Legislative News
Iowa Senate Races See Shake-up
Two Iowa Senate races are seeing a shake-up in the candidates who are vying to represent these districts in November. In Sioux City (SD-7), Sen. Rick Bertrand, a Republican, announced he would not seek re-election earlier this summer, but has entered the race after the Republican candidate dropped out. The seat, which has a Democrat registration advantage, was targeted as a potential pick-up for Democrats. It is now considered a toss-up. Keep reading.
Iowa's Unemployment Rate Drops to 18-year Low
Iowa's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 2.6 percent in July--the second lowest in the nation, tied with North Dakota. One year ago, the state's jobless rate was 3.1 percent.  According to Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), job gains were largest in manufacturing this month (+1,300) and follow another moderate gain of 900 jobs in June. The financial activities sector added 600 jobs in July and continues to expand its footprint in the Iowa economy. Keep reading .

Federal Spotlight: ABI Signs Onto NAM Letter Regarding Federal Tariff Legislation
ABI has joined a letter urging elected officials to keep up the momentum and ensure final passage of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB). The MTB temporarily eliminates and reduces border taxes on a set of products that have been found through a transparent and rigorous process not to be produced at all or in sufficient capacity in the United States. Keep reading.
ABI Speaks at National Association of Women Business Owners Advocacy Panel
ABI Board member Kim Augspurger, owner and president of Saxton Inc., along with ABI's Director, Public Policy Jessica Hyland, spoke today on a panel to a group of members of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) about public policy issues, including hot topics for business owners and ways to increase advocacy knowledge, involvement and influence. Matt Everson, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), also served on the panel.

ABI Political Efforts Ramping Up, IIPAC Endorsements to Be Released Soon
Last week, the board of ABI's political action committee, IIPAC, met to review candidates and make Friend of Iowa Business Endorsements. Information is now being finalized, and the endorsements will be released in the coming weeks. Beginning in September, ABI will send a weekly Election Update newsletter to help you and your colleagues prepare for the November 6 election, with exclusive content, political information and insights for businesses and their employees.  Click here to be on the list to receive the Friend of Iowa Business Endorsements and to sign up for this informative election newsletter. Keep reading.
ABI Legislative Committee to Meet
With the conclusion of ABI's grassroots policy meetings, the revised policies will now be submitted to the ABI Legislative Committee for review and approval on August 30. The next step will then be full ABI Board approval of the new policies. The five ABI policy committees saw robust member participation to examine and set ABI policies spanning key issue areas including Employment and Workforce, Workplace and Product Safety, Economic Growth, Environment and Tax. High participation for each committee helped thoroughly vet ABI's policies.
Passing of Leonard Boswell
Many ABI members are mourning the passing on August 17 of former Congressman Leonard Boswell. Congressman Boswell served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives after serving 12 years in the Iowa Senate, where he held a leadership role as the president. Congressman Boswell also had a distinguished military career. His strong leadership for Iowans will be missed.
Advanced Manufacturing Conference
Join Us at Iowa's Largest Celebration of Advanced Manufacturing
The Advanced Manufacturing Conference is October 3 at the Prairie Meadow Events Center in Altoona. Connect with colleagues, engage with experts and bring back valuable new ideas and best practices. Early-bird bonus: Register by September 3 and save $50.  Plus, join us the night before at the Legends in Manufacturing Awards Dinner.
From the Desk of...
Be Part of an Incredibly Special Iowa Story

Retirement from the NFL in 2012 presented me with the question: how do I spend the "second half" of my career?

In addition to focusing on my three kids, my other priority has been giving back. With football in the rearview, I was able to reconnect with a friend from my hometown of Maquoketa, Iowa. That friend, Patrick Bentrott, had become deeply involved in a small non-profit called the Foundation for International Development Assistance, or FIDA, which creates agriculture co-ops, sustainable farming practices and literacy programs in Haiti. He and his wife had also adopted two Haitian children.

