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By Sandy Ehrig, PDI President

Sandy Ehrig
Sandy Ehrig
PDI President
Happy New Year to the Professional Developers of Iowa! PDI members often rate the legislative initiatives as one of the most valuable reasons for membership. We have an opportunity to start the new year out on the right foot with the "Call Director Durham" hour on Thursday, January 4 starting at 9:00 a.m. (see this link for details and call-in information). This is your chance to prepare your own influence for this legislative session and learn about the IEDA's agenda to support Iowa's growing economy. Please mark you calendar and call in to listen, learn, and ask questions.

Mark your calendar February 1st when you'll have the opportunity to take your influence to the "Hill" Please join us at PDI "Grow Iowa Day" at the Capitol. If you are a registered exhibitor you'll want to set up between 9:30 — 10:30. If you want to come to learn and meet with your legislators plan to arrive by 10:30. (see the full agenda for the day). The PDI legislative and communications committees are teaming up to represent PDI at the Iowa Travel Federation's Legislative Showcase on the evening of January 31st with another chance to share the PDI legislative message face &ndas; to – face with most of Iowa's legislators.

Please let us know about your local legislative forums and any ways that PDI can work with you to support the Iowa business growth agenda. We all know that it will be a challenging year for our legislators, but with a new year comes new hope for thoughtful constructive legislation!

Grow Iowa Day Registration >>

Sandy Ehrig,
President, Professional Developers of Iowa


 IEDA Upcoming Events

In addition to the legislative call with Debi on Jan 4th, IEDA's has a few additional upcoming events, specifically of interest to our statewide economic development partners: Save the date for February 1st at 3:00 p.m. (immediately following the PDI Grow Iowa Day in Des Moines) to join Don Schjeldahl and Jonathan Gemmen with the Austin Company and the Iowa Economic Development Authority to learn more about the Certified Site program. Look for additional details to come your way soon on the Certified Site event. Marketing Plan Rollout, January 10- 19th at various locations.

 LOIS Data Update Completed!

In August, the Iowa Economic Development Authority contracted with IDM to update the LOIS data for all 99 counties, the MSAs and the Regions. This project has been completed, and includes data regarding Demographics, Labor Force, Higher Education, Transportation and Quality of Life, among other areas. If you have any questions about the LOIS data project, please contact IDM Research Manager Cindy Angel at or (319)273-6943.

 Marketing Plan Overview for Economic Development Partners

You've heard and seen from Director Durham that this is a new day for economic development in Iowa. You've been our allies and partners throughout the efforts to transition from the Iowa Department of Economic Development to the Iowa Economic Development Authority with both public and private entities. You've provided valuable insight on the new branding look and efforts. As we take the next step in setting the direction with new approach and marketing strategies, we need our local partners in the conversation. From January 10th through January 19th, Director Durham will be traveling throughout the state to meet with economic development partners on aligning marketing strategies, and making a bigger impact with the marketing resources available.

More Information >>

 IEDA Position

International Project Manager, Iowa Economic Development Authority (Des Moines, IA)
The Iowa Economic Development Authority is seeking a qualified candidate to join its team as International Project Manager. The project manager's primary responsibility is to recruit international companies to locate job creation projects in the state of Iowa. The person will be an integral team member of the Business Development Division that is responsible for new business recruitment and existing industry expansions. Work includes traditional business development activities, outreach to the business community, economic development project management, and involves considerable initiative and judgment in supporting the state of Iowa's economic development goals and objectives. The ideal candidate will be extremely energetic and have a high level of initiative, possess strong networking skills, and be analytical and customer service-oriented with meaningful deal experience. Candidate must be comfortable making outside sales calls, lead generation, and business development skills. International travel will be a requirement of this position.

