EPIC Interviews this Week - Monday Memo 7/27/20

July 27, 2020

EPIC Interviews Tomorrow, Wednesday

You will recall that Economic Progress for Iowa's Citizens (EPIC) is a coalition of business organizations that seeks to identify and promote pro-business candidates for state office.  ABI serves as the coordinating organization for the coalition. 

One key function of EPIC is to invite all candidates for open seats, regardless of party, to introduce themselves to EPIC members in an informal interview setting.  Interviews for the 2020 general election will be held tomorrow and Wednesday.  There is a long list of candidates being interviewed and some will be at ABI in person.  Others will participate virtually. 

Special thanks to former ABI Chairs Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) and Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines).  Charles will lead the interviews tomorrow and Kirk will lead them on Wednesday.  

Foundation Auction Big Success

Thank you to longtime ABI leaders Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and Nate Weaton (Weaton Capital, Fairfield) and to ABI Foundation Chair Kim Butler Hegedus (Community State Bank, Ankeny) for their work with regard to the annual auction benefitting the programs of the ABI Foundation.  The auction is typically a big part of the annual ABI Taking Care of Business Conference.  Due to that event being cancelled this year, the auction was held on-line. 

While no one knew whether the event would attract bidders or interest, with Lori, Kim, and Nate involved, those worries were groundless.  The event was a smash and raised approximately $23,000 for the Foundation.  Thank you again to those leaders and to all of you who supported the Foundation last week! 

Policy Development Meetings Start Next Week

ABI's annual policy development process is overseen this year by ABI Vice Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa) and it will begin with a meeting of the ABI Employment and Workforce Committee a week from Wednesday (August 5).  Thank you to ABI member Amy Larsen (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly), who chairs the committee.  Also meeting next week is the ABI Workplace and Product Safety Committee, which is chaired by ABI member Rex Butler (CIPCO, Cedar Rapids)

Over a hundred ABI members have already registered to attend one or more of the five committee meetings.  If you haven't already done so, there is still plenty of time for you and your employees to register.  Simply go to https://www.iowaabi.org/events/ to register for the committee meetings of interest to you.  The ABI Board of Directors will act on the recommendations of these committees at the September board meeting. 

August ABI Executive Committee Teleconference Two Weeks from Thursday; September Board Meeting to Be Held Virtually

Members of the ABI Executive Committee will convene for their monthly teleconference on August 13.  ABI Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) and committee members will work through a full agenda in advance of the next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

As you know, the first ABI Board Meeting of the 2021 fiscal year will be held on September 10.  We had hoped to hold that meeting in person and do so in Indianola.  At that meeting, we had planned to tour a great ABI member and a great Iowa manufacturer, CemenTech

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, that meeting will now be held using the Zoom virtual platform.  Please mark your calendars now and finalize your plans to participate in this important meeting.  And by the way, special thanks to ABI Board Member and company President Connor Deering (CemenTech, Indianola) who invites us to visit his company another time.  We’ll do it, Connor! 

Biennial ABI Pre-Employment Testing Process Seminar August 19

As you know, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ABI’s biennial Pre-Employment Testing Process Seminar had to be rescheduled.  That event will now be held at ABI on Wednesday, August 19.  

A good crowd has already registered for this popular seminar and your HR and risk-management teams will find value in the information shared through this event.  Expert speakers and the latest information about best practices and current trends will be shared.  Register now at: http://www.cvent.com/events/pre-employment-testing-process-seminar/event-summary-4585231707b146178b17c93a1247762f.aspx.  

Leadership Iowa University to Begin Annual Class in Two Weeks

Two weeks from today, on August 10, the annual session of the ABI Foundation’s Leadership Iowa University program will convene at ABI.  This annual program is always a productive one.  Find more information here: https://www.iowaabi.org/leadership-iowa-university/.  

Annual ABI Executive Open in Five Weeks

Register now for the annual ABI Executive Open Best Ball, which will be held five weeks from today, on August 31, at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines.  One of the nation’s most beautiful private clubs, Des Moines Golf provides an exceptional playing experience.  Learn more about Des Moines Golf and Country Club here: https://www.dmgcc.org/.  

Golf, networking, and a reception will highlight the day.  To register right now for the remaining spots, go to https://web.cvent.com/event/096af229-a2f3-4913-9947-10fd65dce17f/summary.  We look forward to seeing you there.  

Iowa Business Report Radio Program Broadcasts 30th Episode

It is hard to believe that this past weekend’s episode of the Iowa Business Report radio program was the show’s 30th!  The show is the result of a great a partnership between well-known Iowa broadcaster Jeff Stein and ABI. 

Each week, Jeff produces a show that imparts high-value information, raises the profile of Iowa business, and tells the story of a great Iowa company.  ABI is proud to sponsor this terrific program.  Click here to listen for yourself: http://iowabusinessreport.buzzsprout.com/.  Links can also be found on the ABI website at https://www.iowaabi.org/news/iowa-business-report/

NAM Report:  Manufacturing Rebounds to Over 7 Percent, Still Down Year-to-Year

The lead story in last week’s National Association of Manufacturers’ Monday Economic Report was a good one.  It highlighted manufacturing activity’s climb for the second straight month.  While it was up 7.2 percent, it was still down over 3 percent compared to the same time a year ago.  There was other great information included in the report, as there is every week.  If you wish to read the report for yourself, please reply to this memo and I’ll get it to you at once. 

Mary Andringa Named Woman of Influence

Nearly 30 years ago, long before great ABI partners such as the National Association of Manufacturers or the Iowa Business Council had Chairs who happened to be female, ABI elected its first female Chair.  And to this day, only one person, man or woman, has ever chaired all three of those organizations.  That person is former ABI Chair Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella)

Mary has received many well-deserved honors during her long and illustrious career.  Last week, she received another one, and was honored by being named a Woman of Influence by another great ABI partner, the Business Record.  That is terrific and long overdue; congratulations and best wishes to Mary Andringa! 

Alliant Accelerates Clean Energy Vision

Last week, longtime ABI member Alliant Energy announced goals related to an accelerated Clean Energy Vision.  The company has already achieved a goal previously set (having 20 percent of its energy come from carbon-free renewable resources) and did so 10 years early.  The new goals are outlined in Alliant’s 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report.  Congratulations to everyone at Alliant, including ABI Board Member Julie Vande Hoef (Alliant Energy, Des Moines) on the achievement and on the exciting announcement! 

Kelly Barrick and Kids: Television Stars

It was fun to catch longtime ABI Board Member Kelly Barrick (CIBC Bank, West Des Moines) and her children, Kinley and Keegan, on WHO-TV last Thursday.  Kinley and Keegan were the stars of a news segment featuring a local service worker, Fred Louis, who made the kids day.  You can watch it for yourself here: https://who13.com/news/picking-up-trash-while-leaving-some-kindness/.  Congratulations to the kids and their mom for this fun story! 

Anniversary Next Weekend for Bill and Mary Zinkewich

Many of you will well recall former longtime ABI Board Member Bill Zinkewich (SSAB, Muscatine).  Bill played a leading role in ABI’s resurgence in 2006 and 2007.  After a long and successful career, Bill retired and moved to Florida with his wife, Mary Zinkewich.

Bill still stays up to date on ABI.  So, in case he is reading this memorandum, best wishes to Bill and to Mary, who celebrate their wedding anniversary next Sunday, August 2nd.  Congratulations all around!