Call on ABI - Monday Memo 4/27/20

April 27, 2020

Lots of Government News During COVID-19 Pandemic; ABI Team Busy

At this time of the year, I am typically starting these memos with news from the Iowa General Assembly as it nears completion of its annual session.  That, of course, isn’t the case this year.  

Be assured there is PLENTY of news involving state and federal government, however.  And be assured the ABI public policy team is busy actively working to ensure good outcomes for ABI members.  You can read all about in the weekly ABI newsletter.  

One of the greatest values for your ABI investment is the association’s work involving state and federal officials and public agencies.  Especially during the pandemic, you may need answers or help with an issue involving government.  If you do, call on us at ABI to help. 

ABI Board Teleconference on May 13

ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) and the ABI Board of Directors will meet by teleconference on Wednesday, May 13.  Look for your usual packet of meeting materials to arrive in your email in-basket about a week before the meeting.  If you haven’t already done so, please reply with your participation plans.  Thank you. 

Nominating Committee Meets Tomorrow

As Immediate Past Chair of ABI, David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) also serves as Chair of the 2020 ABI Nominating Committee.  The committee will meet tomorrow. 

The committee includes representatives of each of ABI’s five Iowa districts.  Thank you to David and to these other ABI leaders for serving on the association's 2020 Nominating Committee: Andy Kretz (Dexter Apache Holdings, Fairfield), Rich Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton), Stacey Pellett (John Deere, Johnston), Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Avon), and Larry Countryman (Wilson Trailer, Sioux City).  

If you wish to nominate someone for board service (and self-nominations are welcomed and encouraged), please contact one of the committee members or me.  ABI members will vote on the slate of nominees soon using an electronic format.

Take Annual ABI CEO Survey Now

It is time for ABI’s Annual CEO Survey.  ABI surveys member CEOs regarding issues important to them and their businesses.  The survey is available now and your participation is encouraged and desired.  It will take no more than 5 minutes and your input is appreciated. 

If you haven’t yet completed the survey and need the link to do so, please reply to this memorandum and I’ll get it to you at once.  Read the June Business Record Iowa for results. 

Remember to Cancel ABI Conference Lodging Reservations

If you made a hotel reservation for conference lodging at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Cedar Rapids, be sure to contact the hotel at (319) 731-4403 to cancel it.  ABI Executive Committee members were part of a block and those rooms have already been cancelled. 

Reservations at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center and at the Marriott Cedar Rapids will be cancelled for attendees.  If you made a reservation at those hotels, no action is necessary.  Thank you very much. 

17th Episode of Iowa Business Report Radio Program Broadcast

The Iowa Business Report radio program’s 17th 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.  

Mark Your Calendars for ABI Executive Open

One of ABI's most popular events each year is the annual Executive Open.  This year's open will again be played at one of Iowa's truly fabulous private courses, Des Moines Golf and Country Club (  If you are not a member, it can be difficult to get the opportunity to play it.  Well, here's your chance. 

Assuming public health conditions are such that it is possible, registration will soon be open for this event, which will be held on August 31.  For now, please save the date on your calendar.  This event sells out every year, so make your plans now and look for registration information in an upcoming edition of this memorandum. 

Must Dig for It, But NAM Report Includes SOME Good News

One change during the time of COVID-19 is that the National Association of Manufacturers’Monday Economic Report arrives earlier in the day.  While I don’t know why that is the case, I appreciate it nonetheless. 

There was even some good news to be found in this week’s edition.  In an item about new durable goods orders, which reflected expected weaknesses due to COVID-19, it was noted that the declines were not as deep as was once feared.  That is what passes for good news these days and I guess we’ll take it.  As always, reply to this memorandum if you wish to read the report for yourself and I’ll get it to you at once.