May Board Meeting Ahead - Monday Memo 4/17/23

April 17, 2023

Board to Meet in May; Final Meeting Prior to Annual Conference

The final ABI board meeting before the annual conference will be held in May.  ABI Chair Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines) and the ABI Board of Directors will meet Thursday, May 10, at the longtime ABI member Express Logistics in Urbandale.  The meeting begins with lunch at 11:30 a.m. and several special features will make the meeting one you won’t want to miss.  For example, Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird will address the board during the meeting.  This will mark the board’s final meeting prior to the annual conference in June. 

If you haven’t already done so, please register your attendance now by replying to this message.  Look for your usual packet of meeting materials to arrive in your email in-basket about a week before the meeting.  On behalf of Kim and our ABI officers, I look forward to your participation.  

Latest Edition of ABI Business Monthly Now Out

Each month, in partnership with the Corridor Business Journal and the Quad Cities Business Journal, ABI publishes the ABI Business Monthly.  This newsprint publication reaches about 7,500 Iowa business leaders all across the state.  

The April edition’s cover story focuses on Iowa’s improving business climate.  The magazine should now be in your mailbox, inside the Corridor Business Journal.  If you haven't yet received it, please let me know and another copy will be sent to you at once. 

Annual ABI CEO Survey Coming Your Way This Week

As I noted last week, it is time for the annual ABI survey of member CEOs.  The survey this year focuses on issues of interest to you and your company.  By the way, the annual survey differs from the quarterly business survey, in that the annual CEO survey is distributed to ALL member company CEOs and it surveys general issues; not what is expected in the coming quarter.  

CEOs should look for the survey to arrive in your email in-basket later this week.  When you see it, please complete the survey (it should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes).  You will be able to read the results in the June edition of the ABI Business Monthly found inside the Corridor Business Journal and the Quad Cities Business Journal

Advisory Council Meeting Thursday in Des Moines

The members of the ABI Advisory Council will hold their monthly meeting on Thursday.   Please join me in thanking the members of the council.  They are Anthologic, AssuredPartners, Bankers Trust, BCC Advisers, BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC Insurance, Fredrikson & Byron, G&A Partners, HDH Advisors, Principal Financial Network of Central Iowa, The Iowa Clinic, Wellmark, and Wells Fargo.  These organizations can be terrific resources for you and your employees.  Don’t hesitate to contact them for information and assistance.  We are grateful for their premium support for ABI. 

ABI Legislative Update Friday

ABI Vice President Public Policy JD Davis and Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf will hold another Legislative Update this Friday (April 21).  Updates on bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters are covered in each Zoom.  You and your employees are encouraged to join us for the update at 8:00 a.m. Thus members-only update is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at Legislative Update (Members Only) | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (

Conference Registrations Pouring In; Final Site Visit Today

As I write this memorandum on Sunday afternoon, there are nearly 300 people already registered for the 2023 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference.  It is clear the crowd will be double that or more by the time the conference rolls around in June.  Over a hundred registrations were received last week alone!  If you haven’t already done so, register NOW by clicking on this link:  You don’t want to wait to register for this terrific event!  On behalf of ABI Chair Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines), I look forward to seeing you in Cedar Rapids in less than two months (June 13-15). 

Speaking of Kim, she and Conference Committee Chair Tami Anderson (Pigott, Des Moines) will lead a final site visit to Cedar Rapids today.  Following today’s final check, all systems will be GO for the event in June! 

Nominating Committee to Meet April 27

As noted in last week’s Monday Memo, the ABI Nominating Committee will meet soon.  The committee, which is chaired by Immediate Past Chair of the ABI Board of Directors Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa), will meet by Zoom on April 27. 

In addition to Jack, members of the Committee include ABI board members from each of the association's five state districts.  They are District 1 – Liz Hobart (GROWMARK, Bloomington),  District 2 – Tim Conlon (Conlon Construction, Dubuque), District 3 – Matt Ahmann (Principal, Des Moines), District 4 – Heather Bruce Osmundson Mfg., Perry), and District 5 – Bill McKim (Midland Power, Boone).  

