Record Annual Event Next Week - Monday Memo 1/7/19

January 7, 2019

Next Week: Annual Legislative Briefing/Reception; Register Now

With only a little over a week to go, advance registrations for the 2019 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception are running at a record-setting pace.  As I write today’s memo, it is clear that with ABI members, legislators and other officials, well over 500 attendees will be a part of the event.  I hope you have already registered, but if not, please register NOW by going to or by simply replying to this email.  

NOTE:Registering for the briefing/reception does not register you for the board meeting and vice versa.  If you have any doubts about your registrations, please reply to this message and let me know your plans.  I'll check on your registration status and make sure it reflects your wishes.  If not, we'll take care of it right away.  Thank you!

This annual event is one of the association’s most popular and you won’t want to miss the 2019 edition.  Please join in the members-only briefing following the ABI Board Meeting and the Reception immediately follows.  All events will take place at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines.  

We expect Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg will be there, as will members of the General Assembly and other state officials and department heads.  YOU are the reason that this event draws more legislators and state officials than any other similar meeting.  Your attendance and time spent with legislators is a crucial part of ABI’s legislative advocacy.  Thank you in advance for your participation.

Targeted Staff Search Underway

As you know, ABI Director Public Policy Jessica Hyland resigned her position to take a new position with Iowa Bio.  Jessica did good work and she will be missed; we wish her well.

For some time, ABI Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain and I have been developing a list of candidates to target in a search.  That is, we have not published the opening, we have contacted individuals we believe would be excellent additions to the ABI public policy staff.  To date, we have met with three individuals and I expect perhaps one or two more initial discussions might occur.    

The plan is to move with speed and deliberation to fill this position.  Please stay tuned for more information as it develops. In the meantime, thank you to Nicole and to ABI Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf for their continued great work.

Conference Committee Meets Tomorrow

The committee planning the 2019 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference will meet tomorrow in Des Moines.  Chaired by Lisa Patterson (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City), the committee has developed an absolutely fabulous conference program.  Exciting venues, such as Iowa State University’s Jack Trice Stadium and Hilton Coliseum, and three fantastic keynote speakers, will be a part of the conference.  And, as always, Iowa’s very best business networking will highlight what will be ABI’s 116th annual meeting.  Watch for registration information to be available later this month.  See you in Ames in June! 

Board to Meet

The ABI Board of Directors will hold its first meeting of the calendar year a week from Wednesday.  ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and members of the association's Executive Committee will also convene for the committee’s first meeting of 2019 on Wednesday. We look forward to your participating next week.  

First ABI Legislative Teleconference of 2019 on the 25th

With the convening of the 2019 legislative session a week from today, ABI's public policy team will again hold regular teleconferences related to the work of the Iowa General Assembly.  The first call of the 2019 session will be held two weeks from this coming Friday, on January 25, 2019 at 8:00 a.m.  These calls typically last about 30 minutes and you and your employees are invited to participate.  Register now at     

January Leadership Iowa Session Next Week

The ABI Foundation’s 2018-2019 Leadership Iowa Class will hold its January session next week, on Wednesday through Friday, in Des Moines.  The session is jam-packed with terrific speakers, meetings with legislators, a tour of the Iowa Capitol, media presentations, and other activities.  

The January session, as you can tell, focuses on state government and politics and is typically one of the program’s most popular.  You will have an opportunity to meet members of the LI class when they join the ABI Board for the Legislative Reception Wednesday evening.  

Not Too Late to Register for Leadership Iowa Alumni Dinner

Speaking of Leadership Iowa, the program next week hosts a new version of one of its most popular annual events.  If you plan to participate, please register now (please see below). 

On Wednesday the 16th, the day of the ABI Board meeting and legislative briefing and reception, the ABI Foundation will host the annual Leadership Iowa Networking and Reunion Event.  Instead of the dine-arounds that have been held the past several years, there will now be a single event, a Leadership Iowa Alumni Dinner, that will connect all LI alums.  Go here for more information and to register:    

Remember: You Can Receive ABI Updates Through Twitter, Facebook

ABI was one of the first associations to use new social media technologies to keep in touch and inform members of new developments.  With next Monday’s convening of the legislative session, it seems like a good time to remind you that you can receive updates via Twitter as legislative developments are happening

Many ABI members -- and members of the media -- tell me frequently that they appreciate these real time updates.  ABI's public policy staff regularly tweets LIVE from the committee rooms at the Statehouse. 

ABI also has a Facebook site, shares information via the web, and of course continues to utilize all the traditional media to ensure that you receive the latest information in the format that works best for you.  If you have other ideas for other ways we can communicate with you effectively, please let me know. 

NAM Report Documents Record Open Manufacturing Jobs Number

In a recent edition of the weekly Monday Economic Report from the National Association of Manufacturers, NAM noted that a record number of manufacturing jobs are now open, well over 400,000 openings nationwide.  That is no surprise to ABI members, of course, who have been dealing with workforce issues for well over a decade. 

In better news, manufacturing production is slightly on the rise in the United States.  If you are interested in viewing the report for yourself, reply to this message and I will send it to you. 

HNI Makes Major Donation to Iowa State

Longtime ABI member HNI Corporation announced the company will donate a million dollars to Iowa State University’s new Student Innovation Center.  The Center, which is expected to open a year from now, is a 140,000-square-foot hub where students will be able to collaborate across a wide range of disciplines.  Congratulations and thank you to everyone at HNI, including longtime ABI Board Member Steven Bradford (HNI, Muscatine)

Toby Shine Celebrates

Former ABI Chair Toby Shine (Shine Bros. Corp., Spencer) celebrates his birthday this month.  Happy birthday, Toby! 

January Always an Important Month for ABI

It seems like every year about this time, I note that while January is the first month in the calendar year, it marks the seventh month in the annual ABI fiscal year (which concludes June 30).  For many reasons, January is a critical month for association programs.  

The first ABI meetings of the year are held this month and these events help set the tone for the year.  Your participation in these meetings is vital to our success.  Also, Foundation programs conduct critical work each January and that is important.  Of course, the Iowa General Assembly convenes in January and there is no more important work ABI does than aggressively advance a pro-business agenda before the legislature.  Finally, January is ABI’s most important month for revenue, with more of our annual revenue coming in this month than any other. 

Thank you for your leadership and your investment, which we never take for granted and which makes our success possible.  On behalf of Association Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) and our officers, thank you for that support and I look forward to seeing you next Wednesday.