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By Sandy Ehrig, PDI President

Sandy Ehrig
Sandy Ehrig
PDI President
Now that spring seems to be here to stay we know the PDI Spring Event is coming soon! There are three days of education, networking, and resource connecting planned for you. Please register now [Link no longer available.] for any or all. May 2nd is the multi state BREI Community Economic Analysis Course, followed by VIP evening reception at West End Salvage and including SMART conference officials. May 3rd is the annual SMART conference at Hy-Vee Hall followed by a PDI networking reception at Renaissance Savery Hotel.

Continuing at the Savery on May 4th is the morning we've all been waiting for! We will spend time with the staff from the Iowa Economic Development Authority for a "Getting To Know" session! This is a great opportunity to learn what's new and who is new through face-to -face discussions with IEDA staff.

There's still time to honor outstanding efforts for PDI Business Retention and Expansion Awards Program. Please submit nominations by March 30th for presentations during the SMART conference.

Looking forward to seeing many of you in Des Moines early in May!

Sandy Ehrig,
President, Professional Developers of Iowa


 2012 IEDA Update

We Need Your Help!

Dear Iowa Economic Development Partners:
As you know, Governor Branstad has set a bold agenda for those of us in the economic development community to achieve - creating 200,000 new jobs. The Governor himself has been working tirelessly to achieve this goal, and I know that you are too.

Together, we've made great strides already — last year, with your help, we were able to overhaul our delivery system for economic development by creating a public-private partnership. We are currently working with the legislature this year to put in place a $25 million incentive package to make sure Iowa can continue to compete in a global market. But, our work is far from done.

More Information >>

 More from IEDA

SMART Conference: The SMART Economic Development Conference will be held on Thursday, May 3rd in a new venue at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines. Sponsored by the Iowa Utility Association and the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Smart Conference is the state's largest economic development conference. Now in its 27th year, the SMART Conference is for economic development professionals as well as the community leaders and volunteers who serve on boards and guide economic development decisions and efforts. The luncheon keynote speaker is Rebecca Ryan, CEO and Founder of Next Generation Consulting, presenting "Cities 3.0: Reflecting, Responding and Redesigning for the Future." Raj Vohra with Deloitte Consulting LLP, will present "Life Sciences Industry: Community Attraction Strategies and Considerations" giving a broader context for how and where the industry is expanding and offering valuable insight for communities and regions working to attract development in the life sciences industry. The SMART Conference also includes breakout sessions and networking opportunities, designed to educate attendees from both rural and urban areas of the state on the issues and trends in economic development. Register and check for updates at

Moving Iowa Forward Conference: The Moving Iowa Forward Conference, sponsored by the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Department of Transportation will be held April 24, and will bring together users and providers of the transportation industry and economic development officials. Do not miss this opportunity to discover some of the transportation trends and innovations used by businesses to protect, grow and strengthen Iowa's economy.

Energy Efficiency as a Business Investment Webinar: The Iowa Economic Development Authority and Partnership for Industrial Energy Efficiency (PIE2) are hosting a webinar on "Justifying Energy Efficiency as a Business Investment" on Thursday, March 29 from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. The free webinar is geared to corporate financial decision-makers, facility managers, economic development and environmentally-minded professionals and will focus on why energy is more than "a cost of doing business" and how energy improvements can and should respond directly to fundamental business goals such as capital recovery, cash flow, and return on investment. For more information on this program or to register, please visit

 PDI Spring Event — Bringing you the most value for your training dollars!

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. Registration deadline is April 23!

[Link no longer availalbe.]

 SBA Licenses First Nationwide Impact Investment Fund

The U.S. Small Business Administration today licensed the first nationally focused Impact Investment Fund, SJF Ventures III, LP. The fund will make equity investments in cleantech and technology companies in communities nationwide as part of an impact investment initiative to invest up to $1.5 billion in high-growth small businesses.


 Iowa’s Wind Energy Industry: Economic Development Opportunitiess

The Iowa Wind Energy Association offers a Pre-Conference Workshop at the April 9-11th IWEA Wind Energy Conference that will focus on what works to attract wind energy component manufacturers and wind related companies to Iowa. Iowa is a national leader in the number of wind component manufacturers and wind related businesses with an estimated 215 firms involved in the wind energy industry. These companies are located in 56 of Iowa’s 99 counties!

More Information >>



 Des Moines River Trail Receives State Funds
Business Record Daily 3.15.12

The Vision Iowa Board yesterday awarded a grant for $113,542 for the Des Moines River Trail project. The project includes construction of a 2.5-mile trail from the Meredith Trail in downtown Des Moines to the James W. Cownie Soccer and Baseball Parks, with several street connections from adjacent neighborhoods along the way. Other components of the project include signage, kiosks, benches and resting points, and scenic overlooks. The $1.6 million project is the first phase of a larger project that will eventually connect downtown Des Moines to Carlisle. The grant from the River Enhancement Community Attraction and Tourism Fund is contingent upon completion of private fund raising for the project within 30 days. The board also approved $21,100 toward the restoration of former "Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson's birthplace home in Corning.



