PDI Blog

PDI's Blog will include legislative news, economic development news headlines, messages from our PDI President and other topics contributed by our membership. Choose from the list of contributors and categories, listed to the right,  to find the type of articles you are interested in.

Communicating through PowerPoint for Economic Development Professionals

Thursday,March 28th, 2013- 1:00 PM CT

We’ve all heard the jokes, PowerPoint + Communications = Oxymoron. Death by PowerPoint. 

Ignorance is not an excuse. Presentation platforms are an essential ingredient of economic development. Economic development professionals’ use and MISUSE presentation software working to win support (resources and funding) and paint pictures of our communities. These presentations have real consequences for organizations and professionals. 

The difference between the butt of the joke or the buzz can be a thin line. Choose your side. 

This webinar focuses on effective communicating with presentation software. 

In this webinar you will learn how to: 

  • Build a powerful backdrop
  • Open with force
  • Differentiate your message
  • Close
  • Make a connection
  • Pop your facts
  • Mesmerize not hypnotize

Invest in your career. Improve your communications skills. 

EXTRA, EXTRA… Submit a prospect, board or a civic group presentation for review and personalized feedback from our team. The review is FREE to all webinar participants! 

Bring your team… Bring your questions… Start communicating more effectively with your presentation tools… 


Date: March 28th, 2013

Time: 1:00 PM CT

Run Time: 90 Minutes; 60 Min. presentations; 30 Min Q&A with Discussion

Registration: http://pdicommunicatingpowerpoint.eventbright.com   

Off-Line Payment Form

Frequently Asked Questions



Heather Smith-Baker

VP Communications

Southwest Michigan First

Kalamazoo, MI 

As the VP of Communications, Ms. Baker is responsible for aligning Southwest Michigan First’s messages, communications, and overall strategy. She leads brand development for Southwest Michigan First and its affiliated companies including Kalamazoo Area Chamber; Catalyst University, the Life Science Fund, and First Angels. Ms. Baker manages media relations for Southwest Michigan First and has worked with FOX Business News, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Chemical & Engineering News, The New York Times and Forbes. 

PowerPoint presentations are an important tool for the 15-member team of Southwest Michigan First. Communicating visually is always a priority for the communications team led by Ms. Baker. 

Eric P. Canada 

Eric Canada of Blane, Canada Ltd. is a nationally recognized authority on Economic Development: Marketing and Existing Business Strategy. His best selling book,Economic Development: Marketing for Results! introduced economic developers to what is now known as business-to-business (B2B) marketing. The companion publication, Marketer's Planning Guide has helped hundreds of development professionals formulate and write their organization's marketing plan. 

Blane, Canada Ltd. helps clients capture marketing and existing business opportunities through more effective marketing. As a speaker/trainer Mr. Canada has worked hard to understand the medium and create his own voice. Like everything, ups and downs. it is a journey.

Eric P. Canada

Blane, Canada Ltd.

1506 Cadet, Suite 100

Wheaton, IL 60189


@edmarketingpro / twitter


Written by Blane Canada
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Join PDI and IEDA on March 26

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is partnering with Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI) on a one-day event for statewide economic development partners on Tuesday, March 26.  

PDI is hosting the PPP Course—The Partners, the Profession and the Process during the morning session at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, Iowa from 9:00 a.m.- 12:00 noon, and will include lunch. 

Anyone new to  economic development in Iowa or those new to the profession of economic development are encouraged to register.  The half day will provide insight about the professional education,  partnerships and resources available to help you succeed.   

IEDA is hosting the afternoon session, Getting to Know IEDA, at 200 E. Grand Avenue from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

IEDA’s afternoon session will provide an overview and/or update on many of the IEDA programs that local economic developers work with on a regular basis.   

The agenda for the Getting to Know IEDA session includes all of the following program and updates: opening presentation by Debi Durham, legislative updates, business development program updates including International Trade and Exports, High Quality Jobs and other incentives, EB-5 program, Demonstration Fund, Community Development programs, Downtown Resource and Main Street program, Marketing and Tourism and more. 

To register, visit www.pdiowa.com . 

For questions, contact Kathy Anderson at kathy.anderson@iowa.gov or 515.725.3149.



Written by IEDA
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LOIS increases exposure through partnership with Site Selection Magazine

LOISLocationOne Information System (LOIS) has partnered with Site Selection magazine to give all sites and properties on LOIS additional national and international exposure to site selectors. Site Selection magazine's website will soon feature sites and properties on LOIS. 

