Legislature Adjourns, Conference in Two Weeks - Monday Memo 5/31/22

May 31, 2022

Legislature Adjourns; ABI Taking Care of Business Conference in Two Weeks

There are two big things to lead this week’s memo.  Since I couldn’t choose which one to feature, I’m covering them both. 

As you know, the Iowa General Assembly adjourned its 2022 session a few minutes after midnight last Tuesday evening (more accurately very early Wednesday morning).  The ABI public policy team was one of the very first to issue a report highlighting the results of the session and what they mean for your business.  That report should have arrived in your email in-box just hours after adjournment, sometime Wednesday afternoon.  If you didn’t receive it, reply to this memo and I’ll get it to you at once. 

In the meantime, let me share with you that this was simply an exceptional, once-in-a-decade session for ABI.  Historic reforms in taxes and unemployment insurance will lead to major cost savings for Iowa businesses, while serving Iowa workers better.  Action on infrastructure, such as broadband deployment, and many other issues, were major achievements.  ABI was also able to work with partners to defeat several bad-for-business bills that would have led to unnecessary cost increases for association members. 

In the report issued by the public policy team Wednesday, they included this sentence: ABI was successful thanks to the leadership and support of our members!  That is most certainly true, now and always.  But it also helps to have some of Iowa’s very best public policy professionals leading ABI’s staff work in this area.  Thank you to JD Davis and Brad Hartkopf for their dedicated and tireless work in advancing ABI’s agenda.  Thanks, too, to intern Steffi Lee Dwyer, who assisted JD and Brad this session.  This group provided simply fabulous work all around. 

Now, ABI’s focus turns to something else that will be fabulous, the 2022 Taking Care of Business Conference.  The event is two weeks away, kicking off on Tuesday, June 14. 

Over 450 of you have already registered and we are on pace to have something approaching 600 attendees participate.  Terrific keynotes, fantastic venues, great golf, the very best business networking, and wonderful river city hospitality are all on tap.  If you haven’t registered, there is still time.  Go to Summary - Taking Care of Business Conference (cvent.com) and do so today! 

ABI Foundation Auction Returns with a Smash

The annual auction benefitting the programs of the ABI Foundation returns to the Taking Care of Business Conference with more fabulous gift packages and special features.  Things begin with a silent auction starting on June 6 at 8:00 a.m. and you can click this link for more information: 2022 ABI Foundation Auction | 32auctions.  Silent bidding will conclude on June 15 at 8:00 p.m., immediately prior to the start of the live auction. 

During the live auction, ABI Conference attendees will bid on 11 exclusive packages.  The auction follows the Chair’s Dinner on Wednesday, June 15. 

You’ll be sure to find a must-have or must-do package in categories such as Experiences & Entertainment; Home, Office, Garage & Garden; Food & Beverages; Iowa Creators, and many others.  More information will be available soon and please watch the ABI Conference site for live auction details. 

Funds raised will benefit the ABI Foundation’s statewide leadership programs: Business Horizons (Iowa high school students), Leadership Iowa University (college students and interns in Iowa) and Leadership Iowa (Iowa professionals). The ABI Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit with a mission to develop Iowa’s leaders to strengthen our state’s companies and communities. 

Thank you to many Iowa leaders and organizations that donated to the auction. The auction is sponsored by Emerson, Iowa Gaming Association, and Gilliland Group at RBC Wealth Management.  Thank you to these great ABI member companies for their support! 

If you are Seeking a Manufacturing Leader for Your Plant, Contact Me

It seems to me that in 17 years, this is only the second time I have done this, but I am including this item to let you know of a manufacturing leader who is completing a very long and successful manufacturing operations career with an ABI member company.  He wishes to do something new, to work with a new employer.  Many of you are seeking talent, and so I hope it is okay to let you know in this manner of someone who might be just right for your organization. 

The individual has extensive experience in manufacturing operations, opening new manufacturing facilities, and in engineering and process management.  And he is simply a good guy.  If you are interested in learning more, please reply to this memorandum.  Thank you. 

5-Meeting ABI Regional Policy Tour Kicks-Off in Two Weeks

Following adjournment of the Iowa General Assembly each year, the ABI public policy team hits the road for a series of meetings about the session, how actions taken impact your business, and to gather your views about policy issues for the next year.  Again this year, in the weeks ahead, the ABI staff is coming to you in person. 

