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By Sandy Ehrig, PDI President

Sandy Ehrig
Sandy Ehrig
PDI President
This is the week to "see and be seen" in Des Moines! It's not too late to get registered for the PDI Spring Event which includes the SMART conference. There are two and a half days filled with what Iowa economic developers crave - education, information, and networking with colleagues and experts.

The first ever BRE awards will be presented during the SMART luncheon event on May 3rd. Don't miss helping to honor the best Overall BRE Program and the best in the Single Project or Success category. PDI' s education committee has put some real effort into bringing recognition and showcasing the essential Business Retention and Expansion strategies that assist Iowa companies. Thanks to Smart Solutions for their sponsorship and participation. Join us as we salute some great local programs!

Sandy Ehrig,
President, Professional Developers of Iowa


 Public Meetings for Chicago to Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System Planning Study

The Iowa Department of Transportation in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration and Illinois Department of Transportation want to remind you about the upcoming Chicago to Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System Planning Study's in-person and online, self-directed open house meetings beginning May 1, 2012.

The open house is intended to illustrate various route alternatives, explain the process used to evaluate the route alternatives, discuss the findings of the alternatives analysis, and gain public input on the proposed route alternatives.

More Information >>

 You're Invited to Participate in This Passenger Rail Study!

The Iowa Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the Federal Railroad Administration and Illinois Department of Transportation, is studying the feasibility of expanding existing passenger rail service and developing a new regional passenger rail service from Chicago, Ill., through Iowa to Omaha, Neb. This study will be a major step in assessing the viability of a regional intercity passenger rail system serving Iowa and the Midwest through this corridor. Please see attached for additional information about the study. Public input is a major component of the study. The FRA and the Iowa and Illinois DOTs are providing information and gathering input in many ways, including a community tool kit, now online at under the "resources" tab. This tool kit provides information to be used by interested community groups along the potential passenger rail routes when speaking to their members about the study.

 Greater Des Moines Partnership's Central Iowa Sourcelink

As a part of the Capital Crossroads regional vision, Greater Des Moines Partnership is helping to increase support for small business and entrepreneurs. Every new small business, start-up enterprise or entrepreneurial endeavor can one day grow to become a community's largest employer. While there are many organizations and programs that support small business, they can be somewhat fragmented, and there is no central place where all of this information is housed. Central Iowa SourceLink seeks to remedy this problem by gathering all of these small business resources into an online platform.

More Information >>



 Policy Perspectives

Read the latest Policy Perspectives at the PDI web site >>



 ICAD Campaign Aims to Create 3,000 New Jobs
By Tara Bannow, Iowa City Press-Citizen, April 9, 2012

For its newest $5 million fund raising campaign, Iowa City's economic development organization turned to Austin, Texas, for wisdom.

“Where they were 25, 30 years ago is very similar to where we are,” said Mark Nolte, business development director and interim president of the Iowa City Area Development Group. “That kind of smaller- to mid-sized city with a university, but more uncapped potential than anyone was harnessing.”


 Indian Hills Collaborates with Leaders to Improve Economic Conditions over 10 Counties
Mark Newman, Courier Staff Writer, Ottumwa Courier, April 12, 2012

If Indian Hills Community College is the example, two-year colleges have evolved from a place that can benefit someone to a place fighting to benefit everyone. “After studying the demographics of our 10-county area and our mission statement, the college decided we needed to be more active in regional economic advancement,” said Tom Rubel on Wednesday. Rubel, Indian Hills' executive dean of regional economic advancement, spoke to the school's board of trustees this week about the restructuring across his and some other departments. The idea is to help bring jobs and success to the region. “There is a collaborative effort between these [Indian Hills] departments to assist the college's constituents in improving the economic condition of this area.”


 MUM to Unveil Sustainable Center
Structure will be one of the only net-zero energy buildings in the nation.

The Hawk Eye, April 19, 2012

When Maharishi University of Management's Sustainable Living Center opens Friday, it is expected to produce more energy than it will consume, thanks to a wind turbine, solar panels, geothermal tubing, extensive use of daylight, earth block walls, verandas and a range of other measures.

