Posted on Apr 12, 2017

The 28th Annual Heartland STEAM conference took place in Sioux City Iowa on April 7-8. 28th Annual Heartland STEAM seminar logos

What is STEAM?  It’s a regional motorcycle rights conference, a gathering of the brightest and best in the Midwest,  presented by the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), the motorcyclist’s voice in Washington, D.C. 

STEAM is an acronym for seminar to educate and motivate, and is attended by motorcyclists from seven Midwest states; Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. This annual conference gives attendees a chance to catch up on what is going on legislatively in neighboring states as well as on the federal level. It also affords the riders a chance to learn skills like influencing legislators or building positive public relations in their communities.

The mood at the Howard Johnson Hotel in Sioux City was upbeat as old friends renewed acquaintances and shared stories from the past year. Friday night the various state representatives reported on successes and some failures their respective states experienced. For instance, it was learned that the mandatory helmet law repeal in Nebraska failed to make it out of committee by one vote, due to a procedural snag.

The general session on Saturday morning was emceed by Steven “Rambo” Schilmoeller, State Coordinator of ABATE of Iowa, host of this year’s STEAM conference.  ABATE of Iowa did an excellent job of inviting experts to conduct the various workshops as well as taking care of all the nuances to make this a successful conference. Much of that credit goes to Assistant State Coordinator Dave Duffy.  Hupy and Abraham, S.C. is proud to have been a sponsor of STEAM 2017.

Rambo and Dave "Duffman" Duffy
Rambo at 28th Annual Heartland STEAM seminar Dave Duffman Duffy at 28th Annual Heartland STEAM seminar

Highlighting the Saturday general session was a talk by David “Double D” Devereaux on motorcycle profiling.  Double D heads the Motorcycle Profiling Project and was instrumental in passing legislation on profiling in Washington state and Maryland. He explained the problem of profiling motorcyclists in various states and how to combat this situation. This presentation alone made the trip to Sioux City worthwhile.

Some other interesting workshops included “Knowing the difference between a MC and MRO,” presented by Jazz, former ABATE of Minnesota State Coordinator, and “Building Political Capitol,” by Dave “Chubby” Charlebois, Executive Director, ABATE of Wisconsin.

Always a favorite, Dick “Slider” Gilmore presented one of his many interesting talks, this time on “The Golden Hour,” an emergency medical services goal of getting the seriously injured to a trauma center in one hour or less, and how to achieve that goal.

Dave "Chubby" Charlebois and Chopper and Slider Gilmore
Dave Chubby Charlebois

Chopper and Slider Gilmore


If you haven’t attended STEAM in the past, or one of the other regional conferences presented by the MRF, please consider doing so. Next year’s STEAM will be in South Dakota.  Watch for news from your state’s motorcycle rights organization.

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Tony Sanfelipo
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Senior Motorcycle Accident Investigator