Business Horizons 2022 a Great Success - Monday Memo 7/25/22

July 25, 2022

Business Horizons 2022 Huge Success

As you read about in last week's edition of this memorandum, the 2022 session of the ABI Foundation's Business Horizons high school experience was held last week.  Dozens and dozens of students from all over Iowa converged on the campus of Central College in Pella to participate in this terrific program.  

The week provided a fabulous experience for all involved. Making it so was another great group of students, terrific ABI members, and leaders.  BH 2022 was a huge success, with students and parents sharing praise for the curriculum and the connections made during the week.  This program is simply a terrific event each year and it is possible only through the support of you, your company, and your employees.  Special thanks to the Foundation team of Jessi McQuerrey, Becky Coady, Kendall Antle, and Jane Galloway for their terrific work in making BH a smash. 

Final Call: ABI Okoboji CEO Forum THIS WEEK; Great Program on Tap

Please consider this information as a final invitation for this week’s 2022 ABI Okoboji CEO Forum (you don’t have to be a CEO to attend).  Click here for more information and to register: Summary - Okoboji CEO Forum (Members Only) (  The forum will be held Thursday and Friday in the Okoboji area.  Thursday afternoon’s events take place at the Waterfront Events Center in Arnolds Park.  On Friday morning, we’ll be at a terrific longtime ABI member, Spencer Municipal Utilities, in Spencer.  The forum starts with lunch on Thursday and ends with the tour Friday morning. 

Starting with lunch this Thursday, the forum will produce a terrific program.  ABI member Kavi Chawla (Baton Global, Des Moines) will share comments about the latest in geopolitical issues and their impact on Iowa businesses.  And, Jason Stone (Dentons Davis Brown, Des Moines) will discuss mergers and acquisitions.  Next, a terrific panel of ABI leaders will share comments about their businesses.  This great panel includes Sherri Behrendt (formerly of Vantec, Webster City), Katy Susong (Cardinal Construction, Waterloo), and Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield).  Keynote Speaker Miriam Erickson Brown (Anderson Erickson Dairy Company, Des Moines) will speak next.  Friday morning, attendees will be addressed by CEO Steve Pick (Spencer Municipal Utilities, Spencer) and then tour SMU’s brand new, state of the art water plant. 

As you can see, this is an exceptional program.  Join ABI Chair Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines and 50 other ABI leaders at the lakes later this week! 

August ABI Executive Committee Teleconference Two Weeks from Wednesday; September Board Meeting to be Held in Des Moines Area

Members of the ABI Executive Committee will convene for their monthly Zoom meeting on August 10.  ABI Chair Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines) and committee members will work through a full agenda in advance of the next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

As you know, the first ABI Board Meeting of the 2022-2023 fiscal year will be held on September 14.  It will be held in Johnston, at the new headquarters/Conference center of a longtime ABI member, the Iowa Bankers Association.  You will not want to miss it!  Please mark your calendars now and finalize your plans to participate in this important meeting.  

Leadership Iowa University to Begin in Two Weeks; ABI Leaders Can Interact with Class at Event on August 10; Learn How to Protect Your Company against Ransomware Attacks

Two weeks from yesterday, on August 7, talented Iowa college students will assemble for the annual session of the ABI Foundation’s Leadership Iowa University program.  Students come from Iowa’s public universities, private colleges, and from community colleges and all will learn about our state and ways they can impact its future.  LIU class programs have received rave reviews from students, college officials, ABI leaders, and others.  

A part of the LIU program is the latest in the Connecting Statewide Leaders series of events.  This program will be a high-value seminar on the Ransomware Pandemic.  Don’t miss this opportunity to get the very latest information on how you can protect your company from this possibility devastating financial attack.

Find more information and register here: Summary - Connecting Statewide Leaders - Des Moines (  The event will be held on August 10 at ABI member company R&R Realty Group in West Des Moines.  Take the opportunity to attend and network with the LIU students… your future employees! 

Policy Development Meetings Start Next Month

Along with other changes made to ABI's award-winning public policy advocacy work, our association has advanced the annual policy development process.  This extra time allows ABI members and staff to further engage legislators and other state officials in issues important to Iowa employers.  In keeping with that change, the annual policy development meetings will be held next month.  The ABI Employment and Workforce Committee will kick things off on August 9 and it will be keynoted by the Director of Iowa Workforce Development, Beth Townsend.  

