Light the Way

January 16, 2023 | ABI to Build on Successes of 2022 Legislative Session Kendall Antle, Programs & Engagement Coordinator, ABI Foundation,

Kendall Antle, Programs & Engagement Coordinator

Leaders are often told to “pay it forward,” but what exactly does that mean or look like? For some leaders, “pay it forward” has a transactional connotation. The ABI Foundation seeks transformations over transactions; moreover, it encourages leaders to not just pass the torch, but light the way instead. 

Working on the behalf of statewide business and industry, the ABI Foundation cultivates Iowa’s talent continuum through its dynamic programming. By nominating individuals or leaders in your community to participate in ABI Foundation programs, you light the way towards strengthening Iowa’s workforce.

Business Horizons (High School; Grades 9-12)

Over 75 students from across the state team up each summer to experience the world of business by immersing themselves in hands-on, entrepreneurial activities, career and educational exploration, valuable workshops led by industry professionals, and business tours. This five-day innovation simulation equips participants with future-ready knowledge and skillsets transferable to any career interest.

“The program challenged me to see things in different ways, which helped me formulate new solutions to ideas I wanted to solve. Programs like Business Horizons not only open you up to opportunities in Iowa, but also demonstrate how individuals truly care about shaping the future direction of youth in the state.” – Nyalib Chambang, student at Storm Lake High School

Leadership Iowa University (College)

One week each summer, 20-25 students explore Iowa’s opportunities with a primary purpose of helping bridge the gap between college and career. By way of networking events, engaging roundtable discussions, an interactive speaker series, and business tours, participants learn why Iowa is the ideal state to both live and work. 

“Leadership Iowa University taught me that being vulnerable is not a weakness, it is courageous. Growth only comes when you stretch outside of your comfort zone. Just like rubber bands, the more you stretch them the greater they grow in size.” – Jordan Rios, student at Iowa State University

Leadership Iowa (Professionals)

40 leaders from across the state with varying careers and home communities participate in an integrated series of eight two-day monthly sessions. As Iowa’s premier issues-awareness program, participants explore a different industry topic each month to learn more about its opportunities, challenges, and impact on our state. 

“Leadership Iowa has been one of the greatest personal growth experiences of my life. This program allowed me the opportunity to really get to know people with vastly different life experiences than my own and in the process learn about important issues facing our great state.” – Matt Doty, chief operating officer at Weaton Companies

When leaders share their experiences with others, they shine light on new opportunities perhaps previously unknown. As that light shines, its flicker emits sparks of curiosity to explore further. Eventually those sparks ignite a flame, and along the journey, that flame will light the way forward for Iowa’s future leaders. 

Let’s always remember that a candle loses nothing by lighting another. 

Nominations or Information: To nominate individuals or leaders in your community, and to learn more about how you can “light the way” as a leader, visit