Iowa Business Day on the Hill Coming Soon - Monday Memo 2/29/16

February 29, 2016

2016 Iowa Business Day on the Hill March 15; DOTH Reception on the 14th

During the first quarter of the year, much of ABI's work focuses on public policy and the Iowa General Assembly.  A few years ago, following on the exploding success of the annual ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception, ABI created the annual ABI Day on the Hill.  The event capitalizes on members’ wishes to get even more involved in ABI’s public policy work.  

This event gives ABI members an opportunity to get the very latest news from the Capitol in the heat of legislative activity.  Members are taken by private coach to the Capitol to meet with and hear from key state officials, legislative leaders, and their legislators.  The event has grown bigger and better each year and this year's event will again be conducted in partnership with the Iowa Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business.  

ABI Day on the Hill 2016 is being held Tuesday, March 15.  The program begins with registration that morning at the ABI office.  Following a report on legislative news and updates on related issues, and including other information, DOTH participants will head to the Capitol for meetings with legislators.  Register now for this event by clicking on

The evening prior to Business Day on the Hill, March 14, join ABI and NFIB for the second-annual Day on the Hill Reception.  Register now for this event at  The reception will be held at the Scenic Route Bakery in Des Moines' East Village.  

By the way, March 15 is also the day of the March meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  Thank you in advance for your participation in these important meetings. 

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds to Speak at  ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders Forum Thursday in Grinnell

The next event in ABI's popular Connecting Statewide Leaders series will be held this Thursday (March 3) in Grinnell.  A high-value panel, networking, and a luncheon will all be a part of the program, which will be held at Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company.   

A highlight of the program will be remarks by Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds.  The Lieutenant Governor, an ABI favorite, will share remarks and then visit with ABI members.  For more information and to register, click on   Join fellow ABI members, Leadership Iowa Class members, local business leaders, and others for this event.   

Leadership Iowa Class Heads to Grinnell

Speaking of Grinnell, that will be the location of the next session of the 2015-2016 Leadership Iowa class.  Some members of the class will convene Wednesday evening. 

The majority of the session will take place Thursday and Friday and will focus on business and industry.  This group of class members has been another in a string of terrific LI classes.  Look for more information at the board meeting on March 15. 

Legislative Update Teleconference on the 18th

Periodically throughout the legislative session, ABI lobbyists Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain, Director Public Policy Jessica Harder, and Public Policy Counsel Myron Linn host a teleconference to give you the very latest information from the Statehouse.  Updates on bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters are covered in each call.  Your specific questions about those topics are also very much welcomed. 

The next call will be held Friday, February 18 at 9:00 a.m. and you and your employees are encouraged to participate.  The call is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at

U.S. Attorneys Re-Schedule Cybersecurity Roundtables, ABI Board Invited to Attend

Kevin Techau, U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, along with Kevin VanderSchel, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, have re-scheduled Cybersecurity Roundtables postponed earlier in the year.  The roundtables will be held at Iowa State University in Ames and Drake University in Des Moines on March 30th. 

Attorney Techau has specifically invited ABI board members and former board chairs (or members of your staff) to attend one of the roundtables at no cost.  To learn more, reply to this memo and I will get you details and registration information. 

ABI Board to Meet March 15

Make plans to attend the next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) and members of the board will next meet on March 15th.  That day will see a full day of ABI meetings and events, as the annual ABI Day on the Hill program and other events will also take place then.  Learn more at

Emerson/Fisher to Host FutureReady Iowa Roundtable; Governor and Lieutenant Governor to Attend and You Are Also Invited; Senator Ernst Tours Emerson/Fisher

Emerson/Fisher will be hosting a Future Ready Iowa Roundtable event called: “Up-Skilling the Existing Workforce” in Marshalltown on Monday, March 28, 2016.  The event will be held from 10:30 to11:45 a.m. in the Emerson Innovation Center Atrium located at 301 S. 1st Street. 

Both Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will be attending and participating with a few others as “panel members” discussing FutureReady Iowa, a program designed to assist with closing the skills gap that exists in Iowa today.  It is based on the goal of equipping 70% of Iowans with training beyond high school by the year 2025.  It deals with two and four-year degrees, but more importantly industry-recognized certificates, or other credentials in the middle skills arena, which include jobs like machinists, welders, and machine operators. The “upskilling” of employees to fill these middle skilled jobs is vital to our success as a company and state. 

ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) will be a panelist at the FutureReady Iowa event.  Paul invites you, members of the ABI Board of Directors and former Chairs of the Board, to attend the roundtable free of charge.  Contact me for more information or to register. 

Speaking of Paul and Emerson/Fisher, the company hosted U.S. Senator Joni Ernst at its Marshalltown headquarters a week ago Friday.  Thank you to Paul and his colleagues for taking time to ensure that Senator Ernst sees firsthand what advanced manufacturing is all about! 

DMACC Business Resources Schedules Learning Opportunities

Des Moines Area Community College is a great ABI member/partner.  The college has a Business Resources office that provides terrific learning opportunities for you and your staff.  if you wish to receive information about upcoming seminars, please reply to this memo and I will get it to you at once. 

John Krogman Leads Business Representation on IWD Board

ABI Board Member John Krogman (Connect-A-Dock, Atlantic) has been an Iowa business leader for many years.  Recently, he was appointed by Iowa Governor Terry E.  Branstad to be a business representative on the State Workforce Board, a panel that advises Iowa Workforce Development. 

During last Friday's meeting, when the board was discussing an over-payment of benefits, it was John who stood up for the integrity of Iowa's Unemployment Trust Fund.  You can read more about it here:  Thank you, John, for your leadership! 

John Deere One of Most Admired Companies

Longtime ABI member Deere & Company has been named to Fortune magazine's annual ranking of the world's Most Admired Companies.  Deere was in the Top 50, at number 46, in part due to its management, finances, and innovative operations.  Congratulations to everyone at Deere, including ABI Board Member Andy Hansen (John Deere, Ankeny)

Jan Meek Checks In

Most of you recall longtime association staff member Jan Meek.  Jan was a solid, talented member of the ABI (and IMA before it) staff for decades, retiring a few years ago.  

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of meeting with Jan and she is doing fabulously well.  You won't be surprised to learn that she looks terrific and is as sharp as ever.  She is lending her talents to several organizations and assisting them in the same way she assisted ABI for so many years. It was great to see her and Jan sends her greetings to all of you who know her.  Best wishes, Jan Meek!