Final Memo of 2019 - Monday Memo 12/23/19

December 23, 2019

First ABI Board Meeting of 2020 on January 15; Legislative Reception Same Day

January 15 is the date for the first meeting of the ABI Board of Directors in the new year.  ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) will convene the meeting at the Iowa Events Center (Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center) in downtown Des Moines.  

This is the same day as the 2020 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception and those events immediately follow the board meeting.  About 300 ABI members have already registered for the event and a crowd of well over 500 is expected.  Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg are expected to appear at the reception, along with hundreds of legislators and state officials.  Your participation and interaction with legislators is what makes this event a must for Iowa policy-makers. 

Go to the ABI website at  You’ll find all the information you need and can follow the easy instructions to register right now.  Thank you in advance for participating in this very important event.  On behalf of Cindy and our other ABI officers, I look forward to seeing you in Des Moines on January 15. 

Kathy Anderson to Leave ABI

About four and a half years ago, Kathy Anderson joined ABI as Vice President, Member Development and Programs.  Kathy announced last week that she is leaving ABI and will become Director of Employee Experience at Kreg Tool Company.  Her first day there is December 30. 

This is a terrific opportunity for Kathy and I am excited for her.  She is joining a wonderful ABI-member company and will do well in her new role.  That said, Kathy has done good work here at ABI and she will be greatly missed.  We wish her the very best. 

As I shared last week, ABI Chair Cindy Dietz and I talked about this previously and be assured there are already discussions underway about filling this role.  I’ll be in touch soon with more information.  For now, please join me in thanking Kathy for her good work and wishing her well in her new post.  

Business Record Again Names ABI Board One of “Most Influential”

The Des Moines Business Record is a great member/partner and is one of Greater Des Moines’ most-read publications.  In past years, the Business Record has honored the ABI Board of Directors. 

I am pleased to report that for another year, readers of the Business Record have again named the ABI Board of Directors as one of the top-25 most influential boards in the Des Moines metro area.  This honor will be officially recognized at an event open to the public on January 9.  Go here for more information:  In the meantime, thank you to the Business Record and its readers and congratulations to you, the members of the ABI Board of Directors! 

Leadership Iowa Class to Meet, LI Alumni Dinner Coming January 15

The 2019-2020 Leadership Iowa Class will hold its fourth session January 15-17.  As is usual, the January session will focus on state government.  Class members will tour the Statehouse, hear from some terrific speakers, and join you for the ABI Briefing and Reception on January 15. 

Following the reception on Wednesday the 15th, the ABI Foundation will again host the Leadership Iowa Alumni Society Dinner and Celebration.  This event will take place at the Renaissance Savery Hotel in Downtown Des Moines.  The event provides a fun and unique dinner networking opportunity for LI alumni.  Click here for more information:  

Three Fantastic Keynotes at ABI Annual Conference

We received word last week of confirmation of a third keynote speaker for next June’s ABI Taking Care of Business Conference.  We have been hoping this speaker would appear and are excited to add this name to an already incredible line-up.  Who is it?  Can’t say yet, but you will learn the name in a month or so, so stay tuned. 

The two already confirmed keynote speakers are terrific: Collins Aerospace Missions Systems Leader Phil Jasper and Girls Who Code COO Tarika Barrett.  You do not want to miss this conference!  Finalize your plans now to join ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) and hundreds of your fellow ABI members next June.  Click here for more information:  

NAM Reports Good News in Economic Data

This week’s Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, has already arrived in my in-box and it carries good news.  Several economic data points are trending upward and growth in 2020 is expected.  As the year winds down, this is good news indeed.  As always, if you wish to read the report for yourself, simply reply to this message and I’ll get it to you at once. 

Randy Moore Highlighted in Quad-Cities Journal

ABI Board Member Randy Moore (Iowa-American Water Company, Davenport) was again highlighted in Insight magazine.  Insight is the business journal of the Quad Cities.  

Randy was featured in an article in which Quad Cities business leaders discussed the coming new year and issues that would be on the forefront in 2020.  Congratulations on the great coverage, Randy! 

Great Espeset Column in Story Newsletter

You know that we enjoy member newsletters here at ABI.  We learn a lot from following your business lessons. 

The Story Construction newsletter, STORYLINE, arrived last week and it is another good one. 

In his usual front page column, company President and longtime ABI Board Member Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames) discusses Story’s purpose, niche, and 10-year target.  It is a great read, with value for all organizations.  If you would like to read it for yourself, reply to this message and I’ll get you a copy at once.  In the meantime, thank you, Mike, for the column. 

CRDC Holds 66th Annual Meeting; Determann, Phelan Recognized; NelsonCorp Honored

At a meeting in Clinton last Wednesday, another record crowd of members of the Clinton Regional Development Corporation, a longtime ABI member, held their 66th annual meeting.  Two longtime ABI board members were recognized at the meeting.  

Tom Determann (CRDC, Clinton) has been even more active in the corporation since he sold his own businesses and he was thanked at the meeting for serving in various roles over the past year.  Similarly, Rich Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton) was again elected to the CRDC Board, something in which he has played a leading role for many years.  Congratulations to Tom and Rich. 

Rich was also a part of the CRDC honoring of ABI member NelsonCorp Wealth Management.  This longtime Clinton mainstay received the CRDC’s Impact Award for the leadership the company has exhibited in the region.  Congratulations to NelsonCorp and Rich on this honor! 

ABI Office Closed Tomorrow, Wednesday, and January 1; Last Memo of the Year

Due to the Christmas and New Year's holidays, the ABI office will be closed tomorrow and Wednesday (December 24 and 25) and again on the following Wednesday, January 1.  Many ABI staff members, myself included, will be taking some vacation at various times over the next two weeks.  Staff members have worked hard and I hope you will join me in thanking them for their work.  As always, the week between Christmas and New Year's Day is the one time all year that the ABI Monday Memo is not published.   Your next Memo will arrive in your email in-basket on the 6th of January. 

As I noted in the final memo each of the last few years, at this time of year it is natural to reflect on the past 12 months.  Much has been accomplished; so much more lies ahead.  On a personal level, I know how fortunate I am that you have given me the opportunity to work for you and with some great colleagues.  I never, ever take that for granted.  I am deeply grateful and I thank you.  Very best wishes to you, your family, and your company for the coming year.