Executive Committee Meets Next Week - Monday Memo 6/28/21

June 28, 2021

Executive Committee to Meet by Zoom Next Week

The Executive Committee/Board of Directors meeting schedule for 2021-2022 was provided to you in a message sent the week prior to the annual conference.  Board members, mark your calendars for the next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  The board will next meet on September 9. 

In the meantime, members of the newly-constituted ABI Executive Committee will hold their first teleconference of the 2021-2022 fiscal year next week.  The July Executive Committee Zoom meeting will take place at 9:30 a.m. on July 6.  As is typical for July, the meeting is expected to be brief, but will provide an opportunity to review financial and membership data and receive program reports. 

Incoming ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa) will be joined on the coming year’s Executive Committee by Vice Chair Kim Augspurger (Saxton, Des Moines), Treasurer Rich Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton), Secretary Peter Voorhees (Standard Gold, Cedar Falls), and Immediate Past Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine).  Also on the committee are District Vice Chairs John Riches (Arconic, Davenport), Tim Conlon (Conlon Construction, Dubuque), Casey Cason (Wells Fargo, Des Moines), Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Avon), and Molly Varangkounh, Hy-Capacity, Humboldt). Look for a full report on any developments at the next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

ABI Okoboji Executive Forum July 29, 30

We have already had great deal of interest in the annual ABI Executive Forum.  The event, held at Okoboji, focuses on high-value programming for top executives.  It has been a huge success and it is ABI’s fastest-growing event. 

The forum will be held the 29th and 30th of July in Okoboji.  We’ll be at a few different sites in the Lakes Area, but the main program location is the Waterfront Conference Center.  Click here for more information: https://web.cvent.com/event/1a704678-9c02-49b0-9bce-419f8f4ad66b/summary.  Chairman, President and CEO Dan Houston (Principal (Des Moines) will serve as the keynote speaker.  Two great panels and terrific tour will round out the event Watch for more information and we’ll look forward to seeing you there! 

Plan Now for Regional Policy Meetings, August Policy Committee Meetings

While ABI is still celebrating the recent adjournment of another successful Iowa legislative session, the association is already deep into planning for next year’s session.  Regional policy meetings and policy committee meetings are coming up this month and in July and August.  In fact, meetings have already been held in Coralville, Council Bluffs, and Sioux City. 

Through the annual policy meetings, literally hundreds of ABI members will come together to shape the public policy agenda for the association for 2022.  You and your employees are key to the success of these meetings and it is not too early to get the meeting dates on your calendar.  Click here for more information or to register: http://www.iowaabi.org/events/

As always, you as board members will have the final say on ABI policies for 2022.  Final action will occur at the September meeting of the board.  

IIPAC Fundraising Ongoing

Related to public policy, ABI’s political arm, the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee, supports candidates for statewide and legislative office who support pro-business policies.  I always say IIPAC will support a Republican, a Democrat, a Whig, or a Tory, as long as that candidate supports business. 

In order for others to know a positive business climate is important for Iowa, IIPAC needs a strong financial report.  If you are an ABI board member who has not yet contributed, please consider a personal contribution today.  You can donate here: https://www.iowaabi.org/public-policy/iipac/.  Your investment is used to maximize support of candidates who support economic growth polices around Iowa.  In the last election, the IIPAC-endorsed candidate won in 95% of the races.  

For more information about the PAC or why you should continue, please contact us at ABI by replying to this message.  In the meantime, thank you to former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines) and our other IIPAC board members for their leadership.  And thank you to all IIPAC contributors for your support! 

2021 Conference Photos Being Posted; 2022 ABI Convention in Dubuque

Many of you have shared great comments about the just-completed 2021 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference; thank you.  Many of you have also remarked that you wished to see photos from the conference.  Some photos are already posted (please click here: http://www.iowaabi.org/events/photos/, but more will be posted in the coming days.  Please check back often, as you might see yourself in one of the photos. 

The 2022 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference will be held in Dubuque.  Plans are already underway to make the event truly spectacular.  Each year, conference committee members work hard to develop world-class experiences and next year, they will be able to do that with terrific facilities and with the use of some other fabulous surprises.  Mark your calendars now for June 14-16 of next year and make plans to join your ABI colleagues in Dubuque! 

Convention Survey in Your In-Box Last Week

Thanks again for your good words about the recently-held 118th Annual ABI Convention.  It was indeed a fantastic meeting, with great speakers, exciting venues, and terrific numbers of ABI members from all over Iowa and beyond.  

While ABI puts conference, your feedback is encouraged and desired.  A couple of weeks ago, your email in-basket should have included a convention survey.  Please take a few moments (that’s all it takes, I promise) to complete the survey and provide your counsel about how to make a great event even better.  We want to hear from you. 

Annual Leadership Iowa University Program August 8-12; New Events Also Planned

Some years ago, the ABI Foundation created the Leadership Iowa University program.  The program, open to all Iowa College students (community college and four-year colleges alike), provides leadership and career development training and other opportunities to students in a week-long course.  The 2021 program will be held August 8-12 in Des Moines.  Go here for more information: https://www.iowaabi.org/leadership-iowa-university/about/.  

In other Leadership Iowa news, the program has created a new series of events focusing on important issues.  Please go to https://www.iowaabi.org/events/ for more information and to register for these exciting new programs. 

Nominate Students for Business Horizons

Business Horizons, produced by the ABI Foundation, is the week-long entrepreneurial experience for Iowa high school students.  The 2021 session of the program is fast-approaching and registrations are running well ahead of last year. 

If you have questions or wish to be involved, please don’t hesitate to contact ABI Foundation Programs Director Jessi Steward McQuerry.  In the meantime, thanks to the many of you who have already nominated Iowa high school students for selection to BH. 

