February 13, 2020
Next Legislative Update Call Tomorrow
The ABI public policy team will host a legislative update teleconference call tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. There is quite a bit of news to share, as the legislature is moving full steam ahead on their agenda. This call gives you an opportunity to learn the latest on business issues at the Capitol and also ask questions of the policy team. The call is for ABI members only. Contact  Michelle Vollstedt   to register.

First Legislative Deadline Is Next Week; Job Crushers Advance
With one week until the first funnel, several bad for business bills have moved through the first step in the legislative process, which is the passage of a subcommittee panel of three legislators. The next step is for a bill to pass a full policy committee to advance. The ABI public policy team has been busy attending subcommittees this week on issues ranging from business mandates for pregnancy accommodation to the religious freedom restoration act. We’ll be unveiling our IAVotes’ Job Crusher Toolkit next week, but until that time, you can learn more about some of the Job Crushers ABI has been battling on tomorrow morning’s legislative update call . You can register with Michelle Vollstedt .

Governor’s Initiatives Advance, Statewide Tour Announced
This week at her press conference, Gov. Reynolds was joined by a diverse group of stakeholders in support of  SSB 3116 , her Invest in Iowa Act. ABI included a  brief summary  of the bill in last week’s newsletter and asked for feedback from members. In addition to the press conference this week, Gov. Reynolds announced she will be traveling the state to share her plan with all Iowans. The first two events were held yesterday with more planned. If you’re interested in attending an event,  click here  for more updates.

The governor’s policy recommendations on Future Ready Iowa moved forward legislatively this week. The Future Ready Iowa initiative builds on the policies of last year and moved out of the House Commerce Committee after last week’s subcommittee meeting. Yesterday, two House and Senate Commerce subcommittees moved forward the broadband bill proposed by the governor.  SSB 3112 / HSB 638  are companion bills that continue the progress of the Empower Rural Iowa initiative and legislation passed in 2019. ABI is supporting both governor-led initiatives. For questions about either proposal, contact  Brad Hartkopf   or  JD Davis .

Opportunity for Involvement: Boards and Commission Openings
ABI members have the opportunity to get involved with statewide boards and commissions by applying for an opening. Several boards relate directly to the business community, while others may be of interest to you or your company and the work that you do in your region. Each state board must have gender, party and geography balance. With more than 600 positions on boards and commissions, the governor’s office is always looking for people to apply. If you are interested in applying for a board or commission,  click here . A sample of the boards include: Iowa Workforce Development Board, Judicial Nominating Commissions, Consumer Advisory Panel, Community Action Agencies, Vocational Rehab Council and more. For questions about the application process, please contact  Nicole Crain

Feedback Requested: Manufacturing Exemption Rule
During the last legislative session, ABI was instrumental in getting a clarification to a definitional change in the 2018 tax bill related to manufacturers primarily engaged in manufacturing. As a result of the law change, the Department of Revenue has rules out for comment. Last fall, ABI asked members for feedback and did not receive any negative feedback. Now that the rule has been noticed we want to make sure you don’t have any additional questions about the rule. Read the  t wo-page rule , including the summary. Please contact  Nicole Crain  with any feedback by Feb. 27.  

Less Than a Month Away: Iowa Business Day on Hill
With less than a month away, don’t forget to register for Iowa Business Day on the Hill! The agenda and format will look very similar to previous years' events with Senate Ways and Means Chairman Jake Chapman joining us for the morning portion. ABI members will have the opportunity to meet with legislators at the Capitol, and IIPAC investors will receive an invitation to a private luncheon with more details to follow. Thank you to our Iowa Business Day on the Hill sponsors–Alliant Energy, Arconic, CIPCO, International Paper and Tyson Foods–for supporting this event and allowing us to provide it to members of ABI, ITA, IBC, NAWBO and NFIB at no cost.  Register now .
Back By Popular Demand: "It's Never About Price" Sales Workshop
Join us 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 selling 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, hosted by Sandler Sales Training and ABI, is Feb. 25, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at the ABI office. Admission is $29 and includes lunch.  Learn more and register .
Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Iowa’s State Parks
Gerald Schnepf
Founding Executive
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and Keep Iowa Beautiful

The heritage of Iowa’s state parks, in a large part, owes its existence to business leaders in Iowa that recognized the importance of both preserving these special areas and providing their customers and community members with refreshing time away in beautiful natural settings and recreational pursuits for the family. In many cases, it was the local business community that supported and worked with local citizens to acquire and develop these nearby 91 state park areas. 

