ABI: Focused on You

November 5, 2020 | Mike Ralston

Mike Ralston, President, ABI

At ABI, it's all about the members. As an organization, there are two groups of people that help make sure that focus is at the forefront of everything we do.

It starts at the top. The ABI Board of Directors is responsible for the success experienced by ABI in recent years. The board takes seriously its charge to lead ABI to growth and even greater impact. Over the past 15 years, I can't tell you how many times a board member has asked if a particular decision would mean better service for members. That question, or a variation, really guides the board.

The board is large—it is comprised of 62 Iowa business leaders from all over our state. (In addition, former chairs of ABI remain board members for life.) The board is diverse—it includes representatives of privately-held and publicly-held companies, of large and small businesses, of manufacturing companies and other types of businesses. 

Even with its size and diverse perspectives, however, the board is united. It’s focused on advancing ABI members, serving business interests and growing economic opportunity for all Iowans.

The second group of individuals to which I referred to is the ABI staff. Our staff is comprised of some incredibly talented professionals.

At the request of members and at the direction of the board, while working on hundreds of things, the ABI staff stays focused on three primary program areas: 1) Public policy, 2) Member service and events and 3) The programs of the ABI Foundation.

As with any organization that is 117 years old, ABI changes with the times. That change is reflected in the way the three program areas above are administered. Our members demand, and the board directs, the change you see to increase the effectiveness of ABI.

What will never change at ABI is its focus on serving members and providing value to you for the investment you make in our organization every year. That’s because, at ABI, it's all about the members!

Mike Ralston is president of ABI. Email him at mralston@iowaabi.org.