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.

Basic Business Succession

One in four of business owners plan to transfer or sell their business within the next five years. This is according to a 2010/2011 survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Fifty-five percent of these owners indicated that they plan to transfer this business to family member(s). These statistics, probably accurate if not understated for Iowa, mean that Iowa communities are in for a great deal of change in the coming years.  Is your community prepared for this change?

Successful transitions don’t “just happen”. Under the best circumstances business owners are clear about what they want, have good advisors and the transition goes smoothly. Given that only ten per cent of family businesses make it to the third generation it is usually not this simple. Instead the owners and their family get stuck on the “soft side” or “human” issues. These issues include treating children fairly versus equally, evaluating and compensating adult children, utilizing key employees effectively and the ability of generation one to truly let go. Two other questions at the core of every transition process are “how do we maintain family harmony” and “how does generation one ensure their financial security without hindering generation two’s ability to operate the business”?   

To help business owners successfully navigate through transitions we have developed a comprehensive process. Knowledge of this process, and how it relates to key transition issues, may help you work more effectively with the transitioning businesses in your community.

Our first step in the process is to meet with generation one to discover their values, goals, concerns and fears. We repeat this interview process with children and their spouses; we have learned the hard way that spouses sometimes wield enormous influence on the outcome. Depending on the size of the business we may also interview key employees.

We then ask each individual to complete an online assessment which helps us evaluate communication and decision making styles, areas of current stress and other pertinent information that might not surface in the interviews.

Finally, we review key documents to make sure that the documents are up to date and reflect the family’s wishes. It is rare that they do reflect the family’s wishes.

The Phase 1 Diagnostic process identified above clarifies goals, contrasts these goals with existing reality and identifies the gaps that need to be bridged. Phase two then implements the work necessary to actually bridge these gaps. Usually other advisors have work to do in this phase which could include developing legal documents, assessing life insurance needs or valuing the business.  

Addressing the “soft-side” issues helps clients become more willing to start a transition process and also increases the likelihood of success.  By helping your business owners understand what successful transitions require you can play a key role in creating more “legacy businesses” and therefore increasing business retention within your community. 

Written by Lars Peterson

Presidential Post - February 15, 2013

Grow Iowa Day is PDI's best opportunity to demonstrate to legislators the strength and breadth of our membership organization. Legislators respond to their constituents which is why it is so important that our members attend in mass and dialogue with them. We realize this important event requires an investment of your time and financial resources, but our history with the Grow Iowa Day has demonstrated a tremendous return on investment with our legislators. ...

Read more of this post & comment.

Written by Brent Willett
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National Expert in Tourism & Business Development to Present June 7

Roger Brooks, President and CEO of Destination Development International, will conduct an opportunity assessment of Pella, Knoxville, Pleasantville and the Red Rock Area in early June. Findings and suggestions from his visit will be presented at a workshop on Friday, June 7, 2013. The workshop will also include information on branding. Roger is one of North America’s most respected experts in the creation of a great destination for tourism and business. He has guided communities in branding, product development, marketing and revitalization.

Hundreds of thousands of people come into our county each year to visit, consider business investment, weigh career opportunities and find a place to retire. Roger will share his insights on opportunities that are being missed and gaps that hinder growth. To learn more about Destination Development International go to www.destinationdevelopment.com.

“Many of our tourism professionals who have seen the results Roger Brooks has brought to other communities have came together to make this opportunity assessment possible because they understand how critical this can be for our future,” explained Carla Eysink, MCDC Executive Director. “Understanding how to approach key opportunities is a critical factor in keeping this area’s economy growing. Roger’s approach is not a plan that sits on a shelf, but instead he provides small incremental achievable action steps from his analysis and expertise that different partners can take to dynamically focus on key opportunities.”

The workshop will begin with registration at 7 a.m. and the workshop from 7:30-11 a.m. on Friday, June 7 in Pella. Individuals with interests in community development, real estate, human resources, business, tourism, recreation, marketing and economic development are encouraged to attend. This workshop is presented by the Pella Convention & Visitors Bureau, Knoxville Raceway and Marion County Development Commission in partnership with local sponsors: Central College, Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, Marion County Community Foundation, Marion County Conservation Board, MidAmerican Energy, Pella Chamber of Commerce, City of Pleasantville, Pleasantville Chamber of Commerce, Pleasantville State Bank, Central Iowa Tourism Region, Molengracht-Royal Amsterdam Hotel, National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum and the Red Rock Lake Association.

