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.

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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New Regional Website “IowasCreativeCorridor.com” Launched in 2013

Website Targets Companies Looking to Expand or Locate in Region

(Iowa’s Creative Corridor) - In conjunction with new efforts to brand a seven county region in Eastern Iowa as “Iowa’s Creative Corridor,” the economic development agencies representing Linn, Johnson, Cedar, Iowa, Washington, Jones and Benton Counties, have launched a redesigned website to provide information to interstate commerce companies looking to expand or locate in the region.

The website IowasCreativeCorridor.com was launched in January 2013 and will serve as the primary source of information on available buildings and sites, infrastructure, workforce, and other business resources for start-ups and emerging companies.

Mark Nolte, ICAD Group President, says the update was necessary to provide a unified message for the region on economic development. “To compete on a global scale, we must do a better job of promoting the strengths of a larger region, such as workforce size and education attainment, along with our individual community assets,” said Nolte. “This website provides a single point of entry for anyone researching our area for economic development.”

Dennis Jordan, Economic Alliance economic development strategist, says the site helps streamline the process for site location consultants or potential employers and helps connect the region to its unique identity. “It’s important for the region to have a way to set itself apart from other areas of the country,” he says. “All that Iowa’s Creative Corridor encompasses shows we are an innovative region with a diverse economy and strong base.”

New features of the website include new maps and individual county profiles, easier navigation and more robust information for local business resources, and enhanced functionality for those browsing on mobile phones or tablets.

IowasCreativeCorridor.com joins other regional marketing efforts including a special regional section and advertisement in Delta Airline’s SKY Magazine; ShovelReadyIowa.com, promoting the state’s only independently certified economic development properties; the PickYourPace.com website which highlights quality of life for families and workforce in the region; and participation in PDI Grow Iowa Day on February 27, 2013, where regional marketing groups from across Iowa converge on the state capitol to attend legislative briefings and meet legislators from other regions.

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Several transportation funding opportunities are currently accepting applications:

Federal Recreational Trails Applications Due March 1st


The Federal Recreational Trails Program is targeted to both motorized and non-motorized recreational trails. The maximum grant amount is 80% of the total project cost. Approximately $1.2 million dollars is available statewide.

Safe Routes to Schools Applications Due March 1st
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a national program to promote walking and bicycling to school. Eligible projects include recreational trails, sidewalks, signage, crosswalks, and safety or educational programs. The March 1, 2013, SRTS application round will be the last statewide application cycle as IDOT will award the remaining dedicated SRTS funds.

Iowa Clean Air Attainment Program Applications Due March 1st
The Iowa Clean Air Attainment Program (ICAAP) is designed to provide assistance for transportation projects resulting in attaining or maintaining National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Approximately $4-million dollars is available statewide through this program.

For additional information, view Region XII's funding update or contact the Local Assistance Department at the COG today at 712-792-9914.

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Presidential Post - February 1, 2013

On February 01, I had an opportunity to represent PDI on a ‘Partners Panel’ at the Iowa Chamber of Commerce Executives annual conference. Topics of discussion were many, but I was struck by how consistent virtually each participant’s message and, subsequently, the substance of each audience member’s line of questioning, was. Advocate....

Read more of this post & comment.

Written by Brent Willett
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