May Board Meeting This Week - Monday Memo 5/2/16

May 2, 2016

ABI Board of Directors Meets Wednesday in Marshalltown; Flow Lab Tour Follows Meeting

As you know, ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) will convene the May meeting of the ABI Board of Directors the day after tomorrow, on Wednesday, May 4.  The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will follow the May meeting of the ABI Executive Committee.  Both meetings will be held at the Emerson Innovation Center in Marshalltown.  

All board members and past chairs of the board should have received the usual packet of meeting materials in your email in-basket last Wednesday.  If you did not, please reply to this email and I will re-send the packet at once.  Should you have questions or comments about anything related to the packet or the meeting, please contact me.  And by the way, I hope to be able to send you the usual monthly financial report later tomorrow. 

The May board session actually  begins with dinner tomorrow night, compliments of ABI, for those of you who are in Marshalltown.  If you plan to attend and haven't yet checked-in, simply reply to this email and let me know.  Then, we'll see you at 7:00 p.m. at Tremont on Main in Marshalltown.  The board meeting begins at 10:00 a.m. in Marshalltown the next day.  Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. and the meeting should conclude by 1:00 p.m. 

Following the meeting, many board members will tour Emerson/Fisher's world-famous Flow Lab.  The tour begins at 1:00 p.m. and participants can expect to be on the road by 2:00.  Many thanks to Paul for making the tour possible. 

Wednesday's meeting marks the last ABI board meeting prior to next month’s annual convention.  This has been a very busy spring for the association and on behalf of Paul and our other officers, I look forward to seeing you in Marshalltown. 

A Month to Go Until 2016 Convention; Lieutenant Governor to Speak

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2016 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference, the 113th Annual ABI Convention, begins in a month.  The event will be held in Sioux City on June 14, 15, and 16.  Make your reservations NOW for the convention by going to Over 300 people have already registered! 

This conference will be an ABI convention you do NOT want to miss.  High-Value breakout sessions will serve to kick-off the event.  Dynamic speakers will be on hand.  On top of all that, the very best business networking in Iowa will again make the conference something not to be missed. 

Speaking of the conference, Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will again join ABI members at the convention and will be with us in person.   As for the convention, don’t wait; register NOW!  Don't miss this conference! 

Conference Committee to Meet Thursday

Speaking of the 2016 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference, there is a terrific committee planning this terrific event. The 2016 Conference Committee is chaired by Kim Didier (DMACC, Des Moines) and she is joined by a wonderful group of members committed to providing you with a world-class conference experience. 

The committee will meet again this Thursday at ABI. You will see the results of a year of hard work by the committee next month in Sioux City. 

ABI Regional Policy Meetings Being Held Around Iowa Throughout the Month

With adjournment of the 2016 session of the Iowa General Assembly Friday evening, ABI's focus turns to 1) letting you know how the actions of the legislature impacted your business, 2) the upcoming elections, and 3) the 2017 session of the Assembly.  ABI will be traveling the state throughout the month to meet with members about these topics. 

You can register for one or more of the sessions by going to the Events Page on the ABI website. You will find that site here:  The ABI public policy staff and I look forward to seeing you and your employees at the upcoming meetings. 

Nominating Committee to Meet in a Week

As Immediate past Chair of ABI, Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) also serves as Chair of the 2016 ABI Nominating Committee.  The committee will meet one week from today. 

The committee includes representatives of each of ABI’s five Iowa districts.  Thank you to Mark and to these ABI leaders for serving on the association's 2016 Nominating Committee:  John Riches (Alcoa, Davenport), Sarah McDonald Hasken (UnityPoint Health, Dubuque), Michael Sadler (CenturyLink, Des Moines), Alan Mores (Harlan Newspapers, Harlan), and David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner).  

If you wish to nominate someone for board service (and self-nominations are welcomed and encouraged), please contact one of the committee members or me.  All ABI members will vote on the slate of nominees at the 2016 Annual Convention in Sioux City in June. 

Leadership Iowa Class Heads to Mason City/Clear Lake

There are two sessions left for the 2015-2016 Leadership Iowa Class.  One will be held later this week in Mason City/Clear Lake and then the class will graduate at a ceremony held in conjunction with next month's ABI annual conference. 

Beginning with some voluntary activities Wednesday and continuing through Thursday and Friday, the class will meet for a session focused on economic development.  As usual, a terrific program has been developed for LI members and you will learn more at the May board meeting. 

Final Call: Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference

ABI is one of the sponsors of the Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference.  The conference will be held next week, on May 11-13. This is the last call for you finalize your plans to attend the conference at the Overland Park Marriott in Overland Park, Kansas.  

