Lieutenant Governor to Appear at ABI Executive Forum - Monday Memo 7/10/23

July 10, 2023

Register NOW for ABI Okoboji Forum; Lieutenant Governor to Open Event

Registrations are strong for the 2023 ABI Okoboji Executive Forum (open to all members, not just CEOs), but there is still for you to register if you haven’t yet done so.  As you know, this is a spectacular program.  Click here for more information and to register: Summary - Executive Forum (Members Only) (    

The forum will be held the 3rd and 4th of August in Okoboji.  Thursday afternoon’s events take place at the Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center (Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center in Okoboji, Iowa ( in Okoboji, site of many decades of ABI conventions and situated on beautiful Brooks Golf Club.  Brooks is one of the Lakes Area’s best-loved courses (Brooks National Golf Club - Resort & Hotel - Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center in Okoboji, IA (  The forum starts with lunch on Thursday and ends Friday morning. 

We just received word last Friday that Iowa Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg will join us for the event.  The Lieutenant Governor will open the event, speaking at lunch on August 3rd.  We look forward to his remarks and appreciate his taking time to join ABI members at the Lakes. 

Following lunch on Thursday, things get going with the well-known business valuation panel of ABI Advisory Council members led by ABI Board Member Casey Cason (Wells Fargo, Des Moines) and Kevin Lentz (Anthologic, West Des Moines).  That panel will be followed by a fabulous panel of ABI board member business owners: Tim Bianco (Iowa Spring, Adel), Steve Jacobs (BCC Advisers, Des Moines), and Mary Landhuis (Lisle Corporation, Clarinda)

Keynote Speaker Ben McLean (Ruan Corporation, Des Moines) will speak next.  As I noted last week, Ben is the third-generation CEO of his family’s company headquartered right here in Iowa.  We’ll take a break and then Ben’s remarks will be followed by a reception and dinner at former ABI Chair Toby Shine’s (Shine Bros. Corp. Spencer) fabulous Okoboji Classic Cars facility.  ABI Board Member Nate Weaton (Weaton Companies, Fairfield) will share some very compelling remarks about his battle with cancer and some life lessons learned.  Thanks to Toby and Nate, it will be a truly wonderful evening. 

Friday morning, attendees will be back at the Arrowwood to hear from longtime ABI Board Member Bruce Tamisiea (Tecton Industries, Spencer).  Bruce will provide an update about Tecton and cover some other issues in what will be a terrific wrap-up to the event.  As you can see, this is an exceptional program!  See you at the Lakes in August. 

Business Horizons 2023 Next Week at Drake

The 2023 session of the ABI Foundation’s annual Business Horizons program will begin next Sunday.  The program will be held on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines July 16-20. 

BH brings high school students from across Iowa together to learn about our state and the opportunities that exist for them here.  The program connects students with their future in Iowa. By the time the annual session is completed, students know that they have terrific employment opportunities right here. 

BH has received rave reviews from students, college officials, ABI leaders, and others.  Watch for more information about Business Horizons coming soon. 

Highlighting Story-Kenworthy ABI Partnership; Your Participation Benefits You and ABI

If you aren’t aware of it, you and/or your administrative team should become familiar with the Buy ABI program.  You can find more information here (Buy ABI | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (, but what the program is all about is saving you significant dollars.  I mean the kind of savings that can make a difference in your bottom line. 

In particular, I would highlight the savings that can come your way by partnering with longtime ABI member Story Kenworthy.  Through the Buy ABI program, ABI members receive the best pricing, service, hassle-free returns, and much more.  SK then provides a portion of that savings back to ABI, making for a true and valued partnership.  Please click on the link above and explore participating in the Buy ABI program.  I sincerely believe you will be glad you did. 

Latest Business Monthly Out Friday

The latest edition of ABI’s monthly newsprint magazine, the ABI Business Monthly, should be in your mailbox this Friday.  It is another terrific edition, with lots of valuable information and the first column by newly-elected ABI Chair Rich Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton).   

We hope you enjoy this edition of the Business Monthly and if for some reason you don’t receive it, please reply to this memo and I’ll make sure one is sent to you right away.  Thank you to longtime ABI member Corridor Media Group, which publishes the journal in both the Corridor Business Journal and the Quad Cities Business Journal and distributes it across the state. 

Mark Your Calendars Now for ABI Executive Open

In recent editions of this memorandum, I have been sharing information about the Annual ABI Executive Open.  This best ball golf tournament has quickly grown into one of ABI's most popular annual events.  

This Des Moines-area event will be held on August 28th at Glen Oaks Country Club ( in West Des Moines.  One of Iowa's most beautiful private clubs, Glen Oaks is sure to be a fabulous venue for this always-popular event.  Register now at Summary - Executive Open (  

Executive Committee Meets Next Week, Board in September

As I noted in last week’s Memo, the ABI Executive Committee will hold its first meeting of the fiscal year next week, on July 19.  The board of directors will hold its’ first meeting of the fiscal year on September 13th.  Watch for more information in the coming weeks.  

In the meantime, thank you to executive Committee members Chair Rich Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton), Vice Chair Chad Reece (Winnebago Industries, Forest City), Treasurer Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Avon), Secretary Kathryn Kunert (MidAmerican Energy Company, Des Moines), Immediate Past Chair Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines), District Vice Chairs Nate Weaton (Weaton Companies, Fairfield), Tom Yeoman (Yeoman & Company, Monticello), Stacey Pellett (John Deere, West Des Moines), Tim Bianco (Iowa Spring Manufacturing Company, Adel), and Kirk McCollough (Seneca Foundry, Webster City)

And, welcome to newly-elected board members Sarah James (Principal, Des Moines), Dustin Katje (Pella Corporation, Carroll), Katie Hall (Cargill, Clive), Kelly McGriff (HNI Corporation, Muscatine), Casey Mills (Mills-Shellhammer-Puetz & Associates, Sioux City), Brad Nielsen (Iowa America Water Company, Davenport), Kelli O’Brien (Union Pacific, Omaha), Chip Reeves (MidWestOne, Iowa City), and Andrew Schriner (Lumen, Des Moines.  We look forward to seeing you, and the entire board, in September!