Final Regular Board Meeting of FY22 Thursday - Monday Memo 5/9/22

May 9, 2022

Final Regular ABI Board Meeting of Fiscal Year Thursday; Secretary Naig to Speak

ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa) will convene the May meeting of the association’s board of directors at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday (May 12).  This will mark the board’s final regular meeting of Fiscal Year 2022and it will be held at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames. 

The meeting will begin with lunch and then an address by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig.  Secretary Naig will provide an update regarding Iowa’s avian influenza outbreak, as well as address other ag business issues.  

Other highlights include a very strong financial report, the latest news from the Statehouse, a final update on the 2022 Taking Care of Business Conference, a report by ABI Foundation Chair Kim Butler Hegedus (Community State Bank, Ankeny), and your business updates.   There are great registration numbers for this meeting.  On behalf of Jack and our other officers, thank you for in advance for making plans to participate. 

2022 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference will be a SMASH; Governor to Attend

As you read in last week’s Monday Memo, the ABI team made a final site visit to Dubuque about 10 days ago.  What we saw confirms what we already knew… ladies and gentlemen, the 2022 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference will be a smash event and you really do not want to miss it. 

Dubuque looks better than ever.  The Diamond Jo casino, the site of the Welcome Reception on June 14, is fabulous.  By the way, golf earlier in the day will take place at the beautiful Dubuque Golf and Country Club, which recently underwent a multi-million dollar expansion of its tennis and golf facilities.  Both are gorgeous, as is the clubhouse.  The club is one of Iowa’s oldest and most exclusive private clubs. 

A full day of programming will take place on Wednesday (June 15) at the Grand River Center.  The Grand River Center is a beautiful convention center with terrific views of the Mississippi River. Every possible health and safety protocol will be in place to ensure your well-being.  Nationally known, fantastic keynote speakers will lead the program.  High value breakout sessions will further enhance your day and ALL speakers have conveyed a strong desire to provide you with the greatest of presentations. 

The Chair’s Dinner Wednesday evening will be truly special, as ABI will take over Dubuque’s famous Millwork District (A Guide To The Dubuque Millwork District: The Coolest Area in Dubuque, Iowa USA! - Between England & Iowa (   This event will be fun, tasty, and very high energy.  ABI has reserved the entire Millwork Ballroom and Event Center.  The facility includes several bars (including University of Iowa radio announcer Gary Dolphin’s Dolph’s Place for you Hawkeye fans),  a venue featuring live comedy performances, a pool hall, and even retail stores and outlets for shopping.  Believe me when I say you will enjoy yourselves! 

Throw in a great ABI Foundation auction, Leadership Iowa graduation, and the very best business networking in Iowa, and you are certain to have an absolutely fabulous experience.  A final reason to attend was confirmed last week.  Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds will again join ABI members at the annual conference.  Her address is always a crowd favorite.  NEARLY 400 ABI MEMBERS HAVE ALREADY REGISTERED.  Register now, don’t be left out.  Go here for more information and to register: Taking Care of Business Conference | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (  

Governor’s Office Announces Help for Those Assisting Ukrainian Refugees

Staff in the office of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds reached out to ABI last week to announce special help and support for communities/companies assisting Ukrainian refugees.  The effort is part of a national initiative to assist Ukrainians fleeing their war-tom county.  While helping these people in need, folks can also help build their community and their workforce.  Contact the Iowa Department Human Services’ Bureau of Refugee Services for more information at  

ABI Advisory Council Members Great Resources for Your Business

The ABI Advisory Council includes valued member companies that provide terrific programming assistance, as well as key financial support for ABI.  Thank you to the members of the council!  Those companies are Anthologic, AssuredPartners, BCC Advisers, BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC Insurance, Focus OneSource, Fredrikson & Byron, HDH Advisors, Principal Financial Network of Central Iowa, The Iowa Clinic, and Wells Fargo

ABI Regional Public Policy Meetings to be Re-Scheduled

ABI Regional Public Policy meetings, originally scheduled for this week and next, have been postponed.  That is because the Iowa General Assembly continues to work overtime in an effort to adjourn the 2022 session.  Please stay tuned for more news as it develops. 

Kirk Tyler to Mark 44 Years at Atlantic Bottling Company

At the ABI office, we enjoy reading your company newsletters and publications.  It is fun to learn about what is happening in your company and we always learn something new.  One of the best newsletters is The Fizz, the monthly newsletter published by longtime ABI member Atlantic Coca- Cola Bottling Company

By reading this month’s Fizz, it was fun to note that a company employee will soon mark his 44th year with the company.  On May 30, company Chairman (and former ABI Chair) Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines), will celebrate almost 4.5 DECADES with his family’s company; congratulations, Kirk! 

By the way, The Fizz also reported that the company has a brand new logo.  Check it out here: Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company (  

Another Good Espeset Column

Another company newsletter we enjoy is StoryLine, published by another longtime ABI member, Story Construction Company.  One of the best features is always the President’s Perspective. 

That column is always written by the company’s President, ABI Board Member Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames).  In this edition’s column, Mike shared a toast he gave at his daughter’s wedding (congratulations to you and your family upon this happy occasion, Mike!).  While it is a wonderful toast for such a joyous celebration, it also could be applied to the workplace.  Please contact me if you wish to read it for yourself.  In the meantime thank you again, Mike, for sharing your perspective. 

For 119 Years, ABI Members have Grown Iowa

(Editor’s Note: This item originally appeared in ABI publications two years ago, when ABI was 117 years old.  Now, of course, the headline reads for 119 years, ABI has grown Iowa.  I wrote this when ABI and Iowa were in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic.  It seems worth sharing again now.)

ABI was founded in 1903 as the Iowa Manufacturers Association.  For the past 117 years, through good economies and bad, ABI member companies have been employing Iowans, supporting families, and building communities. 

ABI survived two world wars.  It survived the Great Depression, the Great Recession, and sometime in the future, it will survive its second global pandemic (its first pandemic was the 1918 Influenza Pandemic). 

That success doesn’t just happen.  It isn’t just luck, although good fortune is certainly a part of it. 

ABI has grown and succeeded in exactly the same way ABI member companies have succeeded.  By the hard work, dedication, and commitment of the women and men who are the backbone of these companies.  Their innovation, strong support, and leadership are the reasons for ABI’s success. 

In the face of COVID-19, all of that is more important than ever.  ABI members have retooled to manufacture personal protective equipment.  They have donated money to community pandemic assistance funds.  Their employees have given time, resources, and materials to fight the disease. 

ABI has supported all those efforts and the ABI staff has doubled down on providing meaningful assistance and service to ABI members… so that those members can remain safely in operation and help their employees and their communities.   

That’s the real legacy of ABI.  THANK YOU for making it so.