Final Memo of the Year; Board Meets Soon - Monday Memo 12/19/16

December 19, 2016

ABI Board of Directors to Meet in Three Weeks (January 11)

The first meeting of the Executive Committee and ABI Board of Directors for 2017 will be called to order by ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) on January 11 at the Embassy Suites on the River in downtown Des Moines.  This is the same date as the 2017 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception (see item below).  You should receive the usual packet of meeting materials in about two weeks.  Please contact me with any questions or comments and please make plans now to attend. 

Record Pace of Registrants for 2017 ABI Legislative Reception

The ABI staff is busy finalizing details related to the annual ABI Legislative Reception, one of the association’s most popular annual events.  In fact, all indications are that the coming reception will be the biggest and best ever.  

About 300 ABI members have already registered for the event and it is clear that over 500 people will attend.  The 2017 reception will be held Wednesday, January 11 at the Embassy Suites on the River Hotel in Downtown Des Moines.  Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds are expected to appear at the reception, along with hundreds of legislators and state officials, and I hope you can attend.  

This important event will be preceded by the annual legislative briefing.  The briefing is your opportunity to hear the latest about legislative news and about ABI's agenda.  You can then head right into the reception and share comments with your local legislators.  Your participation and interaction with legislators is what makes this event a must for Iowa policy-makers.  

Go to the ABI website at on  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 our ABI officers, I look forward to seeing all of you in Des Moines on January 11. 

Contribute To Elevate Iowa; ABI Foundation

This is the time of year that folks consider their personal tax planning.  If you need to make some end-of-the-year contributions, please consider Elevate Iowa and/or the ABI Foundation.  Thank you to those who have already contributed and ABI and Elevate leaders look forward to recognizing your companies in a number of ways. 

Your contributions are critical to the Foundation and help make Iowa a better place to live and work.  Contributions to Elevate help our efforts to change the perception of advanced manufacturing and help you fulfill your workforce requirements.  Big thanks, too, to all of the companies who have contributed over the years, and also thanks to the 15 Iowa Community Colleges who each contributed to the Elevate partnership.  If you haven't yet contributed, please make your contribution today!   

Des Moines to Host Leadership Iowa Class in January; Alumni Dine-Arounds on the 11th

The ABI Foundation's flagship program is quite active.  As a confirmation of that, Leadership Iowa has two big events coming up next month.  

First, the 2016-2017 LI Class will hold its fourth session January 11-13.  The class will focus on state government and will join you for the a ABI Briefing and Reception on January 11. 

Another LI event will be held on January 11.  That evening, the ABI Foundation and LI will again host Leadership Iowa Networking and Reunion Dinners.  These dinners, more popularly known as the LI Alumni Dine-Arounds, will take place at several Des Moines restaurants.  The event will provide a unique dinner networking opportunity for LI alumni following the annual ABI Legislative Reception.  The event is free to LI alumni - you simply pay for your own meal.  Find out more and register now at 

Strategic Planning Process Progressing

As you know, ABI periodically engages in strategic planning. Like your organizations, our desire is to be proactive about our programs and growth.  Under ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) this fiscal year is another in which planning is being undertaken. 

The process is being led by ABI Board Member Todd McDonald (ATW Training Solutions, Urbandale) and his team.  The ATW team reports that many of you have completed the survey that was distributed some weeks ago.  Others involved have also completed the survey and thus, baseline data is in place. 

A full report will be a part of next month's board meeting. Then, the real work begins; all leading to a final plan to share with you later in the year.  Thank you for participating in this important process. 

Former Chair Mark Hanawalt Featured in KKWL Story

Former ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) is a longtime leader in Iowa's Cedar Valley region.  As such, he was part of a group of business people that met last week with Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.  Mark was featured in a story on KWWL television.  You can read the story and view the video here:

Congratulations on the great coverage, Mark! 

Lyondellbasell Named Industry of the Year; CRDC Holds Great Annual Meeting

ABI member LyondellBasell has been involved in our organization for many years.  Its Clinton, Iowa plant is one of the most productive chemical facilities in the world.  You will recall that the Clinton complex recently underwent a major expansion. 

There was more good news for the company, as last Thursday it was named Industry of the Year by the Clinton Regional Development Corporation.  Congratulations to everyone at LyondellBasell, including Plant Manager Chris Cain (LyondellBasell, Clinton) and the company's longtime representative to the ABI Board, Rich Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton)

Tom Determann in the News

Speaking of Clinton, another Clinton-area ABI leader was in the news. ABI Board Member Tom Determann (CRDC, Clinton) was elected to the Clinton County Board of Supervisors last month.  Tom is currently a Clinton City Councilman.  Read this news story to learn why Tom was in the news:  Congratulations again on your election and on the coverage, Tom! 

ABI Office Closed Friday, Monday, and January 2; Last Memo of the Year

Due to the Christmas and New Year's holidays, the ABI office will be closed Friday and Monday and then again on the following Monday, January 2.  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 3rd 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 am deeply grateful and I thank you.  Very best wishes to you, your family, and your company for the coming year.