Final 2021 Board Meeting Next Month - Monday Memo 10/11/21

October 11, 2021

ABI Board Will Meet November 11

The ABI Board of Directors will hold its next meeting on Thursday, November 11.  The meeting will begin with lunch at 11:30 a.m. and will be held at the ABI office in Des Moines’ East Village. 

ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa), board members, and former chairs will work through a full agenda of important items.  This will be the final meeting of the calendar year for the board and a number of important discussion topics will be highlights of the November session.  Look for registration information to come your way later this morning. 

Latest Edition of Business Record Iowa Now Out; Kouba on Cover

ABI's monthly news journal, Business Record Iowa, is published in conjunction with the Des Moines Business Record.  It has been very well-received by ABI members and others across the state.  BR Iowa is found inside the Des Moines Business Record.  When you come to the section of the Business Record that is Business Record Iowa, you will see ABI leader Terry Kouba (Alliant Energy, Cedar Rapids) on the cover. 

The latest edition of the newsprint journal came out Friday and it should be in your mailbox now.  If it isn't, let us know and we'll get a copy to you right away.  In the meantime, let us know what you like about the publication and let us know how we can make it even better.  Thanks for your many comments already received. 

2023 ABI Conference Planning Leaders to Hold Site Visit in Cedar Rapids Tomorrow

Planning is well underway for the ABI Taking Care of Business Conference that will be held in June of next year.  I can tell you already that it will be a fabulous event.  While work is being finalized with regard to next year’s event, it is also underway regarding the 2023 conference.  

In fact, related to the 2023 conference, ABI Chair Kim Augspurger (Saxton, Des Moines), Conference Committee Chair Michelle Bonnema (Saxton, Des Moines), Holly Mueggenberg, Nicole Crain, and I will participate in a site visit tomorrow.  While you have been to Cedar Rapids previously, there are big changes in store for the 2023 conference.  Watch for more information soon. 

Reminder: 2022 Annual Conference Workshop Proposals Now Being Accepted

And speaking of the 2022 conference, remember that the RFP process related to annual Taking Care of Business Conference workshops is now open.  The workshops/breakout sessions are a highlight of the annual conference.  As I noted last week, competition for these presentation slots has been keen and I am sure that will be the case again this year. 

RFPs related to the workshops are now being accepted by ABI.  Go her for more information or to submit a proposal:  The deadline for submissions is December 1. 

Biennial ABI DC Fly-In Two Weeks from Tomorrow

Two weeks from tomorrow, the 2021 edition of the Biennial ABI DC Fly-In will take off for Washington, DC.  The Fly-In was created because you asked for it and we are always pleased to take ABI leaders to our nation’s capital. 

This high-value trip is packed with substantive meetings.  There will be meetings with every single member of the Iowa Congressional delegation, briefings at the National Association of Manufacturers, BIPAC, and at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  We’ll also meet with Governor Reynolds’ staff representative in Washington, D.C.  Thank you to those ABI leaders participating in the 2021 edition of the Fly-In. 

First of 2021-2022 Connecting Statewide Leaders Events December 2nd in Pella

Some years ago, at the request of members looking for more association events in locations outside Des Moines, ABI created the Connecting Statewide Leaders Forums.  The events have proven very popular and are held throughout the fall, winter and spring all around Iowa.  The first event in the 2021-2022 series will be held December 2 in Pella.  

Each of the Connecting Leaders events has drawn a great crowd and the series has resulted in new association members.  The forum on December 2 is the next opportunity to participate in this terrific series.  

At the forum, you will have an opportunity to hear a great panel discussion of manufacturing leaders, visit with fellow ABI members, meet the new Leadership Iowa class, and develop new customers.  Please mark your calendar now and click here for more information or to register: Summary - Connecting Statewide Leaders - Pella (  

ABI Foundation Board to Hold Retreat Wednesday

Members of the ABI Foundation Board of Directors, which is chaired by longtime ABI leader Kim Butler Hegedus (Community State Bank, Ankeny), will hold their regular quarterly meeting on Wednesday.  The board will also hold a retreat that day to ensure continued growth and success for the Foundation and its programs. 

The Foundation marked the end of its fiscal year on September 30 and it was another strong year for Foundation programs.  Watch for any news from the meeting/retreat to be shared at next month’s ABI board meeting. 

Annual IEDA Internship Program Application Process Now Underway

ABI member companies across Iowa have utilized the Iowa Economic Development Authority's Iowa Student Internship Program.  The program is a great way to get students into your plant. 

