Board to Meet Wednesday - Monday Memo 11/7/22

November 7, 2022

Board Meets Wednesday; Guests, Special Announcement on Agenda

The ABI Board of Directors and the ABI Executive Committee will meet this week.  ABI Chair Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines) will call to order the final board meeting of 2022 at 11:30 a.m.  The board will meet 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.  Dr. Ron Cox, retiring Director CIRAS (the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University) will be on hand to share brief remarks about his view of Iowa business as he completes a very successful career.  Also to be considered is an issue involving board members and IIPAC, ABI’s political action committee.  And, a very special announcement about the ABI brand will close out the day. 

If you haven't already done so, please register your attendance by simply 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 reference materials related to the meeting.  If you didn’t receive it, please reply to this memo and I’ll make sure you get it.  In the meantime and on behalf of Kim and our ABI officers, I look forward to seeing you next week. 

ABI Foundation Board to Meet; Virtual LI CONNECT Program Next Week

This is a busy time at the ABI Foundation.  For example, the members of the 2022-2023 Leadership Iowa class met last week in SW Iowa. 

In other Foundation news, members of the ABI Foundation Board of Directors will meet this Wednesday afternoon.  The board, which is chaired by former ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield), will work through a full agenda of action items and program reports.  

Finally, alumni of the ABI Foundation’s Leadership Iowa program are participating in a series of events to learn more about emerging issues.  The next such program in the LI CONNECT series will be held next Wednesday, November 16th using a virtual format.  For more information or to register, please go to: Meeting Registration - Zoom

ABI, CIRAS to Host Supply Chain Seminars Thursday and Next Tuesday

Remember to register now for important seminars coming your way this week and next.  This Thursday, November 10, and again a week from tomorrow, November 15, ABI will partner with CIRAS (the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University) to produce seminars related to supply chain.  This week’s seminar will focus on managing supply chain challenges.  At next Tuesday’s event, the focus will be on supply chain issues in chaotic times such as those now being experienced.  For the November 10th seminar, which takes place in Atlantic, click here to register: Summary - State of Manufacturing: Supply Chain Challenges (  For the event on the 15th, which will be held in Oskaloosa, please click here: Summary - Supply Chains in Times of Chaos (  I look forward to seeing you at either or both events. 

ABI Monthly Newsprint Journal Receiving High Marks

You soon will be receiving the monthly edition of ABI's flagship publication, Business Record Iowa.  Published in conjunction with member Business Publications Corporation, BRIowa many years ago took the place of our quarterly publication, magazine.  

Newly-Elected ABI Board Member Liz Hobart (GROWMARK, Bloomington) is on the cover of this month’s magazine.  In addition to Liz, ABI Board Members Stephen Anderson (Merrill Manufacturing Storm Lake) and Matt Bemrich (Bemrich Electric and Telephone, Fort Dodge) are also featured this month.  You’ll also find great content about ABI programs and activities.  

As we look to our exciting new partnership coming soon with ABI member John Lohman, publisher of the Corridor Business Journal and the Quad Cities Regional Business Journal, your input is important to us.  Please share anything we can do to make the new journal even better and more useful to you.  

And by the way, John’s team will also publish the annual ABI Business Resource Guide, the association’s annual member directory.  If you have updates, please contact me and we’ll make sure they are processed for the 2023 edition. 

York Meggison Joins ABI as School-to-Work Student

Many ABI member companies host school-to-work students in their plants and offices.  STW programs are high school programs in which students work at actual jobs while in school.  The student gains valuable experience and the employers get another employee. 

Following your lead, ABI is participating in school-to-work this year.  York Meggison, a student at Dallas Center Grimes High School, recently joined ABI three afternoons a week.  York is interested in business, finance, and politics/policy.  His first priority is work related to the membership directory and database updates and he is also doing messaging/work for in advance of the election.  York is a personable young man and a hardworking student, and we appreciate his being with us.  Welcome, York. 

ABI Legislative Briefing, Reception January 11

Mark your calendars now for one of ABI’s most popular, and most important, events of the year.  The annual ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception will be held Wednesday, January 11, 2023 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines.  Typically, over 500 members and state officials attend this event each year.  

