First FY24 Executive Committee Meeting Wednesday - Monday Memo 7/17/23

July 17, 2023

Executive Committee to Meet; New Fiscal Year Begins

Wednesday, members of the association’s Executive Committee will hold their first meeting of the 2024 fiscal year.  As is typical for July, the meeting is expected to be brief and will provide a review of ABI’s programs and strong financial condition to mark the start of the year.  Preliminary numbers for the 2023 ABI Conference will also be discussed and it is clear that last month’s annual conference was a smashing success. 

The committee will next meet on August 9, with the ABI Board of Directors to hold its first meeting of the fiscal year on September 13.  Watch for more news as it develops. 

Annual Business Horizons Program NOW UNDERWAY at Drake University

Business Horizons, the ABI Foundation’s annual entrepreneurism experience for high school students, kicked off yesterday at Drake University in Des Moines.   Members of the class will graduate in a special ceremony to be held this Thursday, July 20. 

If you have never seen this program, find time to stop by Drake this week.  The students are wonderful and have high energy, creativity, and incredible enthusiasm.  At the end of the week, students have learned that they have terrific opportunities for a great career right here in Iowa. 

Thank you to those of you who have provided help for this popular annual program.  Your employees, whether they serve as industry advisors or in other roles, are critical to the longtime success of this important program.  Look for a full report on this year’s BH session at the September meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

ABI Okoboji Executive Forum August 3, 4

There is still plenty time for you to register for the 2023 ABI Okoboji Executive Forum.  Click here for more information and to register:  The forum will be held the 3rd and 4th of August in Okoboji.  Thursday afternoon’s events take place at the Arrowwood Resort and Conference, as does the closing session Friday morning.  The forum starts with lunch on Thursday, includes dinner at former ABI Chair Toby Shine’s (Shine Bros. Corp., Spencer) fabulous Okoboji Classic Cars facility Thursday night, and ends with the Friday morning session back at the Arrowwood. 

At lunch on Thursday, Iowa Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg will provide an opening address. 

Next, the well-known business valuation panel of ABI Advisory Council members led by ABI Board Member Casey Cason (Wells Fargo, Des Moines) and Kevin Lentz (Anthologic, West Des Moines) will present an interesting session on business succession.  Then, a terrific panel of ABI leaders will share comments about their businesses.  This great panel includes Tim Bianco (Iowa Spring, Adel), Steve Jacobs (BCC Advisers, Des Moines), and Mary Landhuis (Lisle Corporation, Clarinda).  Keynote Speaker Ben McLean (Ruan, Des Moines) will speak next.  

At OCC that evening, ABI Board Member Nate Weaton (Weaton Companies, Fairfield) will share compelling remarks.  Friday morning, attendees will be addressed by longtime ABI Board Member and Lakes-Area Leader Bruce Tamisiea (Tecton Industries, Spencer).  As you can see, this is an exceptional program.  Join ABI 60 other ABI leaders at the lakes later this month! 

Leadership Iowa University to Begin in Three Weeks

Another popular ABI Foundation program takes place in a little less than three weeks.  Starting on August 6, talented Iowa college students will assemble for the annual session of the Leadership Iowa University program.  Students come from Iowa’s public universities, private colleges, and from community colleges and all will learn about our state and ways they can impact its future.  LIU class programs have received rave remarks from students, college officials, ABI leaders, and others.  

There is still plenty of time for students to apply for the program and potential participants should apply now at Applications will be accepted until the program is filled. With any questions, contact Jessi McQuerry at  

Just as is the case with Business Horizons, great supporters and donors and terrific volunteers make LIU possible.  Thank you to all involved. 

Policy Committee Meetings Start Next Month

With the holding of the final ABI Regional Policy Meetings last month, the association’s policy development process moves to the next stage, the holding of the five policy committee meetings in August.  The ABI Environment Committee will kick things off on August 1.  

Regarding each of the committees, dozens of members have already registered for these important meetings.  If you haven't already done so, there is still plenty of time for you and your employees to register.  Simply go to to register for the committee meetings of interest to you.  

Thank you to ABI Vice Chair Chad Reece (Winnebago Industries, Forest City), for leading this process.  The ABI Board of Directors will act on the policy recommendations at the September board meeting. 

Registration Now Open for ABI Executive Open; Foursomes Adding Up Quickly

As I noted last week, registrations are pouring in for the ABI Executive Open, one of ABI's most popular annual events.  Dozens of foursomes have already signed-up for the events, which will be held August 28 at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines.  Register now at Summary - Executive Open (  If you like golf, or if you just like to have fun and network with your fellow ABI members, attend this event!  

ABI's Elevate Program to Host Annual Legends in Manufacturing Awards Event

As you know, ABI's Elevate Advanced Manufacturing will be accepting nominations for the annual "Legends in Manufacturing Awards."  Past Legends Dinners have been a huge success and a terrific celebration of Iowa manufacturing.  Your help is needed to ensure that Iowa manufacturers are honored for their hard work and dedication.  The nomination link on the Legends website will soon be available and look for a link in an upcoming Monday Memo.  Then, please make your nominations (there is no charge to do so).  By the way, the awards will be presented in an exciting new format this year, as a part of ABI’s Iowa Manufacturing Conference.  Look for more information soon!

Three ABI Leaders Celebrate

Every year at this time, we note that several ABI leaders are celebrating birthdays.  Former ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa), ABI Board member Kirk McCollough (Seneca Foundry, Webster City), and Former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee) are all celebrating their birthdays this week.  Happy birthday to Jack and to Kirk and Kirk! 

Rob Feeney Celebrates Birthday

Speaking of birthdays, I did it again… I somehow missed the birthday of ABI Board member and company President Rob Feeney (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines), who celebrated his birthday last Tuesday, July 11th.  Happy Belated Birthday, Rob; hope it was a great day! 

Fishers Celebrate

Tomorrow is the 36th anniversary of the wedding of former longtime ABI Board Member Rand Fisher and his wife, Cyndi Fisher.  Best anniversary wishes to Rand and Cyndi! 

The Business of ABI: Comparing Best Practices

You know that I learned early on in my tenure here at ABI that one of the keys to success was to copy what ABI member companies did when it comes to watching other organizations.  That is to copy best practices utilized by others.  In that regard, Nicole Crain, Michele Farrell, and I made a trip to Madison, Wisconsin last week to meet with tour friends at sister organization Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.  WMC is a terrific organization and modeling WMC (in some ways) has helped ABI become a terrific organization.  Nicole, Michele, and I discussed some exciting new ideas and programs and we’ll be bringing them to you in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned!