See You in Dubuque Next June - Monday Memo 8/22/16

August 22, 2016

2017 Taking Care of Business Conference Not to be Missed

It is rare for us to talk about the June conference in August of the preceding year.  But ladies and gentlemen, I begin this week's memo by saying that you truly do not wish to miss it!  ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) and other ABI leaders are in Dubuque today confirming more conference sponsors and conducting further planning.  

Even though it has been less than ten years since ABI held the annual conference in Dubuque, there is a lot of new development there. You will be amazed by the venues and hospitality you find next June.  As always, registration will open in January, but in the meantime, put June 6-8 on your calendar NOW.  

Elevate Advanced Manufacturing Receives $150K

ABI's Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative was created to raise the profile of manufacturing and manufacturing jobs, to connect Iowans with training, and to ultimately connect Iowans with jobs. Elevate received some big news last week, as it was announced that Iowa Workforce Development would be providing $150,000  of outreach funding for the program. 

Many thanks to IWD Director Beth Townsend and to Elevate leader and newly-elected ABI Board Member Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Urbandale) for making this happen.  Watch for more news as it develops. 

First ABI Board Meeting of FY 17 on September 14

Finalize your plans now to join ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) and members of the ABI Board of Directors for the September board meeting.  The board will meet at the ABI headquarters in Downtown Des Moines' East Village on September 14.  As usual, a detailed meeting packet and map will be sent to all board members and former chairs a week prior to the meeting.  

Special highlights of the meeting include welcoming newly-elected board members to their first meeting and adoption of 2017 ABI public policy positions.  As for new board members, they include Christine Carlson (Hillphoenix Specialty Products, Keosauqua), Michele Farrell (Measured Intentions, Clive), Alan Johnson (Norplex Micarta, Postville), Drew Larson (RAM Pattern, LeClaire), Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Carlisle), Vince Newendorp (Vermeer Corporation, Pella), David Nicholl (Grip-Tite Mfg Co., Winterset), Kim Pang (Diamond Jo Worth, Northwood), and the honorary Leadership Iowa board member, Kelli Barrick (The Private Bank, West Des Moines).  Be sure to join your ABI colleagues, meet these new directors, and participate in this important meeting.  

As I noted in last week’s Memo, the September board meeting is typically well-attended and many of you have told me you already have this meeting on your calendar.  I hope the rest of you do as well.  On behalf of Lori and our other officers, I look forward to seeing you in Des Moines. 

Participate in IIPAC Event in Support of Lieutenant Governor Reynolds and Legislators

In last week's memorandum, I told you of a fundraiser for Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and female members of the Iowa General Assembly who have been endorsed by ABI’s PAC, the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee. ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) and others are hosting the event, which is being held at the offices of ABI Board Member Kim Augspurger (Saxton, Des Moines)

Join us at Saxton from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on September 9. Please attend this event to support those women who support pro-business policies at the legislature. You may contribute directly to Lt. Governor Reynolds or IIPAC. If you’re interested in attending, click here to view the invitation: As I noted last week, if you have not yet given to IIPAC this year, this is a great opportunity to do so! 

Eighth Annual ABI Executive Open One Week from Today

Eight years ago, ABI created an event to provide an opportunity for members (and prospective members) to have fun and network with each other.  It was a huge success, with members saying they greatly appreciated the informal, relaxed nature of the event. 

The event has become part of ABI’s yearly schedule and the eight-annual ABI Executive Open Best Ball Event will be held Monday, August 29.  This year's Open will be again played at one of Iowa's most beautiful private clubs, Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines.  

As has become the norm for this event, golf is nearly sold-out.  You can register for golf and/or the social event that follows golf at  Don't miss this chance to join you ABI colleagues for a great afternoon. 

Foundation Big Part of Executive Open

The ABI Foundation will have a strong presence at next Monday's Executive Open. As always, the foundation staff will add to your experience through fun and games at three different holes on the course.  They will do all of this while raising funds for the life-changing programs that better your business, your community, and the state of Iowa.  

Games like "the 181/2 Hole" and "The Gorilla Drive" and "the Wheel of Fun' are sure to help you beat your competition -- and you will also gain a chance to win the Grand Prize: a stay at the brand new Hotel Renovo in Urbandale (go to for a look at this exciting new hotel)!  if you are interested, please contact me for more information.  In the meantime, please be on the lookout  for the foundation staff and all the fun that will be a part of next week's Open. 

Policy Meetings Conclude Tomorrow; Record Participation Marks Meetings

ABI Board Member Larry Countryman (Wilson Trailer Company, Sioux City) is the longtime Chair of the ABI Tax Committee.  When Larry adjourns the Tax Committee meeting to be held tomorrow at ABI, it will mark the completion of the annual policy meeting process.  Literally hundreds of ABI members from all across Iowa and beyond participated in the 2016 series of meetings.  The process now shifts to the ABI Legislative Committee and then will conclude with the meeting of the ABI Board of Directors on September 14.  

On behalf of ABI Vice Chair Dave Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner), who this year leads this process for ABI, thank you for your participation in this important work. 

YPIowa Conference September 22 in Ankeny

The ABI Foundation provides administrative support to Young Professionals of Iowa, our state's leading organization for young professionals.  And as you know, YPIowa's biggest annual event is the YPIowa Conference.  The 2016 edition of that event will be held September 22 in Ankeny. 

You and your employees are also invited and you can register   Click on the link for more information. 

Emerson Acquires Pentair Business

There was big news out of Marshalltown Friday, as one of ABI's founding members announced an acquisition. Emerson/Fisher has signed a multi-billion agreement to purchase the Valves & Controls business of Pentair.  This is a huge deal for Emerson and for Iowa and please contact me if you would like to read the news release about the acquisition. 

The latest announcement follows other successful strategic actions by Emerson made earlier this year. ABI congratulates everyone at Emerson/Fisher, especially Immediate Past ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) on this exciting news! 

Accumold Featured in Register

Longtime ABI member Accumold was profiled in the Des Moines Register last week.  The feature was a great read about a great Iowa company and highlighted how Accumold has "gotten big by growing tiny."  Read the story for yourself here:  Congratulations to everyone at Accumold on the terrific coverage, especially company President and ABI Board Member Roger Hargens (Accumold, Ankeny)

Alan Johnson on International Committee

Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of meeting with a new ABI board member and touring his plant. ABI Board Member Alan Johnson (Norplex Micarta, Postville) was a gracious host. 

During our meeting, I learned that Alan is a member of the International Electrotechnical Commission and serves on one of the agency's technical committees developing standards for industry. You can learn more about the IEC here:  Congratulations to Alan on this prestigious appointment! 

John Bruntz Celebrates Tomorrow, Rand Fisher Celebrates Thursday

Former ABI Chair John Bruntz (The Boulder Company, Des Moines) has a birthday this week.  John will celebrate tomorrow.  Longtime ABI Board Member Rand Fisher(Iowa Area Development Group, West Des Moines) had a busy week last week, with IADG's annual outing on Monday and other meetings (including one at ABI) throughout the rest of the week.  This week should be more fun, because Rand will celebrate his birthday this Thursday (August 25).  ABI sends best birthday wishes to John and Rand! 

Prays Will Mark Four Dozen years of Marriage

ABI Board Member Jack Pray (Reynolds & Reynolds, Des Moines) and his wife, Marsha Pray, will celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary on August 31.  Happy anniversary to you and Marsha, Jack; ABI wishes you many more happy years together!