Don't Miss the Manufacturing Conference - Monday Memo 10/19/22

September 19, 2022

Legends Dinner, Advanced Manufacturing Conference in TWO WEEKS

Two of ABI’s most popular annual events will be held in two weeks, starting two weeks from tomorrow evening.  The annual Legends in Manufacturing Awards Dinner and the 2022 ABI Iowa Manufacturing Conference will be held at the FFA Enrichment Center on the campus of Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) in Ankeny on October 4th and 5th respectively.   Register now for these important events Summary - Legends In Manufacturing Awards Dinner (and/or) Manufacturing Conference (   

A terrific program ash been developed for the event.  High-value workshops, a manufacturing panel featuring fabulous ABI manufacturing leaders such as Steve Boal (Accumold, Ankeny), Kelli Gallagher (Dee Zee, Des Moines), and Hank Norem (Ramco Innovations, West Des Moines), and a great keynote address by Gage Kent (KENT Corporation, Muscatine) are all on tap.  Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham will also address attendees.  

Thank you to the leading sponsors for the event: ABI, Agri-Industrial Plastics, the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University (CIRAS), Community State Bank, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and RAMCO Innovations.  These events have become a must-attend for ABI members in recent years and the awards dinner is always a fun celebration of Iowa manufacturing.  See you at DMACC in two weeks. 

November 9 Board Meeting to be Held at ABI

The ABI Board of Directors will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, November 9.  The board will meet at ABI Headquarters at 400 East Court Avenue in Des Moines' East Village.  Watch for more information soon. 

The board will also meet at ABI on January 11 and March 7 of next year.  It is expected the board will meet in Des Moines in May.  Finally, ABI Chair Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines) will host a fabulous annual conference in Cedar Rapids next June. 

Employee Retention Credit Webinar Wednesday

Plan to participate Wednesday (September 21) in a webinar that can mean real value for your company.  The employee retention tax credit was created as part of federal legislation to help employers manage the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic – and to keep folks employed – the employee retention credit has been expanded.  It is a refundable tax credit up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $28,000 per employee in 2021.  If you haven’t already, you should learn more about the credit and determine its applicability to your company. 

In that regard, ABI is pleased to sponsor a webinar about the ERC.  Experts from ABI member Eide Bailly will present the webinar at 10:00 a.m. on September 21st.  Click here for more information and to register Webinar: What to Know about the Expanded Employee Retention Credit | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (  

CIRAS Advisory Council to Meet

The Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University is a key ABI partner and the CIRAS Industry Advisory Council will meet Thursday at ISU.  Several ABI member companies are represented on the council and over the years, many members of the ABI Board of Directors have also played leadership roles on the CIRAS Council. 

Thursday’s meeting will focus on a data review and advanced manufacturing assistance programs.  Watch for news of CIRAS events and services to come your way in the near future. 

Leadership Iowa Class Announced; Will Convene in October for First Session

The ABI Foundation and Leadership Iowa last week announced the 2022-2023 Leadership Iowa class. View the class list here: Current Class & Schedule | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (  

As are all LI classes, this class is comprised of terrific young leaders from all around Iowa and they will meet for the first time October 5-7 in Jefferson.  You can view the schedule using the same link found above to see where the class is headed and what topics will be the focus of each session.  Congratulations to class members and best wishes for a great year. 

Some ABI leaders are in the class, ABI Board Member Phil Jones (Rada Cutlery, Waverly) chief among them.  Also in the class are longtime ABI CFO Roundtable Member Andrew St. John (CIPCO, Des Moines) and Renee Hansen (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield).  And, ABI Public Policy Director Brad Hartkopf is a class member.  Congratulations to these individuals and to the entire class. 

ABI Board Holds Great Meeting; Watch the SNL Blue Bunny Sketch

This memorandum is meant to be a forward-looking report, but on behalf of our officers, THANK YOU to the many of you who made the September ABI board meeting so successful.  As it is the first meeting of the fiscal year, it is always important that the September meeting goes well.  Thanks to you, it did. 

The board meeting had great participation, it was substantive, and it was marked by strong engagement and good discussion.  That is not just rhetoric, as your participation in board meetings is critical to ABI's success.  So, again on behalf of ABI Chair Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines) and our officers, THANK YOU for your support.  

As always, the highlight of the board meeting was the business reports provided by all of you, the member of the ABI Board of Directors.  It is always of interesting to hear about what is happening in your business, your industry, and your part of the state.  

During her report, new ABI Board Member Lesley Bartholomew (Wells Enterprises, Le Mars) shared comments about a sketch featuring one of Wells’ best-known brands, Blue Bunny ice cream, on the hit NBC television show Saturday Night Live.  Wells officials had no idea the brand would be featured and had no control over the sketch, but I’ve seen the sketch and it is funny.  By popular demand, here is a link to view it yourself:  

Kathryn Kunert Part of STEM Trailblazers Panel at Future Ready Iowa Summit

In last week’s memo, I shared news of state officials inviting ABI board members to the annual Future Ready Iowa Summit (ABI is a sponsor of the event).  I even mentioned an ABI leader involved in a panel that is a part of one of the summit’s panel presentations.  By the way, related to that, you can find the agenda and registration information for the summit here:  

Well, there is another important ABI leader involved in the panel and I don’t know how I missed it.  Longtime ABI board Member Kathryn Kunert (MidAmerican Energy Company, Des Moines) is a STEM Trailblazers panelist and will be a key part of the conference  Kathryn, I apologize and thank you for sharing your leadership perspectives at the summit! 

Tyler Family Celebrates Jim Tyler, Opening of Tyler Family Cancer Center

The current edition of The Fizz, the newsletter published by longtime ABI member Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, is another good one.  It is packed with great information.  Two things stood out.  First, the Tyler Family recently celebrated the opening the Tyler Family Cancer Center at Cass Health (formerly the Cass County Medical Center).  The new center is a treatment and infusion facility and will provide care to patients through southwest and west central Iowa.  

In other news, a section of the newsletter carried photographic evidence that company/family patriarch and former ABI Chair Jim Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Atlantic) enjoyed a terrific 98th birthday celebration; it was great to seem Jim smiling and celebrating with his employees.  Congratulations to Jim, to company Chairman and former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines) and to company president and ABI Board Member Rob Feeney (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines) and their whole family! 

Charese Yanney Notes Importance of Place in Newspaper Essay

Former ABI Chair Charese Yanney (Guarantee Roofing and Siding, Sioux City) is a frequent essayist for her local newspaper, the Sioux City Journal.  Charese had another column in the Journal recently and it is another good one.  In it, Charese notes how important amenities are to an area and their importance to quality of life and to employers trying to recruit and retain employees.  Read the column for yourself here: THE REGULARS: Siouxland is fortunate to have so many amenities | Columnists |  Thank you for another great column, Charese! 

Chris Sackett Marks 15 Years Leading BrownWinick

Thanks to ABI Board Member Tim Coonan (Dentons Davis Brown, Des Moines), the board learned that ABI Board Member Chris Sackett (BrownWinick, Des Moines) recently retired from his leadership post at the firm.  Chris marked 15 years as Managing Partner of BrownWinick and that is indeed a rare feat.  Congratulations to Chris!  Please note, by the way, Chris retried only from the managing partner role, he very much continues in the day to day practice of law.