Two Weeks to Next ABI Board Meeting

April 18, 2016

May Board Meeting in Two Weeks; Register Now

The final pre-annual meeting of the ABI Board of Directors will be held May 4 in Marshalltown.   ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown) and board members will meet at Emerson/Fisher's Innovation Center in downtown Marshalltown.  Please use this link to register for the meeting:  

The night before, the ABI Executive Committee will host a dinner for board members arriving in town early.  The dinner will be held at Tremont on Main in Marshalltown.  If you will be attending the dinner, please reply to this message and let me know.  There is nothing else you need do than that. Again, dinner is Tuesday evening, May 3.  

If you are arriving in Marshalltown the evening prior to the meeting and joining your ABI colleagues for dinner, you'll need a place to stay the night.  Use this link to make your lodging reservation for the meeting.  Either the Hampton Inn ( or the Historical Tremont Inn ( are great places to stay. 

The board meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. on the 4th and lunch will be served.  On behalf of Paul and our other officers, I look forward to seeing you in Marshalltown. 

Drug-Free Workplace Seminar to be Held Next Week

The ABI Biennial Drug Free Workplace Workshop to be held a week from Wednesday, on April 27.  The program is designed to help your company create a drug free workplace. 

This year's workshop will be held at the ABI office in Des Moines.  Your HR staff will find the latest in rulings, best practice-sharing, and other items related to drug testing at the meeting.  The registration link for the conference should be available this week.  Please check ABI's events page soon for details:

Register Now for ABI Regional Policy Meetings

It appears that the Iowa General Assembly may adjourn before the end of the month.  As you have read in the Legislative News section of the weekly ABI newsletter, this has been a terrific session for ABI.  More on that in future memos. 

For now, make your plans to attend the ABI Regional Public Policy meeting coming to your area of the state next month.  At the meeting, you will hear the latest report on the 2016 Iowa Legislative Session, the impact actions of legislators had on your business, and you will receive a preview of the coming campaign season.  You will also have the opportunity to share input about legislative issues that you and your employees believe should be the focus of ABI in 2017. 

You can register for one or more of the sessions by going to the Events Page on the ABI website.  You will find that site here:  Simply click on the calendar or scroll down on the page for the meeting nearest you.  I hope to see you at one of the policy meetings next month. 

ABI Members Invited to Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference

For the third year in a row, ABI is among a number of organizations that are collaborating in producing the Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference.  The past two editions of the conference have been a huge success. 

The third annual conference will be held on May 11-13 at the Overland Park Marriott in Overland Park, Kansas (a part of the Kansas City, Missouri Metropolitan Area).  The agenda for the conference is terrific and packed full of high-value information.  Your compliance staff will find no better resource for the very latest in environmental regulatory information. 

ABI receives financial support for every Iowa participant that registers for the conference.  While that is a great incentive, the real reason to attend is for the high-value program.  Please consider sending your staff to the conference.  Find out more information and register by clicking on  

Nominating Committee Work to Begin

With a little more than a month to go to the 2016 ABI Convention, it is the time of year that the annual board member nominating process is conducted.  As Immediate Past Chair of the ABI Board of Directors, Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly), will serve as Nominating Committee Chair.  

Mark and I met last week in Cedar Falls to discuss the nominations process.  Look for information regarding the composition and activities of the committee in future editions of this memorandum. 

Remember to Take ABI CEO Survey

Each year, ABI surveys member CEOs regarding issues important to them and their businesses.  The survey is available now and your participation is encouraged and desired. 

Please take this year's survey now.  As I noted in last week's memorandum, it will take no more than 5 to 10 minutes.  Use this link to access the survey.  You will be able to find the results in the June edition of Business Record Iowa. 

