This Week: Annual ABI Foundation Auction - Monday Memo 7/20/20

July 20, 2020

Bidding Begins TODAY for 2020 ABI Foundation Auction

This morning commences the bidding for the annual ABI Foundation Auction, which is being held online this year.  You can bid starting at 7:00 a.m. at  Every penny of the proceeds from the auction goes to support the programs of the Foundation. 

The weeklong online auction closes Friday, July 24 at 1 p.m. To celebrate, our network will be hosted on Zoom by our longtime auctioneer, former ABI Board Member Nate Weaton (Weaton Capital, Fairfield) and by former ABI Chair and current ABI Foundation Vice Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield). They will be poolside, so grab your drink of choice to network, bid to the last second and raise a toast. You can RSVP now for the live virtual finale at  THANK YOU to Nate and Lori for their help and leadership.  And THANK YOU to YOU for your support. 

Leadership Iowa University to Begin in Three Weeks; Applications Close Friday

Three weeks from today, on August 10, talented Iowa college students will assemble by Zoom for the annual session of the ABI Foundation’s Leadership Iowa University program.  Students come from Iowa’s public universities, private colleges, and from community colleges and all will learn about our state and ways they can impact its future.  LIU class programs have received rave remarks from students, college officials, ABI leaders, and others.  

There is still plenty of time for students to apply for the program, as the application deadline is not until Friday, July 24.  Potential participants should apply now at Applications will be accepted until the program is filled. With any questions, contact Jessi McQuerry at  

Great supporters and donors and terrific volunteers make LIU possible.  ABI Foundation Vice President Becky Coady, Programs Director Jessi Steward, Foundation Administrative Assistant Jane Galloway, and Foundation Marketing and Engagement Coordinator McKenzie Kielman provide excellent staff leadership.  Look for a full report at September's board meeting. 

Policy Development Meetings Start Next Month; Meetings Will be Held Virtually

Along with other changes made to ABI's award-winning public policy advocacy work, our association has advanced the annual policy development process.  This extra time allows ABI members and staff to further engage legislators and other state officials in issues important to Iowa employers.  In keeping with that change, the annual policy development meetings will be held next month.  The ABI Employment and Workforce Committee will kick things off on August 5.  

Regarding each of the committees, well over 100 members have already registered for these important meetings.  If you haven't already done so, there is still plenty of time for you and your employees to register.  Simply go to to register for the committee meetings of interest to you.  Meetings will be held via Zoom, so you don’t even have to travel. 

Thank you to ABI Vice Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa), and to ABI Vice President Public Policy JD Davis and Director Public Policy Brad Hartkopf, and Executive Administrative Assistant Michelle Vollstedt for leading this process.  Thanks, too, to ABI Executive Vice President Nicole Crain, who provides senior-level counsel regarding ABI’s policy work, and to Communications Director David Hildahl, who handles communications and media relations related to public policy and other ABI matters. The ABI Board of Directors will act on the policy recommendations at the September board meeting. 

Business Horizons Focus Group Sessions Being Held

As you know and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ABI Foundation’s Business Horizons program was cancelled this year.  Instead, ABIF staff persons are convening focus groups of BH constituents.  

Today’s focus group centers on the program’s business partners and a full house is participating by Zoom.  The outcome will be an even better version of this already successful reprogram.  Watch for more news as it develops. 

Registration Now Open for ABI Executive Open; Foursomes Adding Up Quickly

Registrations are pouring in for the annual ABI Executive Open, one of ABI's most popular annual events.  Dozens of foursomes have already signed-up for the August 31 event.  Right now, plans are to host this event in person, but stay tuned as we make a final decision soon. 

Go to and click on the Executive Open link to register.  The event will be again held at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines. 

Thank you to ABI Member Programs Director Holly Mueggenberg, and Membership Coordinator Dorothy Knowles for their management related to this event.  Remember, if you haven't yet done so, go now to the link above and complete your registration for this always-fun ABI event. 

Biennial ABI Pre-Employment Testing Process Seminar August 19

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:  

Iowa Business Report Radio Program Broadcasts 29th Episode

The Iowa Business Report radio program’s 29th 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.  

Iowa Department of Education Seeking ABI Members for Apprenticeship Advisory Board Members

The Iowa Department of Education is a partner with ABI in seeking to develop our state’s workforce.  A new program, the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP), can be useful in that regard.  Fewer restrictions and greater flexibility are the hallmarks of the new program (as compared to some other apprenticeship programs). 

The Department of Education is seeking ABI members to serve on an advisory board that will administer the program in Iowa.  To learn more about the program and to be selected for the advisory barod, please reply to this memorandum. 

Weaton, Zrostlik Share Helpful Newsletters

Two ABI leaders last week shared newsletters that included helpful information related to the COVID-19 pandemic and managing its impact on your plant.  Former ABI Board Member Nate Weaton (Weaton Capital, Fairfield) and former ABI Chair Dave Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) both shared helpful information last week. 

The newsletters might be helpful to you and your employees as well.  If you are interested, please reply to this message and I’ll forward the newsletters.  Both include subscription information so that you may receive future editions directly.  Thank you, Nate and Dave! 

Four ABI Leaders Celebrate Birthdays

Two ABI leaders are celebrating Thursday.  Former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee) and ABI Board Member Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa) celebrate their birthdays.  ABI Board member Kirk McCollough (Seneca Foundry, Webster City) celebrates his birthday Friday.  And, ABI Board Member Tom Determann (CRDC, Clinton) also recently celebrated his birthday.  Happy birthday, to Jack, both Kirks, and to Tom!