Conference Registration Opens Next Week - Monday Memo 2/13/23

February 13, 2023

Registration for the Annual Conference Opens Next Week

You have read previously about ABI's 120th annual convention, the 2023 Taking Care of Business Conference.  It will be held in Cedar Rapids June 13-15.  You do not want to miss this fantastic annual event. 

At the conference, you will find not one, but three headline speakers.  You will see fabulous venues, you will have access to terrific tours, historical sights, and great golf at the totally refurbished Ellis Golf Course (Welcome to the City of Cedar Rapids, Iowa (, and of course you will take part in the best business networking anywhere.  Please register for the conference starting next Thursday (February 23rd) by going to  In the meantime, finalize your plans now and we will look forward to seeing you in Cedar Rapids in June! 

Editor’s Note:  The conference flagship hotel is the DoubleTree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex.  Use the link above to connect to make your lodging arrangements now. 

Register NOW for Brand New ABI Business Day in Des Moines

Over a hundred of you have already registered for ABI’s newest event, Business Day in Des Moines.  The event will be held Tuesday, March 7.  The day starts with registration promptly at 10:45 a.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Des Moines' East Village.  

You’ll hear from invited guests Governor Reynolds, legislative leaders of both chambers and both parties (all four leaders are confirmed), you’ll hear a geopolitical update from popular ABI speaker/member Kavi Chawla (Baton Global, Des Moines), and more.  You’ll have the opportunity to interact with these leaders, with fellow ABI members, and you’ll hear the latest about ABI issues and programs.  You don’t want to miss it!  Click here for more information and to register: Summary - Business Day in Des Moines (  See you in March for this brand new event. 

Hiring, Cobot Events Coming Up; Also LI Connect

As you read in last week’s memorandum, February is a particularly busy month for high-value ABI programs.  Two such programs were held last week and more are coming. 

On February 21st, ABI Executive Vice President Nicole Crain will lead a webinar focused on information about apprenticeships and work-based learning.  Senior Advisor to Governor Reynolds Linda Fandel and Kris Bryan of Iowa Workforce Development will provide the program.  

That same week, on February 23rd, ABI is partnering with members Kinetic Technologies and Iowa Lakes Community College on a high-value cobot automation seminar.  The session will provide an informative and interactive program about bringing automation to your company and it will be held at Iowa Lakes’ Algona campus.  Lunch will be served.  Click here for more information and to register: Summary - Cobot Automation Summit (

By the way, later this week on Wednesday, the latest event LI Connect event will be held.  It will focus on serving on boards and commissions.  This free Zoom event begins at 8:30 a.m. on February 15.  To participate, click here: Meeting Registration - Zoom

ABI Board Will Meet March 7

Members of the ABI Board of Directors will meet at the Embassy Suites Hotel on March 7.  ABI Chair Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines) 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. The March board meeting will be preceded by the ABI Business Day in Des Moines program.  Plan now to join your fellow ABI board members and past chairs at ABI in March. 

Executive Committee Will Not Meet in March

You may recall that ABI does not typically hold an executive committee meeting in March.  Following the new Business Day in Des Moines program, members will move right in to the March board meeting in the afternoon.  The board will meet at 1:30 p.m. on the 8th

24th is Date of Final ABI Legislative Update for February, Updates Held Bi-Weekly through the End of Session

A week from Friday, February 24th, at 8:00 a.m., ABI lobbyists Vice President Public Policy JD Davis and Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf will host the next bi-weekly Zoom update to give you the very latest information from the Statehouse.  Updates on bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters are covered in each call.  Your specific questions about those topics are also very much welcomed. 

This session will mark the final update of February, with the next update taking place on March 10.  The members-only update is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at Legislative Update (Members Only) | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (  

Advisory Council Meeting February 16

Members of the ABI Advisory Council provide leadership in many ways.  Certainly their financial support for ABI is important, but of even greater value are the people and information these great companies provide to ABI members.  

The council will hold its monthly meeting this Thursday, February 16.  Please join me in thanking the members of the council.  They are AnthologicAssured PartnersBankers Trust, BCC AdvisersBrownWinickCIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllenEMC InsuranceFocus OneSource/G&A PartnersFredrikson & ByronHDH AdvisorsPrincipal Midwest Business CenterThe Iowa ClinicWellmark, and Wells Fargo

Elevate Celebrates 10 years, Legends Nominations Now Being Accepted; Scholarship Information Available

Each fall, ABI, through its Elevate Advanced Manufacturing program, ABI honors and celebrates Iowa manufacturing.  ABI will do so again on October 4th.  Mark your calendar and makes plan to join your ABI colleagues for a full day of activities. 

During a special luncheon, Elevate will again honor Legends in manufacturing and you can nominate Legends right now.  Simply go to Manufacturing Conference | Iowa Association of Business and Industry ( and you will find more information.  Nominating a manufacturer is free and easy to do.  On that page you will also find information about the annual scholarship Elevate provides to high students all over Iowa. 

Lastly, this is a big year for Elevate, as it marks its’ 10th anniversary.  Thank you to the leadership provided by ABI Board Member Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale) and to former ABI Chairs Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown ret.), Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly), and Lori Schaefer Weaton, Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) who led in the creation of Elevate! 

ABI Workers Compensation Seminar March 28 in Des Moines

ABI will host its biennial workers compensation seminar late in March.  This is the place to find the latest information about work comp and to learn the best practices utilized by other companies.  The seminar will be held at the ABI office on March 28 and you can find more information and register here: Summary - Workers' Compensation Seminar (  We look forward to seeing your HR, risk management, and compliance teams at ABI on March 28th. 

Leadership Iowa Board to Meet

This is a busy time for ABI and the ABI Foundation.  The Foundation is in the middle of the 2022-2023 Leadership Iowa sessions and is now finalizing planning for the 2023 session of Business Horizons.  Thankfully, just like ABI, the Foundation programs benefit from strong board leadership.  In that regard, the Leadership Iowa Board of Governors meets Thursday.  

Latest NAM Report: Trade Deficit Soars, but So Does Manufacturing Export Number

The latest edition of the Global Manufacturing Economic Update, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, notes that the U.S. trade deficit has increased significantly of late.  However, American manufactured goods exported abroad have also increased significantly.  There are other interesting items in this week’s report and if you wish to read it for yourself, reply to this message and I’ll get it to you at once. 

John Riches, Charles Sukup Celebrate

Two ABI leaders are celebrating birthdays this week.  ABI Board Member John Riches (Arconic, Davenport) celebrates his birthday Thursday.  Former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) celebrates his birthday Friday.  Both John and Charles are terrific guys and terrific leaders and it is a pleasure to wish them happy birthday; best birthday wishes to John and Charles! 

Sukup Marks 60 Years of Growth

Speaking of Charles, mentioning the name Sukup always brings thoughts of the family company, longtime ABI member Sukup Manufacturing Co.  This year, that iconic Iowa Company is marking 60 years of growth and success.  Happy birthday and congratulations to all involved, including former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield), Company President and CEO Steve Sukup(Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield), and to the entire Sukup Family and their employees!