Board Meeting, Business Day on March 6 - Monday Memo 1/22/24

January 22, 2024

ABI Board to Meet March 6

ABI Vice Chair Chad Reece (Winnebago Industries, Forest City) and members of the ABI Board of Directors will next meet on March 6th.  That day will see a full day of ABI meetings and events, as the second edition of ABI's new Business Day in Des Moines program will be held.  

More information will come your way soon, but please mark your calendars now to join your ABI colleagues in Des Moines on March 6.  In the meantime, the ABI Executive Committee will hold its regular February teleconference in a little over three weeks. 

Second ABI Business Day in Des Moines on March 6

For a great many years, ABI hosted a program in March at which members were taken to the Statehouse to meet with their legislators.  The event has been subject to the whims of the legislative calendar, meaning sometimes the visits conflicted with committee or caucus meetings when legislators were not available.  Other issues also arose to impact the success of the event from year to year.  

Because of this, last year ABI created a brand new event, Business Day in Des Moines, modeled on the success of a meeting hosted three years ago following the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  At the event three years ago, a luncheon for ABI board members, IIPAC contributors, advisory council members, and other leading members, the association’s public policy work was advanced through appearances by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, House Speaker Pat Grassley, and Senate Majority leader Jack Whitver.  All attendees declared the event a rousing success.  In effect, instead of taking ABI members to the statehouse, statehouse leaders came to ABI. 

That’s what Business Day in Des Moines is all about.  You’ll hear from invited guests Governor Reynolds, legislative leaders of both chambers and both parties, you’ll hear a national political update from well-known DC analyst Jim Ellis of BIPAC, and more.  You’ll have the opportunity to interact with these leaders, with fellow ABI members, and you’ll hear the latest about ABI issues and programs.  You don’t want to miss it!  Click here for more information and to register: Summary - Business Day in Des Moines (  

In the meantime, watch for program updates and other information.  See you in March for ABI’s Business Day in Des Moines! 

ABI Business Monthly Hits Newsstands

Speaking of new, last year at this time, ABI’s brand new monthly newsprint journal was published for the first time.  Called ABI Business Monthly, the journal is published in partnership with longtime ABI member Corridor Media Group of Coralville.  The publication is included once a month in the Corridor Business Journal and the Quad Cities Business Journal

ABI is excited about this partnership, as it doubles exposure for our monthly journal and it is terrific being a part of the quality business news which is the sole focus of the CBJ and QCBJ.  The journal should come to your desk, no matter where you are in Iowa, as a part of the CBJ/QCBJ.  The latest edition is out now.  If you didn’t receive it, let me know and we’ll get one to you.  Or, you can read it online by clicking here: Business Monthly | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (  Thank you to ABI member and company President John Lohman (Corridor Media Group, Coralville) and his team for this new partnership! 

2024 ABI BRG Now Out

Two weeks ago in this memorandum, I noted that the annual ABI Business Resource Guide would be soon published.  The BRG has now indeed been published it should be in your mailbox by now.  The guide is a terrific resource; if you don’t have one and wish to, simply reply to this message and we’ll get it to you at once. 

2024 ABI Conference Planning Continues

The upcoming annual ABI Taking Care of Business Conference, which will be held in Davenport June 4-6, is shaping up to be a fabulous event.  If you haven't already done so, you really need to plan now to attend this great meeting.  Later this week, conference planning will continue with the conducting of interviews and working with potential speakers.  It will all lead to an awesome convention in Davenport.  Registration will be available next month, but you can reserve your room now by clicking on the conference site: Taking Care of Business Conference | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (  Thank you for making plans now to join ABI in June! 

Bi-Weekly ABI Legislative Zoom Conferences have Begun; Next Zoom 2/2/24

ABI’s public policy team is very busy this time of year.  Last Friday, the team held the first ABI Members-Only Legislative Teleconference of the 2024 Session of the Iowa General Assembly.  The next Legislative Update Zoom will be held on February 2nd.  Register for that event here: Legislative Update (Members Only) | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (  And remember, these conferences are free and open to ABI members only.  Thank you in advance for your participation in these events. 

ABI to Host Automation Summit February 1 in Carroll

On February 1st, ABI will host another in the series of automation summits.  ABI is partnering with members CIRAS, DMACC, and Kinetic Technologies on this high-value cobot/automation seminar.  The session will provide an informative and interactive program about bringing automation to your company and it will be held at the Carroll Campus of Des Moines Area Community College on the 1st.  Lunch will be served.  Click here for more information and to register: Summary - Automation Summit (  

CIRAS Board Meets Thursday

A valued ABI member-partner is Iowa State University's Center for Industrial Research and ServiceCIRAS is a fabulous resource for Iowa manufacturers and businesses of all kinds.  Over the years, many ABI leaders have also been involved in CIRAS and several are current members of the CIRAS Industry Advisory Board.  The board will meet Thursday in Ames.  Watch for news of any developments in next week's ABI Monday Memo. 

Connecting Statewide Leaders Program in Dubuque on March 7

On March 7th in Dubuque, ABI will host another in the series of ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders events.  The location is still being finalized, but we are excited to share that a fantastic speaker will lead the program:  Jennifer Olson (MercyOne, Des Moines).  Dr. Olson, who is President of MercyOne Medical Group, will address trends in health care and discuss finance issues that may impact employers.  You can register and find more information here: Summary - Connecting Statewide Leaders - Dubuque (  Don’t miss this terrific program. 

NAM Report Documents Trade Issues, GDP Growth

Last week’s edition of the weekly Global Manufacturing Economic Update, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, highlighted trade as a key for American manufacturers.  End of Year statistics indicate that 84 percent of manufacturers believe exports are important to their business.  In other news, the World Bank predicts a growth of 2.4 in global GDP for 2024.  As always, if you wish to read the report for yourself, please contact me and I’ll get it to you at once. 

Toby Shine Celebrates Tomorrow

Former ABI Chair Toby Shine (Shine Bros. Corp., Spencer) will celebrate his birthday tomorrow.  In addition to being a great Iowa business leader, Toby has been a terrific ABI leader as well.  Happy birthday, Toby! 

Nicole Crain Elected IWF Officer

Many of you know that ABI Executive Vice President Nicole Crain has served on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Women’s Foundation for some time.  It was fun to learn that Nicole has now additionally been elected an officer of the Foundation and will serve as Board Secretary.  Congratulations, Nicole!