$40,000 Gift Launches ABI Foundation 40th Anniversary Campaign

September 15, 2021 | ABIF $40,000 Donation PRESS RELEASE

Dick Smith & Lori Schaefer-Weaton
Dick Smith & Lori Schaefer-Weaton

Gifts to the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) Foundation are now being matched up to $40,000 thanks to the generous support of the Dick & Judy Smith Family Foundation. The anniversary fundraiser celebrates 40 years of statewide initiatives that promote personal and professional responsibility and leadership for Iowa.

Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, an industry leader in large-scale blow-molding and fuel tank systems in Fairfield, Iowa, was founded by Dick Smith and his wife Judy and is known for investing in the community, including a variety of educational initiatives. It’s this same spirit that led the Smiths, their children Brian Smith and Lori Schaefer-Weaton and Lori’s husband Nate Weaton, along with the Smith’s grandchildren, to continue their family’s longtime commitment to giving back through the Dick and Judy Smith Family Foundation.

“Students and professionals across the state form lifelong connections and an understanding of business and industry in Iowa through the ABI Foundation,” said Schaefer-Weaton, who also serves as ABI Foundation vice chair and past chair of ABI. “Our family invites leaders to join in supporting the Foundation for Iowa’s Future with donations as our gift of $40,000 kicks off the anniversary fundraiser.”

Visionary leaders created the ABI Foundation’s flagship program, Leadership Iowa, in 1982 for professionals to gain a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges in Iowa. Following the success of Leadership Iowa, the ABI Foundation expanded its programming to also engage high school students with Business Horizons and Elevate Iowa, as well as college students with Leadership Iowa University. The 501c3 nonprofit organization exists to connect and develop future and current Iowa leaders from all industries, backgrounds and corners of the state.

“We are grateful to The Dick & Judy Smith Family Foundation for recognizing the importance of providing statewide educational leadership programs,” said ABI President Mike Ralston. “Support from Iowa’s professionals, like this generous investment, is the main reason why the ABI Foundation’s programs have been able to create an inter-generational network of leaders that advance Iowa. 

Supporters have the opportunity to have their donation doubled now through Sept. 30, 2022. Contributions may be made to the ABI Foundation online at www.IowaABIFoundation.org, by mail or by phone at 515-280-8000. Learn more at www.IowaABIFoundation.org or by emailing foundation@iowaabi.org


The ABI Foundation is a statewide organization with a mission of building partnerships between business, education and communities. The ABI Foundation delivers programs and educational initiatives that promote personal and professional responsibility and leadership in Iowa.