Board Meets by Zoom Next Month - Monday Memo 8/17/20

August 17, 2020

First ABI Board Meeting of Fiscal Year on September 10 by Zoom

Finalize your plans now to join ABI Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) and members of the ABI Board of Directors for the September board meeting.  The board will meet by Zoom on September 10.  As usual, a detailed meeting packet will be sent to all board members and former chairs a week prior to the meeting. 

Highlights of the meeting will include welcoming newly-elected board members to their first meeting and adoption of 2021 ABI public policy positions.  As for new board members, they are Tim Coonan (Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines), Robert Feeney (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines), Adam Steen (Syverson Strege, West Des Moines) and the honorary Leadership Iowa board representative, Jenny Steffensmeier (Steffensmeier Welding & Manufacturing, Pilot Grove).  Be sure to join your ABI colleagues, meet these new directors, and participate in this important meeting.  You can register for the meeting by clicking on this link:

As I noted in last week’s Memo, the September board meeting is typically well-attended and many of you have told me you already have this meeting on your calendar.  I hope the rest do as well.  On behalf of Steven and our other officers, I look forward to seeing you online on September 10. 

Biennial ABI Pre-Employment Testing Process Seminar Wednesday

As you know, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ABI’s biennial Pre-Employment Testing Process Seminar had to be rescheduled.  That event will now be held at ABI in two days, on Wednesday, August 19.  

A good crowd has already registered for this popular seminar and your HR and risk-management teams will find value in the information shared through this event.  Expert speakers and the latest information about best practices and current trends will be shared.  Register now at:  

Annual ABI Executive Open in Two Weeks

Some years ago, ABI created an event to provide an opportunity for members (and prospective members) to have fun and network with each other.  It was a huge success, with members saying they greatly appreciated the informal, relaxed nature of the event. 

The event has become part of ABI’s yearly schedule and the annual ABI Executive Open Best Ball Event will be held Monday, August 31.  This year's Open will be again played at one of Iowa's most beautiful private clubs, Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines.  As has become the norm for this event, golf is nearly sold-out.  You can register for golf (the usual social event that follows golf is not being held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic) at  Don't miss this chance to join your ABI colleagues for a great event. 

ABI Sponsors Business Record Manufacturing Event Featuring Kirk Tyler, Kellan Longenecker, Eric Lohmeier

ABI always seeks to promote and highlight the incredibly innovative and high-quality manufacturers located in Iowa.  The Des Moines Business Record, a great member, is a terrific partner in that work. 

ABI is pleased to be the presenting sponsor of the BR’s “Made in Iowa: Manufacturing Forecast Event” on August 27.  In fact, three ABI board members will be featured speakers at the event.  Last week, I told you that Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Avon) and Eric Lohmeier (NCP, Des Moines) would be panelists.  Now added to that list is former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines) – that’s terrific panel!  Find more information and register now at  

Policy Meetings Conclude This Week; Strong Participation Marks Meetings

ABI Board Member Kelly Barrick (CIBC, West Des Moines) is the Chair of the ABI Economic Growth Committee.  ABI Board Member Larry Countryman (Wilson Trailer Company, Sioux City) is the longtime Chair of the ABI Tax Committee.  Both committees meet this week and they will mark the final meetings in a series of five policy committees that met over the course of the last three weeks. 

Literally hundreds of ABI members from all across Iowa and beyond participated in the 2020 series of meetings.  The process next shifts to the ABI Legislative Committee and then will conclude with the meeting of the ABI Board of Directors on September 10.  On behalf of ABI Vice Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa), who this year leads this process for ABI, thank you for your participation in this important work. 

Latest BR Iowa Now Out

As you know, in conjunction with member company Business Publications Corp., ABI publishes Business Record Iowa.  This monthly newsprint magazine is distributed to you and to business leaders all across Iowa as a part of the Des Moines Business Record

The August edition of BR Iowa was published last week and should be in your mailbox by now.  It features a great ABI leader on the front cover, ABI Board Member Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames).  If you have not received your copy of BR Iowa, please contact me and one will be sent to you at once. 

Elevate Awards Community College Scholarships

ABI’s Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative annually awards $500 scholarships to students in each of Iowa’s 15 community college districts.  The scholarships go to a worthy student entering a manufacturing-related course of study at one the colleges.  Last week, Elevate announced the 2020 awards.  Read more about the program here:

LIU Session Huge Success

The 2020 session of the ABI Foundation’s Leadership Iowa University was held last week and it was a smashing success.  Despite being knocked out by Monday’s derecho, the class of about 20 students met throughout the week.  The program provide high-quality speakers and terrific online networking that will help the students find their careers right here in Iowa. 

Go to for more information.  Thank you to the ABI Foundation staff and great volunteers for making the program such a hit. 

Episode 33 of Iowa Business Report Radio Program Broadcast over the Weekend

The Iowa Business Report’s 33rd episode was broadcast over the weekend.  If you missed it, you can click here to listen for yourself:  Links can also be found on the ABI website at  The show is the result of a great a partnership between well-known Iowa broadcaster Jeff Stein and ABI. 

Included in this week’s episode is an interview with former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines).  Many of you have heard the story of Atlantic Bottling before, but it is always good to hear it again.  Thanks Kirk and Jeff for a fun interview. 

Atlantic Bottling Announces Territory Swap

Speaking of longtime ABI member Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the company recently announced a swap of service territories with Chesterman Co.  Upon close of the transaction, Atlantic Bottling will acquire several towns in SW Iowa that figure prominently in its history.  Chesterman will get territory closer to its base of operations in far NW Iowa, Both companies will see no change in volume and will experience better economies of scale in operations.  

Congratulations to everyone at Atlantic Bottling on this historic deal.  Best wishes to former ABI Chairs JimTyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Atlantic) and Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines) and to new ABI Board Member Rob Feeney(Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines)

Bruntz, Fisher, Phelan Celebrate

Three ABI leaders are celebrating birthdays this week and next.  Former ABI Chair John Bruntz (The Boulder Company, Des Moines) and longtime ABI Board Member/Officer Rich Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton) will celebrate a week from yesterday, on August 23.  ABI Board Member Rand Fisher(Iowa Area Development Group, West Des Moines) will celebrate his birthday a week from tomorrow, on the 25th.  Happy birthday to John, Rich, and Rand!