Big ABI Events are a Big Success - Monday Memo 3/14/22

March 14, 2022

Annual ABI Day on the Hill, Other Events Big Success

ABI is celebrating another successful annual Day on the Hill and related events held last week.  As for Day on the Hill, Iowa Senate Ways and Means Committee Chair Senator Dan Dawson (R-Council Bluffs) kicked things off with a report from the Statehouse.  He highlighted the recently-passed Iowa tax overhaul and other issues.  Following that, ABI Vice President Public Policy JD Davis and Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf provided a comprehensive update on business legislation being considered by the General Assembly. 

After personal visits with legislators at the Statehouse, participants enjoyed a meeting with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg.  Attendees then returned to the ABI office for lunch and the March meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  The day concluded with an address by Canadian Consul General Ariel Delouya. 

On behalf of ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa), thank you to all of you who participated in last week's ABI meetings and events.  Thanks to you, ABI enjoyed a terrific day and strong work to advance the association's public policy priorities. 

Legislative Update Friday

As you know, every two weeks throughout the legislative session, ABI lobbyists host a Zoom meeting to give you the very latest information from the Statehouse.  Updates on bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters are covered in each call.  Your specific questions about those topics are also very much welcomed. 

The next Zoom update will be held this Friday at 8:00 a.m. and you and your employees are encouraged to participate.  The members-only call 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 Business Record Iowa Now Out

Each month, in partnership with the Des Moines Business Record, ABI publishes Business Record Iowa.  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 photo is a terrific shot of ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa) and his wife, former ABI Chair Sarah Hasken.  The magazine should now be in your mailbox, inside the Des Moines Business Record.  If you haven't yet received it, please let me know and another copy will be sent to you at once. 

Biennial ABI Pre-Employment Testing Program in Two Weeks

Every two years, ABI presents a program designed to share the latest information about pre-employment testing.  The 2022 edition will be held at ABI in a little over two weeks, on March 30th. 

The seminar will include the latest information on the status of pre-employment testing processes and what they mean for your company.  The program will also include other information, such as best-practice data from other companies.  To register, please click on the following link:  Your HR, risk management, or other staff members should find real value in the webinar. 

Busy Time for Nominations for ABI Foundation Programs; LIU Committee to Meet

This is a busy time for the ABI Foundation.  In last week's memorandum, I noted that now is the time to make nominations both for Business Horizons and Leadership Iowa.  Doing so is easy, free, and doesn't take a lot of time.  Click on and/or for more information and to make your nominations.  

In addition to the nominations activity, the Leadership Iowa University Planning Committee will meet at ABI Wednesday. 

ABI Executive Committee Meeting April 7; Next Board Meeting May 12

As you read in last week's Memo, the ABI Executive Committee will next meet on April 7.  That meeting, which will take place by Zoom, will begin at 9:30 a.m.  The next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors is scheduled for May 12.  It will be held at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames.   Please watch for more information ahead. 

'Best-Ever' Conference Coming in June; Register NOW

As was noted above, the 2022 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference, ABI's 119th annual convention, will be a spectacular event.  This event, which has been predicted to be the 'best-ever' by some ABI members, will be held June 14-16 in Dubuque.  

As you know, the flagship hotel for the 2022 conference is the Hotel Julien, which is already sold-out.  There are other great options available and you can find information about all of them - and register for the conference – by clicking on this link:  

When you click on the link above, you will be able to register for the conference and make your lodging reservations.  But you should also click on the link to view a brief, fun, and informative video about what you can expect at the conference.  It is simply Iowa’s best statewide business networking event.  See you in Dubuque in June! 

Kim Augspurger Again Named ‘Best of Design’ Judge by DSM Magazine

The ‘Home 2022’ edition of DSM magazine is now out.  The magazine is devoted to the publication’s ‘Best of Design’ awards for 2021.  

For the second year in a row, ABI Board Vice Chair Kim Augspurger (Saxton, Des Moines) was named a judge for the competition.  As I noted in mentioning Kim last year, I don’t know a thing about design.  That said, there are some beautiful photos of beautiful spaces carried in the magazine.  And it was neat to see that Kim was selected as a judge for the competition again this year.  Congratulations, Kim!  Click here to see the magazine: dsm HOME 2022 - Powered by  

Geri Hernandez Honored by the NAM

Yarelis Hernandez (LyondellBasell, Clinton) is the manager of one of the nation’s largest chemical plants.  Geri leads over 400 employees in serving LyondellBasell’s customers every day.  She was honored recently with the National Association of Manufacturer’s Manufacturing Institute STEP Ahead Award.  Click here for more information: 2022 STEP Ahead Award Winners | the Manufacturing Institute.  As is the case with past honorees from ABI member companies, we salute Geri and send our best wishes.  Congratulations!  

Bruce Family Welcomes Baby

While I don’t have a lot of details, I have learned that ABI Board Member Heather Bruce (Osmundson Mfg. Co., Perry) and her husband have welcomed a new baby boy.  The young man was born a week ago yesterday and mom and son are doing well.  This is terrific news; congratulations to Heather, her new son, and the whole Bruce Family! 

The Business of ABI: Programs and Services

As you know, from time to time in these memos, I like to share a little bit about some internal aspect of the way ABI operates.  As I always say, ABI ought to function like a business.  We have customers, we just happen to call them members.  If we aren't delivering value for you, there is no reason for you to support our work. 

About 19 years ago, at the direction of the ABI Board of Directors, ABI conducted a review of its internal operations and programs and services.  When it came to internal operations, hemorrhaging cash and being involved in vendor relationships that didn't serve the association or its members were some of the challenges identified.  Outdated data systems and other challenges also existed and over the years, thanks to your leadership, these have been addressed.  For example, our balance sheet now shows strength and stability.  

The good news then is good news today.  ABI's core programs of public policy advocacy, member meetings and events, and Foundation programs were strong and continue to be strong.  Over the years, new programs have been added (such as VentureNet Iowa, Elevate Iowa, and others).  Events have been created, and some things have been transformed (ABI's annual conference and our monthly newsmagazine come to mind).  This kind of change and growth must continue for ABI to be the dynamic resource for Iowa business that you deserve. 

At last week’s board meeting, one issue discussed was the services and information ABI provided to members throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Our goal is to provide value to members in whatever form is needed.  If that is help in finding capital, or new suppliers, or help with a technical issue such as packaging or regulatory overreach, or something else, ABI is your resource for help. 

One of ABI’s original services continues to be vital to this day.  That is our association’s public policy work.   This year, as has been the case for many years, ABI is experiencing some of its most successful work ever at the Statehouse.  Longstanding ABI objectives have been and are being advanced.  That is thanks to some terrific work on the part of a talented staff and by YOUR leadership, participation, and support.  Thanks to YOU, the business of ABI is strong and getting even better.