How to Get the Most from Your ABI Investment

August 2, 2018 | Mike Ralston

Mike Ralston, President, Iowa Association of Business and Industry

This time each year, I have the opportunity to visit with newly elected members of the ABI Board of Directors. They join a group of women and men that comprise the ABI Board and are simply some of our state's best business leaders.

What strikes me most about these visits every year is how passionate ABI members are about their businesses. They care about their people, they care about their customers and they care about the future of their business.

Each year, I have the opportunity to hear about some of Iowa's most successful business operations. Invariably, these discussions involve things a company is doing to sustain and train its employees. They involve multi-million dollar investments being made to keep a company successful. And they involve innovative business practices that position a company for the long haul.

However, the point of this column is not about this wonderful opportunity I and others have at ABI each year (the opportunity to interact with our state's best leaders). Rather, the point is that YOU and your company have that same opportunity.

Take advantage of it.

Attend ABI events, especially the annual conference held each June. Participate in the annual policy meetings. (They begin in next week, and you can go to for more information). Register for terrific, high-value informational events. And send your team to networking events, such at the annual Executive Open.

Membership in ABI is all about you and adding value to your business. The best way to do that is to ensure your participation in the way that best serves YOUR needs. Some members are all about public policy. You'll find the best policy events and advocacy tools anywhere at ABI. Others are all about training, seminars and events. ABI produces those kinds of meetings all over Iowa all year long. And of course, some of you are focused on making our state and its communities better. The programs of the ABI Foundation will help you do just that.

Again, the point is we want to serve you and your company in the way YOU desire. As we seek to do that, let me thank you again for your support of ABI. We never, ever take it for granted.

Mike Ralston is president at the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI). Email him at