Executive Committee to Meet - Monday Memo 4/4/16

April 4, 2016

April Executive Committee Teleconference Wednesday; Board to Meet May 4 in Marshalltown, Dinner in Marshalltown Night Before on May 3

ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) and members of the association’s Executive Committee will hold their regularly-scheduled April meeting by teleconference this Wednesday morning.  The committee will discuss a number of important items, including the usual reports and metrics. 

Reports on these issues will also be on the agenda for the next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  The board will meet next month, on Wednesday, May 4.  Your participation in this meeting is essential in order for the association to take action on many important items.  It will be the final meeting of the board prior to the 2016 annual conference. 

The May board meeting will be held at the Emerson Innovation Center in downtown Marshalltown.  For those of you coming to town the night before the, you will be able to access Marshalltown hotels on the meeting registration site, which will be available very soon.  

The board meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. on the 4th and lunch will be served.  The night before, on May 3rd, those members in Marshalltown are invited to join ABI for dinner, hosted by the Executive Committee.  We'll dine at Tremont on Main (http://www.tremontonmain.com/) downtown,  a very popular Marshalltown restaurant.  Detailed information will be included in the board packet that you will receive about a week in advance of the meeting. 

On behalf of Paul and our other officers, I look forward to seeing you in Marshalltown in May. 

ABI Connecting Leaders Event Thursday in Council Bluffs

ABI will hold the next in a series of Connecting Leaders events this Thursday, April 7, in Council Bluffs.  ABI leaders and Advisory Council members will lead this high-value program and you can register for this event here: http://www.cvent.com/events/connecting-statewide-leaders/event-summary-48cb87e43d8443598b407064e551233f.aspx.

Don't miss the opportunity to join your ABI colleagues, members of the current Leadership Iowa Class, and regional leaders for this great event.  I hope to see you in Council Bluffs on Thursday. 

Next Legislative Teleconference This Friday; Not Next Friday

As they do each year during the annual session of the Iowa General Assembly, ABI lobbyists Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain, Director Public Policy Jessica Harder, and Public Policy Counsel Myron Linn host a teleconference to give you the very latest information from the Statehouse.  Updates on bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters are covered in each call.  Your specific questions about those topics are also very much welcomed. 

The date of the next call has been moved ahead a week and will now be held this coming Friday, on April 8.  The call begins at 9:00 a.m. and you and your employees are encouraged to participate.  The call is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at https://www.iowaabi.org/events/detail/14-abi-legislative-update-teleconference-members-only/

Cedar Valley Manufacturing Conference a Week From Wednesday

Two great NE Iowa partners of ABI are the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and Hawkeye Community College.  The organizations also partner on producing a conference for manufacturers.  Thank you to ABI Board Member Steve Dust (Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Waterloo) for his leadership in yet another way. 

The Sixth Annual Cedar Valley Manufacturing Conference will be held on April 13 on the campus of Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo.  The conference is a great value; for the registration fee of just $15, you'll receive resources and information to help grow your business.  Click on this link for more information and to register: http://www.hawkeyecollege.edu/business-and-community/cedar-valley-manufacturing-conference.aspx?utm_source=wcfcourier&utm_medium=cvbm-ad&utm_campaign=2016-Manufacturing-Conference.  

Biennial ABI Program to Create a Drug-Free Workplace to be Held Later This Month

As you have read in the past couple of editions of this memorandum, the biennial ABI program designed to help you and your employees create a drug free workplace will be held on April 27 at the ABI office in Des Moines.  Your HR staff will find the latest in rulings, best practice-sharing, and other items related to drug testing at the meeting.  The registration link for the conference should be available this week.  Please check ABI's events page soon for details: https://www.iowaabi.org/events/

US Attorney/DOJ Event Provides Resources Related to Cyber Crime

As you know, Iowa's two U.S. Attorneys last week hosted cybersecurity roundtables in Ames and Des Moines.  I know that several ABI-member companies were represented at the sessions. 

Presenters at the roundtable shared a great deal of information related to managing cyber crime issues and what to do as an employer if your company is truck by such a  crime.  Of particular interest was a contact sheet providing information about Iowa officials that can be of assistance.  If you or members of your staff were not able to attend and wish to have a copy of the information, simply reply to this message and I will get it to you at once. 

IEDA Internship Program Again Available

Many ABI member companies have utilized the Iowa Student Internship Program to get students into their facilities in the summer.  The program provides grants to small and medium-sized companies in advanced manufacturing, biosciences, and the IT field.  The goal is to provide financial support to companies to hire interns with the idea that the internship will lead to full-time employment. 

For 2016, applications are due by April 30 and the internships must be completed by September 30.  The program is administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority.  For more information, click on: http://www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/workforcetraining/student

Work Continues for Terrific 2016 Convention; Hundreds of Attendees Already Registered

ABI’s 113th Annual Convention will be held in Sioux City in two months.  The convention, the 2016 Taking Care of Business Conference, will be held June 14-16.  

Registrations are already pouring in.  You will want to finalize your plans now to join your ABI colleagues in June.  Go to the association’s website at www.iowaabi.org and click on the link to the convention website.  You’ll find more information and you can register right now.  