The program provides grants to small and medium-sized companies to help pay a stipend to interns.  Applicant companies must have 500 or fewer employees and must offer the internships to Iowa students (students of Iowa post-high school institutions or Iowa students attending post-high school institutions outside the state), and stipends must be at the level of a wage of $14.50 per hour or greater. 

Applications are now being accepted for the s2022 programs.  Please click on this link Iowa Student Internship Program | Iowa Economic Development Authority ( for information. 

Plan Now to Attend 2022 ABI Legislative Reception

Every year, more people attend and participate in the annual ABI Legislative Reception than in any other similar event in Iowa.  The 2022 Legislative Reception will be held January 12th at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines.  Make plans now to attend and watch for registration information to be available soon. 

NAM Reports Economy, Manufacturing Growing

Last week's edition of the Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, carried an article about growth in the American economy and in American manufacturing.  In fact, it was a very positive report all the way around.  If you wish to read the report for yourself, please reply to this memo and I will forward it at once. 

John Riches Back in the Office

Longtime ABI Board Member John Riches (Arconic, Davenport) is one of those strong, quiet leaders that mean so much to the association.  It is great to report that John is recovering well from knee replacement surgery and, last week, he returned to the office on a part-time basis.  That’s good news and ABI sends very best wishes to John! 

Chad Reece a Member of LI Class

In last week’s memorandum, I noted the 2021-2022 Leadership Iowa Class was to hold its first session this past week in the Iowa Great Lakes Region.  Highlights included remarks by ABI Chair Toby Shine (Shine Bros. Corp., Spencer), ABI Foundation Board Chair Kim Butler Hegedus (Community State Bank, Ankeny), and ABI Board Member Todd McDonald (ATW Training, Urbandale)

What I forgot to mention is that ABI Board Member Chad Reece (Winnebago Industries, Forest City) was selected to be a member of the class.  Congratulations to this terrific board member!  It was great to see Chad and his LI classmates last week. 

Bill Trent Celebrates Saturday

Former ABI Chair Bill Trent (Kent Corporation, Muscatine) is well-known as a longtime business executive, community leader, former state legislator, and as an all-around good guy.  Bill still follows ABI and still stays in touch (he even reads these memos once in while).  Bill is celebrating his birthday later this week, on Saturday the 16th.  Happy birthday, Bill! 

Tim Wilkinson Passes

Several of you contacted me to let me know that former longtime ABI Board Member Tim Wilkinson (ALCOA, Davenport) has died.  Tim had recently had cardiac surgery and had been hospitalized for two weeks.  Complications developed that could not be resolved and he passed away early in the morning on October 5th.  

Click here to read more about Tim’s life: Timothy Wilkinson Obituary - Davenport, IA (  Our thoughts and prayers are with Tim’s family. 

The Business of ABI: The Very Best Business Public Policy Advocacy Programs

(Editor’s Note: A few of years ago at this time, several of us on the ABI staff were receiving inquiries from members who were being requested to provide financial support for non-ABI lobbying activities.  I included the following in the Monday Memo each of the past four years and it still applies today.) 

You have heard me say often that I like things that can be measured, because they let us know whether or not we are having success in achieving the goals that the board sets for us each year.  Some goals are easy to measure, such as the condition of our balance sheet (it is strong).  Other things are more difficult to measure, but are measurable nonetheless.  One example of that is ABI’s public policy work.  Is the association getting passed into law the bills that will help members grow and create jobs?  And, is the association stopping advancement of bills that hinder that growth?  The answer to both questions, for decades through today, is a resounding yes. 

You don’t have to take my word for it.  National recognition, awards, mentions by media about how strong and effective is ABI’s policy work, all these things attest to ABI’s success. 

In fact, as it pertains to public policy, no business organization has had more success than ABI… none.  For over a hundred years, ABI has been at the Statehouse; year in, year out, achieving success in public policy advocacy and doing the hard and tough work of representing business interests. 

You already receive that award-winning public policy work as a benefit of your membership in ABI.  You don’t have to pay extra for it.  Between ABI and our programs such as the Iowans for Jobs Initiative, ABI annually puts together the strategy that will bring victory; and then achieves it.  

Success.  It is what you are pay for when you make your annual investment in ABI.  You already receive Iowa’s best pro-growth, pro-business public policy work as a result of your membership in ABI.  And, thanks to your continued investment in ABI, continued success is assured.