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By Sandy Ehrig, PDI President

Sandy Ehrig
Sandy Ehrig
PDI President
The Professional Developers of Iowa partners with many organizations in the form of sponsorship each year. PDI’s seminars and conferences continue the tradition of providing quality training opportunities for Iowa’s economic development professionals – but this all would not be possible without their support. Their investment provides recognition, networking, access, and visibility of their organization to more than 320 of Iowa’s economic development professionals.

We’ve added something new to the sponsorship package this year - advertising on both the website and newsletter! If your organization would be interested in this, please go to

We appreciate and are truly grateful for all of our partnerships and their financial support. Please be sure to look over the list at the end of the newsletter and make a special note to say ‘thank you’ to these generous folks when you see them.

Sandy Ehrig,
President, Professional Developers of Iowa


 BEST of Iowa Workshops

The 2012 BEST workshops will focus on helping economic development professionals understand data derived from the existing business interviews conducted throughout the state. Focusing on Synchronist, users will gain a better understanding of the report functions and how to benchmark community data against the state, Midwest, and national data standards.

Just some the agenda items that will be covered include Iowa’s Fifth Annual Capacity Report, Resource Tools – Project Osprey, X-Tool, Boxscore, Scatterplots, and assistance tracking – and special guest speaker Mitch Matthews and his presentation “Google Your Brain: The Power of the Questions We Ask Ourselves.”

Workshop dates and locations:

Tuesday, Sept. 11 Kirkwood Center
7725 Kirkwood Blvd SW
Cedar Rapids

Wednesday, Sept. 12 Fareway Educational Center
1215 South Marshall St

Thursday, Sept. 13 Western Iowa Tech Community College
11 North 35th St

There is no cost to attend, but advanced reservations are required. Register by August 5 by contacting Chris Cataldo, Iowa Economic Development Authority, via or 515.725.3157. Additional details will be available soon.

 IEDA doles out $15.7 million
Business Record Daily AM 7.12.12 - Ticker

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) awarded $15.7 million in community development block grants to 45 communities across the state to support community investment projects. The federally funded grants were awarded for community facilities, flood prevention, infrastructure improvements and single-family owner-occupied housing rehabilitation. The IEDA received 132 applications for these funds, totaling more than $41.9 million in funding requests. The grants are awarded based on the financial need and potential impact of the project, benefit to low- and moderate-income persons and commitment of local resources to moving the project forward.

Award Recipients >>

 Grant Writing Training

U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Center for Faith-Based & Community Initiatives is Offering [GRANT WRITING TRAINING] LEARN HOW TO PREPARE A SUCCESSFUL GRANT APPLICATION Discover how to develop a solid grant proposal, perform group activities to enhance the learning experience and find federal funding opportunities. HUD's Grant Writing Training is for agencies and nonprofits who are seeking information on how to develop a grant application for funding to support a proposed program or project. Training topics include grant proposal writing techniques, how to access Government funds, researching grant resources, common factors for award and more. This is a basic class intended to assist organizations gain a greater understanding of what it takes to construct a good, competitive grant application..

More Information >>


 Mark Your Calendar

Mark your Calendar: PDI Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol 2013:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Iowa State Capitol Rotunda

Iowa Bankers Association


 IBC Award Nominations

The Iowa Business Council (IBC) is accepting nominations for the fourth annual Iowa Partners in Efficiency (IPE) Award. Nominations will be accepted now through October 4, 2012. The Award recognizes employees or work units in any political subdivision — local, county, or state — that, through the use of Lean tools and techniques, increases productivity and promotes innovation resulting in improved public services benefiting the citizens of Iowa and the private sector.

Submit a Nomination >>

 Site Lets Users Invest in Local Businesses
Mitchell Schmidt, Iowa City Press Citizen, July 9, 2012

A new website makes it possible for individuals to invest in their favorite local businesses or potential start-up companies in exchange for discounts or eventual revenue paybacks., which went live Sunday, allows existing and aspiring businesses in the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids area to start short-term funding campaigns, called Seeds, in which supporters can make small investments in exchange for pre-orders or discounts on the companies’ products and services.


 Connecting the Dots to Financial Literacy
Chelsea Keenan, Staff Writer, Business Record, July 6, 2012

Forming an audit committee. Filling your board with financially savvy members. Accumulating cash reserves for a rainy day. When put together, these items form a picture of a financially literate nonprofit organization. But several experts agree that for smaller, cash-strapped nonprofits, connecting those dots can be a challenge.




"Exploring the Silicon Prairie...Technology & Economic Development"

September 26-28, 2012
Mid-America Center, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Hilton Garden Inn/Country Inn & Suites, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Spotlight on Speakers:

Mitch Mathews has a passion for helping individuals and organizations to dream big, innovate and achieve more! Mitch has worked with leaders from organizations like NASA, Nike, Disney, Pioneer and the Principal Financial Group. His goal is to help leaders navigate the wild waters of innovation more effectively by applying some of the simple but powerful strategies he’ll be talking about in The Innovation Habit™. Mitch also works one-on-one with leaders as an Elite Executive Coach. Plus, he has created a coach-training program that has been utilized around the globe. In fact, his unique ideas and approach led to him being asked to sit on the Franklin Covey Companies® Innovation Advisory Board for Professional Coaching. In 2006, Mitch and his wife also started something called the BIG Dream Gatherings which have helped thousands of people to dream bigger and, in many cases, get the boost they needed to get their big dreams accomplished.

