Executive Committee to Meet in December - Monday Memo 11/22/21

November 22, 2021

December Executive Committee Teleconference in Two Weeks; January 12 is Date for Next ABI Board Meeting

The final meeting of the ABI Executive Committee for 2021 is scheduled to be held two weeks from Thursday, on December 9.  Later next week, committee members will receive the usual packet to help in preparing for the meeting, which will be called to order by ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa) at 9:30 a.m. 

The board will meet next month.  The ABI Board of Directors will hold its regularly scheduled January meeting on Wednesday, January 12, 2022.  

Because it falls on the same day as the annual ABI Legislative Reception, the January meeting is typically one of the best-attended of the year.  Please mark your calendars now for January 12. 

Kelsey Smith to Join ABI as Marketing and Communications Director

As you know, ABI has been conducting a search for a new staff member.  I am pleased to share with you that Kelsey Smith will soon join ABI as our new Director of Marketing and Communications.  

Kelsey was our top choice out of a deep and talented pool of applicants.  Her marketing, communications, and graphics skills are exceptional.  Just as importantly, she has a terrific personal style that will make her a great addition to ABI.  Kelsey is currently the Marketing and Member Relations Manager for a golf course management and development company in North Carolina and will be relocating to Iowa.  Her first day with us will be January 3rd. 

Thank you to ABI Executive Vice President Nicole Crain for her help with the search.  As to Kelsey, I am excited to have you meet her and I believe you will agree she is going to be an excellent member of our team.  Welcome, Kelsey! 

ABI to Host Connecting Leaders Event December 2 in Pella

ABI will soon host another event designed to bring value to your company.  On the morning of December 2, ABI will host the next in a series of Connecting Statewide Leaders events.  Following that event, which features a panel of manufacturing leaders, attendees will join the Leadership Iowa class for lunch.  You can register for the Connecting Statewide Leaders event now at Summary - Connecting Statewide Leaders - Pella (cvent.com).  

Leadership Iowa Class Heads to Pella in December

Speaking of Pella, it is also the site for the third session of the 2021-2022 Leadership Iowa Class.  The class will meet there for a session focused on manufacturing on December 2nd and 3rd (some members will arrive for a pre-session event on December 1st). 

As always, special thanks go to the Leadership Iowa Board of Governors and to the ABI Foundation Board of Directors for maintaining a terrific LI program.  

State Leaders Will Attend 2022 ABI Legislative Reception; Register Now

Key state leaders such as Governor Kim Reynolds, Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, and all 150 members of the Iowa General Assembly have been invited to the 2022 ABI Legislative Reception.  As you know, this event is one of the most popular events ABI hosts all year long.  Past receptions have regularly drawn in excess of 500 people, including more legislators of both parties than at any other similar event.  

The attendance of these state officials is one more confirmation of your importance to Iowa policy makers.  They attend because YOU attend. 

You can register (almost a hundred of you already have) by clicking on the following link: Summary - Legislative Briefing and Reception (cvent.com).  The 2022 ABI Briefing and Reception will be held Wednesday, January 12 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines.  Plenty of convenient parking is available nearby.  All appropriate health and safety protocols will be followed.

I hope you will attend the reception, which is a very important event.  Of course it is a lot of fun and you’ll see great ABI colleagues from all over Iowa.  Even more vital, however, is your discussion with your local legislators.  Building relationships between legislators and ABI members is what the event is all about.   Your perspective is a crucial component in helping Iowa policymakers understand the needs and concerns of business people in our state.  On behalf of our ABI officers, I look forward to seeing you in Des Moines on January 12. 

NAM Report Cites Huge CPI Growth

Last week's Monday Economic Report from the National Association of Manufacturers confirmed price increases on many consumer goods and CPI growth of over 6 percent.  As you can imagine, that led to a decline in consumer sentiment.  These data points and others are further highlighted in the report.  If you would like to see the report for yourself, please reply to this memo and I will get it to you at once. 

Todd Sommerfeld Featured in Iowa Business Report

It was fun to listen to last Wednesday’s Iowa Business Report radio broadcast.  That’s because it featured a clip from an interview with longtime ABI Board Member Todd Sommerfeld (Kreg Tool Company, Ankeny).  It seems funny to type Ankeny instead of Huxley as the location for Kreg, because since its founding almost 30 years, Huxley was its home. 

In the radio clip, Todd discusses the reason for the move to the gorgeous brand new facility in Ankeny.  It’s really all about growth and Todd shares some great lessons.  Todd was interviewed by Iowa broadcaster Jeff Stein, our state’s best business broadcaster.  If you would like to hear the clip for yourself, clicker here: Iowa Business Report Wednesday Edition -- November 17, 2021 (buzzsprout.com).  

Todd was also highlighted in a much longer feature in the weekend edition of the Iowa Business Report.  For that program, click here: Iowa Business Report 21-47 (November 19-21, 2021) (buzzsprout.com).   In the meantime, thank you to Jeff Stein and congratulations to Todd on the great coverage! 

Gillilands Celebrate State Championship

Congratulations to ABI Member John Gilliland (Gilliland Group – RBC Wealth Management, Des Moines), his wife Holly Gilliland, and their family, including son Ben.  Ben and his Van Meter Bulldog teammates are the State Football Champions in Class 1A this season.  It is the latest in a string of powerhouse seasons for Van Meter.  John and Holly’s older son Max also played for Van Meter and now plays for another football powerhouse, Grandview University in Des Moines.  Congratulations all around! 

The Business of ABI: Comparing Financial Data

Editor’s Note: For reference, I am including this item from last year.  It’s a great way to illustrate just what your support and leadership mean to ABI.

A longtime board member and I were visiting about the financial status of ABI and comparing it to 16 years ago.  Well, at a time to focus on gratitude, I’m grateful for your leadership, because the status at ABI now is dramatically different than it was then.  While we could focus on many others, two financial metrics demonstrate this success: 1) 15 years ago, the equity on ABI’s balance sheet was less than $147,000.  2) The association’s cash position stood at $79,000 – not $790,000, but $79,000.  Today, equity is closer to $1.1 million.  The cash position also routinely hovers around $1 million. 

I would note that former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines) was the first ABI leader to suggest to me that we needed to develop cash reserves of a million dollars.  When Kirk said it, I thought we could never get there.  But, we put a plan together, got to work, and made it happen. 

It’s that way with regard to so many things at ABI.  So many former board chairs and board members have led us to so many new things I can’t name them all (I can, but it would make for a longer memo than you want to read).  YOUR leadership is the spark for some big initiative, some change that leads to greater value and improved performance.  THANK YOU for all of it and for the opportunity to work for you and with a great team.