a hundred years, ABI has been at the Statehouse; year in, year out, achieving success in public policy advocacy and doing the hard and tough work of representing business interests. 

You already receive that award-winning public policy work as a benefit of your membership in ABI.  You don’t have to pay extra for it.  Between ABI and our programs such as the Iowans for Jobs Initiative, ABI annually puts together the strategy that will bring victory… and then achieves it.  

Success.  It is what you are pay for when you make your annual investment in ABI.  You already receive Iowa’s best pro-growth, pro-business public policy work as a result of your membership in ABI.  And, thanks to your continued investment in ABI, continued success is assured.