Changes in Season: Planning for Continued Success

September 11, 2023 | Manufacturing packs punch in Iowa's economy Kendall Antle, Programs & Engagement Coordinator, ABI Foundation,

As summer’s breeze fades into a crisp fall chill, it marks a change in season and the arrival of a new ABI Foundation programing year. Akin to the four seasons, each statewide education program has its own unique set of characteristics and cycles. Seasonal changes at the ABI Foundation are accompanied by forward-thinking excitement and renewed sense of appreciation. As the ABI Foundation undergoes its transition, it’s an opportunity to reflect on the culmination of deliverables benefiting businesses and industries in communities across the state.


Forty leaders across the state took part and completed Leadership Iowa’s 2022-23 program. Each monthly session focused on a different issue facing our state. Participants were provided an in-depth understanding of those opportunities and challenges through discussions with subject-matter experts, interactive community experiences, and behind-the-scenes industry tours. The program exists to educate, inspire, and grow a network of informed leaders as well as to encourage their ongoing local and statewide engagement to create a better future for Iowans. 

“Leadership Iowa has been the best networking and professional development experience in my career. I enjoyed seeing best practices spanning a variety of industries in communities across the state, but above all, the people make this program. I had the privilege of meeting incredible leaders, who quickly became close friends. I’d recommend Leadership Iowa to anyone looking to take that next step in professional growth.” – Allyson Krull, Mason City Chamber of Commerce


To commemorate the 40th year, Business Horizons was held on the campus of Drake University – the original host site. Over 50 high school students from each corner of the state attended. By combining hands-on, entrepreneurial experiences with team-oriented challenges, students created either a product or service that addressed a real-world problem impacting youth. Off-site business visits, dynamic workshops, and hearing from industry professionals enabled students to refine their product/service throughout the week while also learning more about career and education opportunities available in Iowa. The action-packed week culminated with investor presentations, infomercial delivery, and an interactive tradeshow. 

“Business Horizons provided me a glimpse into what college life could look like and introduced me to new friends and professionals from a plethora of industries. As the week progressed, my view on a future in Iowa became clearer. Seeing so many volunteers and companies invest their time and resources in this program has shown me that they truly believe in cultivating a future of bright minds.” – Isaac Brinker, Marquette Catholic High School


2023 marked the 15th year of Leadership Iowa University. 28 students representing 11 different colleges/universities participated in this year’s program, which took place August 6-10 in the surrounding Des Moines metropolitan area. Throughout the week, participants attended networking events, engaged in round-table discussions, and toured businesses across several different industries. Designed to bridge the gap between college and career, the program showcased the abundance of opportunities available in Iowa and demonstrated why our state is the ideal place to live and work. 

“Leadership Iowa University has given me so much appreciation for Iowa. Being a part of this program has provided me with new considerations and perspectives, not just about the opportunities here, but also about the type of leader I have the potential to be.” – Faith Wahls, Coe College


The support of our sponsors, volunteers, alumni network, and partnering communities is never taken for granted, and the ABI Foundation extends its sincerest heartfelt thank you to everyone involved. Your contributions are an investment in Iowa’s greatest asset: its people. To learn more about each program or how you can get involved with the ABI Foundation, visit