Board Meets Wednesday - Monday Memo 11/13/24

November 13, 2023

Board Week: ABI Board Meets Wednesday; Whitver, Board Election, More on Agenda

The ABI Board of Directors and the ABI Executive Committee will meet Wednesday.  ABI Vice Chair Chad Reese (Winnebago Industries, Forest City) will call to order the final board meeting of 2023 at 11:30 a.m. (at ABI) and the traditional Thanksgiving lunch will be served.  A review of the annual audit, an update regarding the conference, policy discussions, and your business reports are highlights of the agenda.  In addition, the board will receive the usual operational reports.  A couple of special features will make the meeting even more topical.  Two new board members will be elected to fill unexpired terms.  And, special guest Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver will address the board.  

If you haven't already done so, please register your attendance by replying to this message.  You should have received a message from me last week that included a link to access the usual packet of reports and materials related to the meeting.  If you didn’t, please reply to this memo and I’ll make sure you get access.  In the meantime and on behalf of Chad and our ABI officers, I look forward to seeing you Wednesday. 

ABI to Host Event December 7 in Fairfield; Dwyer, Gaul Schaefer-Weaton Panelists

As you know, ABI will soon host another event designed to bring value to your company.  On the morning of December 7 in Fairfield, ABI will host the next in the series of programs known as Connecting Statewide leaders. 

A luncheon follows the meeting and you will have a great opportunity to visit with fellow ABI members, meet the new Leadership Iowa class, and develop new customers.  A terrific line-up of Iowa manufacturing leaders will participate in a panel discussion.  ABI Board Member Rich Dwyer (KENT Corporation, Muscatine), Former ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield), and ABI member company executive Kevin Gaul (Pella Corporation, Pella) are on tap for the.  Register now for this program, which will focus on the future of Iowa Manufacturing Summary - Connecting Statewide Leaders - Fairfield (  Make plans now to join the LI class and ABI members in Fairfield in December. 

Latest ABI Automation Summit in Carroll December 12th

ABI’s series of automation summits have proven wildly popular.  They are a terrific forum for learning more about how automation can help your company, how to get into it easily and efficiently, and how to do so cost-effectively.  The next summit will be held on the Carroll campus of DMACC (Des Moines Area Community College) on December 12thABI, DMACC, CIRAS, and ABI member company Kinetic Technologies are partnering to produce this event.  Click here for more information: Automation Summit | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (  Registration should be available later today or tomorrow. 

2024 ABI Legislative Briefing, Reception in January

One of ABI’s most popular events each year is the annual legislative reception (the annual members-only legislative briefing precedes it).  This important association meeting provides an opportunity for you and your employees to visit with your legislators in a fun and casual setting.  Traditionally, more legislators attend this event than any other similar event held throughout the session and it is important for ABI members to be on hand to share business perspectives with them. 

The 2024 Reception will be held Wednesday, January 10.  Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, all 150 members of the Iowa General Assembly, and other state officials have been invited again this year.  Don’t miss this opportunity to greet your legislators and share important business issues with them.  

You can register now by going to Summary - Legislative Briefing and Reception ( and clicking on the button at the top of the page.  The event will again be held at the Iowa Events Center in downtown Des Moines and it will follow the January meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  See you there.  

SBA Asks for ABI Award Nominations

U.S. Small Business Administration State Director Jayne Armstrong reached out to ABI last week regarding the SBA’s two major national awards.  Each year, the SBA honors the Small Business Person of the Year and the Exporter of the Year.  These are national awards and the honorees are presented their awards by the President in the Rose Garden of The White House in Washington, DC.  Director Armstrong asks that ABI members consider nominating themselves for the awards and the Iowa SBA Office will do all it can to support you.  Should you wish to be nominated, please reply to this memo and I’ll get you more information. 

Advisory Council to Meet Thursday

The ABI Advisory Council will meet Thursday.  This will mark the panel's final business meeting of 2023.  Thank you to ABI Advisory Council members  Anthologic, AssuredPartners, Bankers Trust, BCC Advisers, BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC, Fredrikson & Byron, G&A Partners, HDH Advisors, Principal Financial Network of Central Iowa, The Iowa Clinic, Wellmark, and Wells Fargo for your leadership and support! 

Brad Hartkopf Attending ATRA Conference

ABI Senior Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf left Des Moines early this morning for Atlanta, where he will represent ABI at the annual meeting of the American Tort Reform Association.  ATRA has long been an ABI partner and the annual conference provides great information from a variety of speakers and experts.  We look forward to utilizing this information as part of ABI’s public policy work.  Brad will return Thursday and we wish him safe travels. 

First ABI Board Meeting of 2024 on January 10

The January meeting of the ABI Board of Directors is traditionally one of the association’s busiest and best attended.  The board will meet Wednesday, January 10, 2024 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines and the ABI Executive Committee will meet immediately prior.  Your attendance is needed to ensure this important meeting goes well.  Please mark your calendars now to join your ABI colleagues on January 10 in Des Moines and watch for more information coming your way soon.  

Leadership Iowa Alumni Society Annual Membership Drive Now Underway

Alumni of the ABI Foundation’s Leadership Iowa program are some of the program’s strongest supporters.  Now is the time of year that the program is seeking all LI alumni to join the Leadership Iowa Alumni Society for the 2023-2024 program year.  The $100 membership, which is fully tax deductible, supports this year’s alumni engagement efforts as well as the development of the LI program and its participants. 

The Foundation reports that the Alumni Society is well on its way to one of its best years ever, even surpassing last year’s record-setting numbers.  Credit card payments may be made online at or call ABI team member Jane Galloway at (515) 235-0578 for more information.  Thank you in advance for your support.

Foundation Asks: Please Remember #Giving Tuesday

Speaking of the Foundation, please remember #GivingTuesday.  The hashtag signifies a global day of giving fueled by social media and collaboration.  The event is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely-represented shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  

Please support the ABI Foundation through #GivingTuesday.  Click here to make your donation: Pay Online | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (

Make Your 2024 Annual Conference Lodging Reservations Now

In last week's memo, I noted that it is not too early to make your lodging reservation for the 2024 Taking Care of Business Conference.  The conference will be held in Davenport June 4-6 of next year.  Rooms are going fast, so make your reservations now.  The Hotel Black Hawk is the main conference hotel, but there are several other great options, too.  Click on this link for more information:  Watch for other exciting conference announcements in the coming weeks. 

Nicole Crain Focus of Simpson College Event

In the Monday Memo of September 18th, I told you of a fun event produced by Simpson College that featured ABI Board Member Hank Norem (RAMCO Innovations, West Des Moines).  Well, another ABI person who happens to be, like Hank, a Simpson alum and a member of the Simpson Board of Trustees will be honored later this week. 

ABI Executive Vice President Nicole Crain will be featured in an event this Thursday, November 16, at ABI.  Simpson President Jay Byers will give an update on the college and then interview Nicole about her life and career.  It should be a great event and should you wish to attend, simply reply to this memo and I’ll make sure you are registered.  In the meantime, congratulations to Nicole for being honored by her alma mater!