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By Sandy Ehrig, PDI President

Sandy Ehrig
Sandy Ehrig
PDI President
The Professional Developers of Iowa are only as effective as the action from committees on the work plan for 2012! Thought you'd like to read about some of the action:

  • Communication...working thru RFP process to upgrade website
  • Conference...monthly planning to provide an outstanding fall conference (Sept. 26 -28 in Council Bluffs) focused on "Exploring the Silicon Prairie ...Technology & Economic Development"
  • Education...planning workshop for those new to economic development or new to Iowa's ED work (PPP workshop - April 23) Spring education events May 2 and 4th ...flanking the SMART conference
  • Legislative...ongoing attention to passage of legislation supporting PDI's 2012 agenda
  • Membership...working to finalize roster for 2012 with renewals and new emberships....mentoring opportunities will soon have attention, too
  • Operations...efforts for increased revenue underway ...monthly board meetings
Please take a look at the entire work plan on the website... and let Lynn know where you'd like help!

It is the "action" that makes PDI the dynamic professional organization that supports Iowa's economic development efforts! Keep up the great work everyone...

Sandy Ehrig,
President, Professional Developers of Iowa


 2012 IEDA Update

A valuable tool IEDA provides to our economic development partners is free access to LOIS. This database is a great way to market your available buildings and sites to a national audience of site selectors, but it's only of value if you actively use it. It's simple and only takes a few minutes to input your information or edit existing records. If you need a refresher on the system or would like individualized training for your region, please contact Chris Cataldo at either or 515.725.3157.

Also, the next training offered by LOIS staff will be Wednesday, March 14 at 10 AM. It will cover My Properties, Google Analytics, and Reports. It should last about half an hour. To register, visit and click on the My LOIS tab. There you will see the list of upcoming trainings and instructions on how to register.

If you have any questions or would like to set up a time and date for individualize LOIS training, please contact Chris at or 515.725.3157.

 IEDA Launches New E-Newsletter

GreeNetwork is a free electronic newsletter sent every 4-6 weeks by Iowa Economic Development Authority Community Development Division staff to 3,000+ recipients.

Browse past issues >>

 Register Now for the 2012 Heartland Economic Development Course

Heartland offers intensive training in the basic concepts, information, methods and strategies of local economic development. Our experienced faculty members provide an excellent blend of basic theory and practical application. Graduation from heartland fulfills one of the prerequisites for those interested in the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) certification through IEDC. Scholarships are available.

More Information >>

 Local Startups Raise Funds

Two Iowa startups recently raised significant funds to further their innovative business. Des Moines-based Dwolla raised series B funding in the amount of $500,000 to build the brand and take the payment network product nationwide. Iowa City-based Activegrade raised $200,000 to continue to develop the on-line grade book for educators.

Read about Dwolla raises $5M and stays in Des Moines >>

Read about Activegrade raises $200,000 >>

 Economic Development Authority Board Announces Largest Capital Investment in History of Iowa

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board recently awarded financial assistance, with one project accounting for $1.3 billion of new capital investment to the state.

Iowa Fertilizer Company is a subsidiary of Orascom Construction Industries, which is one of the world's largest fertilizer producers. The IEDA Board approved direct financial assistance as well as tax incentives for a proposed project to build a new large-scale fertilizer plant in the Lee County community of Wever. The new plant would supply needed ammonia and other nitrogen fertilizers to farmers in Iowa and the Midwest. The project represents an investment in excess of $1 billion and is expected to create 165 permanent jobs.

In addition to the permanent jobs the project would create, approximately 1,500-2,000 construction-related jobs would also be expected. Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, said, "Iowa Fertilizer Company's proposed project could have a huge impact for our entire state that will benefit us for years to come. Economic development takes many forms but is best achieved when the assets of the location align perfectly with the strengths of the company making the investment." She continued, "That is exactly why it is essential we have the right tools to continue to compete for global projects of this magnitude."


Budget Update

In a PDI Member Alert last week, and then again in the latest issue of The PDI Post, we told you about the URGENT NEED to get phone calls and e-mails in to legislators, but especially Iowa House members, in support of the Iowa Economic Development Authority's (IEDA) request of $25 million in program funds.

The Governor and House and Senate leaders are negotiating in the next couple of weeks what funds will be allocated to state programs, so we need to keep the pressure on this effort.

Some House Republican legislators have said they have not heard from anyone in their districts about this. Even if you have already weighed in with your own legislators, do it again. And then weigh in with the legislators NEAR your area.

Remember that the House recommended ZERO DOLLARS for IEDA programs in the upcoming year. ZERO. Call or e-mail today!

You can find out who your Iowa House of Representatives member is by going HERE and inserting your home address. The Iowa House member will be listed in the bottom right of the box at the top of the results page. You can find your House member's e-mail address HERE.

The Authority has put together a couple of one pagers to help PDI members and others in making the case for the $25 million appropriation. You can find those documents on the PDI Legislative Resources page of the PDI website, or by clicking HERE and HERE.


 Statewide Historic Preservation Plan Survey

The State Historic Preservation Office is taking the lead in updating Iowa's comprehensive statewide historic preservation plan. The last preservation plan was finalized and approved by the National Park Service in 2006. It is now time to look toward the future and begin revising the statewide preservation plan. If you are interested in taking the survey, contact Paula Mohr at 515-281-6826 for more information. Information collected from the survey will help the advisory committee identify key preservation issues, challenges, and opportunities.

 ICAD Group Launching 'Job Club' for Corridor Professionals
Cedar Rapids Gazette, February 20, 2012

Professionals typically find that "It's not what you know, but who you know" when you are searching for employment.

With that in mind, the Iowa City Area Development Group is launching a Corridor Job Club that will promote personal and Internet social networking as a path to securing mid- or upper-level positions in what some have described as a "hidden job market."


 MidAmerican, Siemens Team Up on Additional Wind Turbines
Business Record Daily February 23, 2012

MidAmerican Energy Co. is partnering with Siemens Energy on a 407.1-megawatt wind project expansion in 2012. MidAmerican and Siemens entered into a turbine supply agreement for an additional 176 wind turbines to be installed at three sites in Iowa.



 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


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



 Be sure to join us for EntreFest! 2012

March 8 & 9, 2012
Gateway Hotel, Ames, Iowa
Iowa's Statewide Conference for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs
Details & Registration >>

 Dream Big Grow Here Pitch-Off

March 8, 2012
Gateway Hotel, Ames, Iowa
[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 1.

[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

 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

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