Great Board Meeting - Monday Memo 5/16/22

May 16, 2022

ABI Board Holds Terrific May Meeting

ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa) and the women and men of the ABI Board of Directors held a fabulous May meeting last Thursday.  The meeting served as the final gathering of the board in advance of next month’s 119th ABI Annual Conference (the 2022 Taking Care of Business Conference). 

The meeting was marked by strong participation and as always, a highlight of the meeting was the business updates that members shared regarding the state of their business.  ABI members are seeing a very strong business cycle.  Board members did cite concerns, however.  The perennial concern about workforce was one.  And concerns about supply chain and the increasing costs of materials were others.  Issues involving scarcity, quality, and price dominated the discussion related to supply chain.  Thank you to all who participated last week and we look forward to seeing you at the annual conference.  

2022 Taking Care of Business Conference Four Weeks Away

ABI’s annual Taking Care of Business Conference will be held in Dubuque just four weeks from tomorrow.  A huge crowd, world-class speakers, gorgeous brand new venues, fabulous food, great golf, a fantastic ABI Foundation Auction, and the very best business networking in Iowa will all be a part of this terrific event. 

Over 400 of you have already registered and more registrations are coming in each day. Register NOW by clicking on Taking Care of Business Conference | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (  This will be a spectacular event – don’t miss it! 

Latest Edition of Business Record Iowa Now Out

Each month, in partnership with the Des Moines Business Record, ABI publishes Business Record Iowa.  This newsprint publication reaches about 7,500 Iowa business leaders all across the state.  The May edition, featuring former ABI Board member Jenae Jenison (Central College Pella) and a great ABI partner, Emily Shields (Community Colleges for Iowa, Des Moines) on the cover of the magazine, should now be in your mailbox, inside the Des Moines Business Record.  If you haven't yet received it, please let me know and another copy will be sent to you at once.   

EPIC Interviews Coming in June

For years, ABI has coordinated the affairs of an organization known as Economic Progress for Iowa’s Citizens.  EPIC is an organization (comprised of private companies and organizations) that focuses on identifying pro-business candidates for state or legislative office.  EPIC members conduct interviews with candidates in open seats.  ALL are invited; Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.  The interviews focus on business issues and the goal is to determine whether or not particular candidates are pro-business.  

The first round of EPIC interviews is scheduled for the week of June 27-30.  There are approximately 39 interviews, so the session will likely last 3.5 days.  As most of you know, we seek to have business people conduct the interviews.  This is an interesting and not demanding job and we hope you will consider being a part of it for a morning or afternoon.  If you are interested, please contact Brad Hartkopf ( or JD Davis (  And please stay tuned for more information. 

Foundation Board Committees to Meet

The ABI Foundation is enjoying a very strong year, with participation numbers and finances among the best ever.  Two ABI Foundation-related entities will hold board meetings this week. 

The ABI Foundation Board of Directors’ Governance and Program Committee will both meet Wednesday at ABI.  Thank you to these leaders for their service and congratulations on a very good year. 

CIRAS Board Meets a Week from Thursday at ISU

A valued ABI member-partner is Iowa State University's Center for Industrial Research and Service.  CIRAS is a fabulous resource for Iowa manufacturers and businesses of all kinds.  Over the years, many ABI leaders have also been involved in CIRAS and several are current members of the CIRAS Industry Advisory Board. 

The board will meet a week from Thursday, on May 26th at Iowa State.  Watch for news of any developments in future editions of the ABI Monday Memo

NAM Report Documents Divergent Manufacturing News

Last week’s edition of the Global Manufacturing Economic Update published by the National Association of Manufacturers is an interesting one.  It includes several data points that speak to how strong the manufacturing sector is doing right now.  At the same, several other data points confirm greatly increased costs and supply chain issues that are negatively impacting manufacturing.  The report seemed to confirm what members shared during last Thursday’s ABI board meeting.  As always, if you wish to see the report for yourself, reply to this memo and I’ll get it to you at once.  

Dave Zrostlik Celebrates

If I have it correctly, yesterday was the birthday of an ABI leader, Former Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner).  Dave and I are roughly the same age (we were at UNI at the same time, but did not know each other), so that must make him about 39 (or so) as of Sunday.  Congratulations, Dave, and best birthday wishes!