Because of your participation, this event draws more Iowa legislators (of both parties) than any similar event hosted by other organizations.  Your local legislators enjoy this event and appreciate the opportunity to visit with you and your fellow Iowa business leaders in a relaxed and informal setting.  As always, all 150 legislators and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg have been invited to join you at the reception.  

Immediately prior to the event, the annual members-only legislative briefing will be held.  This event will provide you with the very latest in legislative news and information about ABI issues.  You can find more information and register NOW by going to Summary - Legislative Briefing and Reception (  By the way, as always, this event is being held the same day as the January meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  On behalf of our ABI officers and directors, I look forward to seeing you in Des Moines on January 11.  

Next Connecting Statewide Leaders Event in Ames Next Month

The first 2022-2023 Connecting Statewide Leaders event will be held December 1 in Ames.   This forum is the next opportunity to participate in the popular series of events ABI has hosted around Iowa over the course of the past few years.  

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.  Register now for this program, which will focus on innovation and technology in the workplace and keeping your employees safe: Summary - Connecting Statewide Leaders - Ames (  Make your plans now to join the LI class and ABI members in Ames in December. 

Not Too Soon to Make 2023 Annual Conference Lodging Reservations

It is not too early to make your lodging reservation for the 2023 Taking Care of Business Conference, ABI's 120th annual convention.  That event will be held June 13-15 of next year in Cedar Rapids. 

The main conference hotel is the beautiful Doubletree by Hilton, which is connected to the Cedar Rapids Convention Complex (the site of the conference).  Go here and click on the “Hotels” button to find a link to the flagship hotel: Taking Care of Business Conference | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (   You will soon see other lodging options.  

Remember, this conference will involve exciting, brand new venues, fabulous speakers, and sessions unlike any seen before.  You will be able to register for the conference on the ABI website soon.  In the meantime, use the link above to make your lodging reservation now. 

Advisory Council to Meet in Two Weeks

The ABI Advisory Council will meet a week from Thursday.  This will mark the panel's final business meeting of 2022.  Thank you to ABI Advisory Council members Anthologic, AssuredPartners, BCC Advisers, BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC, Focus OneSource/G&A Partners, Fredrikson & Byron, HDH Advisors, Principal, The Iowa Clinic, Wellmark, and Wells Fargo for your leadership and support! 

NAM Report: Economy Rebounds in Third Quarter

Last week’s Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, carried some small good news.  The U.S. economy rebounded after two consecutive quarters of decrease, and expanded in Q3.  There was other good news, but of course concerns abound.  If you wish to read the report for yourself, simply reply to this message and I’ll get it to you at once. 

Steffensmeier Welding and Manufacturing to Become a Weaton Company

There was a big announcement made last Tuesday involving two terrific ABI members.  Weaton Companies announced that it had acquired a strategic interest in Steffensmeier Welding and Manufacturing in Pilot Grove.  This is great news and we salute all involved, including the CEOs of both companies, ABI Board Members Nate Weaton (Weaton Companies, Fairfield) and Jenny Steffensmeier (Steffensmeier Welding and Manufacturing, Pilot Grove)!  If you wish to read the media announcement related to this news, please reply to this memorandum.  Congratulations again to Jenny and Nate! 

Agri-Industrial, Pigott… and Kreg Tool Get Together for a Special Day

It was fun to learn about a special day shared by two terrific ABI members last week.  Agri-Industrial Plastics Company successfully bid on a day of consultation with the team at Pigott.  The day was spent in a great event related to the Future of Work and I have seen photographic evidence of the learning and fun that was had by all.  Congratulations to former ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and current ABI Chair Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines) and their teams!  The day ended with a tour of the fabulous new headquarters of another great ABI member: Kreg Tool Company. Congratulations to ABI board Member Todd Sommerfeld (Kreg Tool, Ankeny) and to all involved for what clearly was a terrific day! 

Urban Dreams Roasting and Toasting Fred Buie

Des Moines-based Urban Dreams is well-known for its successful human service programs and outreach that lift up underserved and underrepresented populations.  Founded almost 40 years ago by former State Representative Wayne Ford, Urban Dreams has changed the lives of thousands of Iowans. 

This Wednesday evening, Former ABI Chair Frederick V. Buie (Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Company (ret.), Des Moines) will be the honoree at the organization’s annual Roast and Toast Fundraiser.  I have it on good authority that the event is always a highlight of the year in Des Moines, with good work being done and much fun had by all.  Fred, as most of you know, was a Des Moines civic leader and community champion during his long and successful career as the owner and leader of Keystone.  He served on many boards and helped many organizations (ABI being one of them).  