If you have someone you believe would make a great ABI board member, the committee wants to know about her or him.  Simply contact one of them, or me, and we’ll make sure the names are considered by the committee.  

Regional Public Policy Meetings Being Set; Look for One Near You in May

Speaking of the legislative session, it is hoped there are only a few weeks left (though some believe the General Assembly may go on hiatus for a couple weeks sometime soon).  Upon adjournment, the ABI public policy team will hit the road to meet with ABI members all over Iowa.  In those meetings, information about the session and its impact on your business are discussed. 

These post-session meetings, which will star ABI Vice President Public Policy JD Davis and Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf, will be held in person around Iowa.  Meetings will be held in Sioux Center, Des Moines, and other locations around Iowa.  

LI CONNECT Wednesday

The latest in the LI CONNECT series of programs will be held this Wednesday (April 19).  It will focus on housing in Iowa and, while the programs are geared to Leadership Iowa alumni, everyone is invited to participate.  To do so, click here: Meeting Registration - Zoom

Foundation Program Nominations, Elevate Scholarship Nominations All Due Now; LI Board to Meet Thursday

As you have read in previous editions of this memorandum, now is an important time for programs of the ABI Foundation.  Foundation programs such as Leadership Iowa, Leadership Iowa University, and Business Horizons are all accepting nominations for participants in the next session of each program.  And, ABI’s Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative is accepting nominations for its annual community college scholarships. 

To nominate worthy individuals for the programs, please go here:  To nominate students for a scholarship, please go here:  Thank you for your nominations! 

In other ABI Foundation news, the Board of Directors for the Foundation’s flagship program, leadership Iowa will meet this week.  The LI board will meet Thursday.  Planning for the 2023-2024 LI session is well underway, thanks to the board and to ABI Foundation Director of Programs Jessi McQuerrey. 

NAM Report: Be Cautious

Today’s Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, led with news about prices going up.  And, consumer demand went down recently.  Bottom line: be cautious.  In last week’s manufacturing report, the tone was much more optimistic.  

As usual, there was a great deal of interesting information in the report.  If you wish to see it, please reply to this message and I’ll get it to you at once. 

Weatons Celebrate Their Anniversary

Two terrific ABI leaders are celebrating together today.  Former ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and former longtime ABI Board Member Nate Weaton (Weaton Companies, Fairfield) celebrate the anniversary of their wedding today.  Remind me to tell you a story involving my sons and the planning of Lori and Nate’s wedding reception.  In the meantime, on behalf of all ABI members, happy anniversary to Lori and Nate! 

David Bywater Celebrates Wednesday

Another ABI leader is also celebrating this week.  Former ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising Company/Tru Art, Iowa City) will celebrate his birthday on Thursday (April 20).  We all wish you a happy birthday, David! 

Brian Espeset, Father of Mike Espeset, Passes

You have read in previous editions of these memos that I find StoryLine, the company newsletter for longtime ABI member Story Construction, to be of interest.  It is always filled with great information (for example, the latest edition includes a neat feature Iowa Spring Manufacturing adds more office and production space in Adel - Story Construction about the expansion of ABI member Iowa Spring, which I noted in last week’s memo). 

The President’s Perspective column, written by company President and ABI Board Member Mike Espeset (Story Construction, Ames) is always another thoughtful feature of the newsletter.  The current edition of that column is especially poignant, as it focuses on the passing of Mike’s father, Brian Espeset, in February.  The column can read by clicking here: President's Perspective: Exit Interview - Story Construction.  I can imagine this might have been a difficult column to write, but it is a deeply meaningful column to read.  Thank you, Mike for sharing it with all of us.  Everyone at ABI is keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.  By the way, you can read more about Mike’s father here:  

Levi Lefebure Running Boston Marathon Today

In staff news, there is something fun to report today.  ABI Member Services Coordinator Levi Lefebure joined ABI last year.  In his brief time with us, Levi has proven to be a valued member of the team and we appreciate his work very much.  He is also just a good guy. 

Levi is also a runner and at 9:00 Iowa time this morning, he will be participating in the 127th edition of the Boston Marathon.  Levi has been training hard for the event and we will be cheering him on from here in Des Moines.  Good luck, Levi!