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By Sandy Ehrig, PDI President

Sandy Ehrig
Sandy Ehrig
PDI President
The gavel as PDI’s president has been passed and I am very confident with the leadership of Brent Willett and the entire PDI board going forward into 2013. PDI will hold its annual planning session in early November and we will put together our plan for another great chapter in the Association.

Thanks to my organization, Renew Rural Iowa/ Iowa Farm Bureau Federation for their support of my time to facilitate my role as PDI President. I also want to thank all of the committees for their hard work this past year and I would like to recognize the co-chairs for their leadership. At PDI’s Annual Meeting in September, each of the PDI committees reported on their accomplishments, a financial report was provided and PDI conducted their annual business before the membership.

If you would like a complete report where the real work of PDI happens, take a look inside the Annual Report for full committee updates at

Please join me in thanking this great board, committee leaders and their great committee MEMBERS for their work in 2012 on behalf of PDI. I appreciate all that PDI members do to make this association alive, relative and impactful. It has been my honor to be your president.

Sandy Ehrig
President, Professional Developers of Iowa <


 A Great Source For Iowa's Economic Growth — Universities!
Learn how Iowa Innovation leadership is working together to make this happen! You can be part of the solution!

"Iowa Innovation Corporation Invites You to a Webinar — University Bio-Med Technologies"

WHEN: Thursday, November 29, 2012 2:00 p.m.
     Must REGISTER [see below for details] for this FREE webinar and information sharing

WHY: Have you ever wondered how to get the great technologies out of the universities and into the hands of your local businesses – or vise versa?
     Our three state universities have come together to present a FREE webinar of their bio-med technologies

WHAT: Also, attached is the schedule for presentation as well as a short powerpoint from previous webinars showing how the technologies will be presented.

(Link no longer available.)

 IEDA Update

Regional Marketing RFP

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is posting the RFP for Regional Marketing Groups on its website,, by mid-afternoon on Wednesday, October 31st. IEDA will accept proposals through December 7th. Once all regional partners have read through the RFP, each region should direct all questions about the RFP to Kathy Anderson at 515.725.3149 or All questions must be submitted in writing (or via email) by 4:30 on Nov 12th. An independent review committee evaluates the RFPs based on three main factors including quality of the regional plan, use of funds and need.

The projects funded will need to fall within the following categories:

Physical infrastructure
Entrepreneurial initiative
Business closure due to consolidation
Business succession assistance program
Unique or regional projects
Marketing of the region

More Information >>

 Funds Available To Help Entrepreneurial Start Ups and Small Companies

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) offers two financial assistance programs to support commercialization activities for start ups and small to medium-sized Iowa companies in the advanced manufacturing, biosciences, and information technology industries.

The Demonstration Fund provides financial assistance for high technology prototype and concept development activities that have a clear potential to lead to commercially viable products or services. The primary purpose of the fund is to help businesses with a high-growth potential reach a position where they are able to attract later-stage, private sector funding.

The Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund is designed to support commercializing activities and accelerate private investment in business expansion efforts that result in significant capital investment. The fund provides financing to eligible businesses through three program components that correspond to different stages of growth for investment-grade, high-growth enterprises.

More Information >> Webinars

MyEntre.Net webinars have been hosted since 2003, serving small business owners with free, high quality interactive learning opportunities. MyEntre.Net webinars can be attended live, where interactive Q & A is encouraged, or they can be viewed as archived presentations in the MyEntre.Net library. I'm hoping that you can help spread the word about the webinars through you newsletters and social media outlets, they're free to attend!

(Link no longer available.)

 Create Jobs and Generate Investment in Your Community!

Participants in ED 101, the first course in NDC’s nationally-recognized Economic Development Finance Professional EDFP) Certification Program, gain a solid understanding of both the basic tools and newest techniques used by successful economic development finance practitioners to assist small businesses and create jobs. The course explores economic development activities as part of a community’s overall economic development finance strategy and investigates the financing resources available for job creation projects. Participants analyze and structure economic development projects for small and medium-sized businesses as well as commercial real estate developments utilizing incentive financing packages.

(Link no longer available.)

 Skilled Iowa Testing Available at Locations across the State

The National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) is an evidence-based credential that measures a worker's basic skills. Skill ratings are based upon scores in the areas of applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information. These skills are necessary and applicable in all workplaces. By having proof of their skills, workers are able to showcase their abilities to potential employers and stand out from other job seekers. Employers benefit from the NCRC as well because they have proof of the applicant's skills and capabilities and are guaranteed to have a qualified worker.

The NCRC is applicable to all Iowans, no matter their skills or education level. Being certified is a valuable tool to all workers and employers in the state because it allows workers to find their strengths and weaknesses and allows employers to find the right employees for their business.

The Skilled Iowa Initiative highly recommends that all Iowa workers get the National Career Readiness Certificate. It is free to take at several testing centers across the state, including community colleges and all IowaWORKS Centers.

More Information >>



 2013 Agenda on the Way

The Legislative Committee will deliver a draft 2013 PDI Legislative Agenda to the PDI Board of Directors for its review and ratification at its November 15 Board meeting. The Agenda is the product each year of member survey feedback, other legislative engagements like the regional meetings and committee work. Expect to see an agenda again focused on core issues critical to economic development in our state, including the State Economic Development Resources, Federal deductibility, Property Taxes, Infrastructure, Tax Increment Financing, Worker training, Sustaining Iowa Companies. Once the agenda is approved, an electronic copy will be distributed to each PDI member and hard copies will be distributed to each member of the Iowa Legislature, in many cases by hand during targeted legislator meetings conducted by committee members and our lobbyists, Amy Campbell and Craig Patterson.

