Conference is NEXT WEEK - Monday Memo 6/5/23

June 5, 2023

It’s Almost Here; 120th Annual ABI Convention NEXT WEEK

The 120th Annual ABI Convention, the 2023 Taking Care of Business Conference, kicks-off a week from tomorrow, starting with networking activities right out of the gate that morning and afternoon.  Various locations around Cedar Rapids will be the focus next Tuesday.  The terrific EASTBANK Venue is the setting for the Gala Opening Reception, which will be held Tuesday evening.  The Reception, a fun, high energy event, will be something you do not want to miss.  

As with every ABI convention, there are many program highlights from which to choose.  However, it is clear that the keynote sessions featuring internationally-known speakers Cy Wakeman, Brandon Williams, and Ryan Anderson will draw fantastic crowds.  Informative workshops will fill the afternoon on Wednesday.  

As I noted last week, the Chair’s Dinner Wednesday evening will be unforgettable.  Held at the HarMac Center, this event will be fabulous, fun, and tasty!  The annual ABI Foundation Auction, in a silent format this year, will wrap-up that night.  In keeping with tradition, Governor Kim Reynolds will also address the conference on Wednesday.  The final keynote and Leadership Iowa graduation will take place Thursday morning.  This will definitely be a conference for the ages.  Always the source of the very best business networking in Iowa, come to the conference and choose your own highlight from the great series of events, speakers, and venues that await you.  

If you haven’t registered, that is not a problem… but almost 500 people HAVE already registered!  Go now to and click on the conference icon on the page.  Or simply reply to this message and I'll make sure you are registered right away.  On behalf of ABI Chair Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines) and our other officers, we look forward to seeing you next week in Cedar Rapids! 

BID & WIN for Iowa: ABI Foundation Auction is LIVE Today

The annual auction benefitting the programs of the ABI Foundation goes live this morning at 8:00 a.m.  This year’s event will take place June 5-14 in an online silent auction format. 

Thanks to the generosity of so many amazing Iowa leaders and organizations, there are over 50 items on which to bid.  Funds raised benefit the mission of the ABI Foundation to grow and sustain a connected network of enthusiastic, informed, and inspired leaders across our great state. 

Bidding will conclude on June 14 at 9:00 p.m. Click this link for more information: 2023 ABI Foundation Auction | 32auctions

Your support for the Foundation is important, appreciated, and it is never taken for granted.  Leadership Iowa, Leadership Iowa University, Business Horizons, and Elevate Iowa have made our state a better place and impacted the lives of thousands of Iowans.  Thank you again! 

Jacobs, Landhuis, Deering on the Cover of the June Edition of ABI Business Monthly

ABI members around Iowa have shared with us that they enjoy the new ABI Business Monthly publication that ABI produces in conjunction with the Corridor Media Group.  This newsprint product is produced monthly (as opposed to quarterly with the ABI's previous publication) and goes to a much wider distribution list. 

The June edition of the Business Monthly should hit your mailbox late this week.  It is inside the Corridor Business Journal and the Quad Cities Business Journal - look for the cover photo of ABI Board Members Steve Jacobs (BCC Advisers, Des Moines), Mary Landhuis (Lisle Corporation, Clarinda), and Connor Deering (CemenTech, Indianola).  Steve, Mary, and Connor are great Iowa business leaders and we appreciate their service as cover models this month.  If you do not receive a copy of the latest Business Monthly, reply to this memo and we'll get a copy to you. 

Nominating Committee Completes Work; Slate Developed for Annual Election

Members of the 2023 ABI Nominating Committee have now completed their work.  The committee developed a slate of officers and directors for consideration by the general membership at next week’s annual business meeting.  Thank you to these ABI leaders for their important work.  

The committee includes the following members: Immediate Past ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa) also serves as Chair of the Nominating Committee.  The committee includes representatives of ABI’s Iowa districts.  Thank you to Jack and to these other ABI leaders for serving on the association's 2023 Nominating Committee: Liz Hobart (GROWMARK, Bloomington), Tim Conlon (Conlon Construction, Dubuque), Heather Bruce Osmundson Mfg., Perry), and Bill McKim (Midland Power, Boone).  Thank you again for a job well done. 

Annual ABI Policy Continues; Policy Committees to Meet

Starting with meetings in Council Bluffs, Fort Dodge, and Sioux Center, the association's public policy team has hosted three stops on the annual ABI public policy regional tour.  Two more stops, in LeClaire and Des Moines, will complete the tour.  

Following that, ABI’s policy work will move to the next phase.  Each of ABI's five policy committees, plus the Legislative Committee, will meet later this summer.  You and your employees are invited to participate in those meetings at no charge.  You can find more information or register for any of the meetings using this link:  

Leadership Iowa to Celebrate; Current Class Will Graduate

The ABI Foundation's Leadership Iowa program marks another successful year with activities coinciding with the annual conference.  Go now to for more information. 

The LI graduation ceremony will take place on the Main Stage during next Thursday morning’s conference session.  It will be a highlight of the annual conference for attendees to honor the LI Class, which has been noted by some as the best ever.  I know you join me in congratulating all class members. 

Dan Culhane Honored with Leadership for Iowa Award

The ABI Foundation's highest honor is the Leadership for Iowa Award.  The award is presented periodically to an alumnus of the Leadership Iowa program who is a leader among leaders and who has demonstrated a commitment to serve Iowa. 

The 2023 award will be presented to Iowa leader Dan Culhane (Ames Chamber and Economic Development Corporation, Ames).  Dan is a terrific leader and is well-deserving of the award.  Congratulations, Dan! 

Calling All Students: Register for Business Horizons Now

Speaking of the Foundation, the ABI Foundation's Business Horizons program has been phenomenally successful, literally changing the lives of Iowa's young people over the years.  The 2023 edition of this terrific program will be held next month at Drake University in Des Moines.  

There are still slots left for students and I hope you will consider nominating the high school-age sons and daughters of your employees.  It's free and it won't take long to do it.  Please click here:  Thank you for your help! 

Phelan’s to Mark Golden Anniversary Thursday

This Thursday, June 8th, is a big day for ABI Vice Chair Rich Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton) and his wife, Carolyn Phelan.  On that day, Rich and Carolyn will celebrate 50 years of marriage.  If I know Rich and Carolyn, the event is sure to involve tons of family and fun times.  ABI sends hearty congratulations to Rich and Carolyn; here’s hoping for the very best anniversary celebration ever! 

Bywater’s to Celebrate Saturday

Speaking of anniversaries, former ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and Angie Bywater will celebrate 29 years of marriage on June 11.  ABI sends congratulations to David and Angie and best wishes for many more years together! 

The Business of ABI: Serving Members

Remember to call on ABI.  Your investment in our association each year comes with an expectation from us that we will provide a return on that investment.  We want to help. 

For some members, thinking about ABI doesn’t come naturally.  It should.  For example, you might recall that related to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we added lots and lots of tasks to our to-do list and were proud to deliver results for ABI members.  We found and connected ABI members with Plexiglas vendors and with personal protective equipment.  We helped find new vendors for supply chain issues.  We provided clear guidance on policies and state and federal laws.  We helped arrange financing in a couple of cases.  We continued to press (successfully) for changes in laws and regulations that had genuine benefit for Iowa employers.  Later, we helped arrange COVID vaccination clinics for members. 

The point is that is what we do (providing value for members), and we’ll keep at it.  While ABI maintains a host of existing programs and services, during special circumstances, we’ll try to add value in other ways, however you need us to do so.  Don’t forget to call on ABI when can be of assistance.  And thank you for your support which makes that assistance possible.