IIPAC Board to Meet - Monday Memo 10/10/22

October 10, 2022

IIPAC Board Meets Today

The Iowa Industry Political Action Committee, ABI’s political arm, is a key tool in our support of pro-business elected officials of both parties.  The IIPAC Board of Directors, chaired by former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines) will meet later today at ABI.  If you haven’t already contributed, you should (I have).  You can do so here: IIPAC | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org).  Thank you in advance to board members for their hard work.  And thank you again to all of you who support IIPAC! 

ABI Board Will Meet in November; Executive Committee Meets Wednesday

The ABI Board of Directors will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, November 9.  The meeting will begin with lunch at 11:30 a.m. and will be held at the ABI office in Des Moines’ East Village. 

ABI Chair Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines), board members, and former chairs will work through a full agenda of important items.  This will be the final meeting of the calendar year for the board and a number of important discussion topics will be highlights of the November session.  Look for registration information to come your way later today. 

Kim will also lead this month’s meeting of the ABI Executive Committee.  That meeting will take place by Zoom this Wednesday morning at 10. 

Last Week’s Events Celebrated Iowa Manufacturing; Terrific Manufacturers Highlighted

Last week, ABI held the annual Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference.  A great crowd was on hand to hear terrific speakers, attend high-value workshops, participate in manufacturing tours, and share best practice ideas with each other.  

The evening before, Iowa manufacturers were celebrated at the annual ABI/Elevate Legends in Iowa Manufacturing Awards Dinner.  Congratulations to these ABI leaders and others who were recognized at the Legends Dinner: Kirk McCollough (Seneca Foundry, Webster City), John Bruntz (CemenTech, Indianola), Jerry Krantz (SSAB, Muscatine), and Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham.  Congratulations to all the awardees and thanks to all who attended! 

Thanks to so many great events highlighting Iowa manufacturing last week (to mark the start of manufacturing month in Iowa), folks were able to hear terrific remarks from some of Iowa’s best business leaders.  See below for an event at KENT Corporation that featured Gage Kent and Ben McLean; Gage also shared fabulous remarks as the keynote presenter at the ABI Manufacturing Conference.  Other manufacturers who shared terrific remarks were Steve Boal (Accumold, Ankeny), Kelli Gallagher (DeeZee, Des Moines), and ABI Board Member Hank Norem (Ramco Innovations, West Des Moines).  On Friday, CEO Steve Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Cop., Sheffield) did a wonderful job as the keynote speaker for the Ames Chamber of Commerce Manufacturing Breakfast.  So again, a week full of great manufacturing leaders! 

ATW Training Solutions Releases Results of Annual Iowa Training Trends Survey

Longtime ABI member ATW Training Solutions recently released the results of its 16th annual “Iowa Trends in Talent Development Survey” conducted in partnership with the Association for Talent Development Central Iowa chapter (ATD-CI), and the Iowa Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) State Council. The survey, conducted August 2-22, 2022, was completed by more than 150 respondents representing a variety of Iowa industries, companies, and organizations. 

Key findings include continued strong talent development budgets, continued remote work by employees, and more.  Thanks to ABI Board member and company president Todd McDonald (ATW Training Solutions, Urbandale), you can access the survey data yourself.  Click here to do so: Iowa Trends in Talent Development | ATW Training Solutions.  There is rich information here of great value to your organization.  Thank you to Todd for sharing the data! 

ABI Foundation Board to Hold Retreat Thursday

Members of the ABI Foundation Board of Directors, which is led by longtime ABI leader Kim Butler Hegedus (Community State Bank, Ankeny) and former ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield), will hold a board retreat Thursday.  The board will look to build on the Foundation’s recent growth and success.  

The Foundation marked the end of its fiscal year on September 30 and it was another strong year for Foundation programs.  Watch for any news from the retreat to be shared at next month’s ABI board meeting. 

2023 ABI Conference Planning Leaders to Hold Site Visit in Cedar Rapids Tomorrow

Planning is well underway for the ABI Taking Care of Business Conference that will be held in June of next year.  I can tell you already that it will be a fabulous event.  

In fact, ABI Chair Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines), Conference Committee Chair Tami Anderson (Pigott, Des Moines), Holly Mueggenberg, Nicole Crain, and I will participate in a site visit tomorrow.  While you have been to Cedar Rapids previously, there are big changes in store for the 2023 conference.  Watch for more information soon. 

ABI Partners with IWD to Host Webinar about New Business Engagement Division

Two weeks from tomorrow, on October 25th at 10:00 a.m., ABI is partnering with Iowa Workforce Development to host a webinar related to resources available through IWD’s new Business Engagement Division.  The division is meant to be a one-stop shop for employers.  There, you can find help with building your workforce, training your workforce, and retaining your workforce. 

During the webinar, you’ll hear from IWD officials and have the opportunity to share specific input about your needs and issues.  To register, please click here: Webinar: Iowa Workforce Development Joins ABI Members to Discuss the New Business Engagement Division | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org).  There is no cost to participate in this webinar.  

Register now for upcoming ABI/CIRAS Supply Chain Seminars

On November 10th and again on November 15th, ABI will partner with CIRAS(the Center for Industrial research and Service at Iowa State University) to produce seminars related to supply chain.  The seminar on the 10th focuses on managing supply chain challenges.  On the 15th, the focus is on supply chain issues in chaotic times such as those being experienced now. 

