Board Will Meet - Monday Memo 5/11/19

May 11, 2020

ABI Board to Meet Wednesday

ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) will convene the May meeting of the association’s board of directors at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday.  Please note the time change.  The board meeting will not begin at noon, instead the board will meet at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 13

As you read in the notice message you should have received last week, there is a second change.  Instead of meeting by teleconference, the board will now meet using Zoom, so that participants can see each other.  Board member Jack Hasken made a suggestion to meet using Zoom and Cindy approved it (thank you Jack and Cindy). 

There are very strong registration numbers for this meeting.  On behalf of Cindy and our other officers, thank you for in advance for making plans to participate. 

Latest Edition of Business Record Iowa Now Out

Each month, in partnership with the Des Moines Business Record, ABI publishes Business Record Iowa.  This newsprint publication reaches about 7,500 Iowa business leaders all across the state.  

The May edition, featuring ABI member Ashley Thompson (Unity Point Health, Des Moines) on the cover and inside the magazine, should now be in your mailbox, inside the Des Moines Business Record.  If you haven't yet received it, please let me know and another copy will be sent to you at once.  

ABI Advisory Council Members Great Resources for Your Business

The ABI Advisory Council includes valued member companies that provide terrific programming assistance, as well as key financial support for ABI.  Especially as we all deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, council members can be a great resource for your business. 

Thank you to the members of the council!  Those companies are 21st Century Rehab, ACS, BCC Advisers, BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC Insurance, Focus OneSource, Fredrikson & Byron, HDH Advisors, LMC Insurance and Risk Management, Principal Midwest Business Center, Shift Interactive, The Iowa Clinic, and Wells Fargo

ABI Foundation Has Successful #GivingTuesdayNow Campaign

Thanks to several of you (and especially to two longtime ABI leaders that I will not name, because I know they wouldn’t me to do so), the ABI Foundation enjoyed a very successful #GivingTuesdayNow campaign last week.  Nearly $11,000 was raised in one day, all of it to benefit Foundation programs.  Thank you to the Foundation team (and especially McKenzie Kielman) and board for their great work and especially, THANK YOU to all the donors. 

ABI Issues RFP for CPA Services

ABI does business only with member companies (unless for some reason that is not possible).  When we enter a vendor relationship with a member, we expect the same service enjoyed by their other customers/clients and we expect to pay the going rate.  

In that regard, ABI periodically issues requests for proposals related to professional services.  That includes things such as banking services (longtime member Wells Fargo is ABI’s bank) and legal services (longtime member BrownWinick is ABI’s law firm).  

ABI is currently in the middle of an RFP process related to CPA and general accounting services.  Executive Vice President Nicole Crain is managing the search and a review committee comprised of ABI Vice Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine), Immediate Past Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City), Nicole, and myself will review and grade the proposals.  Look for more information soon. 

Episode 19 of Iowa Business Report Radio Program Broadcast; Johnson, Wersen Featured

The Iowa Business Report radio program’s 19th edition was broadcast statewide over the weekend.  ABI is proud to sponsor this terrific program.  Click here to listen for yourself:  Links can also be found on the ABI website at  The show is produced by well-known Iowa broadcaster Jeff Stein.  

This episode is quite interesting.  Attorney Amy Johnson (BrownWinick, Des Moines) provides great insights related to issues regarding COVID-19.  You’ll want to hear her remarks.  And the profile feature in this week’s episode is former ABI Chair Robert Wersen (Interpower Corporation, Oskaloosa).  However, in this case, Bob is discussing his other company, which is also an ABI member, Tassel Ridge Winery.  It’s a fascinating look at a business and industry that is a little different than that of most ABI members.  Thank you to Amy and Bob (and Jeff) for another great edition of the Iowa Business Report! 

Kreg Tool Starts Construction of New Headquarters

Longtime ABI member Kreg Tool Company has begun construction of its new 150,000 square ft. headquarters.  The new building and campus is located just east of Interstate 35 in Ankeny. 

The new building is expected to be completed in the fall of next year and it is exciting to see the long-awaited project become a reality.  Congratulations to everyone at Kreg, including ABI Board Member and company Chairman & CEO Todd Sommerfeld (Kreg Tool, Huxley)

For 117 Years, ABI Members have Grown Iowa

(Editor’s Note: This item originally appeared in last week’s ABI newsletter.)

ABI was founded in 1903 as the Iowa Manufacturers Association.  For the past 117 years, through good economies and bad, ABI member companies have been employing Iowans, supporting families, and building communities. 

ABI survived two world wars.  It survived the Great Depression, the Great Recession, and sometime in the future, it will survive its second global pandemic. 

That success doesn’t just happen.  It isn’t just luck, although good fortune is certainly a part of it. 

ABI has grown and succeeded in exactly the same way ABI member companies have succeeded.  By the hard work, dedication, and commitment of the women and men who are the backbone of these companies.  Their innovation, strong support, and leadership are the reasons for ABI’s success. 

In the face of COVID-19, all of that is more important than ever.  ABI members have retooled to manufacture personal protective equipment.  They have donated money to community pandemic assistance funds.  Their employees have given time, resources, and materials to fight the disease. 

ABI has supported all those efforts and the ABI staff has doubled down on providing meaningful assistance and service to ABI members… so that those members can remain safely in operation and help their employees and their communities.   

That’s the real legacy of ABI.  THANK YOU for making it so.