Partner Spotlight: Iowa Association of Business and Industry

logo-abiUp first is the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, or ABI. Best known for its representation of business and industry on policy issues and for its famous Taking Care of Business conference, ABI is the member association in Iowa for business leaders.

It also plays an incredibly important role in developing the leaders of tomorrow. ABI has survived for 110 years by focusing constantly on the future – and helping to create it, by providing a wide selection of growth opportunities for Iowa businesses:

Written by Mike O'Donnell CIRAS Program Director
Written by Mike O’Donnell
CIRAS Program Director

Access to great leaders: Go to any ABI event, and you are surrounded by the best of the best. If you want to see what it takes to lead, this is your chance to get up-close and personal.

BizWise: Middle management can be a lonely place. You are the expert in your business. Both leadership and your team look to you for guidance. So where do you go when you need help? BizWise is a series of peer groups facilitated by experts focused on helping mid-level leaders help each other be great.

Leadership Iowa: Ready to take the leap? Leadership Iowa brings together emerging leaders throughout the state. Participants build awareness of critical issues in Iowa, develop networks, and grow leadership skills in a nine-month program to create engaged leaders of tomorrow.

Developing the next generation: Not in a leadership role yet? Not even working yet?  ABI has still has programs for you. Leadership Iowa University is a week-long residential program to engage college students in critical leadership skills, while Business Horizons is a week-long program that exposes high school students to the world of business.

In last summer’s manufacturing needs assessment, CIRAS found a common theme: companies with strong leadership are thriving, while the others are struggling for survival. Leadership takes decades to develop. So if you haven’t already started developing your company’s next generation, now is the time. And ABI is a great place to start.

Want to learn more about ABI? You can reach me at, or reach out to ABI directly through Kathy Anderson at