An opening celebration is set for 11 a.m.


 'Partnering' Campaign Hitting Its Goals
Economic development numbers showing an upward trend in area.

By Rex L. Troute, The Hawk Eye, April 22, 2012

If Burlington's Partnering for the Future campaign were a college student taking a course, they would be getting an "A" three-fifths of the way through the term.

In 2008, the Greater Burlington Partnership formed a committee to raise $1.5 million with a mission of raising the bar of economic development in Des Moines County and the cities of Burlington and West Burlington from 2009 to 2013. The primary goals set in the campaign were: Realize $100 million in private capital investment; work with companies to create 1,000 new direct jobs; have tourism reach $500 million for the five-year period; see 25 business starts in downtown Burlington; and 25 new apartments or condos constructed downtown.


 Shovel-ready in Iowa
Ankeny will add depth to the city's development site options with Crosswinds Business Park

By Joe Gardyasz, Senior Staff Writer, Business Record, April 20, 2011

An Ankeny business park development plan that's been in the works for the past seven years will begin to take shape this year in the southeastern corner of the city. The project, known as Crosswinds Business Park, is situated on a roughly 400-acre tract of rolling farmland accessible from the Corporate Woods Drive interchange. Development of the site, a cooperative effort between the city and eight landowners, represents not just the next business park for Ankeny, but also the execution of a larger strategy to accelerate the creation of shovel-ready sites.




 PDI Spring Event

We are excited for the upcoming PDI Spring Event - we have a great three day event planned and you don't want to miss it! The Early Bird deadline has passed but registration is still available.

Attendees of the 2012 Spring Event will join hundreds of professionals and volunteers at Iowa's signature economic development event, the Iowa Utility Association's SMART Economic Development Conference, Business Retention and Expansion International and the Professional Developers of Iowa will partner to complete the conference agenda with high – impact sessions, networking opportunities and unique experiences only downtown Des Moines can provide.

BREI Community Economic Analysis Course [Class is full!]
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 – 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, 401 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

SMART Economic Development Conference
Thursday, May 3, 2012 – 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Iowa Events Center – Hy-Vee Hall, Des Moines, IA
For full agenda/speaker info:

Getting to Know IEDA
Friday, May 4, 2012 - 7:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, Des Moines, IA
Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel
401 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA
(515) 244-2151

 Welcome New Members

Megan Framke, Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation, Ottumwa, IA
DR. Mark Schroeder, Iowa State University Extension, Clinton, IA
William Stazzoni, Pottawattamie County Growth Alliance, Council Bluffs, IA
Ryan Carroll, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Des Moines, IA


Mitchell Biersner, Grundy County Development Alliance, Grundy Center, IA – Heartland Economic Developmment Course

 Job Opportunities:

Executive Director, Jasper County Economic Development Corporation
Director of Economic Development, Greater Burlington Partnership
Executive Director, City of Dewitt
Assistant Economic Development Director, City of Dubuque
President, Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce
Executive Director, Cedar County Economic Development Commission (CCEDCO)
Community Leader, Blue Zones, Iowa
Research Assistant, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber

More on Job Opportunities >>




Wednesday, May, 2, 2012
Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, 401 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309
[Link no longer available.]

 SMART Conference

Thursday, May 3, 2012
Des Moines, Iowa
More Information >>

 PDI Spring Event — Getting to Know IEDA

Friday, May 4, 2012
Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, Des Moines, Iowa
Registration materials available at

Room rates: $104/night; Call (515) 244-2151 or Marriott Reservations (800) 514-4706 Identify that you are affiliated with the Professional Developers of Iowa Room Block
Deadline for sleeping rooms: April 25

 Register Now for the OU/EDI 50th Anniversary Session Oklahoma City

May 6-10, 2012
Oklahoma City, OK
Registration open at

Scholarships are available for various professional development opportunities. For more information, log onto

 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

 Regional Energy Codes Conference

October 16-18, 2012
Marriott in Regency Plaza
Omaha, Nebraska

Request for Presentation Proposals:
The deadline to submit proposals is APRIL 27, 2012.


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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