Biennial Workers Compensation Program March 28- Monday Memo 3/20/2023

March 20, 2023


TO:                  ABI Board of Directors and Former Board Chairs                                   

FROM:             Michael Ralston                       

DATE:              March 20, 2023

SUBJECT:        Monday Memo

Next Week: Biennial ABI Program on Workers Compensation

The 2023 edition of the biennial ABI Workers Compensation Program will be presented on March 28th at the ABI office in Des Moines.  The seminar will include the latest information on the status of workers compensation issues and what they mean for your company.  The program will also include other information, such as best-practice data from other companies. 

There is still time to register.  To do so, please go to Summary - Workers' Compensation Seminar (  Your HR, risk management, or other staff members should find real value in the seminar.

Next ABI Legislative Update Friday

Many of you have been participating in the biweekly legislative updates hosted by the ABI public policy team.  These updates give you the very latest information from the Statehouse.  Information about bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters are covered in each Zoom.  Your specific questions about those topics are also very much welcomed.

The next update will be held this Friday, March 24, at 8:00 a.m. and you and your employees are encouraged to participate.  Crunch time at the Capitol is fast-approaching and there will be a lot to cover.  The members-only update is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at Legislative Update (Members Only) | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (

Latest Edition of ABI Business Monthly Now Out

Each month, in partnership with the Corridor Business Journal and the Quad Cities Regional Business Journal, ABI publishes the ABI Business Monthly.  This newsprint publication reaches about 7,500 Iowa business leaders all across the state. 

The March edition focuses on the upcoming annual conference.  It will be a smash and you don’t want to miss it; register here: Taking Care of Business Conference | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (  The cover carries a great photo of downtown Cedar Rapids.  The magazine should now be in your mailbox, inside the one of the above-named magazines.  If you haven't yet received it, please let me know and another copy will be sent to you at once.

ABI Executive Committee to Meet in Two Weeks; Board Will Meet in May

ABI Chair Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines) and members of the association’s Executive Committee will meet by Zoom in a little over two weeks.  The April EC Zoom meeting takes place the morning of April 5 and committee members can expect to see the usual packet of meeting materials in their email in-basket next week.

As for the ABI Board of Directors, that body will meet again on May 10.  The meeting will be held at ABI member Express Logistics in Urbandale.  Please stay tuned for more information.

ABI Can Serve as your Office/Meeting Place While in Des Moines

It has happened several times of late that ABI members have contacted us about needing an office for part of a morning or afternoon while they are in Des Moines on business.  ABI is pleased to be the place you can find that temporary office.  Please allow this reminder that one of your member benefits is just such a service.  Let us know if we can help.

LI CONNECT Wednesday, OSHA Webinar Thursday, Employment Law Webinar Next week, Environment Committee and ABI Statewide Leaders Event in April

Several ABI events are coming your way in the next few weeks.

The latest in the LI CONNECT series of programs, is coming up Wednesday (March 22).  Focusing on business-education partnerships, it will be held by Zoom at 8:30 a.m. on that date.  Click here for more information: LI CONNECT: Business-Education Partnerships | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (

Also to be held this week is an OSHA webinar.  It will be held at noon on Thursday and you can find more information and register here: Webinar: Top 6 Safety Tips for Employers: A Response to OSHA's New Aggressive Plan | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (

Next week, on March 28, ABI will host an employment law webinar.  Click here for more information: Webinar: Surveying the labor and employment law landscape for 2023 | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (

On April 5, the ABI Environment Committee will meet.  This will be an important meeting as the committee deals with several legislative and regulatory issues.  Click here to register and for more information: ABI Environment Committee Meeting | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (

The next Connecting Statewide Leader program will be held April 13 in Sioux City.  A popular ABI speaker will provide the program:  Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham.  As you can guess, the event will focus on economic development in Iowa.  Click here for more information and to register: Agenda - Connecting Statewide Leaders - Sioux City (  These programs are ways to gain information and connect with your fellow ABI members, Leadership Iowa Class members, and others. 

Nominate Students for Leadership Iowa and Business Horizons

The ABI Foundation will host Leadership Iowa University and Business Horizons this summer.  Your nominations for these two great programs (and for the 2022-2023 session of Leadership Iowa) are strongly desired. 

It’s easy to nominate and you can do so by going to and clicking on the program links.  Thank you in advance for nominating participants for each of these important programs.

Manufacturing Employment at a Post-Pandemic High

Last week’s Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, had some interesting information about manufacturing employment in last week’s report.  While it is at a post-pandemic high, it also was down just a bit last month.  Other data illustrated that manufacturers are hiring new employees as fast as they are able to do so.  Much more information is included in the report and if you wish to read it, simply reply to this message and I’ll get it to you.

Collins Aerospace Plans Multi-Million Dollar Expansion in Cedar Rapids

Longtime valued ABI member Collins Aerospace made some big news last week when it announced plans for a $22 million expansion.  The project, which will involve state and local support, will build and develop microchip technologies for the company.  Read more here: Rockwell Collins pursuing $22 million expansion to make microchips | The Gazette.  Congratulations to everyone at Collins on this exciting announcement, including former ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids)!

Bill Bywater, Dick Smith, and Kathryn Kunert to Celebrate

Former ABI Chair Bill Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and former ABI Board Member Dick Smith (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) share a birthday.  Bill and Dick celebrate this Thursday, March 23rd.  Their birthday is followed on Friday by the birthday of ABI Board Member Kathryn Kunert (MidAmerican Energy Company, Des Moines). Congratulations and happy birthday to Bill, Dick, and Kathryn!

Max Weaton Named All-State

One of the best athletes to ever come through Fairfield High School received more honors last week.  Max Weaton was named 3rd-Team Class 3A All-State by the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.  Max, an all-conference first-team selection, a member of the 1,000 point club, and Fairfield High’s 2nd all-time leading scorer, averaged almost 20 pints and 14 rebounds per game.  He was also a fabulous football player for the Trojans and is a strong student at FHS.  Congratulations to Max and to his parents, ABI Board Member Nate Weaton (Weaton Companies, Fairfield) and former ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) on the honors!

Gregoire Family Celebrates State Championship

Saturday evening in Madison, Du Pere High School defeated Arrowhead High School for the Wisconsin Boys Basketball State Championship.  The State Championship capped a perfect 30-0 season for the Redbirds.  One of the stars for Du Pere?  None other than Pryce Gregoire, grandson of former ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson-Fisher, Marshalltown, Ret.) – congratulations to all involved, including Pryce and Grandad Paul!  Way to go!

Editor’s Note

A week after the 2022 ABI taking Care of Business Conference, I had surgery to replace my right hip.  The recovery went well until late September, when I started to feel pain in my left hip.  If you saw me at ABI Business Day in Des Moines, you saw that I was using a cane, as my left hip had deteriorated to the point of also needing a surgical replacement. 

As I noted following last June’s surgery, these memos are about you, ABI leaders, not me.  I am loathe to talk about myself.  That said, last Thursday, I did have total hip replacement surgery involving my left hip.  As I write this, I expect my recovery is well underway.  I am working remotely part-time and I hope to be back in the office (at least on a part-time basis) in a few weeks.  While I will be checking email sporadically during this time, replies may be delayed.  There is no need to reply to this message, please just know that I am eager to get back to work.  In the meantime, thank you for your good wishes and for all you do for ABI!