Two Days to Annual Legislative Briefing/Reception; Register Now

January 11, 2016

Two Days to Annual Legislative Briefing/Reception; Register Now

With only two days to go, advance registrations for the 2016 ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception are running at a record-setting pace.  As I write today’s memo, it is clear that with ABI members, legislators and other officials, well over 500 attendees will be a part of the event.  I hope you have already registered, but if not, please register NOW by going to or by simply replying to this email. 

NOTE: Registering for the briefing/reception does not register you for the board meeting and vice versa.  If you have any doubts about your registrations, please reply to this message and let me know your plans.  I'll check on your registration status and make sure it reflects your wishes.  If not, we'll take care of it right away.  Thank you!

This annual event is one of the association’s most popular and you won’t want to miss the 2016 edition.  Please join in the members-only briefing following the ABI Board Meeting and then go from there to the Reception.  All events are being held at the Embassy Suites on the River in downtown Des Moines (located just three blocks from the ABI office). 

Governor Terry Branstad will be there, as will members of the General Assembly and other state officials and department heads.  YOU are the reason that this event draws more legislators and state officials than any other similar meeting.  Your attendance and time spent with legislators is a crucial part of ABI’s legislative advocacy.  Thank you in advance for your participation.

Wednesday Marks First ABI Executive Committee, Board Meetings of 2016; New Board Members to be Elected

ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) and members of the association’s Executive Committee will convene for their first meeting of 2016 on Wednesday.  That meeting will be followed by the first 2016 meeting of the ABI Board of Directors. 

The board will meet at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Embassy Suites on the River in downtown Des Moines.  You should have received a message with a link to the usual packet of meeting materials in your email in-box last Wednesday.  If you didn't, please let me know and I'll make sure you do receive it.

As I noted in last week’s Memo, Wednesday’s meetings are very important, with discussion of critical association business and reports on tap, as well as vital information related to the 2016 Session of the Iowa General Assembly.  One highlight will be the election of two new board members to fill unexpired terms of directors leaving the board.

Jeanine Penticoff (Alliant Energy, Cedar Rapids) and Art Slusark (Meredith Corporation, Des Moines) are the new directors.  They will fill the unexpired terms of Vern Gebhart (Alliant Energy, Cedar Rapids) and Jerry Hadenfeldt (Meredith Corporation, Des Moines) respectively.  Immediate Past Chair/ABI Nominating Committee Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) will lead the board through the election next week. 

All board members and Past Chairs are encouraged to attend the board meeting and stay for the annual legislative briefing and reception that follows. 

First ABI Legislative Teleconference of 2016 on the 22nd

With the convening of the 2016 legislative session, ABI's Government Relations team will again hold regular teleconferences related to the work of the Iowa General Assembly.  The first call of the 2015 session will be held a week from this coming Friday (January 22) at 9:00 a.m.

 These calls typically last about 30 minutes and you and your employees are invited to participate.  Register for the free call here:

January Leadership Iowa Session This Week

The ABI Foundation’s 2015-2016 Leadership Iowa Class will hold its January session this Wednesday through Friday in Des Moines.  The session is jam-packed with terrific speakers, meetings with legislators, a tour of the Iowa Capitol, media presentations, and other activities.  

The January session, as you can tell, focuses on state government and politics and is typically one of the program’s most popular.  You will have an opportunity to meet members of the LI class when they join the ABI Board for the Legislative Reception Wednesday evening. 

Not Too Late to Register for This Week's Leadership Iowa Event

Speaking of Leadership Iowa, the program is this week hosts one of its most popular annual events.  If you plan to participate, please register now (please see below).

On Wednesday, the day of the ABI Board meeting and legislative briefing and reception, the Foundation will host a Leadership Iowa Networking and Reunion Dinner (perhaps better known as the ABI Foundation Dine-Arounds).  The event will provide a unique dinner networking opportunity for LI alumni following the annual ABI Legislative Reception.  The event is free to LI alumni (your only cost is your own meal).  Find out more and register at

Latest Business Record Iowa Out; Steve Dust on the Cover

As you know, over two years ago, ABI partnered with the Des Moines Business Record to publish the brand newBusiness Record Iowa magazine.  This newsprint magazine is published monthly (as opposed to six times per year for the previous ABI publication) and is distributed statewide to about four times the audience.

We hear more and more frequently from members that they find value in BRIowa and that's good.  if you have questions or need additional copies, please contact me.  And if you have story ideas, we are always interest in those, too. 

In the meantime, congratulations and thank you to this month's BRIowa cover boy, ABI Board Member Steve Dust (Greater Cedar valley Alliance & Chamber, Waterloo).  Steve was also a big part of last month's ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders event at Wartburg College in Waverly.  Thanks again, Steve!

Remember: You Can Receive ABI Updates Through Twitter, Facebook

ABI was one of the first associations to use new social media technologies to keep in touch and inform members of new developments.  With today’s convening of the legislative session, it seems like a good time to remind you that you can receive updates via Twitter as legislative developments are happening

Many ABI members -- and members of the media -- tell me frequently that they appreciate these real time updates.  ABI's public policy staff regularly tweets LIVE from the committee rooms at the Statehouse. 

ABI also has a Facebook site, shares information via the web, and of course continues to utilize all the traditional media to ensure that you receive the latest information in the format that works best for you.  If you have other ideas for other ways we can communicate with you effectively, please let me know.

Pella, Stellar, Sukup, UEA Host Candidates, Officials

There is no more effective outreach than when ABI members host candidates for office or officials who are already elected in their plants.  These opportunities give these officials a first-hand look at business operations and a better understanding of the impact of their actions on business. 

Last week, four ABI members hosted such opportunities.  Last Wednesday, both ABI Board Treasurer David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and former ABI Chair Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) hosted Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in their plants. 

Later that same day, Immediate Past ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) hosted U.S. Senator Charles Grassley in Waverly.  The following day, Pella Corporation hosted U.S. Senator Joni Ernst in Pella.  Former Chair Myron Linn (Pella Corporation, Pella) led planning for the meeting.  Congratulations and thank you to all four of these ABI leaders!

Toby Shine Celebrates

Former ABI Chair Toby Shine (Shine Bros. Corp., Spencer) celebrates his birthday this month.  Happy birthday, Toby!

Stockdales Celebrate, Northern Iowa Die Casting Expands

Former ABI Chair Joanne Stockdale (Northern Iowa Die Casting, Lake Park) checked in last week.  Many of you know Joanne and her husband, Ned Stockdale, and it was good to learn that they celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary late last month in Fort Dodge.  Congratulations to Joanne and Ned!

It was also good to learn of Northern Iowa Die Casting's recent expansion, with a new line in Spirit Lake.  NIDC is now doing work in several states and soon in China - the company is always on the lookout for more work.  Congratulations again!

January Always an Important Month for ABI

It seems like every year about this time, I note that while January is the first month in the calendar year, it marks the seventh month in the annual ABI fiscal year (which concludes June 30).  For many reasons, January is a critical month for association programs.  

The first ABI meetings of the year are held this month and these events help set the tone for the year.  Your participation in these meetings is vital to our success.  Also, Foundation programs conduct critical work each January and that is important.  Of course, the Iowa General Assembly convenes in January and there is no more important work ABI does than aggressively push a pro-business agenda before the legislature.  Finally, January is ABI’s most important month for revenue, with more of our annual revenue coming in this month than any other.

Thank you for your leadership and your investment, which we never take for granted and which makes our success possible.  On behalf of Association Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) and our officers, thank you for that support and I look forward to seeing you Wednesday.