Requires four or more years of responsible and varied professional experience in the area of business and/or economic development. Such experience would normally be gained after graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor's degree in business, marketing, economic development, urban planning, public administration or other related field. Possession of a Master's Degree in business, marketing, economic development, urban planning, public administration or a related field may be substituted for 2 years of experience. Other combinations of training and/or experience which can be demonstrated to result in the possession of the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to perform the duties of this position will also be considered. Applicant must have the ability and be available to travel domestically and internationally; hold a valid passport and (Iowa) drivers license and have international travel experience. Fluency in a foreign language is a plus. Please submit applications to


 PDI Legislative Update

2012 will be an action packed year during the legislative session, which kicks off Monday, January 9. In is starting already...and TIF is where the action begins! Your early assistance, support and communication is needed NOW!

Senator Bolkcom and Representative Sands are hosting a public hearing on TIF at the Coralville Library on January 4 at 5:30 pm. Both serve as the chair of the Ways and Means Committee in each of their respective chambers and holds the authority over TIF. We need PDI members to this is a very important meeting and it is critical our collective, loud voice is heard.

More Information >>

 House Transportation Committee to Announce Bipartisan Legislation

Senator Tom Rielly (D-Oskaloosa), the Democratic chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, will join with his Republican counterpart Representative David Tjepkes (R-Gowrie) chair of the House Transportation Committee to announce bipartisan legislation to address Iowa’s transportation investment shortfall by increasing Iowa’s gas tax.

Early this year Governor Branstad appointed a citizen's advisory task force to identify the urgent needs of Iowa's roads and bridges. The taskforce reported that Iowa faces a $215 million annual shortfall in revenue to meet what was defined as "critical" needs on our roads and bridges. The task force recommended an 8 to 10 cent increase in the state’s gas tax and applying the state's sales tax and local option taxes to automobiles. Senator Rielly and Representative Tjepkes both served on the task force and met with over 500 Iowans across the state. They have decided to work together to address the long term systemic problem of stagnant revenues and soaring construction costs, while complying with Governor's desire not to increase the tax in 2012.

At the January 4th news conference, Senator Rielly and Representative Tjepkes will provide additional details on the bipartisan proposal they will bring to the Iowa legislature.

 Conference Call with IEDA Director

A SPECIAL MEETING/CONFERENCE CALL for all PDI members has been scheduled on Wednesday, January 4 from 9:00 — 10:30 a.m. with Director Debi Durham to discuss the Iowa Economic Development Authority's (IEDA) initiatives for the 2012 legislation session.

Please plan to attend this Special Meeting/Conference Call. To connect to the conference call please follow the instructions below:

Conference Call dial-in: 1-866-904-8292
Attendee Code: 5355213#

Director Durham is making herself available to PDI members again to review issues, answer all questions, address concerns. Director Durham understands how important her access is to our organization, as well as the need to have PDI members fully understand the direction and intent of IEDA's initiatives.

Please don't miss this opportunity to have direct access to Director Durham in a members-only setting. Your support and participation in this conference call is critical to help ensure PDI and IEDA are effectively working together to ensure our state's competitiveness.


 Tell Your Story

If you want to recognize a successful business or entrepreneur with a statewide feature story — the Iowa Farm Bureau may help!

The monthly Family Living Magazine features small-town business that is creating economic opportunities and giving back to the community, or successful entrepreneurs who are proud to live and work in rural Iowa.

The December edition features Spencer's La Chiesa restaurant and Chef Jeremy Neppl's "come back" to Iowa story.

Please send your story ideas to Teresa Bjork, Iowa Farm Bureau features writer, at or call 515-225-5412.


 Job Postings:

Project Manager — Greater DSM Partnership, Des Moines

More Information >>


 IEDC Leadership Summit

Empowering "Hall of Fame" Economic Development Leaders and Communities
January 29-31, 2012
San Antonio, Texas

More Information >>

 PDI Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Iowa State Capitol Complex, Des Moines, Iowa

[Link no longer available.]

 Heartland Economic Development Course

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

 PPP Course — The Partners, the Profession and the Process

Monday, April 23, 2012
2:00-4:00 p.m.
Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, Iowa

 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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