Register for ABI Vaccine Mandate Presentation - Monday Memo 11/8/21

November 8, 2021

Coming this Friday: ABI Vaccine Mandate Presentation; Register Now

Both the Biden Administration and the Iowa General Assembly have passed laws related to mandates and COVID-19 vaccines.  These actions provide conflicting situations for ABI members and the situation remains quite fluid.  In response, ABI has created its newest program to ensure you have the very latest information and guidance regarding complying with these actions. 

This Friday, November 12, at 10:00 a.m., ABI is hosting a Zoom seminar featuring legal experts and others to guide you in your compliance.  Click here to register for this free seminar: Meeting Registration - Zoom.    

Related to these issues, special thanks to valued ABI partner the Iowa Business Council for its work on fighting these mandates as well.  

NAM “Creators Wanted” Event Tomorrow at Vermeer Corporation

As you have read in these memos the past couple of weeks, the National Association of Manufacturers is hosting a series of events around the nation entitled “Creators Wanted.”  This campaign is the NAM’s largest campaign to date to build the workforce of tomorrow and to show Americans what modern manufacturing is all about. 

Tomorrow, longtime ABI/NAM members Pella Corporation and Vermeer Corporation will host the latest in the Creators Wanted events at the Vermeer Global Pavilion in Pella.  There is still time for you to register for the free program (which will be held from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.).  Click here for more information and to register: Home | Creators Wanted Live in Pella Premier Event (  

The program will feature Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, company presidents Jason Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella) and Tim Yaggi (Pella Corporation, Pella), Jay Timmons (National Association of Manufacturers, Washington DC) and Carolyn Lee (The Manufacturing Institute (Washington, DC).  Tours of the NAM’s “Creators Wanted” Mobile experience will also be available.  See you in Pella tomorrow! 

Board Meets November 11th

The ABI Board of Directors will meet Thursday.  ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa) will call to order the final board meeting of 2021 at 11:30 a.m.  The board will meet at ABI and lunch will be served.  

A review of the annual audit, an update regarding the conference, policy discussions, and your business reports are highlights of the agenda.  In addition, the board will receive the usual operational reports.  

If you haven't already done so, please register your attendance by simply replying to this message.  A link to access the usual packet of reports and reference materials will come your way later this week.  In the meantime and on behalf of Jack and our ABI officers, I look forward to seeing you next week. 

Next Connecting Statewide Leaders Event in Pella Next Month

The first 2021-2022 Connecting Statewide Leaders event will be held December 2 in Pella.   This forum is the next opportunity to participate in the popular series of events ABI has hosted around Iowa over the course of the past few years.  

A luncheon follows the meeting and you will have a great opportunity to visit with fellow ABI members, meet the new Leadership Iowa class, and develop new customers.  Register now for this program, which will feature a manufacturing panel: Summary - Connecting Statewide Leaders - Pella (  Make your plans now to join the LI class and ABI members in Pella in December. 

Not Too Soon to Make 2022 Annual Conference Lodging Reservations

It is not too early to make your lodging reservation for the 2022 Taking Care of Business Conference, ABI's 119th annual convention.  That event will be held June 14-16 of next year in Dubuque. 

The main conference hotel is the beautiful Hotel Julien.  Go here and click on the “Hotels” button to find a link to the flagship hotel:  You will also see other lodging options.  

Remember, this conference will involve exciting, brand new venues, fabulous speakers, and sessions unlike any seen before.  You will be able to register for the conference on the ABI website soon.  In the meantime, use the link above to make your lodging reservation now. 

Food Industry Manufacturing Overview in Ames in December

Iowa’s food industry and food manufacturers face a variety of challenges.  Workforce, logistics, supply chain, and many others are the focus for these companies.  On December 7, ABI and CIRAS will host an event designed to review the status of the food industry and provide solutions to these challenges.  Tours of terrific facilities will also be a part of the event. 

You can find more information and register now for the event here: Summary - Iowa Food Manufacturing Industry Overview and Challenges Seminar (  The event will be held on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames on December 7. 

ABI Legislative Briefing, Reception January 12

Mark your calendars now for one of ABI’s most popular, and most important, events of the year.  The annual ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception will be held Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines.  Typically, over 500 members and state officials attend this event each year.  

Because of your participation, this event draws more Iowa legislators (of both parties) than any similar event hosted by other organizations.  Your local legislators enjoy this event and appreciate the opportunity to visit with you and your fellow Iowa business leaders in a relaxed and informal setting.  As always, all 150 legislators and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg have been invited to join you at the reception.  

Immediately prior to the event, the annual members-only legislative briefing will be held.  This event will provide you with the very latest in legislative news and information about ABI issues.  You can find more information and register NOW by going to Summary - Legislative Briefing and Reception (  By the way, as always, this event is being held the same day as the January meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  On behalf of our ABI officers and directors, I look forward to seeing you in Des Moines on January 12.  

