October 3, 2019
Upmeyer to Step Down as Speaker
Pictured: Speaker Linda Upmeyer at the Legislative Briefing and Reception on January 16, 2019.

Speaker of the Iowa House Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) announced earlier this week that she will be stepping down as Speaker and will not seek re-election in 2020. She was first elected in 2002 and has been endorsed as a Friend of Iowa Business during her tenure in the Legislature. Upmeyer, the first female Speaker, has been in that position since 2015. Prior to her current role, she served as the Majority Leader in the House. Some of the most substantive, pro-growth reforms in the last generation have occurred under her leadership in the House. House Republicans are likely to hold a leadership election in the very near future. ABI would like to thank Speaker Upmeyer for her service to the state and her consistent and strong support of the business community.

ABI Members to Head to Washington
In a little less than two weeks, several ABI leaders will head to Washington, D.C. to meet with the Congressional delegation regarding key issues affecting Iowa employers. Topics will include trade, workforce, regulatory reform and health care. In addition to meeting with the delegation, ABI members will have the opportunity to participate in a briefing at the White House, and a meeting with Under Secretary Northey has been arranged. The two-day trip also includes briefings by the National Association of Manufacturers and BIPAC on policy and political topics being discussed at the federal level. This year will mark the fourth time a small ABI delegation has traveled to Washington. If you’re interested in learning more, contact  Brad Hartkopf

Insurance Division Proposes Rules
Last week, the Iowa Insurance Division noticed rule  ARC 4660C . A public hearing will be held on Oct. 21, 2019, at 10 a.m. The noticed rule is a result of the agency’s required five-year review of administrative rules. The rule will be heard before the Administrative Rules Review Committee of the Legislature for the first time on Tuesday, Oct. 8. In addition to the Insurance Division, several other agencies will bring forward rules, including three from Iowa Workforce Development that you read about in a  previous ABI newsletter . If you have any feedback on the rules, or have questions about the administrative rules review process, please contact  Nicole Crain  or  Brad Hartkopf .

IIPAC Support in Business Resource Guide Deadline: Nov. 1
If you are one of the 40 individuals who contributed to IIPAC last year, but haven’t yet made your personal investment in the political action committee of ABI, you have until Nov. 1 to do so! IIPAC accepts contributions throughout the year, but the annual Business Resource Guide that is sent to thousands of your peers will be published at the end of this year. The deadline to be recognized is Nov 1. Please  contribute  before then. Also, if you would prefer to be removed from the recognition list, please let Nicole Crain know. The third quarter IIPAC newsletter was sent last week to investors, and one highlight mentioned IIPAC has already contributed $15,000 to elected officials this year–with more than $40,000 in requests. We need your personal support to ensure the voice of business is heard on election day.

More Candidates Announce Congressional Aspirations
Congressional races across the country continue to heat up, and Iowa is no exception. State Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Ottumwa) announced Tuesday she will seek the Republican nomination in the 2nd Congressional District. She is previously a three-time GOP nominee for this House district. She will square off against former Illinois Congressman Bobby Schilling in the primary. They’re running in an open seat, and the winner is likely to face former Democratic state senator and lieutenant governor nominee Rita Hart in the general election.  Read more .

DOR Webinar on 2019 Legislative Changes
The Department of Revenue will hold a free webinar Wednesday, Oct. 9, to provide an update on legislative changes from the 2019 session. Some key topics that will be covered that are pertinent to ABI members include property tax reform, Section 179 Expensing for tax year 2018, the tax omnibus and more.  Register  for the webinar.

DNR Explores Sustainable Materials Management Vision
This summer, ABI Director, Public Policy Brad Hartkopf attended a focus group meeting about sustainable materials management. The purpose of the meeting was to hear from a diverse group of stakeholders about their opinions on the waste stream. The DNR is in the process of developing a long-term strategy for materials management and have hired a third party to help with the process. Other states have undertaken similar exercises, and it has resulted in some major changes in policy. The DNR now has a  website  where you can find more information about the background, the current process and the vision for Iowa. If you would like to learn more, please contact  Brad Hartkopf .

Federal Spotlight: Anti-jobs PRO Act Passes House Committee
The U.S. House Education and Labor Committee passed the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act of 2019 on a party-line vote of 26-21 last week. The PRO Act is a comprehensive anti-business rewrite of U.S. labor law. It eliminates state right-to-work laws, allows for “secondary” boycotts of businesses, undermines secret ballot elections for unions, codifies an expansive definition of the joint employer standard and bans employment arbitration agreements, among other items. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a good  summary  of the legislation. Read more .

Federal Spotlight: Scalia Confirmed as New Labor Secretary
Eugene Scalia, the son of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, was confirmed to be the new Secretary of Labor on Monday. The U.S. Senate vote was approved along party lines with Republicans voting in favor while Democrats were opposed. Scalia was nominated to lead the Labor Department following the resignation of former Secretary Alexander Acosta in July. Scalia was recently a partner at a Washington-based law firm, previously worked in the Labor Department under President George W. Bush and has three decades of experience in employment and labor law.
Iowa Manufacturing Leaders Honored
Pictured: Connor Deering accepts the Legend in Manufacturing Award (100-300 Employees) on behalf of Cemen Tech.

