Big Week at ABI - Monday Memo 1/11/21

January 11, 2021

Board Meeting, Annual ABI Legislative Briefing Wednesday

A series of important ABI meetings and events are scheduled for the day after tomorrow in Des Moines.  The day will be capped by a virtual rendering of the association’s annual members-only legislative briefing.  The annual ABI Legislative Reception, which normally take place on the first Wednesday of the Iowa General Assembly, has been postponed and will be held at a later date. 

The 2021 edition of the briefing and other ABI events take place Wednesday, January 13.  All of the events will be held by Zoom and if you haven’t already done so, you may register for the briefing here:  Thank you in advance for participating. 

ABI Board Will Meet Wednesday

As noted above, the ABI Board of Directors will hold its first meeting of 2021.  The board will meet at 2:00 p.m. by Zoom.  ABI Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) will lead the board through a fast-paced meeting.  Strong participation is expected.  

IDPH Updates COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Information

In a webinar held Friday afternoon, officials with the Iowa Department of Public health provided an update related to COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Iowa.  Currently, of course, Iowa is in Phase 1A of the distribution (vaccinating those in health care centers and health workers such as doctors, nurses, etc.) and will be for “several weeks,” officials said. 

Manufacturing workers are covered in Phase 1B and 1C of the distribution plan.  Iowa will move to 1B and 1C as soon as vaccine is available and it is hoped that will be sometime in February. 

Manufacturing plants may be able to serve as their own vaccine “pod” (point of dispensing).  Factors impacting that situation include population size, location, etc.   General advice provided was that businesses should get in touch (if they haven’t already) with their local county public health agency starting February 1. 

By the way, the issue most impacting vaccine distribution is not capacity.  Officials said that Iowa has much greater capacity to vaccinate; rather, the issue is supply.  As soon as vaccine doses are received, they are dispensed.  Vaccine manufacturers are ramping up production and it is hoped that a much greater supply will be available soon.  

ABI is following vaccine developments closely and actively working with state officials.  Should you have specific questions, please contact a member of the public policy team or me.  And, please watch for more news as it develops. 

Latest Business Record Iowa Out; Iowa Senate Leaders Featured on Cover

As you know, over five years ago, ABI partnered with the Des Moines Business Record to publish the brand new Business Record Iowa magazine.  This newsprint magazine is published monthly (as opposed to six times per year for the previous ABI publication) and is distributed statewide to about four times the audience. 

We hear more and more frequently from members that they find value in BRIowa and that's good.  If you have questions or need additional copies, please contact me.  And if you have story ideas, we are always interested in those, too.  

In the meantime, congratulations and thank you to this month's BRIowa cover stars, Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver and President of the Iowa Senate Jake Chapman.  If you didn’t receive your copy of BRIowa, reply to this memo and we’ll get you one right away. 

Annual Resource Guide Available Soon

The annual ABI Business Resource Guide and membership directory is being finalized and will be printed and available soon. 

Look for your 2021 directory to arrive in the near future.  In the meantime, thank you.  Your support in terms of people, resources, and ideas is what makes the guide (and ABI itself) possible.   

General Assembly Convenes Today; First ABI Legislative Teleconference of 2021 on the 29th

The Iowa General Assembly convenes today for its 2021 legislative session.  At the Capitol with legislators will be ABI Vice President Public Policy JD Davis and ABI Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf.  JD and Brad are two of the very best public professionals in Iowa and you can count on them to well represent you every day and every hour the legislature is in session. 

And, ABI's Public Policy team will again hold monthly teleconferences related to the work of the General Assembly.  The first call of the 2021 session will be held Friday, January 29 at 8:00 a.m.  

Members have told us they appreciate these calls, which offer the very latest in news from the Statehouse.  Please click here for more information about the call, free and open to ABI members only:  The calls typically last about 30 minutes and you and your employees are invited to participate.  

Conference Committee to Meet

ABI's 118th Annual Meeting, Iowa's Taking Care of Business Conference 2021, will be held June 8-10 in Iowa City/Coralville.  There will be many highlights to the conference, including terrific speakers and exciting venues.  Another highlight is golf at the gorgeous Finkbine Golf Course  The club just completed a refurbishment and the grounds and clubhouse are spectacular. 

The committee planning this fantastic conference will meet tomorrow at ABI.  Watch for more information soon.  

On behalf of ABI Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine), please consider this your personal invitation to attend the ABI Conference.  We'll see you in June.  Note: This assumes that it will be appropriate to hold the conference in person and ABI is carefully monitoring the situation, while continuing to plan for a terrific event.  Stay tuned for more details. 

ABI Foundation Board Holds Strategic Planning Session

Last Wednesday by Zoom, members of the ABI Foundation Board of Directors convened for their January meeting.  The board is chaired by longtime ABI member Kim Butler-Hegedus (Community State Bank, Ankeny) and following a brief meeting, Kim led the Foundation Board through a strategic planning exercise. 

There was great engagement by all board members and the result should be tangible and productive improvements for the Foundation and its programs.  Thank you to board and staff members for their participation. 

Leadership Iowa Class Will Meet

Speaking of the Foundation, the ABI Foundation's Leadership Iowa program is one of the nation's oldest statewide leadership development programs.  The 2020-2021 LI Class will convene for its January session later this week.  

The session will focus on state government and as always, a full and varied agenda is on tap for the class.  The class is meeting virtually and watch for more news as it develops.

Kunert, Yanney Elected to Siouxland Initiative Board

Two great ABI leaders were recently elected to the Board of Directors for the Siouxland Initiative, the economic development arm of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce.  Former ABI Chair Charese Yanney (Guarantee Roofing and Siding, Sioux City) and ABI Board Member Kathryn Kunert (MidAmerican Energy Company, Des Moines) were both elected to the board at the organization’s annual meeting last month.  Congratulations to Charese and Kathryn! 

David Bywater Featured in CBJ Magazine

The Corridor Business Journal is a great ABI member.  In addition to its weekly newsprint journal, the CBJ publishes an annual magazine regarding the top business stories of the year.  

In the 2020 NEWSMAKERS magazine, published last week, former ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) was featured in an article focused on the rising cost of healthcare and how businesses are responding.  David has long championed action in this area and his comments are a key part of the story.  Please contact me if you wish to read the article and in the meantime, congratulations to David on the coverage! 

Mary Landhuis, Nate Weaton Celebrate Birthdays

January is a busy time for ABI board members' birthdays.  In addition to board members already noted in previous editions of the Monday Memo, two more ABI leaders are also celebrating.  Happy birthday to board member Mary Landhuis (Lisle Corporation, Clarinda) and to former board member Nate Weaton (Weaton Capital, Fairfield)!  

Steven Bradford’s Father Passes

I am sorry to report the death of ABI Chair Steven Bradford’s (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) father.  Mr. Bradford, who had been in declining health, passed away yesterday in Utah.  I will share more details when they are available.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Steven and his family.