Forty Iowa Leaders Selected to Participate in Leadership Iowa’s 40th Anniversary Year

September 20, 2021 | Leadership Iowa 2021-22 Announements

Forty leaders from across Iowa have been selected as members of the 2021-22 class of Leadership Iowa, the state’s premier issues awareness program provided by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) Foundation. This year marks the program’s fortieth anniversary. See the Leadership Iowa Class of 2021-22 participant list here.

“In its 40th year, Leadership Iowa continues its mission of providing leaders with resources and experience to encourage their continued involvement in communities across our state,” said Mike Ralston, president of ABI and 1991 graduate of Leadership Iowa. “The leaders selected to this year’s class are supported by an extensive network of more than 1,200 alumni working to advance Iowa.”

At the time of the program’s inception in 1982, only three other statewide programs existed in the country. Several locally focused leadership programs also began in Iowa that year, demonstrating the interest of our state’s leaders in developing community solutions. Today, the program continues to connect individuals representing organizations and communities in every corner of the state in order to inform, inspire and engage participants for the betterment of Iowa.

Class members attend a series of eight two-day sessions between October and June. Each session gives participants an in-depth look at an important issue facing our state through discussions with local and statewide subject-matter experts, engaging activities and unique opportunities. The sessions change each year to reflect the host communities and the most relevant information available.

This year’s host communities are Okoboji, Mount Pleasant, Pella, Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Decorah and Iowa City. Session topics include agriculture and renewable resources, manufacturing, government, economic development and workforce, education and healthcare. The program culminates with ABI’s annual Taking Care of Business Conference, which will be held next year in Dubuque.

“Leadership Iowa recognizes individuals for the leadership they’ve demonstrated as well as their desire and commitment to effect positive change in their workplaces, communities and our state,” said Jessi McQuerrey, director of programs at the ABI Foundation. “Year after year, participants tell us that this experience enhances their personal and professional development, and we’re looking forward to another great year with this new cohort of extraordinary leaders.”

Participants are selected from a large applicant pool based on achieving the best balance of qualified candidates for a particular year. All Iowa professionals have the opportunity to apply for Leadership Iowa but must first be nominated (or self-nominate) online at