Elevate Advanced Manufacturing honored the past, present and future of advanced manufacturing at the 5th annual Legends in Manufacturing Awards Dinner on Oct. 1. Over 200 people attended the event at the Meadows Events & Conference Center in Altoona.

Awards were presented to the following individuals and companies:
  • C&S Products in Fort Dodge ­– Legend in Manufacturing Award (Under 100 Employees).
  • Cemen Tech in Indianola ­– Legend in Manufacturing Award (100-300 Employees)
  • EFCO in Des Moines ­– Legend in Manufacturing Award (300+ Employees)
  • Beth Townsend, director, Iowa Workforce Development – Legend in Manufacturing Award (Manufacturing Champion)
  • Fred Lisle of Lisle Corporation – Legend in Manufacturing Award (Posthumous

Read the full news release .
Send Us Your Directory Updates By Oct. 11
Work has begun on the 2020 edition of ABI’s annual printed membership directory, the Business Resource Guide. If you have updates to your organization’s listing in the 2019 guide, please email them to Dorothy Knowles at  dknowles@iowaabi.org by Oct. 11. Thank you for helping us ensure your information is accurate.
Kathy Anderson Speaks About ABI Member Retention at National Conference
Last week Kathy Anderson, VP of member development and programs at ABI, spoke about best practices in member retention at the LEAD Conference in Denver, Colo. LEAD is co-hosted by the U.S Chamber, the Council of State Chambers, and the Association of State Chamber Professionals. The conference provided a wide range of topics and roundtable discussions for chamber professionals from across the country.
ABI Members: Uncertain Now; Optimistic About the Future
Mike Ralston

Each quarter, ABI board members are questioned about prospects for their business for the coming quarter. Last week, ABI released the  results  of its most recent Iowa Business Survey. If you are like me, there is nothing more interesting than ABI members speaking about their business; they are passionate about their employees and their businesses. That always comes through in the survey. What also came through in this latest survey were results that were somewhat cautionary.

What was cautionary was that in the nearly 15 years I have been with ABI, the September reports were some of the most mixed ever. Many members were experiencing strong years and expected that to continue. On the other hand, many members noted a softening in their business. While the reports were generally positive, challenges with workforce, trade and tariffs, and the ag economy are of concern. Read more .
2019 Iowa Trends in Talent Development Survey Reinforces Value of Talent Development 
ATW Training Solutions recently released the results of its 13th annual “Iowa Trends in Talent Development Survey” conducted in partnership with New Horizons Computer Learning Center, the Association for Talent Development Central Iowa chapter (ATD-CI) and the Iowa Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) State Council. The survey was completed by 152 respondents representing a variety of Iowa industries, companies and organizations. View an infographic of the key findings and read the detailed survey results .

Focus OneSource to Host "Is Your IT Working for You?" Seminar
This free seminar on October 16, 5 p.m., will focus on the important roles IT plays for your business. Join Focus OneSource to learn about ways to ensure your website is optimized, how to generate leads from your website, tips to ensure your valuable data is secure and more. It will be held at the Focus OneSource Training Facility, 2929 Westown Parkway, in West Des Moines. RSVP to Focus OneSource at 515-369-7550.

Sandler Training Nebraska/Iowa to Hold "It's Never About Price" Sales Workshop
Join Sandler Training Nebraska/Iowa in Fort Dodge for a sobering discussion about the incredible cost of embedded sales mediocrity and the impact it can have on your bottom line. This no-holds-barred session will challenge your core beliefs about sales performance. Designed for owners, CEOs, presidents and sales professionals, learn how to change the behavior dynamics of your sales team and build a high performing sales culture within your company that will get results. The workshop is October 23, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance. Learn more .

R&R Realty Group Named Best of Des Moines for 2019
R&R Realty Group (R&R) received three top placement and two runner-up awards in Business Record’s 2019 Best of Des Moines poll. This is the 18th consecutive year R&R has appeared on this esteemed list. Honors received in 2019 include:
  • Best Development Company 
  • Best Real Estate Property Management Company
  • Best Commercial Real Estate Agent (Adam Kaduce)
  • Runner-up: Best Commercial Real Estate Company
  • Runner-up: Best Up & Coming Business Leader (Adam Kaduce)
CEC Appoints Kim Lehrman as New CEO to Focus on Talent and Next-Gen Technology
CEC, a nationally recognized technology systems integrator in the Midwest, is excited to announce that Kim Lehrman will be leading the organization as CEO, effective Oct. 1, 2019. Most recently serving as president and chief marketing officer at Hiawatha, Iowa-based enTouch Wireless, Lehrman is an expert at aligning organizational capabilities with emerging technology opportunities. Read the full news release .