Executive Committee to Meet in July

June 24, 2024

Executive Committee Meets in Three Weeks

ABI Chair Chad Reece (Winnebago Industries, Forest City) and the members of the ABI Executive Committee will hold their first meeting of the 2024-2025 fiscal year on July 17.  The meeting will take place by Zoom at 10:00 a.m. 

Thank you to Chad and the other members of the committee: Vice Chair Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Avon), Treasurer Kathryn Kunert (MidAmerican Energy, Des Moines), Secretary Tim Bianco (Iowa Spring Manufacturing Company, Adel) and District Vice Chairs Nate Weaton (Weaton Companies, Fairfield), Tom Yeoman (Yeoman & Company, Monticello), Hank Norem (RAMCO Innovations, West Des Moines), Kelli O’Brien (Union Pacific, Council Bluffs), and Lesley Bartholomew (Wells Enterprises, Le Mars)

Orientations with New Board Members Ahead

As I have mentioned in recent memos, you will have the opportunity to meet the new board members soon, as ABI Chair Chad Reece (Winnebago Industries, Forest City) and all of you will welcome them in September.  Orientation sessions with these new board members will take place in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, please welcome newly-elected board members Kathy Evert (Signarama, Ankeny), Brad Henningsen (Henningsen Construction, Atlantic), Ed McGreen (Kreg Tool Company, Ankeny), Bethany Pautsch (Tyson Foods, Storm Lake), Chad Rubner (Express Logistics, Urbandale), and Andrew St. John (CIPCO, Des Moines).  We appreciate their service and leadership! 

DON’T MISS the ABI Executive Forum; New Location, Fantastic Program on Tap

Registrations are pouring in for 2024 ABI Executive Forum.  This annual meeting, which is ABI’s fastest-growing event, focuses on high-value programming for top executives (though all ABI members are welcome and encouraged to attend).  It was created at the request of members and this year’s program is terrific.  Click here for more information and to register: Summary - Executive Forum (Members Only) (cvent.com)

The forum will be held the 8th and 9th of August in Mason City and Forest City.  The event begins with a tour of longtime ABI member Stellar Industries’ Mason City operations.  Thank you to former ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) for making the tour possible.  The event then moves to the well-known MacNider Art Museum for a terrific lunch program.  We’ll be welcomed by Mason City Mayor Bill Schickel, who was an ABI champion during his many terms in the Iowa House of Representatives.  We’ll also hear from a couple of business leaders (former ABI Board Member Kim Pang and MercyOne North Iowa president Chad Boore) regarding executive perspectives in health care. 

Following lunch on Thursday, we’ll move to the world-famous Historic Park Inn Hotel in downtown Mason City.  This incredible facility will be the site for a program featuring Wells Fargo Senior Economist Dr. Michael Swanson and a fabulous panel of ABI Board Members and company owners.  The panel includes Heather Bruce (Osmundson Mfg. Co. Perry), Tim Conlon (Conlon Construction, Dubuque), and Peter Voorhees (Standard Golf Co., Cedar Falls)

Keynote Speaker and former ABI Chair Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella) will speak next.  Mary, of course, is a second generation leader of her family’s company and is now Chair Emerita.  We’ll take a break and then Mary’s remarks will be followed by a reception and dinner at Mason City’s fabulous Music Man Square events center.  All of these facilities are spectacular and if you haven’t seen them, you will be amazed at what our state has right here in North Iowa.  I might add it will be easy to get from place to place, as Mason City is a very accessible and easy to transit community. 

Friday morning, attendees will have a special treat, as breakfast and a terrific tour will be hosted by ABI Chair Chad Reece at Winnebago Industries’ main manufacturing location in Forest City.  Forest City is about a 30-minute drive from Mason City and well worth the trip to see this great ABI member company.  Chad’s comments and the tour will be a terrific wrap-up to the event. 

As you can see, this is an exceptional program.  Don’t miss this event!  Register now at: Summary - Executive Forum (Members Only) (cvent.com).  See you in North Iowa in August. 