The first regional meeting will be held in two weeks as a part of the Taking Care of Business Conference at the Grand River Center in Dubuque.  Four more stops will be added soon.  Click here to see information as it develops: https://www.iowaabi.org/events/.  The agenda includes a review of the 2022 session of the Iowa General Assembly and a focus on obtaining your thoughts about ABI's priorities for 2023.  The participation of so many members across Iowa is what makes the meetings so successful.  

Fantastic ABI Okoboji CEO Forum Drawing Lots of Registrations

Some years ago, at the request of members, ABI created a signature event to be held in the Iowa Great Lakes Region each summer.  The event, the ABI Okoboji CEO Forum, has involved terrific programs and speakers and this year’s event is going to be another home run.  In fact, registrations are already pouring in for the event, which will be held July 28 and 29.  Register now at Summary - Okoboji CEO Forum (Members Only) (cvent.com) to hear terrific speakers, tour a great ABI member organization, and network with ABI member executives. 

The program features a high-value presentation by members of the ABI Advisory Council, a family business panel involving ABI board members/owners of iconic Iowa companies, a keynote address by company Chair and CEO Miriam Erickson brown (Anderson Erickson Dairy, Des Moines), and a tour of the incredible new Spencer water plant by longtime ABI member Spencer Municipal Utilities.  This is a fantastic program; register now using the link above! 

Register Now for ABI Executive Open

It is time for me to share the story I often tell of the time an ABI staff member approached me with an idea for a late-summer, early-fall golf outing.  I said something like, “No one wants another golf outing, but sure let’s try it.” 

Well, the event sells-out every year and this was one more example (there are many) of me being wrong.  This year’s ABI Executive Open will be held at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines, one of our state’s most beautiful private clubs.  Learn more about it here: Glen Oaks Country Club (glenoakscc.com).  

While the course is fantastic, the real reason the event is so popular is because of the terrific networking and fun that are a part of it.  Register now by clicking on this link: Summary - Executive Open (cvent.com).  You can register yourself or as part of a foursome.  And, even if you don’t golf, join the crowd for the reception that caps the afternoon.  See you at Glen Oaks on August 29th

BCC Advisers Talks Workforce

You know we enjoy your company newsletters and Baton, the newsletter from longtime ABI member BCC Advisers, never disappoints.  Always chock full of great information, the latest edition carries a cover story entitled “Solving Workforce Shortages via Acquisition.”  It is an interesting article, as is the “business lines” column penned by company President (and ABI Board Member) Steve Jacobs (BCC Advisers, Des Moines).  

Click here Baton 19.1 (bccadvisers.com) if you wish to read the newsletter for yourself.  In the meantime, thank you, Steve and team, for another great edition. 

Jim Tyler’s Latest Interview

Over the years, former ABI Chair Jim Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Atlantic) has been interviewed about his business, his exploits as a fighter pilot in World War II, his aircraft, and about other issues.  Jim’s latest interview focused on something new… life in the 50’s. 

Well, that’s not quite true.  Though the interview was hosted by a web-based program called “1950’s Fun Chat,” it really was all about Jim’s life, about his family, and about the company he helped build.  Watch it for yourself here: The 1950s FUN CHAT #37 guest Jim Tyler--May 23, 2022 - YouTube.  Congratulations on another interesting interview, Jim!  And thank you to another former ABI Chair, company CEO Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines), for telling me about the interview! 

The Business of ABI: Serving Members

Remember to call on ABI.  Your investment in our association each year comes with an expectation from us that we will provide a return on that investment.  We want to help. 

For some members, thinking about ABI doesn’t come naturally.  It should.  For example, you might recall that over the course of the last couple of years, ABI helped members with many things.  We found and connected ABI members with Plexiglas vendors and with personal protective equipment.  We helped find new vendors for supply chain issues.  We provided clear guidance on policies and state and federal laws.  We helped arrange financing in a couple of cases.  We continued to press (successfully) for changes in laws and regulations that had genuine benefit for Iowa employers.  Later, we helped arrange COVID vaccination clinics for members. 

The point is that is what we do, and we’ll keep at it.  While ABI maintains a host of existing programs and services, during special circumstances, we’ll try to add value in other ways, however you need us to do so.  Don’t forget to call on ABI when can be of assistance.  And thank you for your support which makes that assistance possible.