Three Weeks Until Conference - Monday Memo 5/23/22

May 23, 2022

2022 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference Kicks-Off Three Weeks from Tomorrow

It is hard to believe that just three weeks from tomorrow, ABI members will convene in Dubuque for the 2022 Taking Care of Business Conference.  The meeting, ABI’s 119th annual convention, will bring 600 people from Iowa and beyond to Dubuque.  If you haven’t yet registered for the conference, you can do so NOW by clicking on:  

As I noted a few weeks ago, ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa), Conference Committee Chair Brett Burkhart MakuSafe, Des Moines) and the committee have developed a fabulous program.  The Diamond Jo Casino, the site of the Welcome Reception on June 14, is fabulous.  By the way, golf earlier in the day will take place at Dubuque Golf and Country Club, one of Iowa’s most beautiful private golf clubs. 

A full day of programming will take place on Wednesday (June 15) at the Grand River Center.  Nationally known, fantastic keynote speakers will lead the program.  High-value breakout sessions will further enhance your day and ALL speakers have conveyed a strong desire to provide you with the greatest of presentations.  

If you want fun, the Chair’s Dinner Wednesday evening will be another fabulous ABI celebration.  Held in Dubuque’s famous Millworks District, this event will be fun, tasty, and high energy.  ABI has reserved the entire facility (and it is LARGE) to ensure our attendees have the most fun possible. 

Throw in Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, a great ABI Foundation auction, Leadership Iowa graduation, and the very best business networking in Iowa, and you are certain to have an absolutely fabulous experienceOVER 420 ABI MEMBERS HAVE ALREADY REGISTERED.  See you in three weeks at the conference! 

Governor Reynolds to Address Conference Thursday Morning

As noted above, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds will continue a decades-long tradition by governors of Iowa (regardless of party) and address the ABI Annual Conference.  Governor Reynolds will be the kick-off speaker on the final day of the conference and will speak to conference attendees at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 16. 

Governor Reynolds will be followed by two fabulous conference events.  UnityPoint Health President and CEO Clay Holderman will immediately follow Governor Reynolds and the always-fun and moving celebration of the Leadership Iowa graduating class will close the conference.  Don’t miss it! 

Legislative Adjournment Close? Watch for Regional Meetings Soon

As you read in a couple of publications from ABI last week and have seen elsewhere, the Iowa General Assembly continues it overtime work this week, though many observers believe adjournment is close, perhaps even this week. Watch for news from ABI about the session and adjournment as soon as it happens. 

By the way, stay tuned for more information about ABI’s Regional Policy Meetings, which always follow adjournment of the legislative session.  JD Davis and Brad Hartkopf will provide a read-out of the session and what legislative actions mean for your business.  And, we’ll gather your ideas and comments as we begin to prepare for the 2023 Iowa Legislative Session. 

Anderson-Erickson’s Miriam Erickson Brown to Keynote ABI CEO Forum

It seems that all Iowans know and love the products of Anderson Erickson Dairy (, a great ABI member and one of the Midwest’s largest independent dairy companies.  The Chair and CEO of this third-generation manufacturer, Miriam Erickson Brown (Anderson Erickson Dairy, Des Moines), will serve as the keynote speaker at the 2022 ABI Okoboji CEO Forum.  Miriam is a terrific speaker and the AE story is compelling, so don’t miss this opportunity to hear her remarks. 

Ladies and gentlemen, another fabulous agenda has been developed for the CEO forum.  There will be great, high-value programming on Thursday, July 28 and a terrific – and different - tour closing things out on Friday morning, July 29.  Registration is now available at this link: Summary - Okoboji CEO Forum (Members Only) (  That page also includes links to the program, and you can click on program links to find more information the speakers, etc.  Make plans now to join your ABI colleagues in July at the Iowa Great Lakes! 

CIRAS Board Meets Thursday at ISU

A valued ABI member-partner is Iowa State University's Center for Industrial Research and Service.  CIRAS is a fabulous resource for Iowa manufacturers and businesses of all kinds.  Over the years, many ABI leaders have also been involved in CIRAS and several are current members of the CIRAS Industry Advisory Board. 

The CIRAS Advisory Board will meet Thursday in Ames.  Watch for news of any developments in next week's ABI Monday Memo

NAM Report: Manufacturing Economy Shows “Resilience”

Today’s edition of the National Association of ManufacturersMonday Economic Report is another good one.  There is a lot of interesting data in the report, but the theme is something that we already know: manufacturers are a resilient bunch. 

In fact, NAM officials continues to project growth both this year and next, though of course that could change.  If you wish to see the report for yourself, simply reply to this memorandum and I’ll get it to you at once. 

Kent Corporation makes it three in a Row

There was big news to celebrate out of Muscatine last week, as longtime ABI member Kent Corporation was honored as one of the United States’ best managed companies.  For the third consecutive year, Kent was selected as a “US Best Managed Company” by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal.  The program recognizes outstanding private companies and the achievements of their management teams.  In typical Kent fashion, the entire Kent organization (not just the management team) was recognized for its role in receipt of this prestigious award.  ABI salutes and congratulates everyone at Kent, including ABI Board Member Rich Dwyer (Kent Corporation, Muscatine) for this honor! 

Governor Visits Rada Mfg.

You hear me say often that one of the very best things you can do to help advance ABI’s public policy agenda is to host elected officials in your plant or office.  Thankfully, many of you do just that and do it often. 

The latest example is a visit by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds to longtime ABI member Rada Mfg. Co. in Waverly last Thursday.  Rada hosted the Governor for a tour and a visit with plan employees.  Thank you to ABI Board Member Phil Jones (Rada Mfg. Co., Waverly) and the team there for hosting Governor Reynolds and congratulations for the opportunity to show off the quality cutlery that has been made there for decades! 

By the way, I always enjoy learning even more than I already do about ABI members,  Click here and scroll down to view a terrific video about Rada and its people: About Rada Cutlery | Knife Manufacturer | Rada Cutlery

The Business of ABI: Fiscal Year-End

There is just a little over one month remaining in ABI's fiscal year.  While I never lose sight of where our organization stands as it pursues the objectives you set for us each year, I pay particular attention at this time of the year. 

With just over five weeks left in ABI’s fiscal year, metrics across the board are strong.  Thanks to YOUR leadership and support, ABI continues to be a thriving organization, with a solid and sound financial condition.  Be assured that is never taken for granted. THANK YOU.