For More Information Contact:
Wayne Pantini, Legislative Committee Co-Chair – 641/782-2003;
Jeff Rossate, Legislative Committee Co-Chair – 319/730-1425;
Kathryn Kunert, Legislative Committee Co-Chair – 515/281-2287;
Amy Campbell, Lobbyist – 515/554-5838;
Craig Patterson, Lobbyist – 515/554-7920;


Iowa Bankers Association


 $3 Million Seed-stage Investment Fund to Focus on Iowa Businesses
Aim is to make the entrepreneurial community more successful
By Dave DeWitte, The Gazette, October 10, 2012

A Cedar Rapids-based fund management group has announced the formation of a $3 million seed-stage investment fund focusing on the creation and growth of Iowa-based businesses. Iowa Seed Fund II LLC was launched byAccelerateIT LLC, a fund management group that with EDC Inc., a Cedar Rapids-based business accelerator. It is a Qualified Community Seed Fund under Iowa law, allowing investors to receive a 20 percent state tax credit on their investment.


 Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds Celebrate another Economic Development Win for Iowa
$1.7 billion project now the single largest capital investment in Iowa history

November 1 (SIOUX CITY) - The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board held a special, telephonic meeting to take action to award direct financial assistance and tax credits to CF Industries, Inc., for an expansion of its existing fertilizer manufacturing operation in Woodbury County.

The Port Neal project will add new state-of-the-art ammonia and granular urea production units to meet customer demand. The project will supplement existing production of ammonia and urea ammonia nitrate (UAN).

The project will have a total capital investment of $1.7 billion and will create 100 new jobs with a qualifying wage of $20.12.

"This is another great announcement for Iowa, and we are proud that CF Industries has chosen us for its $1.7 billion expansion," said Governor Terry E. Branstad. "Our state is clearly well-positioned to take advantage of the growing domestic fertilizer industry. Not only does that mean significant investment that will continue to grow our economy, but also the creation of high-paying jobs for Iowans."

More Informatioin >>



 Key Findings from 2012 PDI Member Survey
Key Challenges that PDI Members Identified:

  • Funding – 26 respondents
  • Time management/Demands of the Position - 24 respondents
  • Lack of Leadership – Local, State or Federal - 14 respondents
  • Regulations/Economic Development Policies - State or Federal - 7 respondents
  • Communicating the Importance of Economic Development - 5 respondents
  • Workforce Shortages - 2 respondents
Membership in PDI is important as we continue to serve our members and addressing the issues that impact us as professionals. The information members provided in the survey will lay the groundwork for planning for 2013 in educational offerings, conference speakers/topics, legislative platforms, and communication pieces. Thanks for your input!



 University of Oklahoma EDI Strategic Planning Course

November 5, 2012 – January 7, 2013 – Online registration available today
Registration & Information >>
 University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute

November 11-15, 2012
University Place Conference Center and Hotel
Indianapolis, Indiana.
More Information & Registration >>

 University of Oklahoma EDI Economic Development Marketing and Attraction Course

January 14, 2013 - March 11, 2013 - Online registration coming soon.

 PDI Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Iowa State Capitol Complex, Des Moines, Iowa

 University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute

March 10-14, 2013
University Place Conference Center and Hotel
Indianapolis, Indiana
More Information & Registration >>

 Heartland Economic Development Course

April 21-25, 2013
Blue Springs, MO
[PDI Scholarships are available thru 3/31/13] - (800) 782-9520

 PDI Spring Event

In conjunction with the SMART Conference
May 1-3, 2013
Renaissance Savery Hotel, Des Moines, IA

 University of Oklahoma EDI Entrepreneurship Course

June 10, 2013 - August 5, 2013 - Online registration coming soon

 University of Oklahoma EDI Strategic Planning Course
More Information & Registration >>

 PDI Fall Conference

September 25-27, 2013
Park Place Event Centre
Wingate by Wyndham and AmericInn Hotel
Cedar Falls, Iowa

 PDI Fall Conference

October 1-3, 2014
Honey Creek Resort State Park
Moravia, Iowa

 University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute

October 20-24, 2013
University Place Conference Center and Hotel
Indianapolis, Indiana
More Information & Registration >>

 University of Oklahoma EDI Economic Development Marketing and Attraction Course

November 4, 2013 - January 13, 2014 - Online registration coming soon.

For more information, contact Lynn Harkin, PDI Headquarters at (515) 243-4585 or Email


PDI Thanks the 2012 Sponsors



Alliant Energy

Renew Rural Iowa
Council Bluffs Regional Economic Development Commission

Council Bluffs Convention & Visitors Bureau

Triple Event Sponsors
ITC Midwest
Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corp.
Iowa Economic Development Authority

Conference Supporting Sponsors
Black Hills Energy
Iowa Workforce Development

Conference Exhibit Sponsors - Fall & Spring
Ady Voltedge
Convergent Non Profit Fundraising
Iowa Business Growth
Iowa State University CIRAS
JEO Consulting Group Inc.
North Iowa Corridor Development Corp.
Peoples Company
Spring Only
Viebicher Associates Inc.

Fall Only
Iowa City Area Development Group Inc.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Iowa Small Business Development Centers
Iowa Telecommunications Association

BREI Award
Smart Solutions Group
& Blane Canada

Contributing Sponsors - Fall & Spring
Iowa Association of Business & Industry
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative

Contributing Sponsors - Spring Only
Iowa Utility Association

Contributing Sponsors - Fall Only
Access Energy Cooperative
Buchanan County Economic Development
Guthrie County Rural Electric Cooperative Association
Midland Power Cooperative


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