Click here to learn more and/or to make a donation on behalf of Fred: Urban Dreams - Roast & Toast of Fred Buie (  Congratulations, Fred, on this well-deserved honor! 

Coach Vanden Bosch

Longtime ABI Board Member Mindi Vanden Bosch (Vermeer Corporation, Pella) is well-known as the Vice President of Operations at her family’s company.  She also is Coach Vanden Bosch, as she has been named an Assistant Girls Basketball Coach at her high school alma mater, Pella Christian High School.  It was fun to learn in the announcement of the appointment that Mindi has a passion for basketball.  In fact, she played all four years at her collegiate alma mater, Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, playing in four consecutive NCAA tournaments.  Mindi and her husband, Frank Bosch, have three children, all attending Pella Christian Schools.  Congratulations to Mindi and her family and we look forward to following the Eagles to the State Tournament! 

Mary Andringa, Tom McMahon Celebrate

Speaking of Mindi, her mother is getting ready to celebrate.  In fact, it is always fun to recognize two ABI leaders who share the same birthday this month.  Former ABI Chair Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella) and former ABI Board Member and former ABI Foundation Chair Tom McMahon (Barker Company, Keosauqua) share birthdays.  ABI sends best birthday wishes to Mary and Tom! 

Lesley Bartholomew Battling Cancer

Newly-elected ABI Board Member Lesley Bartholomew (Wells Enterprises, Le Mars) has long been active in ABI and is a well-known business leader in NW Iowa.  Lesley shared that she has been diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer.  Thankfully, the cancer was caught early (during an annual exam).  She encourages all women to please get an annual mammogram and do not put it off.  The earlier breast cancer is found, the better the outcome.  Lesley will soon undergo surgery and I know she is a fighter.  Please join me in keeping Lesley in our thoughts and prayers. 

Rand Fisher Reports Fifth Grandchild on the Way

This one is short and sweet; ABI sends big congratulations to former longtime ABI Board Member Rand Fisher (Iowa Area Development Group (ret.), Des Moines) and his wife Cyndi Fisher, as Rand reports their fifth grandchild is on the way.  Best wishes all around! 

The Business of ABI; Strong Results in 2022

Editor's Note: The following is a message that has become a tradition about this time each year; it has been edited for accuracy and so that it objectively applies to the current year

When I created the Monday Memo, my goal was to provide you with sort of an “inside baseball” view of what is happening at ABI each week.  Too many times, this weekly memo becomes simply a list of upcoming events.  Given that, I especially like to share news related to developments and projects (other than events) and news of what is happening with your fellow board members and past chairs.  And, I like to share news regarding what I call the business of ABI.  

The business of ABI refers to key information about the metrics that provide insights as to whether or not our association is achieving the goals you establish for it every year.  In that regard and in keeping with a tradition started well over a decade ago, I typically share some information in the memo that appears the week of the final board meeting of the year to provide some information about association results during the past 12 months. 

For many years, I listed several bullet points related to ABI's work in public policy, programs, with the work of the ABI Foundation, and as it pertains to our operational and financial success.  Because that became repetitive, I took a different tack the last few years and I'll do that again now.  

Let me simply say that ABI experienced strong results in 2022.  I need to point out that is not just rhetoric.  Simply saying something is the case does not make it so.  In measurable ways, ABI enjoyed success this year.  When it comes to public policy advocacy, membership growth, participation in events, conference revenue, Foundation programs, creation of new initiatives, and in so many other ways, 2022 has been a truly great year (and of course it’s not over yet). 

The last few years were made even more challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Not too many organizations can say this, but ABI can: We have weathered our SECOND global pandemic.  ABI survived the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 and it has survived the COVID pandemic (here’s hoping there aren’t too many more pandemics to survive).  While other organizations laid-off staff members, cut programs, operated in the red, or even went out of business, ABI has continued to operate and has even added new virtual programs during this time.  That is due to you, our board members, and the membership in general. 

ABI board members demand results.  Thanks to your leadership and thanks to a hard-working staff at ABI and the ABI Foundation, strong results were achieved in 2022.   THANK YOU.