Board to Meet Next Month - Monday Memo 10/4/21

October 4, 2021

Next Board Meeting a Month Away (will be held at ABI); Executive Committee Meets Thursday

ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa) is inviting all former chairs and members of the board to participate in the final board meeting of 2021.  The board will meet in person at ABI headquarters in Des Moines' East Village on Thursday, November 11.  To register, simply reply to this message.  You can expect a very full agenda.  

Again, this will be the final board meeting of the calendar year; I hope you can attend.  As for this month, the ABI Executive Committee will hold its monthly meeting by Zoom this coming Thursday.  

Biennial ABI DC Fly-In Later This Month

Three weeks from tomorrow, the 2021 edition of the Biennial ABI DC Fly-In will take off for Washington, DC.  The Fly-In was created because you asked for it and we are always pleased to take ABI leaders to our nation’s capital. 

This high-value trip is packed with substantive meetings.  There will be meetings with every single member of the Iowa Congressional delegation and there will be many other highlights.  Thank you to those participating in the 2021 edition of the Fly-In. 

2021-2022 Leadership Iowa Class to Meet in Okoboji This Week

The initial session of the 2021-2022 Leadership Iowa class will be held later this week in Okoboji.   The 40th annual class will hear from terrific speakers, such as former ABI Chair Toby Shine (Shine Bros. Corp., Spencer), ABI Foundation Board Chair Kim Butler Hegedus (Community State Bank, Ankeny), and ABI Board Member Todd McDonald (ATW Training, Urbandale), and get to know each other.   The class will meet again in November.  

As members of the board, you will have multiple opportunities to meet the LI class during the coming months.  In the meantime, thank you for your support of the LI program.  

ABI, CIRAS to Host Food Industry Seminar in Ames in December

ABI member manufacturers involved in the food industry comprise a sizeable number.  To better serve those members, ABI is partnering with longtime member CIRAS (the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University) to host a seminar focused on the current state of the industry and on challenges (and opportunities) currently facing food manufacturers. 

Details are now being finalized, but the event will be held December 7th on the ISU campus in Ames.  Tours of the ISU Food Polymer Lab, the ISU Meat Science Lab, and other facilities will be a part of the event.  Watch for more information soon. 

Iowa Events Center Again Location for Annual ABI Legislative Reception; Registration Available Soon

ABI’s award-winning public policy advocacy is successful for many reasons.  One is a terrific staff.  Another is a sophisticated array of tools and programs in place to support that work.  But the critical reason for our success is you.  Your personal relationship with your legislator is vital to ABI’s success. 

The association’s second largest event held each year is a great tool to use to help in maintaining that personal relationship.  The annual ABI Legislative Reception is always a terrific event.  Watch for registration information for this event to be available soon.  For now, please mark the date on your calendar.  The 2022 Reception will be held January 12th

In the meantime, the big news related to the event is that it will again be held at Des Moines’ Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center.  The convention center is spacious and is connected by skywalk to the brand new Hilton Hotel.  And, parking is plentiful and convenient.  Please make plans now to attend. 

2022 Annual Conference Workshop Proposals Now Being Accepted

Speaking of 2022 events, the preeminent event, of course, is the 2022 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference.  The conference will be held in Dubuque in June.  One highlight of the conference each year is the number of high value, substantive breakout sessions and workshops that are a part of the event.  Competition for these presentation slots has been keen and I am sure that will be the case again this year. 

RFPs related to the workshops are now being accepted by ABI.  Go her for more information or to submit a proposal:  The deadline for submissions is December 1. 

McKenzie Kielman to Leave ABI Foundation

In December of 2018, McKenzie Kielman graduated from Wartburg College in Waverly.  In January of 2019, McKenzie joined the ABI Foundation as Marketing and Engagement Coordinator.  Last week, McKenzie let me know she will be leaving ABI for a new position with a local management, policy, and research firm.  Her last day with us is October 14. 

McKenzie has been a wonderful part of the ABI/ABI Foundation team and we appreciate her good work.  We wish her all the very best and in her new role.  Thank you to McKenzie and again, best wishes as she transitions to a new firm. 

In the meantime, we will be filling McKenzie’s post soon.  Please stay tuned for more information. 

Friday is Deadline for ABI Directory Updates

This is the time of year that ABI's member database is being updated.  Information from the database will be checked, formatted, and put in to hard copy form for inclusion in the 2022 ABI Resource Guide.  The guide, in addition to including member data, includes information on the association's people, programs, and events. 

If there are no changes in your personnel or company information, you need do nothing.  If you have updates, simply send an email to Dorothy Knowles at  The deadline to receive updates is the end of the week.  Thank you for helping ensure accurate information. 

Last Week’s Events Celebrated Iowa Manufacturing

Last week, ABI held the annual Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference.  A great crowd was on hand to hear terrific speakers, attend high-value workshops, and share best practice ideas with each other.  

The evening before, Iowa manufacturers were celebrated at the annual ABI/Elevate Legends in Iowa Manufacturing Awards Dinner.  Congratulations to these ABI leaders and others who were recognized at the Legends Dinner: Tim Bianco (Iowa Spring, Adel), Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Avon), Larry and Joynelle Raymon (Raymon Donco, Albion), and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds.  Iowa manufacturing leader and former longtime ABI Board Member Larry Countryman (Wilson Trailer, Sioux City) was honored posthumously.  Congratulations to all the awardees and thanks to all who attended! 

Mixed Signals in Latest NAM Report

The latest edition of the Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, highlighted mixed signals related to the economy.  For example, housing starts grew, but single family construction declined.  And, manufacturing activity slipped in much of the nation, but expanded in others.  To see the report for yourself, simply to this message and I’ll get it to you at once. 

Dennis Murdock Marks Birthday

Thanks to a message from longtime ABI Board Member Rand Fisher (Iowa Area Development Group, Des Moines), I learned that last Monday was the birthday of a great ABI leader.  Former ABI Chair Dennis Murdock (CIPCO, Des Moines) celebrated his birthday a week ago today.  It was wonderful to check in with Dennis during a brief phone call.  His leadership was vitally important to ABI at critical time.  ABI sends very best wishes to Dennis Murdock!