Q3 ABI Iowa Quarterly Business Survey Now Underway

ABI’s Quarterly Iowa Business Survey has been of great interest over the years.  It is a simple snapshot of expectations for the coming quarter as it pertains to ABI board members.  The survey related to the third quarter of calendar year 2024 (July 1 through September 30) is now open, but will close tomorrow night.  The survey takes just a few minutes to complete and I hope all board members and former board chairs are participating.  If you misplaced the survey message and need the survey link, simply reply to this memo and I’ll get it to you at once.  Thank you and please look for the results of the survey to be available later this week. 

Also in August: Annual ABI Executive Open Golf Event

As you know, ABI holds an annual golf event each year.  The event has proven incredibly popular and the 2024 event will be held Monday, August 26.  Join us for golf and for an afternoon of fun and networking.  The ABI Executive Open will again be held at the beautiful Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines (https://www.glenoakscc.com/).  This is a fabulous course and registration is now open for this always-great event.  Please click on Summary - Executive Open (cvent.com) to register now.  See you at Glen Oaks in August! 

Still Time to Nominate Students for Business Horizons; Leadership Iowa University

The ABI Foundation’s Business Horizons program is a week-long entrepreneurial experience for high school students.  Each year, participants rave about their experience and learn about all the many career opportunities available to them right here in Iowa.  The 2024 session of the program will be held at Drake University in Des Moines in Pella July 14-18.  There is still time to nominate students for the program and you can do so here: Nominate a Student | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org).  

Following just a couple of weeks later is the Foundation’s Leadership Iowa University program.  You can also make nominations to this 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 2024 program will be held August 4-8 in Des Moines.  Go here for more information: https://www.iowaabi.org/leadership-iowa-university/about/.  

And, if you have questions or wish to be involved in either program, please don’t hesitate to contact ABI Foundation Programs Director Jessi McQuerry.  In the meantime, thanks to the many of you who have already nominated students for these terrific programs. 

Pre-Employment Testing Webinar Series Coming in July, September, December

For years, ABI hosted a single day conference related to pre-employment testing.  After receiving feedback from members, that conference has been re-developed as a FREE webinar series.  Webinars will be held on July 30th, September 17th, and December 10th and will last an hour.  Get the latest information and best practices when it comes to effective pre-employment testing and treated issues.  To learn more, click here: Summary - Pre-Employment Testing Process Webinar Series (cvent.com)

ABI Advisory Council Webinar July 31; ESOP 101: Options for Selling Your Business

Members of the ABI Advisory Council can be a great resource for your business.  In that regard, AC members have created a no-cost webinar to help you learn about options available to you as you contemplate transitioning your business to new ownership.  On July 31st, AC members will host a FREE, hour-long webinar that focuses on Employee Stock Ownership Plans as a potential transition method.  Click here for more information and to register: Advisory Council Webinar: ESOP 101: An Introduction to Options for Selling Your Business | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org)

August Policy Committee Meetings

As noted previously, preparing ABI for 2025 has now moved to the annual policy committee stage.  Through the annual policy meetings, literally hundreds of ABI members will come together to shape the public policy agenda for the association for 2025.  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 2025.  Final action will occur at the September meeting of the board.  

Catastrophic Flooding Devastates NW Iowa

Like many of you, I have been amazed by the images coming out of NW Iowa.  Floods there have devastated that part of the state, which is home to many ABI members.  We have been in touch with some of these members, and the news is terrible.  Plants are underwater, or where plants are safe, employee’s homes have been destroyed.  In many cases, the loss of basic services such as water and wastewater service, or even electricity, has been the norm. 

ABI has been in close contact with state officials, who are coordinating state and federal assistance to the impacted areas.  This is not something from which recovery will be quick or easy, but we know these companies will bounce back.  Until they do, we will do all we can to help.  Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone touched by this tragedy, and with others impacted by terrible storms and tornadoes this spring.