Transportation at the time was not what it is today, so the parks had to be spaced to serve the largest number of Iowans without undo expense and time to get to them. About the same concept that we have again today. We are coming full circle in recognizing the need for short trips and wonderful natural areas.

These special areas are important to each of us psychologically. They are critical to fulfilling our culture, and on top of that, support the diversity of Iowa’s economy. Read more .
Eide Bailly Launches Inspired Perspectives Webinar Series
Interested in learning more about growth and success, inevitable changes, the year ahead and exiting your business? Join Eide Bailly for one or all of its informational and educational webinars designed to keep clients, colleagues and friends informed on innovative business and tax strategies. The tools and resources presented will help businesses and individuals make informed decisions and remain successful and compliant in a competitive marketplace. Visit this page  to register for upcoming sessions and review recorded webinars as they become available.

Registration Opens for 2020 Iowa Rural Summit 
Registration is open for the fourth annual Iowa Rural Summit to be held April 29-May 1 at the Hotel Kirkwood on the Kirkwood Community College campus. Last year’s gathering of leaders from rural communities across the state drew a crowd of almost 400 to the Hotel Grinnell. The summit is sponsored by the Iowa Rural Development Council, a public-private state nonprofit that works to support small towns addressing issues such as housing, broadband access, business development and leadership. Read the full news release .

Opus Foundation Awards $138,205 in Grants to Iowa Nonprofits
The  Opus Foundation , the charitable foundation for  The Opus Group , announced Wednesday the award of grants totaling $138,205 to 14 nonprofits in 2019 in support of work in  Iowa  and surrounding areas.  This year's grant recipients have a number of diverse missions and causes, including workforce development, fighting hunger, early childhood education, community park improvements, youth development and community revitalization. See the list of grant recipients .

Working Group Participants Sought for Iowa Manufacturing 4.0 Plan
The Iowa Economic Development Authority is seeking participants for a Manufacturing 4.0 working group. The working group will help guide the future of Manufacturing 4.0 strategies in Iowa. Working group members will be selected to represent manufacturing expertise and stakeholder interests within the state, with a balance within each group to ensure it represents urban and rural interests, academic representatives, and public, private and non-profit representatives. Applications are being accepted through February 28. Learn more and apply .

ACS to Host C-Suite Discussions: Leading Through Chaos Event
Join ACS and Renaissance Executive Forums for a panel discussion examining successful strategies in crisis management on Feb. 25, 3:30-5:30 p.m., at the Des Moines Golf & Country Club. Experts will share proven tactics for remaining calm and overcoming unexpected business challenges such as legal and public relations issues, natural disasters, data breaches, economic difficulties and more. Panelists will include Vince Newendorp, vice president–facilities and rebuild, Vermeer Corporation; Dawn Buzynski, director of public relations, Strategic America; and Brian McCormac, attorney, BrownWinick Law Firm. Register now .

R&R Leader Named Top CRE Tech Influencer
Luke Anderson, president of R&R Realty Group’s (R&R) technology subsidiary, was named a top commercial real estate tech influencer this week by Globe Street, a national publication focusing on the commercial real estate (CRE) industry. According to Globe Street, Anderson was named an influencer for his work to ensure each building in R&R’s portfolio is equipped with best-in-class technology. The publication also cited his leadership in designing, engineering and managing the expansion of R&R’s dark fiber network. Read the full news release .

2020 Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey Deadline is Feb. 28
The deadline to sign up  to participate in Gallagher’s 2020 Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey is Feb. 28. Complete the survey to receive the 2020 U.S. National Report, the most comprehensive analysis of benefits nationwide. The report data and Gallagher’s unique insights will help you create better benefits strategies and improved organizational outcomes, so you can face your future with confidence as you build a better workplace.

By completing this survey, you will receive:
  • Gallagher’s full suite of reports, including the U.S. National Report (valued at $650), the Executive Summary and Best-in-Class Benchmarking Analysis
  • A chance to qualify and be recognized as a best-in-class employer 
  • The opportunity to see where you stand against your competitors