Steven Bradford is New ABI Chair - Monday Memo 7/6/20

July 6, 2020

Steven Bradford Elected New Chair of ABI

As a part of last week’s Annual Business Meeting, ABI members elected new officers and directors for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.  Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) was elected Chair, Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa) was elected Vice Chair, Kim Augspurger (Saxton, Des Moines) was elected Treasurer, and Richard Phelan (LyondellBasell, Clinton) was elected Secretary.  Cindy Dietz (Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids) is Immediate Past Chair.  

Executive Committee members were also elected, including returning members Andy Bramstedt (SSAB, Muscatine), Peter Voorhees (Standard Golf, Cedar Falls), and Bruce Tamisiea (Tecton Industries, Spencer).  New committee members are Casey Cason (Wells Fargo, Des Moines) and Kellan Longenecker (General Mills, Avon).  

Steven Bradford is Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary for HNI Corporation in Muscatine.  HNI is a manufacturer of leading brands supplying the workplace furnishings and building products marketplaces.  Steven is active on several boards and commissions in Iowa and nationally, including the Iowa Access to Justice Commission and the American Law Institute.  Congratulations to Steven and to our other officers and directors! 

Leaders to Retire from ABI Board; New Board Members Began Terms July 1

In addition to officers, also elected at the 117th Annual Meeting were new members of the ABI Board of Directors.  These individuals and/or their companies have long been active in ABI and like all of you, will make terrific board members.  They take the place of members who are completing their terms or otherwise leaving the ABI Board of Directors. 

Ending service on the board are Sean Abbas (Threads, Waterloo), Johnne Syverson (Syverson, Strege and Company, West Des Moines), and the late Jack Pray (Reynolds & Reynolds, Des Moines)David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) leaves his board slot as Immediate Past Chair, but in accordance with ABI Bylaws, remains a board member for life, as do all other former Chairs.  

Please join me in congratulating these individuals for their service and leadership and THANK YOU to these Iowa business leaders. 

Elected to the board for terms beginning July 1 were Tim Coonan (Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines), Rob Feeney (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Des Moines), Karen Harrison (Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Sioux City), and Adam Steen (Syverson Strege, West Des Moines).  Congratulations to these incoming leaders. 

First FY21 Executive Committee Meeting Tomorrow

The first meeting of the ABI Executive Committee for the new fiscal year will be held tomorrow.  ABI Chair Steven Bradford (HNI Corporation, Muscatine) and members of the committee will meet by Zoom to review action items and share business updates.  News regarding any developments will be a part of the September meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

Biennial ABI Pre-Employment Testing Process Seminar Next Month

As you know, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ABI’s biennial Pre-Employment Testing Process Seminar had to be rescheduled.  That event will now be held at ABI on Wednesday, August 19.  

A good crowd has already registered for this popular seminar and your HR and risk-management teams will find value in the information shared through this event.  Expert speakers and the latest information about best practices and current trends will be shared.  Register now at:  

IIPAC Needs Your Support

The Iowa Industry Political Action Committee is ABI's political arm.  The organization is chaired by former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee).  Now is the time of the year that IIPAC is heavily engaged in raising money to support pro-business candidates for state offices. 

If you have already contributed to IIPAC this year, thank you.  If you haven't, now is the time.  Go to  to make your donation today.  Again, many of you (and many of us on staff) have already made contributions.  As the rest of you get ready to make yours, thank you in advance for your support. 

Annual Regional Policy and Policy Committee Meetings Set

ABI's annual policy committee meetings have already been scheduled.  Please go to to register for the committee meetings of interest to you and your employees.  The ABI Board of Directors will act on the recommendations of these committees at the September board meeting. 

Prior to those meetings, of course, are the regional meetings to discuss the recently-adjourned session of the Iowa General Assembly and to gather your counsel about issues for work in 2021.  ABI will host an Eastern Iowa Regional Meeting, a Central Iowa Regional Meeting, and a Western Iowa Regional Meeting.  As I shared last week, there are no set boundaries and you determine which region your company resides in.  You may participate in one meeting or all three.  Click on the link above for more information and to register. 

Iowa Internship Program Information Now Available

Funding applications for the STEM and Iowa Student Internship Program for fiscal year 2021 are now available.  This includes funding for internships taking place in fall 2020, spring 2021 and summer 2021. 

Numerous ABI companies have participated in these programs.  Fact sheets and additional information, including a link to the applications, can be found here:, and here:  The STEM program internship is going fast, and will likely be closed within just a couple of weeks. 

Annual ABI Executive Open in August

Remember that registration is now open for the annual ABI Executive Open.  This popular annual event will be held Monday, August 31.  As you know, the past seven opens have sold-out and we expect that will be the case again this year.  Join us for golf, fun, and networking. 

The ABI Executive Open will again be held at Des Moines Gold and Country Club in West Des Moines, one of Iowa's most exclusive private clubs.  This is a fabulous course and registration is now open for this always-great event.  Please click on and register now.  See you at Des Moines Golf in August! 

Episode 27 of Iowa Business Report Radio Program Broadcast

The Iowa Business Report radio program’s 27th edition was broadcast statewide over the weekend.  ABI is proud to sponsor this terrific program.  Click here to listen for yourself:  Links can also be found on the ABI website at  The show is produced by well-known Iowa broadcaster Jeff Stein.  

NAM Report: Manufacturing Growth Slow; COVID Concerns Grow

Last week’s Monday Economic Report, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, shared information that confirms that manufacturing activity is growing slowly.  Also growing (not so slowly) are lingering concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on business.  Please contact me if you wish to read the report for yourself. 

ABI Members Highlighted in InnovationIowa Publication

The Des Moines Business Record is a great ABI member/partner.  Last month, the Business Record released its annual InnovationIowa publication, highlighting Iowa companies leading with regard to innovation in business. Several ABI members were featured and congratulations all of them.  Here is a link to the publication:  

Longtime ABI member Sukup Manufacturing Co. was highlighted, so congratulations to the Sukup Family and their employees, especially former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield).  And very special congratulations to longtime ABI member EMC Insurance Companies, named the 2020 Innovation LEADER Award winner!  Congratulations to everyone at EMC, especially to EMC executive and ABI Board Member Jason Gross (EMC Insurance Companies, Des Moines)

ABI Board Member Steve Dust Transitions to Waterfront Corporate Services

Longtime ABI Board Member/IIPAC Board Member Steve Dust has left the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation and transitioned back to his management company full time.  Waterfront Corporate Services assists companies with start-up issues, growth strategies, policy assistance, public relations help, and more.  Here is a link to Steve’s LinkedIn page:  Congratulations on the transition, Steve!