Monthly BRIowa Published - Monday Memo 9/14/20

September 14, 2020

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 four great ABI leaders on the cover, all women who lead different Iowa manufacturing plants for longtime member John Deere.  

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. 

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 had great participation, it was substantive, and it was marked by strong engagement and good discussion.  That is not just rhetoric, as your participation in board meetings is critical to ABI's success.  So, again on behalf of ABI Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) and our officers, THANK YOU for your support. 

ABI Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference in Two Weeks

One of ABI’s big annual events is just a couple of weeks away.  The annual Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference will be held via Zoom on September 30.   Register now for this important event at

The manufacturing conference gets better every year and has become a must-attend for ABI members in recent years.  Thank you in advance for your participation. 

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.  Thank you to ABI Advisory Council members 21st Century Rehab, ACS, BCC Advisers, BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC, Focus OneSource, Fredrikson & Byron, HDH Advisors, LMC Insurance and Risk Management, Principal, Shift Interactive, The Iowa Clinic, and Wells Fargo

2019-2020 Leadership Iowa Class to Graduate

As the ABI Foundation prepares for a new Leadership Iowa class, the former class (2019-2020) will graduate in a ceremony to be held Friday.  The class was quite flexible given the demands of changing the LI program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Even while meeting virtually, the class enjoyed absolutely stellar participation. 

The class delayed its graduation (which normally takes place during the annual ABI conference) until this month.  Congratulations to the Leadership Iowa Class of 2019-2020!  Some have called it the best class ever. 

Episode 37 of Iowa Business Report Radio Program Broadcast 

The Iowa Business Report broadcast its 37th episode over the weekend and it was another in a series of terrific shows.  As you know, the show is the result of a great a partnership between well-known Iowa broadcaster Jeff Stein and ABI.  If you missed it, you can click here to listen for yourself:  Links can also be found on the ABI website at  

ABI Approached About Iowa Watch

Many ABI members are interested in developing a variety of sources for their news and information.  I was approached about what to me was a new source and was asked to share it with ABI members.  IowaWatch ( has operated for 10 years with a mission to provide investigative and explanatory journalism while educating the next generation of journalists to cover our communities. 

All stories are free to any news outlet that wants to republish its work. It is led by a native Iowan, former Business Record editor Suzanne Behnke, who has projects in the works with high school students and students at various 14 participating colleges and universities. 

The goal, Suzanne has told me, is community building, providing deeper K-12 education coverage, and ensuring openness and thoughtful, truth-seeking stories.  Read more at Behnke can be reached at or 515-556-7892. There is also a September giving campaign to ensure IowaWatch can continue to provide COVID-19 coverage. 

NAM: Global Manufacturing Growing, Returning to Pre-COVID Levels in Some Cases

The most recent edition of the National Association of ManufacturersGlobal Manufacturing Economic Update was published last week.  The news was quite positive, with manufacturing growth taking off across the globe.  

Even as challenges persist related to COVID-19, growth is taking place (not modest growth, substantive growth).  In one metric, the JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI, activity reached levels not seen since 2018.  As always, reply to this memo if you wish to see the publication for yourself and I’ll get it to you at once. 

Wersens Featured in IFBF Journal

Former ABI Chair Bob Wersen (Interpower Corporation, Oskaloosa) and his wife, Sharman Wersen, are the cover models for the September edition of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s Family Living news magazine.   It wasn’t Interpower, but the Wersen’s other ABI member company, Tassel Ridge Winery, that was the focus of the story. 

Sharman and Bob were featured in an article about Iowa’s fall ag tourism destinations.  I speak from experience when I say that Tassel Ridge qualifies as a destination ANY time of the year.  Click here to read the story for yourself:  In the meantime congratulations to Bob and Sharman on the great coverage! 

Shive-Hattery, Stellar Celebrating Anniversaries in 2020

During last week’s ABI board meeting, we learned that two longtime ABI members are celebrating significant anniversaries this year.  Shive-Hattery is marking 50 years for its Des Moines office and 125 years for the firm.  That’s big!  ABI Board Member Tom Bosch (Shive-Hattery, Des Moines) shares that the team was going to hold a big party to mark the occasion, but COVID-19 has pushed that out a bit.  Congratulations to you and everyone at the firm, Tom!

Stellar Industries is marking 30 years of success in 2020.  Started in Garner three decades ago by Francis Zrostlik, the company grows bigger and better every year.  Congratulations to everyone at Stellar, including former ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner)