December 20, 2018
Empower Rural Iowa Initial Recommendations Submitted to Governor
Last week in Sheffield at Sukup Manufacturing, ABI attended a joint meeting of all three task forces that comprise the Empower Rural Iowa Initiative, led by Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg. The purpose of the meeting was to unveil and approve initial recommendations created by the task forces to address housing, connectivity and leadership needs in rural Iowa.

The task force recommended expanding the rural set-aside in the workforce housing tax credit and making that program competitive instead of first-come, first served. The task force also recommended taking advantage of the state’s existing broadband program and finding a consistent funding source for it. Read more .

Early-bird Registration Ends Tomorrow for Legislative Briefing and Reception
We’re less than one month out from ABI’s annual Legislative Briefing and Reception, which means early-bird registration ends tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 21! ABI members who sign up by tomorrow will save 40 percent on their registration. You won’t want to miss out on this high-value event, as ABI has invited the governor, lieutenant governor, department heads and all 150 members of the 88th General Assembly. You’ll hear the latest from the public policy team and then have the opportunity to network with your local legislators and colleagues. Be sure to take advantage of early-bird registration today.

Governor’s Inauguration Set for Jan. 18
Gov. Kim Reynolds is set to be sworn in as Iowa’s first elected female governor on Friday, Jan. 18 at 9 a.m. Following the swearing in, the governor’s inaugural ball will be held at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines at 7 p.m. Ticket information should be released to the public soon.

Donate Now to Be Recognized at ABI Reception
This is one of your final opportunities to donate to IIPAC and be recognized at ABI’s legislative reception. Those who invest at least $100 in the PAC by Dec. 28 will be recognized on their nametag to indicate that they are a business leader who is personally backing The Voice of Iowa Business’ political action committee. The deadline for recognition is approaching, so consider making your contribution today. If you have already contributed in 2018, you will still be recognized at the reception in 2019. If you want to make your 2019 contribution now, please let us know!
Survey Results: Confidence in Iowa’s Economy Continues into New Year
Business leaders are looking ahead, and they like what they see, say survey results released today by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI). “If the outlook for Q1 is any indication, 2019 will be a banner year for Iowa businesses,” said Mike Ralston, ABI president. “Q1 often sets the tone for the entire year, so we’re off to a great start.” Read the full news release .
Highlights of media coverage:
Do You Need to Police Your Trademark?
Tim Zarley
Patent Attorney
Zarley Law

Do you need to police your  trademark ? The simple answer is “Yes.” 

While being the first to use a trademark and/or the first to register a mark provides a priority right to prevent others from using the mark, this alone does not guarantee you trademark protection. As a trademark owner, you are responsible for enforcing your rights against others. Read more .
Plans for Iowa’s Largest Solar Project Announced by CIPCO
Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO) has announced plans to partner with Clēnera LLC to develop the largest solar project in Iowa, and one of the largest in the Midwest. CIPCO will purchase 100 percent of the energy and capacity output for 25 years from Wapello Solar, a 100-megawatt solar facility to be located on approximately 800 acres in Louisa County. Read the full news release .

NIACC Pappajohn Center Names December Entrepreneur of the Month
The NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and the North Iowa Area SBDC are proud to announce Dean and Marcia Sonquist of Plas-Tech Tooling as the Entrepreneurs of the Month for December 2018. Plas-Tech Tooling was founded in 1993 by Dean and Marcia Sonquist of Garner. Read the full news release .

Improve Your Personal Productivity in 2019
ATW Training Solutions & New Horizons Computer Learning Center, along with the Urbandale Chamber, are offering two, 90-minute training sessions to help you manage your time and priorities in 2019. Dee Oviatt of ATW Training Solutions will show you how to improve your productivity and Dan Geers of New Horizons will demonstrate how Microsoft Outlook can help you be more productive. The sessions are Jan. 8, 8:30-11:30 a.m., in Urbandale. Learn more and register .

Boeing to Build U.S. Navy's First Operational Carrier-based Unmanned Aircraft
Boeing will build the U.S. Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft,  the MQ-25 aerial refueler , through an $805 million contract. The MQ-25 is designed to provide the U.S. Navy with a much-needed refueling capability. According to the U.S. Navy, the MQ-25 Stingray will allow for better use of combat strike fighters by extending the range of deployed Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler and Lockheed Martin F-35C aircraft.
Jonathan Kennedy Joins Membership at McKee, Voorhees & Sease PLC
Effective Jan. 1, 2019, intellectual property attorney Jonathan L. Kennedy will become an official member of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC (MVS). Jonathan began his career at MVS in September 2012. His practice has spanned intellectual property law, including transactional and litigation work in patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Read the full news release .