 PDI Mentor Program

The Professional Developers of Iowa is enhancing our organization's Mentor Program. We wish to have a strong mentor program as a valuable resource to help connect members with other members who have experience in a number of areas of expertise. Our goal is to make the mentoring process as user-friendly as possible and help build bridges among our members.

How does it work?

We have developed an easy way for members to voluntarily select areas of expertise so new and/or veteran members can seek coaching and guidance in a number of aspects of their job. Click below to select as many areas of expertise involved in the economic development profession. These areas of expertise will then be included on your individual PDI profile.

We strongly feel as an organization that our state can only grow stronger if we work together.

How do I find a mentor?

When logged in to the member section of, type the area of expertise you need a mentor for in the "search" field in the upper right of the page. Your search results will show a list of people who have indicated that they are experienced in that field. Click on the users name to find contact information. Contact the member and let them know what kind of help you are looking for.

More on PDI Mentor Program >>

 New Members:

Susan Judkins Josten MSA Professional Services
Beth Brincks, City of Boone
Courtney Dunbar, CEcD, EDFP, Olsson Associates
Twila Larson, Fremont County Economic Development
Steve Parker, CenturyLink; Laura Manatt, Poweshiek Iowa Development
Terence Blain, Montezuma Community Development


Heartland Basic Course
Erica Genise, North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation
Terence Blain, Montezuma Community Development
And Laura Manatt, Poweshiek Iowa Development
J. Benjamin Camp, City of Pleasant Hill for National Development Council

 Job Opportunities:

Community Leader, Healthways and Blue Zones, Iowa
Executive Director, Tama County Economic Development Commission
Director of Growth Development, The City of Mason City
Executive Director, Cedar County Economic Development Commission (CCEDCO)

More on Job Opportunities >>



 Blogs: An Integral Part of an Economic Development Marketing Strategy

The blog is the "keystone" of a solid social media marketing strategy. Blogs have tremendous potential when executed properly. Blogs also have advantages over the typical EDO newsletter: long shelf life, easy to update, available on demand, broad reach, flexible framework for ideas, news, video, and photos without the limitations of a web site.

More Information & Registration >>

 North Central Iowa Export Workshop

March 27, 2012, 8:00 AM
Muse Norris Conference Center
NIACC Campus, Mason City, IA

[Link no longer available.]

 Opening Global Opportunities Conference

March 29, 2012
Hotel Julien, Dubuque, Iowa
Where will your next customer come from? Ninety-six percent of the world's consumers reside outside of the United States and account for over two-thirds of the world's purchasing power. Join Prosperity Eastern Iowa at the Opening Global Opportunities Conference on Thursday, March 29th at the Hotel Julien in Dubuque, Iowa from 8:00 to 2:00 to learn how to tap your company's exporting potential.

Register Here >>

 Heartland Economic Development Course

April 15 — 19, 2012
Kansas City Area
[PDI Scholarships are available thru 3/31/12] — (800) 782-9520

 Scholarship Available

Scholarships are available to attend the Heartland Economic Development Course April 15 — 19.
Deadline for application is March 19.

[Link no longer available.]

 PPP Course — The Partners, the Profession and the Process

Monday, April 23, 2012
2:00-5:00 p.m.
Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, Iowa
To attend email: or

 BREI Training Course

WHO: Professionals in Economic Development
WHAT: BREI Community Economic Analysis Course
WHEN: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 – 9:00 a.m. — 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, 401 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

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

REGISTER: More information for registration will be available after March 1 at

 SMART Conference

Thursday, May 3, 2012
Des Moines, Iowa

 PDI Spring Event — Getting to Know IEDA

Friday, May 4, 2012
Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, Des Moines, Iowa
Registration materials available after March 1 at

 OU/EDI Registration Now Open for OKC

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

 PDI Fall Conference

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


PDI Thanks the 2012 Sponsors



Alliant Energy
Black Hills Energy
Renew Rural Iowa

Western Iowa Regional Groups

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

Conference Supporting Sponsors
Pioneer Hi-Bred International

Conference Exhibit Sponsors — Fall & Spring
Ady Voltedge
Convergent Non Profit Fundraising
Iowa Business Growth
JEO Consulting Group Inc.
North Iowa Corridor Development Corp.
Peoples Company
Spring Only

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

BREI Award
Smart Solutions Group
& Blane Canada

Contributing Sponsors — Fall & Spring
Iowa Bankers Association
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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