Site Selection magazine, published by Conway Data Inc., delivers expansion planning information to 44,000 site selectors and executives of fast-growing firms. The senior publication in the development field, Site Selection is also available via Site Selection Online. The SiteNet Dispatch, a weekly e-mail newsletter, is delivered to approximately 44,000 industry professionals. The publication also publishes "The Site Selection Energy Report," "The Site Selection Life Sciences Report" and "The Site Selection Aerospace Report" monthly e-newsletters. 

Site Selection magazine joins GCX (Global Corporate Xpansion) magazine as online media partners with LOIS. Economic development organizations without a LOIS subscription can benefit from this additional exposure to site selectors by placing their sites and buildings on the LocationOne website. 

"We now have one of the first true nationwide platforms for site and building information," said Lisa Franklin, Manager of Economic Development for LOIS. "Economic development organizations that don't use the LocationOne viewer still have the opportunity to have their properties showcased on LocationOne, as well as the websites for Site Selection and GCX magazines. It's the first opportunity for all economic development organizations to be on one system that can be used by site selectors and businesses to conduct the most comprehensive nationwide searches of available sites and buildings." 

Ron Starner, Executive Vice President of Site Selection Magazine and Conway Data Inc. in Atlanta, noted "this partnership represents a combination of resources and audiences of the market-leading corporate real estate publication in the field - Site Selection - and one of the best GIS location tools in the industry - LOIS. Now, site selectors will find virtually everything they need in one location." 

LOIS is the market leading online economic development site selection database in the U.S., representing more than 8,800 communities and 3,500 economic development organizations. 

An easy-to-use tool that plugs into a subscriber's website, LOIS gives site selectors a fast, convenient way to research available properties. Custom map layers showcase specific search criteria such as demographics, zoning and community assets like airports, school districts and hospitals. The new LocationOne EcoDev Tracker allows users and site selectors to track projects in real time and run customized reports. And the nationwide mobile app offers access to robust property searches all the time, from anywhere. For more information about LOIS, contact Lisa Franklin at 816.654.1644 or visit the LocationOne website.

Written by PDI
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Building Opportunity Workshop with Roger Brooks in Pella, Iowa

Roger Brooks, President of Destination Development International, will be doing an Opportunity Assessment of the Red Rock Area in June. The assessment is made possible through the partnership of 16 different local and regional entities. The power of this partnership is that our rural area will be provided the expertise of the most respected professional in destination development in the United States. 

The workshop will includes Roger's insights on branding in addition to his findings and suggestions from the Opportunity Assessment. This past December Roger was the speaker on two webinars that were hosted for the tourism industry. Now, you have the opportunity to hear his insight in person. 

If you have others in your office that would like to attend please forward this information on to them. Early bird registration ends May 1, so don't delay in registering.

Registration & Information 

Written by PDI
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Skilled Iowa Initiative works to address the "Skills Gap"

Skilled Iowa LogoOur nation is currently facing a shortage of qualified workers.  This trend is commonly referred to as the “skills gap” – the difference between the skills employers require and those that workers actually possess – and it has left scores of jobs unfilled across America.  

The Skilled Iowa Initiative is working to better prepare Iowa’s students and workers by making sure they are equipped with the practical workplace skills that employers need. 

The National Career Readiness Certificate that Skilled Iowa is encouraging workers to earn tests the skills of workers in three areas: applied mathematics, reading for information, and locating information.  Each of these proficiencies has numerous real-world applications and is vital to career success. 

Each skill area is tested through ACT’s WorkKeys assessment, which utilizes real-world examples, allowing test takers to problem solve in a practical way.  

An NCRC certificate allows workers to quantify their aptitudes and demonstrate to employers they are qualified for positions they are seeking. 

The WorkKeys assessment gives test takers an overall score of platinum, gold, silver, or bronze, which gives employers a clear prediction of an individual’s potential in the workplace. Test takers have access to additional training if they want to try to improve their scores and earn a higher-level certificate. 

Since the NCRC program was launched in 2006, more than 1 million certificates have been awarded, helping put America back to work and allowing companies to find skilled workers.  The Skilled Iowa Initiative is proud to be a part of achieving these goals.  With a more skilled workforce, Iowa can remain competitive in the global market and become an even more attractive place to do business.  

We urge community, business and education leaders to be a part of the Skilled Iowa Initiative’s effort to grow the Iowa economy.  

Visit www.SkilledIowa.org for more information and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SkilledIowa for the latest updates.


Written by Skilled Iowa
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