Next Week: Iowa Business Day on the Hill - Monday Memo 3/2/20

March 2, 2020

Business Day on the Hill Events A Week from Wednesday

During the first quarter of the year, much of ABI's work focuses on public policy and the Iowa General Assembly.  A few years ago, ABI created the annual ABI Day on the Hill.  The event capitalizes on members’ wishes to get even more involved in ABI’s public policy work.  

This event gives ABI members an opportunity to get the very latest news from the Capitol in the heat of legislative activity.  Members are taken by private coach to the Capitol to meet with and hear from key state officials, legislative leaders, and their legislators.  The event has grown bigger and better each year and this year's event will be conducted in partnership with the Iowa Business Council, the Iowa Chamber Alliance, the Iowa Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, the Iowa Taxpayers Association, and the National Association of Women Business Owners.  

Business Day on the Hill 2020 will be held Wednesday, March 11 (the same day as the next ABI board meeting) at the ABI office in the East Village in Des Moines.  Day on the Hill is followed by the annual luncheon.  Top statehouse officials have been confirmed for that event and you won’t want to miss it.  To register or find more information, simply reply to this message and we'll take care of the details for you.  THERE IS NO CHARGE for ABI board members and former chairs who participate.  See you next week! 

ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders Event in Muscatine this Thursday

The next event in ABI's Connecting Statewide Leaders series will be held in this Thursday.  The event will be held in Muscatine in conjunction with the Leadership Iowa session. 

ABI Board Member Andy Bramstedt (SSAB, Muscatine) and other area leaders will be a part of a manufacturing panel for the event.  Find more information and/or register for the Connecting Statewide Leaders event here:  Mark your calendars now to join fellow ABI members, Leadership Iowa Class members, local business leaders, and others for this event.  See you in Muscatine later this week. 

2020 Convention Website Live; Register for Convention NOW!

Many of you have already made your reservations for the ABI Annual Convention, the 2020 Taking Care of Business Conference.  For those who have not yet registered, you can do so now.  Simply click on for all kinds of information about the convention speakers and terrific Cedar Rapids venues.  

Based on our fantastic speakers, fabulous Cedar Rapids location, and great program, I can assure you this 117th annual convention, which will be held June 9-11, will be a spectacular event.  The bottom line is that you simply won’t want to miss it.  Click on the link above and make your convention reservation now. 

Leadership Iowa Class in Muscatine

Muscatine is the location of the next session of the 2019-2020 Leadership Iowa class, which will be held this week.  Some members of the class will convene Wednesday evening.  The majority of the session will take place Thursday and Friday and will focus on manufacturing and community vitality.  

Some terrific speakers are lined-up for this session, including ABI Vice Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) and ABI Executive Committee Member Andy Bramstedt (SSAB, Muscatine).  And, company CEO Gage Kent (Kent Corporation, Muscatine) will help greet the class.  This group of class members has been another in a string of terrific LI classes.  Look for more information at the board meeting on March 11. 

Search Update

As you know, ABI is conducting a search for a new Director of Member Development.  The search has proven to be highly competitive, with number of well-qualified candidates applying.  With the help of ABI Executive Vice President Nicole Crain, a list of four finalists was selected and preliminary interviews were held last week.  

Two finalists have now been identified and a second interview will be held with each this week.  The goal is to have a successful candidate named by next week’s board meeting.  Stay tuned for more information soon. 

ABI Board to Meet Next Week; May Meeting in Des Moines

The next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held a week from Wednesday, on March 11.  ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) will call the meeting to order that afternoon at the ABI Office in Des Moines’ East Village.  

As you have read previously and in addition to an important meeting, the board will also participate in other events throughout the day.  Things actually begin with the annual Day on the Hill program that morning and the annual luncheon at noon, followed by the Board of Directors meeting.  See you in Des Moines on March 11.  

The next meeting will be held May 13 at the ABI office.  

Legislative Update Teleconference a Week from Friday

ABI Vice President Public Policy JD Davis and Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf will again host a teleconference to give you the very latest information from the Statehouse.  Updates on bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters will be covered in the call.  Your specific questions about those topics are also very much welcomed. 

The next call will be held a week from Friday, on March 13th, at 8:00 a.m. and you and your employees are encouraged to participate.  The members-only call is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at     

Now is the Time for Your Business Horizons and Leadership Iowa Nominations

As you know, Business Horizons and Leadership Iowa are two of the ABI Foundation’s most successful programs.  For several decades, these programs have been making our state better. 

Your nominations are vital to ensuring the quality of the programs continues.  Nominating your employees and community people is easy and it is FREE.  Go to for general program information and to make your nominations.  And, look for a full report about Foundation activities at next week's meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

Biennial Pre-Employment Testing Seminar Later This Month

Every two years, ABI hosts a Pre-Employment Testing Seminar.  This year's event will be held on March 26 at ABI.  

The program will include the latest information on the subject, as well as information about best practices being utilized by other companies.  Click here for more information and to register:   

Iowa Business Report Radio Show’s Ninth Episode Has Aired

Episode 9 of the ABI-supported Iowa Business Report radio show has now been broadcast statewide and if you missed it, you can listen online.  Click here to listen for yourself:  Links can also be found on the ABI website at  Interviews with Governor Kim Reynolds, Senator Joni Ernst, and others highlight the episode. 

ABI is pleased to support the show, which is produced by well-known Iowa broadcaster Jeff Stein and heard on stations all over Iowa.  The latest episode is another terrific edition.  

Governor’s Staff Encourages ABI Participation in Apprenticeship Webinars

Both the state and federal government provide substantive and tangible assistance for companies who wish to create apprenticeship programs.  In that regard, ABI members are invited to participate in a series of webinars – at no charge – that will be held in the coming weeks.  Your HR team will want to be a part of the webinars.  Please reply to this message and I’ll get you more information at once.  This can be a financial benefit to your company and even more importantly, can help address workforce needs (and the apprentice gets valuable training as well as a paycheck in some cases).  Again, simply reply for more information. 

NAM Report: Mixed

This week's edition of the National Association of Manufacturers' Monday Economic Report reports strong manufacturing activity in United Kingdom, but mixed data for the United States.  It highlights several data points that confirm a great deal of volatility.  If you wish to read the report for yourself, simply reply to this memo and I will get it to you at once. 

David Bywater Featured in CBJ

Immediate past ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) is featured prominently in the current edition of the Corridor Business Journal.  In a cover story about health care and costs associated with it, David shares comments about the unsustainable insurance increase his company has seen over the course of the past several years.  David is a champion on these issues and is leading a new health care ABI task force created by ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) last month.  Congratulations to David on the coverage, and even more, thank you to him for continuing to raise this important issue for action.  Find the CBJ at  

Scott Walter Named to NAM Board

ABI member company president Scott Walter (EFCO, Des Moines) was recently named a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Manufacturers.  Scott, who is a member of the current Leadership Iowa class, joins the board of the nation’s leading manufacturing association.  Congratulations to Scott Walter!