Leadership Iowa Class Halfway Through Eight-month Program: Commitment to Make Connections and Advance Iowa Continues

January 10, 2020 | 2020 legislative preview McKenzie Kielman, Marketing & Engagement Coordinator, ABI Foundation, mkielman@iowaabi.org

For 40 leaders from across the state, this month marks a milestone. After added hours on the road, more days away from the office and home, and only a few months in each other’s company, the Leadership Iowa Class of 2019-20 is halfway through the accelerated experiential program.

"At its core, Leadership Iowa is about building relationships,” said Brian Aust (Graham Construction), a graduate of the 2018-19 class now serving as a 2019-20 program co-chair. “The wide-ranging curriculum coupled with the Leadership Iowa network, developed over 38 years, continues to attract the outside experts needed to inform and facilitate the dialog within each of the sessions."

Since October’s opening session in Perry, participants have continued their commitment by taking part in two-day monthly sessions, diving into issues and opportunities facing Iowa while gaining first-hand perspectives, connecting with a variety of leaders, and leveraging one another’s expertise. Thus far, the class has explored the topics of agriculture and renewable resources in Iowa Falls and education in Fort Dodge. Now for January, class members will gather in Des Moines to discuss government.

Among the highlights of this month’s session will be attending the back-to-back events of ABI’s Legislative Briefing and Reception and the Leadership Iowa Alumni Society Dinner and Celebration on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Class members will also take part in a congressional election simulation, gain an inside look at Iowa’s top legislative priorities and political landscape, learn about the state’s judicial processes and experience military training as a ‘soldier for a day’ at Camp Dodge.

“This class is taking what they’re learning from each speaker and truly asking of themselves and as a class ‘what we can do to help’ to affect powerful change in each community,” said Jacqueline Kiple (John Deere), program co-chair alongside Aust. “This solidifies the strength of this program and exemplifies what it means to be a leader in Iowa.”

The New Year will bring sessions on manufacturing and community vitality in Muscatine, economic development in Glenwood and Council Bluffs, and healthcare in Waverly. The program concludes in June at the ABI Taking Care of Business Conference in Cedar Rapids, where the Class of 2019-20 will graduate and join a network of over 1,200 alumni.

Leadership Iowa is currently accepting nominations for next year’s participants and host communities. Would you or someone you know benefit from this unique experience? Do you know of an Iowa community that should host a Leadership Iowa session? To learn more and nominate yourself or others, as well as a host community for the 2020-21 program, visit www.LeadershipIowa.com