Executive Committee to Meet Next Week - Monday Memo 3/29/21

March 29, 2021

April Executive Committee Teleconference Next Week; Board to Meet May 13 in DSM

ABI Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) and members of the association’s Executive Committee will hold their regularly-scheduled April meeting by Zoom a week from Thursday (April 8).  The committee will work through the usual reports and metrics. 

These and other issues will also be on the agenda for the next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  The board will meet next month, on Thursday, May 13.  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 2021 annual conference. 

The May board meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites on the River Hotel in Des Moines.  Free parking will be available at ABI (a three block walk to the hotel), or you may park in the new parking ramp directly north of the hotel (the fee is one dollar per hour).  On behalf of Steven and our other officers, I hope to see you in May. 

Terrific 2021 Taking Care of Business Conference Ahead

ABI’s 118th Annual Convention will be held in Iowa City/Coralville in just a few weeks.  The convention, the 2021 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference, is scheduled for June 8-10.  

ABI is closely monitoring things related to the conference.  Guidance from the CDC, Iowa state government, and other sources indicates that holding the conference in person is safe and appropriate.  In that regard, a number of health and safety protocols will be in place. 

Well over a hundred people have already registered, with many more than that already reserving rooms at the conference flagship hotel, the Coralville Marriott.  If you haven’t done so, you can register now by clicking on https://www.iowaabi.org/events/annual-conference/.  

Using that same link, you can access information about the terrific speaker lineup, see the fabulous venues, register for golf at the newly renovated Finkbine Golf Course, make your lodging reservations, and make plans to participate in the very best business networking in Iowa.  You don’t want to miss it! 

ABI Communications Get new Look

You may have noticed a new look to the weekly ABI e-newsletter that is published each Thursday.  ABI is in the process of redesigning the newsletter to increase its readability and appeal.  You will see the use of more graphics and different text features. 

As we undergo this transition, we want to hear from you.  Please let us know what information you want more of, or, let us know if should stop featuring certain topics in the newsletter.  Additionally, if you aren’t receiving the weekly newsletter, please check your Spam folder and make sure the newsletter is “Not Junk.”  If you haven’t subscribed, please send an email message to communications@iowaabi.org and we will make sure you are added to the newsletter distribution list. 

Thank you to ABI Executive Vice President Nicole Crain and to ABI Communications Consultants Steffi Lee and Katelyn Adams for spearheading this project.  We have been wanting to see this work done for some time, but were told it couldn’t happen.  We are grateful to the part-time team of Steffi and Katelyn for getting it done. 

Leadership Iowa Class Meets Next Week

Members of the 2020-2021 Leadership Iowa class will convene next week in Mason City.  The class will meet for a session that focuses on education and business-education partnerships will be a focus of the discussion.  Look for a full report on Leadership Iowa and other ABI Foundation programs at the next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  

ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders Event in Mason City Next Week

Coinciding with the LI class session in Mason City next week, ABI will host another in the series of Connecting Statewide Leaders programs.  It will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 8 at the Historic Park Inn in Mason City and will be followed by lunch. 

Make your plans now to join ABI members, community leaders, and the Leadership Iowa class for an engaging conversation about business-education partnerships.  The program is being finalized now, but it is clear it will include a panel of compelling leaders.  I hope you can attend.  Click on this link to register and to find more information: https://web.cvent.com/event/37f30c68-203d-4f53-9dd8-a31495a3299a/summary.  

Elevate Advanced Manufacturing Video Project Continues; Jackson Mfg Next Up

Longtime ABI Board Member Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale) is also one of the leaders of ABI’s Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative.  As Michele has reported over the past several months, Elevate has an exciting project underway. 

Video presentations of various ABI manufacturers are being developed.  These are fast-paced, exciting videos that show young people what a cool and rewarding career they can have with an Iowa manufacturer.  Michele and ABI Vice Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg, Maquoketa) have shared with me that Jackson Mfg is next in line for a video. 

By the way, I was in Maquoketa last week to visit with Jack.  Man, things were humming.  Jackson Mfg is entering its busy season for sure and it was great to see Jack and his employees in action doing the quality work for which his company is known.  Thanks for the hospitality, Jack! 

Remember to Let ABI Hear from You on COVID-19 Vaccinations

As ABI has worked to help member companies get their employees vaccinated against COVID-19, real progress is being made.  Call on us if you haven’t made progress in working with your local county health agency.  In the meantime, we want to hear from you. 

Please reply to this memorandum with regard to two questions: 1) Are you offering incentives to employees to increase their desire to be vaccinated, and 2) What is the percentage of employees who choose to be vaccinated.  As I noted last week, I am not collecting company names or identifiers of any kind, but if you have feedback to those questions, please reply to this message and thank you very much. 

By the way, of those companies that have responded so far, none are offering special incentives to employees regarding vaccinations.  All are “strongly encouraging” vaccinations.  And of those who have replied, most indicate about half their employees have been vaccinated. 

AC Member Fredrikson & Byron Presents Strategic Workplace Program

Members of the ABI Advisory Council are a great resource for ABI members.  While providing premium support for ABI, AC members provide real value for association members.  One AC member, Fredrikson & Byron, is presenting one such value-added program. 

The program will be presented this Thursday, April 1, from 9-11 a.m.  The program is a webcast and your HR staff will find it useful.  Click here to register: https://www.fredlaw.com/events/reimagining-the-workplace-strategies-for-a-positive-way-forward-in-the-new-normal/?utm_source=fredlawemail&utm_medium=fredlawemail.  

Happy Belated Birthday to Kathryn Kunert

A longtime ABI board member celebrated a birthday recently and I missed letting you know about it.  Happy belated birthday to ABI Board Member Kathryn Kunert (MidAmerican Energy Company, Des Moines), who celebrated last Wednesday, March 24.  Hope it was a great one, Kathryn! 

Good to Hear from Hank Evans

Many of you recall former longtime ABI Board Member Hank Evans (A.F. Johnson Millwork Co., West Des Moines).  As is the case with all board members back then, Hank’s leadership was critical to ABI as the association worked through a number of tough issues about a decade and a half ago. 

Hank sold his company a number of years ago and sailed the world’s waterways with his beloved Ann, until she was lost to a devastating illness.  Some years ago Hank met Beth and the two now continue their adventures together. 

It was simply wonderful to hear from Hank and wow, how I appreciate his continued support of ABI.  If you wish to see Hank’s message, reply to this message and I’ll get it to you.  In the meantime, Hank, thank you for keeping us up to speed on your activities and very best wishes to you and Beth!