Record ABI Legislative Reception - Monday Memo 1/16/23

January 16, 2023

ABI Holds Smash Legislative Briefing, Reception

Iowa Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, the leadership of the Iowa General Assembly, dozens of legislators of both parties and chambers, statewide elected officials such Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird, Secretary of State Paul Pate, State Auditor Rob Sand, State Treasurer Roby Smith, state department heads, and ABI members have shared great comments regarding the 2023 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception held last week.  The crowd was large (perhaps a record), with hundreds of people attending. 

Prior to the reception, the annual legislative briefing was highlighted by remarks by ABI Chair Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines), ABI Vice President Public Policy JD Davis, ABI Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf, and ABI Executive Vice President Nicole Crain. 

ABI members from every corner of the state and from many states outside Iowa were on hand to connect with state officials.  It is that interaction with legislators that is so vital and that makes the event such a critical component to advancing ABI’s agenda each year.  

By the way, while we appreciate the large crowd, what is more satisfying is the number of the attendees who say they conduct business and make important connections at the events.  Many thanks for the good words you have shared about the event and for the work of ABI staff.  THANK YOU for making the 2023 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception exceptional events.  

Principal Seeking ABI Members for New Program

Longtime ABI member Principal has reached out to ABI about an exciting new program called the Business Owner Ecosystem.  The program acts as a gateway for easily managing related products and services.  It helps integrate data, digital payment systems, marketing/finance and accounting functions, and much more. 

Company officials believe it can lead to tailored growth and strategic value for your business.  Principal is interested in providing this service at no charge to companies who participate now, ahead of a more public rollout.  For more information, reply to this message and I’ll forward a message about the program.  Or, go to to complete a needs assessment and get going on your own.  

First ABI Legislative Zoom Meeting of 2023 on the 27th

ABI's Public Policy team will hold 2023’s first monthly Zoom conference related to the work of the Iowa General Assembly later this month.  The meeting will be held January 27 at 8:00 a.m.  The Zoom conferences typically last about 30 minutes and you and your employees are invited to participate.  Please click here for more information about the call, free and open to ABI members only: Register now at   

ABI Announces Dates of Biennial DC Fly-In

Every two years, ABI leads a delegation of members to our nation’s capital for a high-value trip involving Iowa’s Congressional Delegation.  Related to this, ABI Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf made a special announcement at last week’s board meeting.  The dates of ABI’s 2023 trip to Washington, DC are October 17-19. 

Interest in this year’s trip is high, with many of you already indicating your plans to participate.  If you haven’t yet joined one of the DC Fly-Ins, you should.  Meetings with both of Iowa’s U.S. Senators, all four members of Congress (the members themselves, not just staff), meetings with partners (such as the National Association of Manufacturers, BIPAC, and others), great food, and terrific fellowship are hallmarks of the trip.  Watch for more information.  Or, contact Brad at now to get on the list to have information sent directly to you when it is available. 

Board Holds First Meeting of 2023

Members of the ABI Board of Directors met Wednesday.  ABI Chair Kim Augspurger (Pigott, Des Moines) led the board through a fast-paced meeting, which was the board's first of 2023.  Strong attendance and participation marked what was a great meeting of the board.  The meeting was followed by the annual legislative briefing and reception.  Thank you to all of you who joined us in Des Moines last week. 

Iowa STEM Officials Desire Teacher Externship Participation; Learn More at Upcoming Webinar

ABI has long supported efforts to grow opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in Iowa.  In fact, former ABI Chair Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) is a longtime leader in Iowa’s STEM community. 

Officials with the Governor’s STEM Council have approached ABI to seek your participation (many of you do already participate) in the summer educator externship program, through which teachers join your company and learn first-hand how their work impacts student career education.  The STEM Council is hosting a webinar to explain the program, how you can join, and what is involved for your business.Executives with three ABI members companies (Accumold, Interstates Companies, and MercyOne) will provide a first-hand account of what participation entails.  The webinar will be held at noon on January 25 and there is no charge to participate.  Learn more about externships here: Iowa STEM Teacher Externships | Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council and register for the webinar here: Meeting Registration - Zoom.  

