The ABI Foundation Starts Next Fiscal and Programming Year, 2020-21

October 9, 2020 | Fostering an engaged electorate in the workplace Becky Coady, Vice President, ABI Foundation,

As I try to put this year into words, I’m thinking of all we’ve said to bring comfort to each other. I often add “someday” or “soon” to my comments. What might have changed the most is what opportunities and challenges mean, for each person, family, business and community. The ABI Foundation has been a source of information, support and encouragement for individuals and organizations for nearly 40 years. These are the principles that have and continue to see us through.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

We have seen Iowans respond. Companies pivoted their services to manufacture needed materials and products, such as the production of face masks and hand sanitizer. Executives with vision and skilled workers prepared and collaborated. Iowans are stepping up beyond their titles and responsibilities to help the greater good.

There are numerous examples of this in Iowa businesses across the state, many with the help of the more than 6,500 alumni of the ABI Foundation’s three statewide leadership programs. We’re proud we inform and inspire Iowans with life-changing experiences so that there are lifelong leaders at work for our state.

It’s what’s “next” more than what’s “new.”

The change of our calendar and the conversations I’ve had with business leaders about the upcoming months prompts me to consider the difference of ‘now’ and ‘then.’ Despite the disruptions of the pandemic, what you’ve done and what you do continue to be important.

Seeking new beginnings (or a ‘new normal’) can be wonderful, but immediate next steps are often more impactful.

Our staff has worked to continue to achieve exceptional experiences while going from in-person to virtual programming. There was a lot of discussion about reinventing the wheel versus recreating the wheel, and we adapted our proven processes for participant outcomes into online formatting that met the needs of the moment.

One leader at a time.

I’m the most encouraged when I think of each person who makes our work possible. The guidance and passion of our board members. The collaboration of our partners. The energy from our volunteers. The endorsement of our sponsors. The dedication of our donors. Overcoming their own difficulties, they rallied to support the ABI Foundation.

Words are powerful. So is action. Iowans are afforded opportunities because leaders provide them. Our network let us know the value our programs provide to them, their organizations and the State of Iowa. We are so grateful for their ongoing commitment.

These are my reflections as we are moving forward. Lastly, I would like to invite you to get involved with us. An immediate action you can take on our behalf is making a personal donation at

With any questions, you can reach me at or 515-235-0569.