Business Day on the Hill 2016 Next Week - Monday Memo 3/7/16

March 7, 2016

Upmeyer, Hagenow, Gerlach to Keynote Day on the Hill Events on Monday and Tuesday of Next Week

We're a week away from the association’s annual Day on the Hill program.  Business Day on the Hill 2016 will be held March 15 (the same day as the next ABI board meeting) at the ABI office in the East Village in Des Moines.  

BIPAC CEO and former Congressman Jim Gerlach will keynote the Day on the Hill program on Tuesday morning.  Top state officials have also been confirmed to join you and your fellow ABI members (and NFIB members) at next week's event.  House Speaker Linda Upmeyer and House Majority Chris Hagenow will share remarks at a reception the night before Day on the Hill, at 4:30 p.m. on MONDAY, March 14.  

Day on the Hill is followed by a luncheon benefiting IIPAC, the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee.  A leading statehouse official has been confirmed as the speaker for that event.  Iowa House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow will headline the IIPAC luncheon.  To register or find more information, please go to  Or, simply reply to this message and we'll take care of the details for you.  THERE IS NO CHARGE for ABI board members and former chairs who participate (except for the IIPAC luncheon).  See you next week! 

2016 Convention Website Live; Register for Convention NOW!

Many of you have already made your reservations for the ABI Annual Convention, the 2016 Taking Care of Business Conference.  For those who have not yet registered, you can do so now.  Simply click on for all kinds of information about the convention speakers and terrific Sioux City venues.  

Based on our fantastic speakers, Sioux City location, and terrific program, I can assure you this 113th annual convention, which will be held June14-16, will be a spectacular event.  The bottom line is that you simply won’t want to miss it.  Click on the link above and make your convention reservation now. 

ABI Board to Meet Next Week; May Meeting in Marshalltown

The next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held a week from tomorrow, on March 15.  ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher , Marshalltown) will call the meeting to order that afternoon at the ABI Office in Des Moines’ East Village.  

As you have read previously and in addition to an important meeting, the board will also participate in other events throughout the day.  Things actually begin with the annual Day on the Hill reception the evening prior.  Then, on Tuesday, there is a program that morning and the IIPAC luncheon at noon, followed by the Board of Directors meeting.  See you in Des Moines on March 15.  

Please remember the location for the board's May meeting.  The May meeting will be held May 4 in Marshalltown.  Details are now being finalized, so watch for more information soon.  

Now is the Time for Your Business Horizons and Leadership Iowa Nominations

As you know, Business Horizons and Leadership Iowa are two of the ABI Foundation’s most successful programs.  For several decades, these programs have been making our state better. 

Your nominations are vital to ensuring the quality of the programs continues.  Nominating your employees and community people is easy and it is FREE.  Go to for general program information and to make your nominations.  And, look for a full report about Foundation activities at next week's meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

Register Now for March Legislative Update Teleconference 

The next ABI Legislative Update Teleconference  will be held Friday, March 18 at 9:00 a.m. and you and your employees are encouraged to participate.  The call is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at

ABI Board Members Invited to U.S. Attorneys Cybersecurity Roundtables

As you read in last week's memo, Kevin Techau, U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, along with Kevin VanderSchel, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, have re-scheduled Cybersecurity Roundtables postponed earlier in the year.  The roundtables will be held at Iowa State University in Ames and Drake University in Des Moines on March 30th. 

Your are urged to register now for one of these roundtables.  Attorney Techau has specifically invited ABI board members and former board chairs (or members of your staff) to attend one of the roundtables at no cost.  To learn more, reply to this memo and I will get you details and registration information. 

Governor and Lieutenant Governor to Attend FutureReady Iowa Roundtable at Emerson/Fisher

Emerson/Fisher will be hosting a Future Ready Iowa Roundtable event called: “Up-Skilling the Existing Workforce” in Marshalltown on Monday, March 28, 2016.  The event will be held from 10:30 to11:45 a.m. in the Emerson Innovation Center Atrium located at 301 S. 1st Street. 

Both Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will be attending and participating with a few others as “panel members” discussing FutureReady Iowa, a program designed to assist with closing the skills gap that exists in Iowa today.  It is based on the goal of equipping 70% of Iowans with training beyond high school by the year 2025.  It deals with two and four-year degrees, but more importantly industry-recognized certificates, or other credentials in the middle skills arena, which include jobs like machinists, welders, and machine operators. The “upskilling” of employees to fill these middle skilled jobs is vital to our success as a company and state. 

ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) will be a panelist at the FutureReady Iowa event.  Paul invites you, members of the ABI Board of Directors and former Chairs of the Board, to attend the roundtable free of charge.  Contact me for more information or to register. 

