Salute to the 40th Class of Leadership Iowa

July 15, 2022 | The State of Play for the Food Manufacturing Industry Jessi McQuerrey, Director of Programs, ABI Foundation,

When Leadership Iowa began in 1982, it began a profound wave of leadership and connectedness across our state that continues today. Much can transpire over 40 years – similarly, much transformation can take place in just eight months.

Last month, we graduated the 40th class of Leadership Iowa. At a time when the world can be more divisive than collaborative, they came together and demonstrated the good that we can accomplish when we come together and show up for one another, simply in the spirit of humanity. They sought to do better and be better; together.

"Leadership Iowa has been one of the greatest personal growth experiences of my life. This program allowed me the opportunity to really get to know people with vastly different life experiences than my own and in the process learn about important issues facing our great state. These individuals have developed me into a better person."       - Matt Doty (LI ’21-22), Weaton Companies, Fairfield, IA

While they explored the challenges and opportunities in our state, they also gave back. Though not a component of Leadership Iowa, the class contributed more than $15,000 in support of local causes in host communities, additional charities, and in support of one another in celebratory times and difficult moments.

"Leadership Iowa is the ultimate experience. I have been able to visit incredible cities and see people in action working together to improve their communities. Each local development makes Iowa an even better place to live, work, and play. Equally as valuable, I have 39 thoughtful, interesting classmates (now friends), each with their own unique perspective. I have learned so much from this group and will forever be grateful for these relationships. The speakers, hosts, mentors, staff, planners, cities, and my classmates, all have given me a richer understanding of the great state of Iowa." - Meredith Jinks (LI ’21-22), SixtyFiveEightyFive Consulting, West Des Moines, IA

Our sincere gratitude goes out to our session hosts this year of Okoboji, Mount Pleasant, Pella, Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Decorah, Iowa City and Dubuque. More than 300 individuals across the state supported the Leadership Iowa program in some way this year. 300 Iowans invested time, resources, and energy into making an incredible experience for these 40 individuals.

Thank you also to our presenting sponsor this year, EMC Insurance, and other annual sponsors: CIPCO, Community State Bank, Grinnell Mutual, Iowa Soybean Association, Bank Midwest, Black Hills Corporation, BrownWinick Law Firm, Kemin Industries, MidAmerican Energy Company, Pella Corporation, Principal Financial Group and Winger Companies.

Leadership Iowa is proud to have served more than 1,300 Iowans over its 40 years. The number of individuals, companies, communities and more who have made this  program what it continues to be today are incalculable. We thank you for allowing us to host this opportunity and continue the legacy of leadership in Iowa.