For the November 10th seminar, which takes place in Atlantic, click here to register: Summary - State of Manufacturing: Supply Chain Challenges (cvent.com).  For the event on the 15th, which will be held in Oskaloosa, please click here: Summary - Supply Chains in Times of Chaos (cvent.com).  I look forward to seeing you at either or both events. 

Annual IEDA Internship Program Application Process Now Underway

ABI member companies across Iowa have utilized the Iowa Economic Development Authority's Iowa Student Internship Program.  The program is a great way to get students into your plant. 

The program provides grants to small and medium-sized companies to help pay a stipend to interns.  Applicant companies must have 500 or fewer employees and must offer the internships to Iowa students (students of Iowa post-high school institutions or Iowa students attending post-high school institutions outside the state), and stipends must be at the level of a wage of $14.50 per hour or greater. 

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 programs.  Please click on Iowa Student Internship Program | Iowa Economic Development Authority (iowaeda.com) for information. 

Plan Now to Attend 2023 ABI Legislative Reception

Every year, more people attend and participate in the annual ABI Legislative Reception than in any other similar event in Iowa.  The 2023 Legislative Reception will be held January 11th at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines.  Make plans now to attend and watch for registration information to be available soon. 

NAM Reports Record Manufacturing Output

Last week's edition of the Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, carried an article about growth in global manufacturing and noted that a record for manufacturing output was established in the 2nd quarter of the year.  However, declines in the economy are also taking place.    If you wish to read the report for yourself, please reply to this memo and I will forward it at once. 

End of an Era; Big Transition at Atlantic Bottling

I wasn’t around when longtime ABI member Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company announced its last transition in leadership.  But I can imagine when Kirk Tyler took over for his father Jim Tyler, the Earth shook a bit.  Well, it shook again last week as the announcement was made that the next transition is taking place and that Rob Feeney is taking over for his father-in-law, Kirk.  Rob and his wife, Jessica (Tyler) Feeney, have become majority owners of the company. 

Atlantic Bottling is well over a hundred years old and now has over 800 employees serving customers in multiple states.  Kirk Tyler’s grandfather started the company and Rob and Jessica mark the fourth generation of family owner/leaders.  Click here to read more: Iowa-based Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company Announces Leadership Transition « KJAN | Radio Atlantic, IA – AM 1220.  Congratulations to Kirk and his wife Janel Tyler and to Rob and Jessica, to Jim, and to the entire Tyler Family!

Governor Visits KENT Corporation; Lt. Governor Visits Stellar

The best thing you can do to advance ABI’s public policy agenda is to host elected officials in your plants and offices.  Thankfully, many of you do this routinely. 

Last week, two more visits took place.  Last Tuesday morning, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds visited longtime ABI member KENT Corporation’s Altoona feed mill to mark manufacturing week.  It was a wonderful event and thank you Governor Reynolds, to KENT Chairman and CEO Gage Kent (KENT Corporation, Muscatine) and ABI Board Member Rich Dwyer (KENT Corporation, Muscatine) and to the Governor for the visit.  ABI member company CEO Ben McLean (Ruan Corporation, Des Moines) and ABI partner president Rob Denson (DMACC, Ankeny) also led the event and thanks go to them as well. 

Also taking place last Tuesday was a visit to longtime ABI member Stellar Industries.  Iowa Lt. Governor Adam Gregg also marked manufacturing week with his visit.  Thanks to the Lt. Governor and to everyone at Stellar, including company President and Former ABI Chair Dave Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner).  

By the way, if you have a visit from an elected official, reply to this memo and let me know about it.  We like to feature those visits in the Memo.  And thank you for doing so. 

Bill Trent Celebrates Saturday

Every year about this time, I note that former ABI Chair Bill Trent (Kent Corporation, Muscatine) is well-known as a longtime business executive, community leader, former state legislator, and as an all-around good guy.  Bill still follows ABI and still stays in touch (he even reads these memos once in while).  Bill is celebrating his birthday this coming Sunday, on Saturday the 16th.  Happy birthday, Bill! 

The Business of ABI: The Very Best Business Public Policy Advocacy Programs

(Editor’s Note: A few of years ago at this time, several of us on the ABI staff were receiving inquiries from members who were being requested to provide financial support for non-ABI lobbying activities.  I included the following in the Monday Memo each of the past five years and it still applies today.) 

You have heard me say often that I like things that can be measured, because they let us know whether or not we are having success in achieving the goals that the board sets for us each year.  Some goals are easy to measure, such as the condition of our balance sheet (it is strong).  Other things are more difficult to measure, but are measurable nonetheless.  One example of that is ABI’s public policy work.  Is the association getting passed into law the bills that will help members grow and create jobs?  And, is the association stopping advancement of bills that hinder that growth?  The answer to both questions, for decades through today, is a resounding yes. 

You don’t have to take my word for it.  National recognition, awards, mentions by media about how strong and effective is ABI’s policy work, all these things attest to ABI’s success. 

In fact, as it pertains to public policy, no business organization has had more success than ABI… none.  For over a hundred years, ABI has been at the Statehouse; year in, year out, achieving success in public policy advocacy and doing the hard and tough work of representing business interests. 

You already receive that award-winning public policy work as a benefit of your membership in ABI.  You don’t have to pay extra for it.  Between ABI and our programs such as the Iowans for Jobs Initiative, ABI annually puts together the strategy that will bring victory; and then achieves it.  

Success.  It is what you are pay for when you make your annual investment in ABI.  You already receive Iowa’s best pro-growth, pro-business public policy work as a result of your membership in ABI.  And, thanks to your continued investment in ABI, continued success is assured.