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February 13, 2023 | Iowa's Multi-Generation Companies are Built to Last Kendall Antle, Programs & Engagement Coordinator, ABI Foundation,

Leadership Iowa University (LIU), a program of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) Foundation, is designed to connect our state’s next decision-makers with tools for personal and professional success. 

For five days each summer, LIU offers participants the chance to explore Iowa’s opportunities to help bridge the gap between college and career. By way of networking events, engaging round-table discussions, a dynamic speaker series and business tours, participants learn why Iowa is the ideal state to live and work. 

Chase Henry, a senior at Simpson College studying finance and business, was a 2022 participant. He noted, “as the week progressed, so did my desire to continue making an impact in my local community. Each speaker and tour reinforced how incredibly thankful I am to be in Iowa because of everything the state has to offer.” 

Ideal candidates for LIU are students considering a future in Iowa with a desire to positively impact their workplaces, communities, and our state. Participants are often “big picture” thinkers with diverse backgrounds, interest areas, and experiences, and routinely demonstrate engagement beyond the walls of a classroom. LIU participants are innately motivated to grow their network and themselves, are eager to learn, and possess leadership qualities and potential. 

“This program allows you to learn in every way imaginable,” states Henry. “I learned through this program that everyone leads in their own way. LIU allowed me to focus on my leadership strengths and learn from others, an experience I will always be grateful for.” 

In the most recent program, 21 students from 8 Iowa colleges and universities participated. They represented 18 different academic programs. After LIU, students reported: (1) having developed a stronger understanding of what it meant to network and its relevancy to career development, (2) an increased awareness of business and industry across the state and the future of its workforce, and (3) a newfound appreciation for quality of life in Iowa. 

LIU 2023 Program 

  • Who: Current freshman-seniors attending an Iowa college/university or interning in Iowa
  • When: August 6-10
  • Where: Des Moines
  • Participation Fee: $500*

*Includes all meals, lodging, and activities. Financial assistance is available. 

Each year, several participants are nominated and financially supported by their employer as part of an “internship capstone” experience. Supplementing your summer internship program with the opportunity to sponsor an LIU student contributes to their overall internship experience and position your company for greater return on investment. 

“My excitement going into the program was high but left even greater. I highly encourage everyone to apply. You don’t have to have an impressive title or track record to be a leader. Programs like LIU help you find your true passion and leadership capability through all that it offers,” says Henry. 

To learn more and nominate a student to attend, visit or contact