In 2011, Mitch’s book: “IGNITE — A little book to spark your big dreams!” was published.

Tim Chase is the President and CEO of the

Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2001 after having served as its Vice President of Economic Development since 1998. The Chamber provides economic development services for the City and region. Mr. Chase relocated to Dixon, IL where he had served as the Executive Director of the Dixon Industrial Development Association (DIDA) for ten years. Prior to his career in economic development Mr. Chase was in the retail industry for twelve years serving eights yeas as manager of three full-line department stores, and also served four years in the U.S. Navy. Mr. Chase has been active on the Boards of Economic Development, Chambers of Commerce and downtown business development organizations in Colorado, Wyoming, Iowa, Illinois and now Texas. Mr. Chase is currently the immediate past Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute and has been on staff for 20 years as an instructor. Mr. Chase is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer and facilitator on the topics of economic development, community development, strategic planning, infrastructure, sales and marketing.

Liz Nead is the 2011 LLS Celebrity of the Year, Ms. Nead is an expert in Bringing Life Back to Everyday Life for those seeking beyond daily responsibilities by directly impacting the lives of thousands with inspiration CD’s, life coaching, magazine articles, public speaking engagements and life improvement television. She directs and hosts an exciting television show called the Life Dare airing on Fox five days a week, which invites people to learn from experts and then take a “challenge” to bring the lesson to life. Ms. Nead also inspires by speaking and coaching to four key messages which focus on accessing individual “game,” creating powerful vision and creating a rock star network. In addition to her life philosophy, Ms. Nead is an open book, inviting you to learn from her life, as she strives to vitalize her marriage to retired military office, connect with her seven children in their blended marriage, decipher friendship challenges, fight for personal balance and create a purpose-filled life. She believes that small and doable changes will lead to mighty, life changing results.

Other Topics to be covered and speakers to be announced later:

Panel on — Technology Opportunities, Trends, and Future Workers/Occupations.
Panel on — Choosing Locations, Chances for the Future in Iowa.
IDED Update with Director Durham.
Panel on — Getting the right resources — How to find them and how to support your business with them.
Panel on — Starting a Comprehensive Entrepreneur Development Program on a Shoe String Budget.
Action Steps to Increase the Economic Development Profession by Tim Chase.
Workforce Development & Technology with Paula Nissen & Rob Parker, IWD.
Legislative Update with local legislators and our crack team of lobbyists.
Time to see old friends, time to meet new friends!
See all the great things that Council Bluffs has to offer as our host!
Golf, learn to use technology in your profession.
Wow, you are not going to want to miss this one!

 Did You Know...

Did you know….that PDI offers a Provisional Membership Status for existing PDI members it is an opportunity to maintain their PDI membership if they lose their job with their organization through no fault of your own. The PDI Board of Directors recently approved a provisional “job loss” program that will allow a PDI member to continue his/her membership so that he/she can continue to receive emails, newsletters, and an opportunity to participate in events at membership rates. This new “job loss” program will allow for these individuals to maintain their network of colleagues and potentially develop their careers. If your job has been affected or you need additional information, please contact Lynn Harkin, PDI Executive Director (, and notify her of your status. PDI is committed to assisting its members through these tough economic times. We hope that the next quarters of 2010 turn out to be vibrant times of economic recovery benefiting Iowa.

 Job Opportunities:

Economic Development Coordinator, City of Davenport
City Administrator/Economic Development Director, City of Monroe

More on Job Opportunities >>


 The Future of Work: The Skills We Need To Stay Relevant Webinar

July 18 @ 1:00 PM

Presented by Kristin Wolff of Thinkers + Doers, LLC
Hosted by Dean Whittaker of Whittaker Associates, Inc.
PDI Members: Staying relevant requires life-long learning to maintain and improve our skills.
[Link no longer available.]

 Economic Development Strategic Planning Training Course

July 26-27, 2012
IEDC - Chicago, IL
More Information & Registration >>

 Iowa Downtown Summit

Tuesday-Wednesday, August 21-22, 2012
Presented by the IEDA and the Federal Home Loan Bank (Des Moines)
Keokuk, IA
[Link no longer available.]

 PDI Fall Conference
"Exploring the Silicon Prairie….Technology & Economic Development"

Wednesday — Friday, September 26-28, 2012
Mid-America Center, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Hilton Garden Inn and Country Inn & Suites
Terry Bailey, Lori Holste & Jason Hutcheson, Conference Co-Chairs

 International Economic Development Council Annual Conference
"Energizing Today to Empower Tomorrow"

September 30 – October 3, 2012
Houston, TX
*Register by Friday, July 27, and save with our Early Registration Rates
More Information & Registration >>

 Great Plains Energy Codes Conference

October 16-18, 2012
Marriott in Regency Plaza
Omaha, Nebraska
More Information & Registration >>

 2012 Competitiveness Conference & Site Selector Forum

December 2-4, 2012
Intercontinental Hotel Chicago
Chicago, IL
[Link no longer available.]



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
Pioneer Hi-Bred International
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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