ABI Advisory Council to Hold April Meeting

Members of the ABI Advisory Council will hold their regular April Thursday afternoon Iowa State University's Center for Industrial Research and Service in Ames.  Making note of this allows me an opportunity to again thank the ABI Advisory Council members for their support and leadership.  Thank you to ATW TrainingSolutions, BCCAdvisers, Brick GentryP.C., BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC, Focus OneSource, Global Reach, LMC Insurance and Risk Management, Manpower, Measured Intentions, Principal Financial Group, Spindustry Digital, Transition Point Business Advisors, and Wellmark

Andringa, Schaefer-Weaton to Highlight Tomorrow's FutureReady Iowa Summit

As you have read in previous editions of this memorandum, ABI has been heavily involved in helping advance the FutureReady Iowa initiative.  Governor Terry E. Branstad is hosting a FutureReady Iowa Summit on Tuesday, April 19 in downtown Des Moines.  You can find more information here:  

A highlight of the summit for ABI members will be appearances by former ABI Chair Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella) and ABI Vice Chair Lori-Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics,). Both Mary and Lori will address the summit audience during the day.  Congratulations to Mary and Lori! 

By the way, ABI has two registrations left.  They are available at no charge to you and/or members of your staff.  If you or someone on your management team wishes to attend, please reply to this email message before noon today and I will ensure that a registration (at no charge) is provided. 

New ABI Website Receives High Marks

As you know, some weeks ago, ABI rolled-out a new website.  The new site, found at,  is a product of a long overdue redevelopment of the association's online presence. 

We continue to hear good reviews of the site and your positive comments are greatly appreciated.  If you have feedback of any kind, please let us hear from you.  In the meantime, thank you to ABI Communications Coordinator Emily Schettler, who provided key leadership with regard to this project. 

Conlon, Tanner Highlighted in BizTimes Magazine

Two ABI board members are highlighted in the April edition of BizTimes magazine.  BizTimes is a business magazine published in Dubuque that covers the tri-state area. 

ABI Board Member Tim Conlon (Conlon Construction, Dubuque) was highlighted for the honor he received as a longtime leader in the construction industry.  Master Builders of Iowa honored Tim at its recent annual meeting (as you previously read in this publication).  ABI Board Member Krista Tanner (ITC Midwest, Des Moines) penned a great column for the magazine.  In it, Krista discusses her company and the electricity industry.  

If you wish to see a copy of these articles, contact me and I will forward them to you.  In the meantime, congratulations to two great ABI leaders on this great coverage! 

Abbas Star of Cedar Valley Manufacturing Conference

Longtime ABI Board Member Sean Abbas (Baird Mounts, Waterloo) is an Iowa manufacturer who also founded a company that can help you improve your corporate culture.  Sean was a keynote speaker at last week's Cedar Valley Manufacturers Conference and gave an exciting and outstanding presentation. 

It was great to see Sean and to see ABI Board Members Steve Dust (Greater Cedar Valley Chamber & Alliance, Waterloo) and Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly)

Charese Yanney Recuperating

It was a pleasure to talk by telephone with former ABI Chair Charese Yanney (Guarantee Roofing and Siding, Sioux City) last week.  As you read in the March 28 edition of this memorandum, Charese suffered a terrible fall from a ladder in March and has been hospitalized since then. 

Charese sounded her usual optimistic self during a telephone conversation last week.  Her surgeries are behind her and she is now aggressively pursuing physical rehabilitation at St. Luke's - Unity Point Hospital in Sioux City.  She will soon be able to return home and pursue physical therapy on an outpatient basis.  It was great to visit with Charese and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with her. 

David Bywater Birthday This Week

ABI Executive Committee Member David Bywater (Economy Advertising Company, Iowa City), who is a member of one of ABI's Founding Families, will celebrate his birthday this Wednesday.   ABI sends best birthday wishes his way.  Happy birthday, David! 

ABI Family Expands... It's a Boy!

One of the many behind-the-scenes stars at ABI is Bookkeeper Chrissy Viers.  Chrissy is one more example of a terrific staff at ABI and in addition to being good at her job, she is a wonderful person.  All of us at ABI were excited when she and her husband, Luke Viers, announced that Chrissy was pregnant with their first child. 

Early Friday evening, Chrissy gave birth to an almost 9 pound son, Lucas Joe Viers.  Lucas Joe and mom and both doing well and I believe they came home from the hospital in Indianola yesterday.  Congratulations and very best wishes to Chrissy, Luke and Lucas Joe!