Business Day on the Hill Coming Soon - Monday Memo 2/24/20

February 24, 2020

2020 Iowa Business Day on the Hill Two Weeks Away

The 2020 Iowa Business Day on the Hill will take place in just a little over two weeks, on March 11.  The day starts with registration at 8:30 a.m. at the ABI office in Des Moines' East Village.  While ABI is the primary organizer of the day’s activities, we are grateful to our partners for joining this event: the Iowa Business Council, the Iowa Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, the Iowa Taxpayers Association, and the National Association of Women Business Owners.  

You will want to be there to hear the latest news from the Iowa General Assembly.  Following that, you will be taken by private coach to the Capitol for meetings with legislators and other leaders.  Register now at  See you in March. 

CIRAS Provides COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

CIRAS, the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University, is a terrific ABI member-partner.  CIRAS is also a terrific resource for your business. 

The CIRAS team has created a website related to the disease known as the Coronavirus (more technically, it is COVID-19).  To quote CIRAS: “As of today, the impacts on Iowa manufacturing seem limited. We’re hearing of operational delays in supplies, shortages of PPE, and issues travelling to suppliers and customers.  We’re concerned about how quickly these impacts will escalate if the crisis continues. Inventories will start to dry up soon, and given the transportation restrictions, the flow of goods will not necessarily recover as fast as we need.”  You can access the website here:  

Register NOW for the Annual Conference

The 2020 Taking Care of Business Conference will be held in Cedar Rapids June 9-11.  At the conference, you will find not one, but three headline speakers.  You will see fabulous venues, you will have access to terrific manufacturing tours, historical sights, and great golf at Elmcrest Country Club (home club of Masters Champion Zach Johnson), and of course you will take part in the best business networking anywhere.  

Registration for the conference is NOW OPEN!  Please register for the conference by going to  As the saying goes, C U in CR! 

Governor’s Staff Encourages ABI Participation in Apprenticeship Webinars

Both the state and federal government provide substantive and tangible assistance for companies who wish to create apprenticeship programs.  Even so, the rate of participation among Iowa employers is too low.  The office of Governor Kim Reynolds and various state agencies are working to change this… and ABI is helping them. 

In that regard, ABI members are invited to participate in a series of webinars – at no charge – that will be held in the coming weeks.  Your HR team will want to be a part of the webinars.  Please reply to this message and I’ll get you more information at once.  This can be a financial benefit to your company and even more importantly, can help address workforce needs (and the apprentice gets valuable training as well as a paycheck in some cases).  Again, simply reply for more information.

Annual Luncheon March 11; Watch for Speaker Announcement Soon

As I reported last week, an invitation has gone out to a Statehouse leader to be the keynote speaker at the annual IIPAC Luncheon on March 11 (stay tuned for more information).  The luncheon is open to all IIPAC contributors of $50 or more.  If you haven’t yet made your annual IIPAC contribution, you can do so here:  You can also make your donation at the door on the 11th.  Please join us then to support IIPAC. 

ABI Board Will Meet March 11

Members of the ABI Board of Directors will meet at the ABI office on March 11.  ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) will call the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. 

The March meeting agenda will be a full one, with many important issues on tap.  In fact, there will be a full day of ABI events on March 11.  

Please register for the board meeting by simply replying to this email message.  The day will start with the annual Day on the Hill program that morning and the IIPAC luncheon at noon, followed by the meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  Plan now to join your fellow ABI board members and past chairs at ABI in March. 

Dubuque Site Visit Wednesday

The first official site visit for the 2022 conference takes place on Wednesday.  ABI Executive Committee Member Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa) will lead a delegation of ABI folks as we see venues and event spaces all around Greater Dubuque.  

Dubuque is a popular ABI destination and plans for a terrific annual conference are already well underway.  Cedar Rapids this year, Iowa City next year, Dubuque the next year… big things heading your way in coming months and years!

Leadership Iowa University Board will Meet

The newest program (but still more than a decade old) of the ABI Foundation is Leadership Iowa University.  The LIU session will be held this summer in Des Moines and in ABI-member facilities around central Iowa.  In preparation for the 2020 LIU session, the LIU Board of Directors will hold its regularly-scheduled meeting at ABI this Thursday.  Thank you to these leaders for their time and expertise. 

Bi-Weekly Legislative Call Coming Friday

As you know, ABI lobbyists host a teleconference to give you the very latest information from the Statehouse.  These bi-weekly updates on bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters are held every two weeks and the next call is this Friday, February 28.  Your specific questions about those topics are also very much welcomed. 

The call will take place at 8:00 a.m. and you and your employees are encouraged to participate.  The members-only call is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register by emailing Michelle Vollstedt at  Go here for more information:  In the meantime, thanks to JD Davis and Brad Hartkopf, ABI’s public policy team, for their hard work. 

Episode 8 of Iowa Business Report Radio Show Produced

Episode 8 of the ABI-supported Iowa Business Report radio show has now been broadcast statewide and if you missed it, you can listen online.  Click here to listen for yourself:  Links can also be found on the ABI website at  

ABI is pleased to support the show, which is produced by well-known Iowa broadcaster Jeff Stein and heard on stations all over Iowa.  The latest episode is another terrific edition.  

March 26: Biennial Pre-Employment Testing Seminar

As you know, the biennial ABI Pre-Employment Testing Seminar will be held on March 26 at ABI.  The program will include the latest information about pre-employment testing and the latest information about best practices being utilized by other companies.  Click here for more information and to register:  We look forward to seeing you at the seminar on March 26. 

ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders, Building Business Value Events in Muscatine

The next event in ABI's Connecting Statewide Leaders series will be held in March.  The event will be held in Muscatine and will be followed by a high-value business seminar.  

Find more information and/or register for the Connecting Statewide Leaders event here:  Mark your calendars now to join fellow ABI members, Leadership Iowa Class members, local business leaders, and others for this event.   

Following that event, stick around for the Building Business Value Seminar.  A high-value panel will provide information that will lead to increased success for your business.  Click here for more information and to register: See you in Muscatine in March. 

BrownWinick Unveils New Logo, Website

Longtime ABI member BrownWinick last week unveiled a new logo and a new website.  The brand well positions the firm, one of Iowa’s oldest and largest business law firms, for the future. 

The website is a terrific resource for information about the firm and, through various sections, issues impacting your business.  Check it out for yourself here:  In the meantime, congratulations to everyone at the firm, including former ABI Chair Bill Brown (BrownWinick, Des Moines) and ABI Board Member Chis Sackett (BrownWinick, Des Moines)!