2023 ABI Convention Generating Buzz; Hotel Filling Fast

You know that the annual ABI Taking Care of Business Conference has been growing in terms of attendance and support for the past several years.  The upcoming meeting will be ABI's 120th Annual Meeting and it will be held June 13-15 in Cedar Rapids.  

The 2023 conference is generating a lot of interest, with people in Cedar Rapids especially excited to host ABI members from all over Iowa.  At the conference, you will hear from terrific speakers and get great information.  And of course you will see Iowa's best business networking occur at this event. 

Work continues to ensure the conference is a fabulous event.  The flagship conference hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex, is filling fast.  Other hotels may be added to the conference lodging list.  For now, click here for more information and to register:  By the way, the conference registration website will go live next month.  

Coming in February: Child Care Webinar, Cobot Summit

Two high-value events have been added to ABI’s program calendar in February. On February 7, ABI will host a free webinar with information about solutions related to challenges involving child care.  You know that investing in child care provides a return for your employees, your business, and for all of us.  Iowa Women’s Foundation Employ Engagement Director Sherry Penney will lead this informative webinar.  Register now at Meeting Registration - Zoom

Also taking place in February is a cobot automation summit.  ABI is partnering with members Kinetic Technologies and Iowa Lakes Community College on this high-value seminar. 

The seminar will be held on Iowa Lakes’ Algona campus on February 23rd.  You’ll hear from experts, from fellow manufacturers with hands-on experience, and others.  Lunch will be served.  Click here for more information and to register: Summary - Cobot Automation Summit (

March 7 Board Meeting Follows Business Day in Des Moines

More information will be coming your way soon, but please remember that the March meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will follow ABI’s newest event, Business Day in Des Moines.  Be on the lookout for more information soon about this fun, high-value event.  In the meantime please mark your calendars to join your ABI colleagues in Des Moines on March 7. 

ABI Legislative Reception Photos Available Soon; Check Events Calendar

As noted above and thanks to you, the 2023 ABI Legislative Reception was a terrific event.  The event was incredibly successful and was an important part of advancing ABI’s public policy agenda for the year.  Photographs will soon be posted to the ABI website here:  You might be in them!  

In the meantime, many of you have asked about upcoming events.  I encourage you to check the ABI events calendar often at to see the extensive list of ABI meetings and events coming up in the next few weeks.  There is always a lot happening at ABI. 

NAM Survey Results Mirror ABI

Last week’s edition of the National Association of Manufacturers’ Monday Economic Report shared information form the latest NAM Manufacturers Survey.  It was interesting to see how closely the results mirrored those shared by ABI members in the latest ABI Quarterly Business Survey.  The ABI survey is summarized here: Iowa Manufacturers Look to Innovation and Technology in the First Quarter of 2023 | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (    

Manufacturing challenges cited in the NAM survey include workforce, supply chain, increased materials costs, etc.  As always, there was a lot of other great information in the report, too.  If you wish to see the report for yourself, reply to this message and I’ll get it to you at once. 

Rich Phelan Has Successful Cataract Surgery

Last Tuesday, ABI Chair Rich Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton) underwent successful cataract surgery.  Rich reports things went well and he is already nearly fully recovered.  Rich also shared that would he would have much rather been with his ABI colleagues at last week’s meetings and events.  Ha!  We are sure that is right, Rich; we’re just glad the surgery went well and best wishes on the recovery! 

Paul Gregoire and John Schreurs Mark Birthdays

Two more ABI leaders are marking birthdays.  Celebrating this month are former Fisher-Emerson executive/former ABI Chair Paul Gregoire and former Board Member John Schreurs (Strategic America, West Des Moines).  Happy birthday to Paul and John!