Recognize and Nurture Excellence in Your Company and Community

April 12, 2019 | Empowering rural Iowa McKenzie Kielman, Marketing & Engagement Coordinator, ABI Foundation,

Take a moment to think back to the first time that you were recognized as a leader. While the answer varies as we recall different ages and stages in life from hall monitors to sports captains to management positions, the process likely started with an advocate saying “this is who will get the job done.” How did this feel? Someone believed so much in you that you were given a unique opportunity to represent others. For many, the act of accepting such a responsibility that results in betterment beyond themselves denotes more than the job title but defines their purpose.

Creating a legacy of homegrown leadership within our state takes only one individual to be that pivotal moment in the lives of others. The importance has never been greater to acknowledge and engage Iowa’s talent. By investing in our citizens, we’re endowing our neighborhoods, schools and businesses for generations of prosperity.

Leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders. What have you done today to encourage leadership in others? How have you fostered growth and confidence in someone you know?

One easy way is to nominate a high school or college student or adult professional for Business Horizons, Leadership Iowa University and Leadership Iowa. With programming crafted to actively address issues facing the state and empower leaders of all ages, we ask for your support by nominating individuals within your company and community to participate in these life-changing experiences.

Business Horizons
July 14-18, Central College, Pella

High school students (grades 9-12) are placed in teams to create a new product and launch a mock business to support it. Students work through each step of development including vision and mission statements, financial projections, marketing materials and more, culminating with three competitions: an investor pitch, an infomercial and a trade show.

Students work with Iowa professionals who serve as week-long mentors and expert guests. The week also includes visits to local businesses, workshops, keynote speakers and fun after-hours activities.

Complementary media and technology experiences are also available for interested students, and all participants can earn college credit and a Central College scholarship.

Learn more and nominate a high school student to join us at

Leadership Iowa University
August 4-8, Des Moines Area

College students connect with Iowa businesses and professionals through unique touring and networking opportunities. Additionally, students proactively develop skills needed for an evolving workplace by strengthening self-awareness and self-confidence as young leaders.

Participants gain the knowledge, tools and inspiration to be successful in Iowa while rediscovering what makes our state an ideal place to work and live.

For many, the program serves as a summer internship capstone to better understand how their company contributes to the success of our state.

Learn more and nominate a college student to attend at

Leadership Iowa
October-June, Statewide

Forty Iowa professionals are selected annually to take part in eight, two-day monthly sessions in diverse communities across the state. Each session focuses on a specific issue that impacts Iowa, including education, agriculture, government, workforce and more.

Participants become better-informed leaders through eye-opening experiences and discussions with subject-matter experts. They develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between public/private sectors, inspiration for increased civic engagement and a greatly expanded network of trusted associates and lifelong friends. Visit to learn more and nominate a colleague, friend or yourself for the 2019-20 program.

It takes no more than one minute to complete an online nomination form. Simply visit the websites listed above or, submit the individual’s name and contact information, and we’ll do the rest. Nominees will receive notification of your recommendation with information about the program and application process.