Convention in Just Three Weeks - Monday Memo 5/23/16

May 23, 2016

Three Weeks Away: The 113th Annual ABI Convention

Following great annual meetings that have received rave reviews, the 2016 ABI Taking care of Business Conference is sure to continue that strong success.  The convention is now only three weeks away and will kick off June 14th in Sioux City.  Close to 400 people are already registered to attend the convention.

Planners have put together an incredible event, which is well on its way to being one of the best annual meetings ever.  Fantastic venues, exciting speakers, terrific events, and Iowa’s best business networking will highlight the 113th Annual Convention. 

As I note every year at this time, the convention is important to ABI for several reasons.  While the revenue raised by the convention is one of those reasons, even more important is the event’s value as a source of programming and information for members.  And perhaps most importantly, the annual convention helps continue ABI’s momentum and provides members and sponsors with the very best business networking in Iowa.  If you haven’t already done so, register now at  See you June 14-16 in Greater Sioux City; you don’t want to miss it! 

Remember Paul Gregoire's YP Challenge

As ABI makes final preparations for the annual conference, allow me to again call your attention to a challenge issued by ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown). Paul has issued a YP challenge to all ABI members and to all young professionals in our state. You can watch a short video by Paul and find more information by clicking on this link: This conference is truly shaping up to be ABI's biggest and best annual convention ever. Take action now related to Paul's challenge and we'll see you in Sioux City! 

Amanda Nuzum to Join ABI Foundation

It is a pleasure to tell you that a very successful search has ended and Amanda Nuzum will soon join the ABI Foundation as Development Director. Amanda was the successful candidate out of a group of over 30 strongly qualified applicants. 

Amanda and her husband, Aaron Nuzum, and their children live in Des Moines. Amanda is currently the Planned Giving Director at Easter Seals of Iowa.  She has extensive development experience in all areas of giving with several organizations.  Amanda brings high energy and a personable style to the Foundation.  

When you meet her, please join me in welcoming Amanda to the ABI Foundation. In the meantime, special thanks to ABI Vice President Foundation Programs Kay Neumann-Thomas, who in her usual wonderful way, coordinated the search activities. 

ABI Regional Policy Tour Heads to Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs

As you know, the ABI public policy staff has kicked-off the annual tour of meetings around Iowa to discuss the actions of the annual session of the Iowa General Assembly. During these meetings, upcoming elections and NEXT year's legislative session are also discussed.  Your counsel about issues ABI should champion in 2017 are a key focus. 

The regional meetings began last week, with sessions in Waterloo and Des Moines. Special thanks to former ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) and ABI Board Members Steve Dust (Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Waterloo) and Peter Voorhees (Standard Golf Company, Cedar Falls) for being a part of the crowd in Waterloo last Tuesday.  Likewise, thanks to former ABI Chair Myron Linn (Pella Corporation, Pella) for attending in Des Moines last Thursday. 

The regional meetings continue with a session later today in Cedar Rapids. They will conclude on June 7, with a session in Council Bluffs.  There is still time to register for one of the remaining meetings by clicking on

ABI Board to Meet at Conference; Executive Committee to Meet in June

The ABI Board of Directors will meet on June 14, immediately prior to the opening session of the annual conference. This brief meeting will be a terrific opportunity to celebrate the board's leadership, which has resulted in one of ABI's strongest years ever. 

 ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) and members of the Executive Committee will also meet next month.  The committee will hold a fiscal year-end meeting late in June.  Committee members should watch for more information soon. 

Next CFO Roundtable Wednesday

Members of the ABI CFO Roundtable will convene again on Wednesday of this week in Des Moines. Terrific programs are a highlight of these monthly meetings.  If you/your CFO wishes to participate, please reply to this memo and we'll get you more information at once. 

CIRAS Board Meets Thursday at ISU

A valued ABI member-partner is Iowa State University's Center for Industrial Research and Service.  CIRAS is a fabulous resource for Iowa manufacturers and businesses of all kinds.  Over the years, many ABI leaders have also been involved in CIRAS and several are current members of the CIRAS Industry Advisory Board.

 The board will meet Thursday at Iowa State. Watch for news of any envelopments in next week's ABI Monday Memo

FABULOUS Items for Foundation Auction

As you know, the ABI Foundation holds an auction in conjunction with ABI's annual Taking Care of Business Conference.  Each year, the auction items are more spectacular.  This year is no exception and there are truly terrific items included in this year's auction. 

Watch for a link to a silent auction to be available soon.  And, be ready for the live auction on Wednesday evening of the conference. 

The foundation is at an all-time high as far as quality programs that benefit not just ABI, but all Iowans.  Our state's young people, young professionals, companies, and communities all benefit from great ABIF programs.  Thank you in advance for your support. 

Leadership Iowa Class will Graduate

As we continue speaking of the foundation, the ABI Foundation's flagship program, Leadership Iowa, is one of the nation's oldest leadership development programs.  Well over a thousand Iowans have graduated from LI over the past 30-plus years.  These individuals are now back in their communities, leading the way to a better Iowa. 

As for the current class, the 2015-16 LI Class has been called the best ever.  Class members will graduate at a special ceremony to be held during the ABI conference.  Click here to view a list of LI class members: Thank you to these emerging leaders for the participation in the program over the past year! 

Executive Committee, Board to Receive Proposed  Budget

It is the time of year for the usual operational details prior to the start of the next fiscal year.  You and your fellow members of the ABI Executive Committee and Board of Directors will receive the proposed 2016-2017 ABI budget soon.  Watch for it in your email in-basket sometime soon. 

By the way, you will also receive other information related to final preparations for the annual conference.  The report of the ABI Nominating Committee, chaired  by ABI Past Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly), and any final details will be a part of the budget email message. 

Iowa STEM Conference Next Month

Members of the ABI Board of Directors have been invited to participate in the annual Iowa STEM conference, this year called the Iowa STEM School+Business Innovations Conference. There is no charge to attend and it  will be held June 29 in Des Moines.  For more information, go to

Sadler, Crain Join Simpson Board

One thing I know is that alumni of Simpson College are devout (rabid?) and vocal in their support of their alma mater. Two individuals with ABI ties have recently been elected to the Simpson College Board of Trustees. 

ABI Board Member Michal Sadler (CenturyLink, Des Moines) and ABI Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain were both recently elected Trustees of Simpson.  Both are alumni and both are passionate about Simpson.  Congratulations to Michael and Nicole! 

Several other folks with ABI ties are also Simpson trustees, with the best-known being former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee).  Best wishes to all involved.