Latest BRIowa Published - Monday Memo 9/16/19

September 16, 2019

Latest Edition of ABI's Business Record Iowa Now Out

The most recent edition of ABI's monthly newsprint magazine, Business Record Iowa, has been published and should have been received by you late last week.  We are proud to partner with member company Business Publications Corp. on the magazine.Look for ABI Board Member Mary Landhuis (Lisle Corporation, Clarinda), in a cool plant floor photo, on the cover of this month's edition.  

By the way, your input is important; let us know what you would like to see in future editions.  And, if you have not received the new edition of the magazine, please reply to this memo and I'll make sure it is sent to you at once. 

Chrissy Viers to Leave ABI

ABI Bookkeeper Chrissy Viers announced last week that she is leaving ABI for a new position.  While it is likely to happen sometime this fall, there is no specific date set for Chrissy’s departure.  I am looking at several different options to fill this potion and am keeping in in touch with ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) in that regard. 

Chrissy and her husband, Luke Viers, have two wonderful children and live in Indianola.  Chrissy has been with us for many years and has been an exceptional employee. Chrissy is a terrific person and she will be greatly missed.  Stay tuned for more information. 

ABI Board Holds Great Meeting

This memorandum is meant to be a forward-looking report, but on behalf of our officers, THANK YOU to the many of you who made the September ABI board meeting so successful.  As it is the first meeting of the fiscal year, it is always important that the September meeting goes well.  Thanks to all of you, it did. 

The board meeting was well-attended, it was substantive, and it was marked by strong engagement and good discussion.  The tour following was fantastic and that is not just rhetoric.  Your participation in board meetings is critical to ABI's success.  So, again on behalf of ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) and our officers, THANK YOU for your support. 

Manufacturing Legends Dinner; Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference in Two Weeks

Two big ABI events are just a couple of weeks away.  The annual Legends in Manufacturing Awards Dinner and the 2019 Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference will be held in Greater Des Moines on October 1st and 2rd respectively.   Register now for these important events at conference at  Both events will be held at the Prairie Meadows Events and Conference Center in Altoona.  If you wish to make a hotel reservation, go to:  

These events have become a must-attend for ABI members in recent years and the awards dinner is always a fun celebration of Iowa manufacturing.  See you at Prairie Meadows! 

ABI CFO Roundtable to Meet Wednesday at EMC

The next session of the ABI CFO Roundtable will take place this Wednesday.  The panel will meet at ABI member EMC Insurance in downtown Des Moines. A series of speakers are set for the session, which will focus on workforce and financial issues.  Please reply to this message for more information or to participate. 

September Meeting of ABI Advisory Council Thursday

As you know, the members of the ABI Advisory Council provide important support to the association and to all ABI members.  Certainly the financial support provided is of value, but even more valuable are the resources and business solutions provided by the council. 

The advisory council will hold its monthly meeting this Thursday at ABI member Tero International.  Thank you to ABI Advisory Council members 21st Century Rehab, ACS, BCC Advisers, Brick Gentry P.C., BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC, Far Reach, Focus OneSource, HDH Advisors, LMC Insurance and Risk Management, Principal, Shift Interactive, Tero International, The Iowa Clinic, Wellmark, and Wells Fargo

2019-2020 Leadership Iowa Class Announced

Last Friday, the ABI Foundation released the names of those selected for inclusion in the Leadership Iowa Class of 2019-2020.  This year’s class will kick off its term at the Hotel Patee in Perry on October 2nd.  Please use this link to see who comprises this year’s LI Class and congratulations to those selected. 

Manufacturing Best Practices Tour Hits the Road in November

Last year at about this time, a couple of dozen ABI leaders and members hit the road.  They were taken by private coach to manufacturing facilities in the Quad Cities and suburban Chicago, Illinois to tour and see the latest in digital/automated manufacturing.  

That trip was such a success, ABI is making another journey this year.  On November 12 and 13, ABI will take a manufacturing technology trip to north Iowa and to Minneapolis, Minnesota.  You, your operations team, and senior engineering staff will find value in this trip.  Go here for more information:

More ABI Manufacturing Events Ahead

As you have been reading in recent editions of this memorandum, ABI has additional manufacturing-focused events ahead.  On October 1, ABI and CIRAS will host a matchmaking event to provide a structured opportunity for buyers and sellers of Iowa-produced industrial products to meet in a low-risk, high efficiency manner.  The matchmaking and networking event will represent “speed-dating” opportunities for ABI-member suppliers and buyers.  Learn more or register at:

The Manufacturing Technology Roadshow, which was such a success in its first year last year, returns in November.  On November 12 and 13, ABI and CIRAS are again partnering to show Iowa manufacturers firsthand how new digital technologies and automation can improve your manufacturing floor and processes today.  The second-annual manufacturing technology event highlights the best of manufacturing with exclusive access to outstanding manufacturing locations – all packed into two days. 

It is designed specifically for manufacturing leaders in the roles of CEO, operations, plant manager, engineers, or others consideration manufacturing automation.  Register today to join us in seeing leader technologies in action.  Go here for more information and to register:

Final Call: Annual YPIowa Conference Friday

The ABI Foundation serves as the administrative entity for Young Professionals of Iowa, YPIowa is our state’s leading statewide organization to develop and advance young professionals.  

The 2019 YPIowa Annual Conference will be held on Friday in Ottumwa.  Reports indicate that the conference is already expecting a large crowd, but if you or members of your staff wish to attend, reply to this memorandum and we’ll see that you are accommodated.  In the meantime, to see the agenda and for more information, please click on   

NAM: Global Economy Expanding Slowly; Other Data Trending Strongly

The most recent edition of the National Association of ManufacturersGlobal Manufacturing Economic Update was published last week.  The news was mostly positive, in that the report cites data indicating the global economy is growing.  However, the growth is modest.  

That contrasts, however, with today’s edition of the NAM’s Monday Economic Report.  The Report is incredibly positive, with data suggesting a huge improvement in the manufacturing economy.  As always, reply to this memo if you wish to see either publication for yourself and I’ll get it to you at once. 

Hank Evans Stops By

Many you know and well remember Hank Evans (AF Johnson Millworks, West Des Moines).  Well, a week ago this morning, the door at ABI opened and Hank walked in.  It was great seeing him. 

I know that many of you also still stay in touch with Hank.  On one of his sea-faring voyages, he must have found the Fountain of Youth, because Hank looks exactly the same as he did when he sold his business and left the ABI Board of Directors many years ago.  He has travelled many miles since and lost his beloved Ann, but through it all, he remains a steady, witty, and terrific guy.  Thanks for stopping, Hank!  And many best wishes from ABI!