I wanted to help. For me, that meant throwing a backyard barbeque to raise some money and sharing about his work on social media. And my social media post about his work in Haiti caught the attention of Emily Schmitt at Sukup Manufacturing.

Many of you are already familiar with the  Sukup Safe T Home®. Since Emily messaged me about it on social media, I've learned a lot about this incredible product. I visited Sheffield last winter to check out the Safe T Home ®, and what I saw blew me away. Just a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go to Haiti with Sukup and help build a Safe T Home ®. The experience was eye-opening and personally transformational. And hot. Keep reading.
Top News
Pictured: Attorneys Drew Bracken, John Bunz, David Luginbill with Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.

The Best Lawyers in America 2019 Recognizes Seventeen Attorneys in Practice Areas
Seventeen attorneys at Ahlers & Cooney, P.C., a Des Moines-based law firm, were recognized in respective practice areas by The Best Lawyers in America 2019 edition for Des Moines. Three attorneys were also recognized as Best Lawyer of the Year 2019 in Des Moines for respective practice areas: Drew Bracken (education law), John Bunz (public finance law) and David Luginbill (product liability litigation -- defendants). Read the news release.

CEC Opens Registration for Business Technology Conference
Registration is open for CEC's free Business Technology Conference on October 16 in Coralville. The keynote speaker will be former FBI agent Jin Kim, who will focus on active shooter and workplace violence preparedness. This conference for technology decision-makers will include educational sessions, in-booth technology demonstrations and nationally recognized keynotes to help organizations align technology solutions to the needs of their organization. Learn more and register.

Wendling Quarries Celebrates 60th Anniversary
Congratulations to longtime ABI member, Wendling Quarries, on its 60th anniversary.  According to a special publication published by The Gazette, "Wendling Quarries employs more than 200 people and operates 76 quarries and sandpits throughout Eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois. The company produces crushed stone, sand, gravel and asphalt mix, readymix concrete, and processes recycled concrete and asphalt." Read the Wendling Quarries 60 Year Anniversary publication.

Ramco Announces New Entrepreneur Support Center to Boost Industrial Innovation in Central Iowa
Ramco Innovations recently launched an entrepreneur support center focused on industrial startups at its enhanced facility in the Valley Junction (West Des Moines) headquarters. The center, known as Maple Ventures, is designed to provide key infrastructure, knowledge, mentoring and workspace for early-stage companies with industrial hardware or software. The goal is to advance the growth of industrial businesses in Central Iowa, providing more jobs and access to new technologies in a range of industries. Read the news release.

Nestlé Purina Commits $1 Million to Ducks Unlimited in Iowa to Help Boost Water Quality
Ducks Unlimited and Nestlé Purina PetCare Company have partnered to protect and improve 1,600 acres of wetland and grasslands across  Iowa over the next three years through Ducks Unlimited's  Living Lakes Initiative, promoting healthy soil, healthy crops and healthy wildlife habitat.  Purina, which operates three pet food manufacturing facilities in  Iowa  and sources high-quality ingredients for its dog and cat food products from farms across the state, has committed  $1 million  to help promote sustainability of the supply chain and improve recreational use of wetlands and lakes across the state's Prairie Pothole Region. Read the news release.
Swalley Elected Chair for SHAZAM Network
SHAZAM, Inc., an Iowa-based debit network, has named Kevin Swalley as chair of the board.  Swalley is chairman and CEO of GNB Bank in Grundy Center.

The 2018-2019 SHAZAM Board of Directors include:
            • Chairman - Kevin Swalley, GNB Bank, Grundy Center, Iowa
            • Vice Chairman - Todd Langenfeld, Farmers Trust and Savings Bank, Earling, Iowa
            • Past Chairman - Steve Albrecht, City State Bank, Norwalk, Iowa
            • President & CEO - Paul A. Waltz, ITS, Inc., Johnston, Iowa
            • Secretary / Treasurer - Lynn "Tut" Fuller, Dubuque Bank and Trust, Dubuque, Iowa
Read the news release.
Governor's Club Sponsors