Mark Your Calendars for Annual ABI Executive Open August 30

ABI holds an annual golf event to promote member programs and to thank members for their support and participation.  The event has proven incredibly popular.  The 2021 event will be held Monday, August 30.  Join us for golf and for an afternoon of fun and networking. 

The ABI Executive Open will again be held at Des Moines Gold and Country Club in West Des Moines, one of Iowa's most exclusive private clubs.  This is a fabulous course and registration is now open for this always-great event.  Please click on Summary - Executive Open - Central (cvent.com) to register now.  See you at Des Moines Golf in August! 

NAM Reports Sales, Production on the Rise

Last week’s edition of the National Association of Manufacturers’Monday Economic Report shared lots of insights about the state of manufacturing.  Of note is that sales are up markedly year-to-year, and so is manufacturing production.  There was a great deal more useful information included in the report, of course.  If you wish to read the report for yourself, simply reply to this message and I’ll get it to you at once. 

End of an Era: Fred Buie Sells Keystone

Former ABI Chair Frederick V. Buie (Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Co., Des Moines) is a well-known Iowa business and education leader.  In addition to being a leader at ABI, Fred is currently the Chair of the Greater Des Moines Partnership and a member of the Des Moines Area Community College Board of Trustees.  He is or has been a leader in many other organizations as well. 

Several years ago, this seasoned General Electric executive left that company and bought the company he has led to this day, Keystone.  Over the years, Fred’s leadership has led to strong growth for Keystone. 

This past weekend, Fred shared some big news.  He has reached an agreement to sell Keystone to Systems Control in Iron Mountain, Michigan.  You can read more about the sale here: Systems Control Announces Definitive Agreement Signed.  Fred notes that the deal closes Wednesday and that by Thursday of this week, he will be retired.  

All of us at ABI wish Fred, his wife Valeska Buie, and his whole family all the best.  Thank you, Fred, for your leadership and congratulations!  Best wishes as you enter a much-deserved retirement! 

BCC Advisers Newsletter Highlights Valuable Information for Your Business

You read often that we enjoy your company newsletters at the ABI office.  Yes, we learn the latest news about your specific business, but we also learn information about best practices to ensure ABI is operating in the most effective way possible. 

One of the great newsletters we receive is baton, the newsletter from longtime ABI member BCC Advisers.  The latest edition of baton has terrific information about one way to sell your business and about how to establish the best (for you) acquisition criteria, among other things.  Click here to read the newsletter for yourself: Baton | BCC Advisers.  In the meantime, thank you to everyone at BCC, especially the firm’s president, ABI Board Member Steve Jacobs (BCC Advisers, Des Moines)

Arconic in the News for BIG Donation to Students

Longtime ABI member Arconic is one of Iowa’s best-known corporate citizens.  The company places a premium on civic involvement and supports Iowa communities in a variety of ways.  The company was in the news again recently for making a sizeable donation to Pleasant Valley high School. 

Arconic donated $100,000 to the school’s Career and Technical Education program and resulted in new educational opportunities for PVHS students.  Click here to read more: Arconic Makes $100,000 in PVHS Students | Pleasant Valley Community Schools (pleasval.org).  In the meantime, congratulations to Pleasant Valley High and to thank you to everyone at Arconic, including longtime ABI Board Member John Riches (Arconic, Davenport)

Farrell: NASCAR Provides Ticket Discounts for Central Iowa Race Fans

Longtime ABI Board Member Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale) leads her business, is an investor in several more, manages ABI’s Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative, and has an incredible network.  One of Michele’s contacts is a slate of officials with NASCAR, the American stock car racing circuit.  Michele reports that NASCAR officials have provided a discount code for tickets related to upcoming races at the Iowa Speedway in Newton. 

If you are interested in a race (such as the ARCA race on July 24th), simply use the code IOWADEAL.  You’ll save $5 off upper grandstand tickets (regularly $25) and $3 off middle grandstand tickets (regularly $22).  Contact ABi for the code.  And then say thank you to Michele! 

Becky Coady Surprised by Guardsman Son’s Return

ABI Foundation Vice President Becky Coady was at Camp Dodge last Thursday for a Leadership Iowa event.  While there, she received a very special surprise visitor; her son, Dalton Coady.  Dalton, a member of the Army National Guard, had been serving overseas in Iraq.  He left Iowa August 1st of last year and after duty at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, he left in November of 2020 for Baghdad. 

Dalton first surprised his sister, Ashlie Coady, then Becky, then Becky’s husband, Dalton’s father Mark Coady, who also served.  Mark spent 30 years in the Army National Guard.  Becky, of course, spent much of her career previous to joining the Foundation in a leadership role in support of the Guard. 

Dalton, who serves in the field artillery, will soon complete his initial enlistment.  He is interested in further service, perhaps in a different branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.  I have seen video of Dalton’s surprise visit, and it is a wonderful tear-jerker.  Congratulations to the whole Coady family, and thank you all for your service!

ABI Begins New Fiscal Year, Focus is on Value for Members

ABI begins a new fiscal year Wednesday.  As always, ABI's focus is on providing high value for members.  The beginning of a new year brings new opportunities to serve existing members, gain new ones, and build a better Iowa business climate.  As we start the year, all of us at ABI are thinking about how we can do things even better than they have been done in the past.  

You have heard me say often that I like things that can be measured, because they let us know how we are doing at achieving the agenda you set for us each year.  ABI’s balance sheet took a significant hit in FY20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It has rebounded nicely in FY21 and ABI will finish it in the black.  

In fact, it has been a great year.  That is due to your support and the leadership of Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) and the ABI Board of Directors.  We are always looking forward and building for growth.  If we aren't moving ahead, we are falling behind and that is not acceptable.  Thank you again for your support.