Final Pre-Conference Board Meeting in May - Monday Memo 4/19/21

April 19, 2021

Board to Meet in May; Final Meeting Prior to Annual Conference

The final ABI board meeting before the annual conference will be held in May.  ABI Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) and the ABI Board of Directors will meet Thursday, May 13, at the Embassy Suites on the River Hotel in downtown Des Moines.  The meeting begins with lunch at 11:30 a.m. 

If you haven’t already done so, please register your attendance now by replying to this message.  Look for your usual packet of meeting materials to arrive in your email in-basket about a week before the meeting.  On behalf of Steven and our ABI officers, I look forward to your participation.  

Annual ABI CEO Survey Coming Your Way This Week

As I noted last week, it is time for the annual ABI survey of member CEOs.  The survey this year focuses on coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.  By the way, the annual survey differs from the quarterly business survey, in that the annual CEO survey is distributed to ALL member company CEOs and it surveys general issues; not what is expected in the coming quarter.  

CEOs should look for the survey to arrive in your email in-basket Wednesday of this week.  When you see it, please complete the survey (it should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes).  You will be able to read the results in the June edition of Business Record Iowa

Conference Registrations Pouring in; 2022 Site Visit Thursday

As I write this memorandum on Sunday afternoon, there are nearly 300 people already registered for the 2021 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference.  Over a hundred registrations were received last week alone!  If you haven’t already done so, register NOW by clicking on this link:  

Remember that due to COVID restrictions, there is a one-time 450-person capacity limit for the annual conference.  You don’t want to wait to register for this terrific event!  On behalf of ABI Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine), I look forward to seeing you in Coralville/Iowa City in less than two months (June 8-10)! 

Speaking of the annual conference, ABI Vice Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa) will lead a site visit to Dubuque this Thursday as planning continues for the 2022 conference.  You can learn more about THAT conference by attending the 2021 conference.   

Nominating Committee to Meet May 5

As noted in last week’s Monday Memo, the ABI Nominating Committee will meet soon.  The committee, which is chaired by Immediate Past Chair of the ABI Board of Directors Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids), will meet by Zoom on May 5. 

In addition to Cindy, members of the Committee include ABI board members from each of the association's five state districts.  They are District 1 – Andy Bramstedt (SSAB, Muscatine), District 2 – Tim Conlon (Conlon Construction, Dubuque), District 3 – Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale), District 4 – Connor Deering (CemenTech, Indianola), and District 5 – Molly Varangkounh (Hy-Capacity, Humboldt).  

If you have someone you believe would make a great ABI board member, the committee wants to know about her or him.  Simply contact one of them, or me, and we’ll make sure the names are considered by the committee.  

Friday: Next ABI Legislative Update

The next edition of periodic (during the legislative session) ABI Zoom updates related to the latest information from the Statehouse takes place this Friday.  Updates on bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters are covered in each Zoom.  Your specific questions about those topics are also very much welcomed. 

Again, the next update will be held this Friday, April 23rd, at 8:00 a.m. and you and your employees are encouraged to participate.  The members-only update is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at  

Regional Public Policy Meetings Set

Speaking of the legislative session, it is hoped there are only few weeks left.  Upon adjournment, the ABI public policy team usually hits the road to meet with ABI members all over Iowa.  In those meetings, information about the session and its impact on your business are discussed. 

For a number of reasons, those post-session meetings, which will star ABI Vice President Public Policy JD Davis and Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf, will be held virtually this year.  Go here to find more information and to register for one of the three policy meetings:  

BuyABI Program Revitalized; New Video Posted

As you have read in previous editions of this memo, ABI Executive Vice President Nicole Crain is leading a revitalization of the BuyABI program.  The program is a way for ABI members (and others) to save money and receive premium products and services.  In turn, ABI receives revenue.  You can find more information here:

During the Executive Committee meeting held earlier this month, committee member Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Avon) suggested posting videos to explain the program and how it can provide real value to you and your company.  It was a great suggestion and the first video posted involves former ABI Chair Frederick V. Buie (Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Company, Des Moines) and EMC Insurance.  You can view the video by clicking on the link above.  Thank you to Kellan for the suggestion and to Fred and EMC for the first video.  Watch for more information as it develops. 

ABI Waterloo Litigation Considered by Supreme Court

You will recall that some time ago, the ABI Board of Directors authorized ABI to challenge action by the City of waterloo to adopt an ordinance barring employers from asking certain questions on employment forms. 

The challenge has reached the Iowa Supreme Court and the case was heard by the Court last Thursday.  Click here to read an article carried by the Des Moines Register about the hearing:  And please stay tuned for news of a decision as soon as it is announced (which will likely be in few months). 

Foundation Program Nominations, Elevate Scholarship Nominations All Due Now

As you have read in previous editions of this memorandum, now is an important time for programs of the ABI Foundation.  Foundation programs such as Leadership Iowa, Leadership Iowa University, and Business Horizons are all accepting nominations for participants in the next session of each program.  And, ABI’s Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative is accepting nominations for its annual community college scholarships. 

To nominate worthy individuals for the programs, please go here:  To nominate students for a scholarship, please go here:  Thank you for your nominations! 

NAM Report: Robust Growth Expected

Last week’s Global Manufacturing Economic Update published by the National Association of Manufacturers, carried (almost) nothing but positive news on a number of fronts.  The lead item was news that global GDP is expected to grow by a full 6.0 percent this year.  Record growth is already being seen in many markets.  If you wish to see the report, please reply to this message and I’ll get it to you at once. 

Weatons Celebrate Their Anniversary

Two great ABI leaders celebrated a big occasion over the weeknd.  Former ABI chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and former longtime ABI Board Member Nate Weaton (Weaton Capital, Fairfield) celebrated their anniversary Saturday (April 17).  Happy belated anniversary to Lori and Nate! 

David Bywater Celebrates Tomorrow

Another ABI leader is celebrating.  Former ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising Company/Tru Art, Iowa City) will celebrate his birthday tomorrow.  Happy birthday, David! 

Another Good Espeset Column

You have read before that we enjoy receiving your company newsletters at the ABI office, as we learn a ton by reading them.  The latest edition of the Story Construction newsletter, StoryLine, arrived in my email in-basket Friday.  It’s a good one and if you wish to read it, let me know and I’ll forward it to you. 

In the meantime, click here to read another great column by Story President and ABI Board Member Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames): President's Perspective: Fly Into The Wind | Story Construction.  Thanks for sharing, Mike! 

Goodhues Also Celebrate

Many of you know former ABI Board Member Steve Goodhue (Knapp-Tedesco Insurance, Ames) and his wife, Tami Goodhue.  While no longer on the board, Steve is still a great ABI member and there was recently some big news in the Goodhue Household.  Steve and Tami are now grandparents, as Galvin Goodhue was born on April 7th.  I have seen photographic evidence and I can attest that Galvin is a darn good-looking grandson.  Congratulations to Steve and Tami!