Growing Iowa's future leaders through support of the ABI Foundation

June 9, 2017 | A Culture of Corporate Giving Emily Schettler, Iowa Association of Business and Industry,

ABI members give back to their employees and communities in a variety of ways, including through their support of leadership development programs like those offered by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) Foundation.

Those contributions go beyond offering financial support and time off for employees to attend Leadership Iowa (LI) eight times a year. Leadership Iowa, Leadership Iowa University and Business Horizons wouldn’t be possible without the generous contributions of money and time from ABI Foundation sponsors.

It is easy for companies to see a return on investment when their employees and future employees return from ABI Foundation programming. For many sponsors, the mission goes further.

Companies, communities and the state alike can see the benefits of these programs, which introduce high school and college students to the valuable career opportunities available to them in Iowa, and help prepare them to take those positions. Leadership Iowa helps professionals across the state better understand the role they can play in making Iowa a better place to live and work.

“At Grinnell Mutual, we believe we have a social responsibility to make sure we are serving all different facets of the community,” said Barb Baker, director of advertising and community relations at Grinnell Mutual, which sponsors all three ABI Foundation programs.

“We may be able to recruit some individuals back to Grinnell Mutual through our sponsorships, but it is just as important that we make sure the communities in which our employees live and work have that same opportunity for development,” said Baker, who is a graduate of the 2011-12 LI class.

Business Horizons, Leadership Iowa University and Leadership Iowa are all great channels through which Iowa companies can invest in their communities, because participants return from these programs eager to pursue careers in Iowa and help improve the quality of life.

Learn more about the ways you and your company can get involved by visiting www.