Advisory Council to Meet in Two Weeks

The ABI Advisory Council will meet a week from Thursday.  This will mark the panel's final business meeting of 2021.  Thank you to ABI Advisory Council members Anthologic, ACS, BCC Advisers, BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC, Focus OneSource, Fredrikson & Byron, HDH Advisors, LMC Insurance and Risk Management, Principal, The Iowa Clinic, Wellmark, and Wells Fargo for your leadership and support! 

Business Record Iowa Receiving High Marks

You soon will be receiving the monthly edition of ABI's flagship publication, Business Record Iowa.  Published in conjunction with member Business Publications Corporation, BRIowa took the place of our quarterly publication, magazine.  

Two longtime ABI leaders are on the cover of this month’s magazine.  ABI Board Member Roger Hargens (Accumold, Ankeny) and Steve Boal (Accumold, Ankeny) are featured.  In addition to these great leaders and others inside, you’ll also find great content about ABI programs and activities.  

When it comes to BR Iowa, members are telling us they really like the greatly increased publishing schedule (from 4 times each year to 12) and the content.  Those comments are nice to hear.  Just as important is anything we can do to make the new journal even better and more useful to you.  Please contact me with any comments or suggestions. 

NAM Report: 60K Manufacturing Jobs Added in October

Today’s Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, carries good jobs news.  60,000 manufacturing jobs were added in October.  That growth continues to buoy the economy as a whole.  Gains in wages and non-farm employments were some of the other positive data points cited in the report.  If you wish to read the report for yourself, simply reply to this message and I’ll get it to you at once. 

Agri-Industrial Plastics Named Fairfield Manufacturer of the Year

Fairfield is a great ABI community and one of our state’s wonderful small towns.  It is also a manufacturing center and several manufacturers thrive there.  One of them was recently honored as the Manufacturer of the Year by the Fairfield Manufacturers Association; congratulations to Agri-Industrial Plastics Company

Agri was honored for its consistent growth and for the culture it has created for its customers and employees.  Congratulations to founder and Chairman Dick Smith (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) and to company president and former ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) and everyone at this great company! 

Schabel Solutions Celebrates 5 Years

Newly-elected ABI Board Member Claudia Schabel (Schabel Solutions, Des Moines) and her husband, Brad Schabel, are the owners of a great ABI-member company focused on helping other employers succeed through DEI training and more.  Claudia and Brad last week celebrated the fifth anniversary of their business with an event in West Des Moines.  ABI salutes Schabel Solutions and sends best wishes for continued success! 

Mary Andringa, Tom McMahon Celebrate

A couple of ABI leaders are celebrating birthdays this month.  ABI Past Chair Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella) and former ABI Board Member and former ABI Foundation Chair Tom McMahon (Barker Company, Keosauqua) share birthdays.  ABI sends best birthday wishes to Mary and Tom! 

The Business of ABI; Strong Results in 2021

Editor's Note: The following is a message that has become a tradition about this time each year; it has been edited for accuracy and so that it objectively applies to the current year

When I created the Monday Memo, my goal was to provide you with sort of an “inside baseball” view of what is happening at ABI each week.  Too many times, this weekly memo becomes simply a list of upcoming events.  Given that, I especially like to share news related to developments and projects (other than events) and news of what is happening with your fellow board members and past chairs.  And, I like to share news regarding what I call the business of ABI.  

The business of ABI refers to key information about the metrics that provide insights as to whether or not our association is achieving the goals you establish for it every year.  In that regard and in keeping with a tradition started over a decade ago, I typically share some information in the memo that appears the week of the final board meeting of the year to provide some information about association results during the past 12 months. 

For many years, I listed several bullet points related to ABI's work in public policy, programs, with the work of the ABI Foundation, and as it pertains to our operational and financial success.  Because that became repetitive, I took a different tack the last few years and I'll do that again now.  

Let me simply say that ABI experienced strong results in 2021.  I need to point out that is not just rhetoric.  Simply saying something is the case does not make it so.  In measurable ways, ABI enjoyed success this year.  When it comes to public policy advocacy, membership growth, participation in events, conference revenue, Foundation programs, creation of new initiatives, and in so many other ways, 2021 has been a truly great year (and it’s not over yet). 

Of course, the year was made even more challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Not too many organizations can say this, but ABI can: We will weather our SECOND global pandemic.  ABI survived the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 and it will survive the COVID pandemic (here’s hoping there aren’t too many more pandemics to survive).    While other organizations laid-off staff members, cut programs, operated in the red, or even went out of business, ABI has continued to operate and has even added new virtual programs during this time.  That is due to you, our board members, and the membership in general. 

ABI board members demand results.  Thanks to your leadership and thanks to a hard-working staff at both ABI and the ABI Foundation, strong results were achieved in 2021.   THANK YOU.