Regarding each of the committees, dozens of members have already registered for these important meetings.  If you haven't already done so, there is still plenty of time for you and your employees to register.  ABI members may participate free of charge.  Simply go to to register for the committee meetings of interest to you.  The ABI Board of Directors will act on the policy recommendations at the September board meeting. 

New Board Member Orientations Continue This Week

Ask any ABI staff member about one of the best perks of their job and they will cite the opportunity to tour so many Iowa manufacturing and business operations.  That is typically one of the best things about the annual orientation sessions with newly-elected board members and regretfully, due to recovery from surgery, I am not able to make the trips this year (the sessions are being conducted via Zoom).  I look forward to getting out on the road again soon.    

In the meantime, the orientation process continues throughout July and August.  Thank you to these newly-elected ABI Board Members for their time and service: Steve Anderson (Merrill Manufacturing, Storm Lake), Lesley Bartholomew (Wells Enterprises, Le Mars), Ken Feldmann (Employee Owned Brands, Fairfield), Liz Hobart (GROWMARK, Waterloo), Eric Moerman (Interstates Companies, Sioux Center), Hank Norem (Ramco Innovations, West Des Moines), Gretchen Spear (International Paper, Cedar Rapids), and Nate Weaton (Weaton Capital, Fairfield).  The honorary Leadership Iowa board representative this year is Nick Glew (Marion Economic Development Corporation, Marion).  You will have an opportunity to meet the new board members at a future meeting. 

Annual ABI Executive Open in Five Weeks

Register now for the annual ABI Executive Open Best Ball, which will be held five weeks from today, on August 29, at the beautiful Glen Oaks Country Club in West Moines.  One of the nation’s most beautiful clubs, Glen Oaks provides an exceptional playing experience.  Learn more about Glen Oaks CC here: Glen Oaks Country Club (   

Golf, networking, and a reception will highlight the day.  To register right now for the remaining spots, go to Summary - Executive Open (  We look forward to seeing you at the Executive Open again this year! 

NAM Report:  Manufacturing Data Mixed

The news in last week’s National Association of ManufacturersMonday Economic Report was mixed.  It highlighted manufacturing activity’s continuing issues with supply chain and productivity, but noted that some manufacturers were seeing significant expansion.  There was other great information included in the report, as there is every week.  If you wish to read the report for yourself, please reply to this memo and I’ll get it to you at once. 

Three Former ABI Chairs Meet

Last Thursday in Atlantic, three former Chairs of the ABI Board of Directors got together for a visit.  This terrific trio included Jim Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Atlantic), Charese Yanney, (Guarantee Roofing and Siding, Sioux City), and Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines)

Charese had a crew in town to build a roof and took the opportunity to check in on Jim and Kirk.  She reports a great visit and much fun were had.  This trio, by the way, is responsible for some huge developments at ABI over the years and I am grateful to Charese to sharing news of the visit. 

Shive-Hattery Continues Growing, Acquires St. Louis Firm

Longtime member Shive-Hattery announced Friday that it has acquired KdG Architects, a St. Louis firm that specializes in engineering and design (in addition to architecture).  The acquisition continues Shive-Hattery’s growth curve and expands its foothold in a major market.  

Read more about the acquisition here: Shive-hattery Acquires KdG | Shive-Hattery.  In the meantime, congratulations to everyone at Shive-Hattery, include ABI Board Member Tom Bosch (Shive-Hattery, West Des Moines)

Dorothy Knowles Retires Friday

In recent editions of this memorandum, I have shared news of the impending retirement of ABI’s current longest-serving employee, Dorothy Knowles.  Well, it is upon us. 

It was fun to see so many ABI members (and others) turn-out for a reception honoring Dorothy held earlier this month.  It is safe to say Dorothy enjoyed seeing just how highly regarded she is held by everyone who knows her.  Dorothy will conclude 17 years of service to ABI this Friday.  She has been a valued member of the team and she is a truly wonderful person.  We wish her, and her husband Bob Knowles, the very best in her well-deserved retirement.  Good luck and thank you, Dorothy!