The agenda for the conference is packed full of high-value information.  Your compliance staff will find the very latest in environmental regulatory information and ABI receives financial support for every Iowa participant that registers for the conference. Find out more information and register by clicking on  

Mark Your Calendars for ABI Executive Open

One of ABI's most popular events each year is the annual Executive Open.  This year's open will again be played at one of Iowa's truly fabulous private courses, Des Moines Golf and Country Club (  If you are not a member, it can be difficult to get the opportunity to play it.  Well, here's your chance. 

Registration will soon be open for this event, which will be held on August 29. For now, please save the date on your calendar.   This event sells out every year, so make your plans now and look for registration information in an upcoming edition of this memorandum. 

ABI Supports Step It Up Iowa Conference

ABI Vice President Member Development and Programs Kathy Anderson has led the association's work in support of the Healthiest State Initiative. That program, which was created at the behest of Governor Terry Branstad, is designed to improve the overall health and wellness of Iowans. 

As a part of the initiative, ABI has assisted with development of the Step It Up Conference. This conference is an effort  to promote health in the state and it will be held May 19th in Ames.  Companies interested in strengthening their tools related to walkability, health, and wellness should go to register. 

Sukup Safe T Homes Again in the News

The latest edition of The Iowan magazine carries a feature article about Sukup Manufacturing Co. and one of its most innovative products.  That is the famous Safe T Home, sometimes known as the Haiti Hut.  These low-cost, high-value residences were first constructed to aid families in Haiti after the terrible earthquake that hit the island some years ago.  Since then, they have been utilized all over the world to provide shelter and relief. 

The latest coverage includes photos and quotes from company Vice President and CFO Steve Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) and others.  It is a terrific story and if you wish to see it for yourself, let me know and I will get a copy to you at once.  Congratulations to everyone at Sukup, including Steve and former ABI Chair and company President Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield)

Jane Bell Named Founders Award Honoree

Former ABI Board Member Jane Bell (Ameristar Casino, Council Bluffs) was recently named the recipient of the 2016 Iowa Gaming Association's Founders Award.  The award goes annually to an individual that has demonstrated a strong commitment to the Iowa gaming industry and who has made a significant impact to making it better.  

Jane is a longtime leader in the gaming industry and well-deserving of this prestigious award. Congratulations, Jane Bell! 

Mykal Sadler Named to National Championship All-Tournament Team

As most of you know, Mykal Sadler, daughter of ABI Board Member Michael Sadler (CenturyLink, Des Moines), is quite an athlete.  Mykal has been a key member of several state tournament teams in multiple sports during her high school career at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines.  And, Mykal will be playing Division I volleyball at the University of Missouri-Kansas City this fall on full scholarship. 

Over this past weekend, Mykal's club team played in the national championship volleyball tournament in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The team did very well and Mykal was again named to the All-Tournament Team.  Congratulations on this latest award to Mykal... and to Michael! 

The Business of ABI: Delivering Programs and Services of Value, Excellence in Public Policy Advocacy

It has been over ten years since you first heard me say that ABI is all about delivering value for members. I say it often, because it is true.  ABI is a business and we have customers; we just happen to call them members.  If the association isn't delivering value for you and your company, there is no reason for you to invest in our work each year. 

Thanks to your leadership, ABI does deliver value. It does so through terrific ABI Foundation programs that are consistently rated as excellent by those who participate.  It does so through meetings and events that are delivering high-value programming and seeing ever-increasing attendance.  And it does so through public policy advocacy that is profoundly successful. 

Last year, in the Engage ABI initiative, members across Iowa shared with ABI Past Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) that public policy advocacy was their number one priority regarding their ABI membership.  That priority has always been honored at ABI and the association has been fortunate to always have some of the very best lobbyists anywhere as members of its staff. 

As for this session, ABI experienced a great legislative session this year. There are three things responsible for that success. First, thank you to legislators of both parties and to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor for their support for business.  We never take that support for granted at ABI and we work hard to earn it every year.  We are truly grateful for the pro-business actions of these state officials.  Second, thank you to YOU.  Without ABI members leading the way and being involved in the association's public policy work, the decades of success ABI has enjoyed would not be possible.  We also never take your support and leadership for granted. 

Third and finally, the ABI public policy team of Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain, Director Public Policy Jessica Harder, and Public Policy Counsel Myron Linn was simply exceptional.  When you see them, please join me in thanking them.  And again, thank YOU. Your support and leadership is what makes everything at ABI possible.