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Leadership Iowa group to visit Burlington

May 11, 2023 (original article)

Forty leaders from across the state will convene in Burlington today and Friday as part of their eight-month experience in Leadership Iowa.

Leadership Iowa is Iowa’s premier issues-awareness program hosted by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) Foundation.

During their two-day visit, participants will explore topics relating to manufacturing and transportation in Iowa.

Burlington Mayor Jon Billups and City Manager Chad Bird will welcome the group.

The leaders will engage in discussions with statewide subject-matter experts such as Mike O’Donnell (Center for Industrial Research and Service) and Troy Jerman (Iowa Department of Transportation).

Session hosts include Parkside Brewing Co., Southeastern Community College (SCC), Martini’s, Port of Burlington, and Spirit Hollow Golf Course.

The group will have opportunities to visit and tour Agri-Industrial Plastics in Fairfield enroute to Burlington.

They also will tour Fort Madison’s Historic Iowa State Penitentiary, along with Winegard Company, Silgan Containers, and Lock & Dam 18.

Today, the group will learn about SCC’s workforce preparatory programs with hosts Brad Junker and Brenda Rubey of Southeastern Community College, followed by a discussion on the state of manufacturing with guest insight from Jenny Steffensmeier of Steffensmeier Welding & Mfg, Inc.; Cameron McGinley of KPI Concepts; and Jason Verheyen of CNH Industrial.

On Friday, the conversations will pivot towards transportation as the cohort explores Iowa’s barge systems at Lock and Dam 18 with Lockmaster Michel Bielser, as well as Iowa’s air travel and railways through speakers Mark Cestari (Southern Airlines) and Kevin Mershon (Burlington Railways).

Local session sponsors of this event include the Greater Burlington Partnership and Musco Lighting.

Leadership Iowa’s annual presenting sponsor is EMC Insurance.

More information about Leadership Iowa, including a list of 2022-23 participants and host communities, is available online by visiting www.LeadershipIowa.com.

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