Great ABI Events Held in Grinnell

Held in Grinnell last week were the latest session of the 2015-2016 Leadership Iowa Class and the latest edition of the ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders events.  Both events were hugely successful and thank you to ABI Board Members who attended: David Bywater (Economy Advertising, Iowa City), Todd McDonald (ATW Training and Consulting, Urbandale), and Krista Tanner (ITC Midwest, Des Moines); thank you all! 

Bywaters Marking 120 years of Business Success

2016 is yet another big year for the Bywater Family of Iowa City.  Their company, Economy Advertising, founded five generations ago, will mark its 120th anniversary this year. 

That is a terrific achievement and the family has done it with quiet leadership and grace all long the way.  Congratulations to the company, its employees, and to the Bywater Family, including former ABI Chair Bill Bywater (Economy Advertising, Iowa City) and ABI officer David Bywater (Economy Advertising, Iowa City)

Michael Sadler Celebrates

Longtime ABI Board Member Michael Sadler (CenturyLink, Des Moines) celebrated his birthday yesterday.  He did so by watching his daughter, Mykal, at a volleyball tournament in Council Bluffs.  Mykal will be playing Division I scholarship volleyball next year at the University of Missouri Kansas City.  In the meantime, ABI sends happy birthday wishes to Michael!  

Yanney, Sukup Appointed to State Boards

Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad last week announced that he was again appointing former ABI Chair Charese E. Yanney (Guaranteed Roofing and Siding, Sioux City) to a position on the Iowa Transportation Commission.  Charese will serve her second consecutive term on this important state panel. 

Also appointed to an important position was Steve Sukup(Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield).  Steve will serve Iowa as a member of the State Judicial Nominating Commission.  Congratulations and thank you to Charese and Steve! 

Yeoman & Company Honored by Keep Iowa Beautiful

Yeoman & Company is a great ABI member in northeast Iowa.  The company has a long history of service to our state.  Just one example of that service is Yeoman & Company's longtime support for Keep Iowa Beautiful, also an ABI member and dedicated to maintaining Iowa's beauty.  That is just one of the reasons it was wonderful to see news of the latest recognition the company has received. 

Last week, KIB announced that Yeoman & Company was the recipient of the 2016 Corporate Award for leadership in assisting Iowa communities in beautification and clean-up efforts.  The company's famous Yo-Ho Quality Tools have been a part of KIB's work for years.  The award will be presented in a special ceremony to take place in the Governor's Formal Office on March 31.  Governor Terry E. Branstad, who has toured Yeoman's operations several times, will himself present the ward.  Congratulations to everyone at Yeoman, including company President and ABI Board Member Tom Yeoman (Yeoman & Company, Monticello) on this well-deserved honor! 

Conlon Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

ABI Board Member Tim Conlon (Conlon Construction Company, Dubuque) has long been a leader in his industry and in our state generally.  Two weeks ago, Tim was recognized with Master Builders of Iowa's version of the lifetime achievement award, the Build Iowa Award.

Tim and his family have indeed literally built a lot of our state.  Congratulations to Tim Conlon!  And thank you, Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames), for making sure ABI knew about Tim's important honor!

Tournament Time

For the second consecutive year, Pella High School will be playing in the Iowa Boys High School State Basketball Tournament.  The Dutch are coached by Mark Core, husband of ABI Foundation Development Director Mary Mendenhall-Core.  Good luck to Coach Core and the Pella Dutch! 

The Business of ABI; Story Construction Edition

You all know that from time to time, I like to share perspectives on our internal operations.  The good news is that as ABI nears the end of the third quarter of the fiscal year (thanks to you), our organization is strong. 

However, following your example, we are always seeking improvement.  I've talked in the past about lessons I've learned from so many ABI member companies.  That education continued this week, when I had the pleasure to accompany ABI Board Member Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames) on a tour of one of Story's projects, the new Economic Development Building in Iowa State University's Research Park in Ames. 

Last Wednesday, Mike showed me around the job site and the new building is truly impressive.  It is  a fabulous project and one that will serve ISU and Iowans for many, many years.  As impressive as the building was, the building process itself was even more impressive.  I sat in on a meeting of the Story Team and its subcontractors.  In minutes, they went over the project, the progress being made, identified challenges, discussed components, and made plans for coming work.  The illustration of this meeting (on the wall for all to see) was also impressive.  It was fascinating. 

I learned many things, but two lessons stood out.  One was that the Story folks manage for the project's completion, not its beginning.  That is, the end date is a certainty, everything else is planned to meet that goal.  Another lesson was the power of consistency.  Every day, Story asks for (and plans for) only one day's worth of work.  No more, no less. The whole system is all about clarity and transparency.

The company is achieving terrific results.  Because of this latest lesson from an ABI member company, I hope for the same from all of us at ABI.  Thank you, Mike Espeset!