As you read in last week's memo, there are some absolutely terrific speakers and venues in store for conference attendees that make the 2016 ABI Convention a must-see event.  Again, register and make your lodging reservations now.  See you in Sioux City on June 14! 

Next Issue of Business Record Iowa Out Soon

Next week and in partnership with the Des Moines Business Record, ABI will publish the next edition of Business Record Iowa.  This newsprint publication reaches about 7,500 Iowa business leaders each month. 

Many of you have taken the time to comment on this new ABI publication and shared favorable comments and positive ideas for making it even better.  The publication has a greatly expanded reach and greatly increased publication schedule when compared to former ABI magazines.  Look for it to come to your mailbox inside the Des Moines Business Record.  

Leadership Iowa Class Meets This Week

Members of the 2015-2016 Leadership Iowa class will convene in Council Bluffs this week.  The class will meet Thursday and Friday (some will convene on Wednesday) for a session that focuses on public safety.  Look for a full report on the status of LI and other ABI Foundation programs at the next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

NW Iowa Elevate Ambassador Training Next Week

As you read in last week's Memo, Northwest Iowa Community College (NCC) is hosting an Elevate Ambassador training session at its Sheldon campus. The training will be held next week, on Wednesday, April 13th  from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.  It will be followed by a free networking lunch.   ABI members in the areas will want to participate in this training.  Please RSVP by April 7th by calling Lesa Stofferan at 1-800-352-4907 ext. 195 or email her at lstofferan@nwicc.edu.

NAM Monday Economic Report Notes Stabilizing Manufacturing Economy

Last week's edition of the National Association of Manufacturers' Monday Economic Report carried a lead story about the manufacturing economy stabilizing.  That's good news, but the sector still faces challenges as well.  Reply to this email if you wish to read the report and I'll get it to you at once. 

Lori Schaefer- Weaton Will Mark Birthday

A key ABI leader is celebrating her birthday this week.  The big day is Wednesday for ABI Vice Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield).  Happy birthday from ABI, Lori! 

CIPCO to Build State's Largest Utility-Based Solar Energy Project

Longtime ABI member Central Iowa Power Cooperative last week announced that it will launch Iowa's largest utility-based solar project.  The project will be sited on six locations across CIPCO's service delivery territory. 

Several ABI-member cooperatives will be a part of the project, including Consumers Energy, Eastern Iowa Light & Power, East-Central REC, Midland Power Cooperative, and Pella Cooperative Electric.  If you are interested in receiving more information about this exciting project, reply to this email message and I will get it to your at once.  In the meantime, congratulations to all involved, including former ABI Chair and CIPCO CEO Dennis Murdock (CIPCO, Des Moines) and to ABI Board member and Eastern Iowa Power CEO Kirk Trede (Eastern Iowa Light and Power, Wilton)

Diamond Vogel Again Honored for Paint Iowa Beautiful

ABI member companies tend to be huge supporters of the communities in which they are located and of Iowa in general.  One great example of that support can be found in longtime ABI member Vogel Paint Company.  The company's Diamond Vogel brand was recently honored as the longtime sponsor of Paint Iowa Beautiful.  

This unsung Iowa program has resulted in over 500 Iowa communities bettering themselves.  Over 8,200 gallons of Diamond Vogel have been donated to help make that happen.  Congratulations and thank you to everyone at Vogel Paint, especially to ABI Executive Committee Member Drew Vogel (Vogel Paint Company, Orange City)

Clinton Named Iowa River City of the Year

Iowa Rivers Revival is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and sustaining our state's rivers and waterways.  The organization annually declares one Iowa city a champion for the way it cares for a local river. 

The 2016 Iowa River City of the Year is Clinton.  As many ABI members know, Clinton is an important city to ABI, as our organization has many members there.  The community has done much over the past several years to highlight and care for the Mississippi River as it flows through the town.  Congratulations to everyone in Clinton, including community leaders and ABI Board Members Tom Determann (CRDC, Clinton) and Rich Phelan (LyondellBassel, Clinton)

Lawler, Roederer Address ABI CFO Roundtable; Lawler Shares Predictions for the Year 

The second year of the ABI CFO Roundtable kicked-off last Wednesday.  Principal is ABI's partner in this initiative, which is marked by exceptional programming for the participants. 

Last week's session included two terrific speakers, David Roeder, the Director of the Iowa Department of Management and Julia Lawler (Principal Portfolio Strategies, Des Moines).  Many of you know these two individuals, both are dynamic, engaging  leaders. 

Julia, who is Senior Executive Director of PPS, offered some insights as to what to expect in the remainder of calendar 2016.  She and her team expect GDP growth in the U.S. to be 2 to 2.5 percent.  Modest, but better than many countries.  The PPS team does not predict a recession this year, but believes there is risk for a very mild recession in 2017.  Julia and the team also predict that the Federal Reserve will raise rates twice this year (a quarter-percentage point each time) and perhaps two or three times in calendar 2017.

Finally, Julia cited two potential "disruptors" -- one is if voters in the United Kingdom decide to end that nation's participation in the European Union.  The second is a "big" terror strike (much bigger than the recent terrorist bombing in Brussels).  Aside from those two instances, the PPS teams seems stability and modest growth ahead.  Interesting insights and we appreciate them being shared with ABI.