August 15, 2019
Thank You, ABI Members: Public Policy Committee Meetings Conclude
Pictured: Iowa Department of Revenue Director Kraig Paulsen speaking to the ABI Tax Committee today.

ABI is pleased to announce nearly 200 ABI members attended five public policy committees over the course of the last two weeks to discuss and devise 2020 policies for ABI. Members also heard from influential speakers such as Directors Durham, Lyon and Paulsen as they laid out their vision for their respective departments.

Now that the committees have met, the next step in ABI’s member-driven policy process is the meeting of the ABI Legislative Committee. The legislative committee will review the policies and recommend legislative priorities to the ABI Board. The legislative committee is chaired by ABI Vice Chair Steven Bradford, HNI Corporation.

The board of directors will then approve priorities and policies for 2020 at the board meeting next month. Thanks to all ABI members who participated in a regional meeting and public policy committee meetings.

Participate in EVRW 2019
This September 23-27, ABI will be participating in Employee Voter Registration Week (EVRW), an initiative dedicated to increasing the number of private sector registered voters across the country. For the business community’s voice to be heard, we must ensure that employees are educated on the issues that matter and are prepared to vote on Election Day. We don’t tell employees who to vote for, but we provide them with the tools they need to be civically engaged. 

The off-year elections will be crucial, and that’s why we are asking you to join us and participate in this year’s campaign. You can find additional information and all of the resources you will need to participate–including sample messaging, timelines, graphics and web tools–on

Sign Up for the Iowa Caucus Consortium Newsletter
ABI is part of the 2020 Iowa Caucus Consortium Advisory Committee, which is a group of organizations and individuals focused on highlighting Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status and leaving a positive and impressionable experience for candidates, media and others visiting the state. This nonpartisan effort is led by our friends at the Greater Des Moines Partnership and Catch Des Moines.

The consortium has invited all major party presidential candidates to speak at forums between now and the Iowa caucuses in February 2020. There will be a series of caucus issue forums that will discuss topics pertinent to voters. There will also be a CEO roundtable event later this year. To sign up for the newsletter and to learn more, visit the  Iowa Caucus Consortium webpage .

ABI Attends Administrative Rules Meeting
Brad Hartkopf, director, public policy, attended the monthly Administrative Rules Review Committee meeting earlier this week at the Capitol. The committee was considering a few rules ABI was following with the revenue department and workforce development agencies.

Notice Rule  ARC 4561C  relates to electronic filing of W-2 and 1099 forms. The department is changing the current rule to make it easier to comply. The rule is a result of many withholding agents experiencing challenges during the 2018 tax filing season. Multiple legislators on the committee commented they heard from constituents about this issue, and they’re pleased to see the department move forward with this change. Read more .

Federal Spotlight: Take Action to Reauthorize Ex-Im Bank
Businesses, trade associations, state/local chambers and others have the opportunity to add their names to a letter urging Congress to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. The effort is being spearheaded by one of ABI’s national partners, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). Time is of the essence as the Export-Import Bank must be reauthorized by Congress by September 30.

The Ex-Im Bank is our nation’s export credit agency, which plays a vital role for thousands of American businesses as they seek to expand their exports in a global economy. The deadline to sign the letter is September 6 at 8 p.m. EDT.  Add your organization . ABI has supported the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank in the past and has also joined the letter. If you have questions, contact  Brad Hartkopf .

Sen. Ernst in Polk County, Sen. Grassley to Visit Sioux City
On Saturday morning, Sen. Ernst will host a town hall meeting in Johnston at 7:30 a.m. at Wallace Elementary School. A large crowd is expected to talk to Sen. Ernst on a host of issues. If you want to advocate for USMCA or Ex-Im Bank, attending an event in your county is a great way to connect with your officials.

Sen. Grassley will also be in Iowa. He will receive the Spirit of Enterprise Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The event will take place at 3:30 p.m. in Sioux City. If you’re interested in attending, please contact Ethan Hellier with the U.S. Chamber. Also, be sure to contact other members of your delegation to see if they have an upcoming town hall. 
Registration Now Open for Manufacturing Events
Kick off Manufacturing Month with two events dedicated to this iconic industry. Honor the past, present and future of advanced manufacturing at the Legends in Manufacturing Awards Dinner on October 1. Then connect with colleagues and engage with experts at the Advanced Manufacturing Conference on October 2. Both events will be at the Prairie Meadows Events Center in Altoona. Register now !
The Impact of Workforce Wearables – Part 1, For Workers
Strategic Relationships Manager

When it comes to workers, MākuSafe’s key focus is protection. And that makes sense when you consider that about 31.3 million American workers are engaged in high-risk industries, including—but certainly not limited to—construction, mining and manufacturing.

With so many employees putting their health and safety at risk each day, you’d think that sensors would be more widely used to proactively address safety hazards. But the reality is that the use of sensors in the workforce right now is extremely limited. Read more .
McKee, Voorhees & Sease to Host IP Business Basics Course on Sept. 12
Whether you are an entrepreneur in the making, a principal investigator or student at any level who wants a better grasp of the basics, or an aspiring technology transfer professional, this course will give you the tools to understand and participate effectively in the process of protecting IP and facilitating its commercialization. The course is Sept. 12, 8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m., at McKee, Voorhees & Sease in Des Moines. Instructors will be Matthew McNeill, chief innovation officer and vice president: IP, technology and strategic alliances, with Rite-Hite Holding Corporation and Jill Link (pictured) , partner, with McKee, Voorhees & Sease . A reception will follow to meet and network with LES Iowa chapter members. Learn more .
PC Matic Pro to Host Networking Event for IT Professionals
PC Matic Pro invites area IT professionals to attend a Happy Hour event for drinks and networking. The event is Sept. 26, 4-6 p.m., at the Republic on Grand in downtown Des Moines. RSVP to Erika Newton at .

Spark Design is New Identity for R&R's In-house Interior Design Team
R&R Realty Group (R&R) has announced the launch of Spark Design, a new brand for the commercial real estate company’s in-house interior design team. As a division of R&R, Spark Design’s services are available to customers leasing space within the company’s portfolio of properties in both the Des Moines and Omaha markets. The launch comes with a new name, tagline, logo and website for the firm that showcases its past projects and capabilities. Read the full news release .

Venture School Program Coming to Mason City to Train Local Entrepreneurs
The University of Iowa’s Venture School, Iowa’s premiere entrepreneurial training program developed by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, is coming to the Mason City region in partnership with North Iowa Area Community College in early fall 2019. Established in 2013, the eight-week Venture School program is built from a streamlined curriculum developed by the National Science Foundation I-Corps at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. Read the full news release .