Registration information for the workshop will be available March 1. If you are interested in receiving registration information please contact the Marion County Development Commission at carla@redrockarea.com.

Written by PDI
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PDI Participates in Iowa Tourism Industry Showcase - What Iowa Has To Offer

Iowa tourism supporters hosted the 24th annual Tourism Showcase for Legislators at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Tuesday, January 29, 2013.Mark Reinig with Senator Ken Rozenboom

More than 70 communities/organizations showcased their attractions, events and businesses to remind Iowa Legislators that attended about the abundance of “Things to Do” in our great state, and how important tourism is to the Iowa economy and employment.

Professional Developers of Iowa was among other community leaders who visited with Legislators to thank them for their past support of tourism development and promotion and to discuss the challenge of finding funds to promote Iowa.

Wayne Pantini with Representative Pat Drake"The Travel Federation of Iowa was pleased again to have the opportunity to showcase the importance and the impact the tourism industry has in the State of Iowa. Our theme "Tourism Works" truly reflects the fact that tourism is a legitimate industry even though there aren't bricks and mortar. TFI represents all segments of tourism within the state and we're here to continue working for what matters most to all of our partners," said Linda Bacon, President of Travel Federation of Iowa.

Tourism is Iowa’s eighth largest employer. In 2011, travelers in Iowa generated over $7.2 billion in revenue, 63,400 jobs, and a payroll of $1.12 billion at local businesses in communities throughout the state. These dollars in turn, generated $430.2 million in state and local tax receipts for Iowa. Put another way, if not for the tourism industry, each household would have to pay $324 in additional taxes to maintain the current level of state services.

Photo top right: Mark Reinig visits with Senator Ken Rozenboom

Photo bottom left: Wayne Pantini talks with Representative Jack Drake

Written by PDI
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Mark Nolte to Lead ICAD Group

Nolte Served as Interim President Since May 2012

(Iowa City) – Today Chuck Peters, Chair of the Iowa City Area Development Group Board of Directors, announces the hiring of Mark Nolte as ICAD Group President. Nolte has served as interim president since Joe Raso’s departure in May of last year.

“We are very excited to make this announcement and congratulate Mark on this new role,” said Peters. “As interim president, Mark consistently provided deft leadership including overseeing the opening of the IC CoLab, implementing our Vision 2030 plan, and providing outstanding service to our investors and clients. In filling this position, the board first worked on clarifying our purpose in supporting regional economic development, and Mark was hired to most effectively pursue our declared objectives."

The ICAD Group Executive Committee conducted a national search for this position and hosted three finalists, including Nolte, in January for a series of investor meetings and interviews. The ICAD Group Board of Directors approved hiring Nolte last night.

Since joining ICAD Group in 2007, Nolte has served as Business Development Director, working with existing industry clients, entrepreneurs and start-ups, and helping with business recruitment projects. Most recently, Nolte led the design, creation and opening of the new IC CoLab, the first coworking space in the nation operated by an economic development group.

Nolte says he’s eager to officially start in his new role. “I want to thank the Board of Directors for their guidance and the ICAD Group staff for their outstanding efforts during this transition period,” said Nolte. “We have a unique opportunity to create a center of unmatched commerce and innovation in this area and I’m thrilled to lead our team.”

Peters said with Nolte’s leadership, ICAD Group is ahead of pace for the goals set forth in the Vision 2030 campaign. “ICAD Group hasn’t missed a beat and is on track to have a very successful year with regard to job creation, client growth, and regional partnerships,” said Peters. “We were impressed with Mark’s plan and vision for ICAD Group moving forward and we’re enthusiastic that he can get started right away.”

Nolte added that his priorities include increased engagement with ICAD Group investors and regional economic development partners, growing membership and interest for the IC CoLab, and developing the most effective strategy to strengthen existing companies.

Before joining ICAD Group, Nolte served as a senior manager and training consultant for The Abilities Fund, and was assistant director for the Institute for Social and Economic Development where he managed city, state and federal programs. He co-owns Nolte Academy of Dance in Coralville with his wife, Leslie.

For More Information:
Mark Nolte, ICAD Group President, (319) 354-3939 or mnolte@icadgroup.com
Scott Fisher, ICAD Group Past Board Chair, (319) 621-4235 or sfisher@mccrossenconsult.com



Written by PDI
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