Big Events Ahead for ABI - Monday Memo 1/3/22

January 3, 2022

Next Week: Annual Legislative Briefing/Reception; Register Now

With only a little over a week to go, advance registrations for the 2022 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception are running at a very strong pace.  As I write today’s memo, it is clear that with ABI members, legislators and other officials, well over 400 attendees will be a part of the event.  I hope you have already registered, but if not, please register NOW by going to or by simply replying to this email.  

NOTE:Registering for the briefing/reception does not register you for the board meeting and vice versa.  If you have any doubts about your registrations, please reply to this message and let me know your plans.  I'll check on your registration status and make sure it reflects your wishes.  If not, we'll take care of it right away.  Thank you!

This annual event is one of the association’s most popular and you won’t want to miss the 2022 edition.  Please join in the members-only briefing following the ABI Board Meeting and the Reception immediately follows.  All events will take place at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines.   

We expect Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg will be there, as will members of the General Assembly and other state officials and department heads.  YOU are the reason that this event draws more legislators and state officials than any other similar meeting.  Your attendance and time spent with legislators is a crucial part of ABI’s legislative advocacy.  Thank you in advance for your participation. 

ABI Board to Meet

As referenced above, the ABI Board of Directors will hold its first meeting of the calendar year a week from Wednesday.  ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa) and members of the association's Executive Committee will also convene for the committee’s first meeting of 2022 on Wednesday. We look forward to your participation next week.  

Kelsey Smith Joins ABI Staff Today

It was in late November I shared the news about ABI’s latest staff hire.  After conducting an extensive search, Kelsey Smith was selected to serve as ABI’s new Director of Marketing and Communications.  

Kelsey was our top choice out of a deep and talented pool of applicants.  Her marketing, communications, and graphics skills are exceptional.  Just as importantly, she has a terrific personal style that will make her a great addition to ABI.  Kelsey formerly was the Marketing and Member Relations Manager for a golf course management and development company in North Carolina and has relocated to Iowa.  Today is her first day with us and we couldn’t be more excited to have her join us.  Welcome, Kelsey! 

Foundation Endowment Committee Will Meet

The ABI Foundation Board of Directors, chaired by Kim Butler Hegedus (Community State Bank, Ankeny), has created a new committee to guide further development of its endowment fund.  Begun several years ago, the endowment fund has grown to just over half a million dollars.  That was the original goal, and the new committee will develop new goals and further develop strategic issues related to the fund. 

The committee will hold its initial meeting tomorrow.  Thank you to Foundation leaders for their work.  Watch for more news at next week’s ABI board meeting. 

January Leadership Iowa Session Next Week

The ABI Foundation’s 2021-2022 Leadership Iowa Class will hold its January session next week on Des Moines.  The session is jam-packed with terrific speakers, meetings with legislators, media presentations, and other activities.  

The January session, as you can tell, focuses on state government and politics and is typically one of the program’s most popular.  You will have an opportunity to meet members of the LI class at a future date.  

Leadership Iowa Alumni Dinner Coming January 12, LI NEXT Also on Tap

Speaking of ABI Foundation programs, following the ABI Legislative Reception on Wednesday the 12th, the ABI Foundation and will again host the Leadership Iowa Alumni Society Dinner and Celebration.  This event will take place at the Mainframe Studios near Downtown Des Moines.  The event provides a fun and unique dinner networking opportunity for LI alumni.  LI’s 40th anniversary will be celebrated and other special things will make the night a lot of fun.  Click here Summary - Leadership Iowa Alumni Dinner & 40th Celebration ( for more information and to register.  

In addition, the LI program will host the latest in a series of alumni programs known as LI NEXT on January 12 and 13.  Tours, TEDx-type talks led by LI alums, and much more are on tap for this terrific event.  You can find more information here: Summary - LI NEXT (

JD Davis to Represent ABI at Business Record Forum

ABI Vice President Public Policy JD Davis will represent the association at an upcoming legislative forum.  The forum, which will be hosted by the Business Record, will be held Tuesday, January 11.  JD and a panel of others will preview the 2022 session of the Iowa General Assembly and discuss other issues important to business. 

Click here to register for this free virtual event: 2022 Legislative Forecast Registration, Tue, Jan 11, 2022 at 12:00 PM | Eventbrite.  Congratulations to JD for being selected for the panel and thank you for representing ABI members and Iowa business.

Remember: You Can Receive ABI Updates through Twitter, Facebook

ABI was one of the first associations to use new social media technologies to keep in touch and inform members of new developments.  With next Monday’s convening of the legislative session, it seems like a good time to remind you that you can receive updates via Twitter as legislative developments are happening.  

Many ABI members -- and members of the media -- tell me frequently that they appreciate these real time updates.  ABI's public policy staff regularly tweets LIVE from the committee rooms at the Statehouse. 

ABI also has a Facebook site, shares information via the web, and of course continues to utilize all the traditional media to ensure that you receive the latest information in the format that works best for you.  If you have other ideas for other ways we can communicate with you effectively, please let me know. 

NAM Report Documents Seventh Straight Month of Manufacturing Growth

In a recent edition of the weekly Monday Economic Report from the National Association of Manufacturers, NAM noted that manufacturing data continues to trend positive.  That’s the seventh consecutive month of manufacturing growth and amazing, given the impact of COVID-19 on manufacturing. 

There was more good news, too.  All of it is encouraging as we enter a new year that hopefully will see a return to a much more normal situation.  One thing not improved is the need for manufacturing workers.  If you are interested in viewing the report for yourself, reply to this message and I will send it to you. 

Shine, Sommerfeld Celebrate

Two great ABI leaders are celebrating.  Longtime ABI Board Member Todd Sommerfeld (Kreg Tool, Huxley) celebrated his birthday recently.  Former ABI Chair Toby Shine (Shine Bros. Corp., Spencer) also celebrates his birthday this month.  Happy birthday and congratulations to Todd and Toby! 

January Always an Important Month for ABI; Aggressive Agenda for 2022

It seems like every year about this time, I note that while January is the first month in the calendar year, it marks the seventh month in the annual ABI fiscal year (which concludes June 30).  For many reasons, January is a critical month for association programs.  

The first ABI meetings of the year are held this month and these events help set the tone for the year.  Your participation in these meetings is vital to our success.  Also, Foundation programs conduct critical work each January and that is important.  Of course, the Iowa General Assembly convenes in January and there is no more important work ABI does than aggressively advance a pro-business agenda before the legislature.  Finally, January is ABI’s most important month for revenue, with more of our annual revenue coming in this month than any other. 

Thank you for your leadership and your investment, which we never take for granted and which makes our success possible.  On behalf of Association Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa) and our officers, thank you for that support.  Big goals are a part of ABI's plans for 2022.  ABI has developed a strong record of success and those big goals for 2022 include continued growth in members and revenue, increased programming of value, legislative success, and increases in Foundation activity, among many other things. 

For now, your participation in the ABI events to be held this month is an important part of starting the year successfully.  We need your leadership to continue the aggressive and impactful record of the past years.  THANK YOU again for all you do for ABI and for Iowa business.