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By Brent Willett, PDI President

Brent Willett
PDI President
These are the saddest of possible words:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."

These words were written more than 100 years ago on July 10, 1910 by Franklin Pierce Adams in the New York Evening Mail about three-quarters of the infield of the 1907 Chicago Cubs. That team- the greatest of all time [some of you likely will disagree and cite the 1927 Yankees as the greatest team ever, while others may scoff and argue the 1975 Reds were the finest to take the field. Fortunately none of you are writing this memo.] swept the Detroit Tigers to claim the World Series title that year despite a completely dysfunctional relationship among its best players.

Even to this day "Tinker to Evers to Chance" suggests well-oiled teamwork to anyone who reads it, baseball fan or not. However, explosive personality conflicts were seething just below the surface. Evers and Tinker hated each other and never spoke except when absolutely necessary on the field- Tinker attributed it to an incident where Evers once took a taxi to the ballpark without waiting for him [as good a reason as any to hold an unalloyed grudge for years]. Yet the two put aside differences every day and joined with Chance to form perhaps the best infield in history, an accomplishment which suggests, given what's required of a good baseball infield- unmitigated trust, absolute coordination and an innate understanding of the instincts of three other people at every turn- that differences off the field needn't impair the performance and path toward the greater goal on it.

There's something to Adam's rendering of the solidarity, communication and collaboration necessary to execute the perfect double play despite exterior factors that could derail it, I think, that we can take with when thinking about to the sorts of collaborative economic development efforts that, as far as I can tell, every PDI member is engaged in to one extent or another. To pull off any project- large or small, public or private, our idea or theirs- requires incredible coordination on the part of the economic developer. Coordination of agencies, of personalities, of priorities, of agendas- you name it- it often is the singular responsibility of the economic developer to execute what on the surface [to the media, to your investors, to your mom] looks to be a flawless 6-4-3 double play to win the game but in the background was a spectacular challenge overcome only though a deftness of skill demonstrated by you in areas ranging from development finance to political advocacy to public relations. That's a pretty cool responsibility- find me another profession with such a rich portfolio of responsibility and opportunity.

Whether it's the achievement of a Microsoft announcement in West Des Moines or a multi-family housing renaissance in Charles City, the fundamentals are the same. Tinker to Evers to Chance. EDC to P&Z to Council. COG to EDA to developer. City to Utility to County. What matters is the result, and it's up to us to ensure when the ball comes bouncing our way, our partners are in place to instinctively execute on the opportunity.

Despite their off-the-field differences, Tinker, Evers and Chance were voted into the Hall of Fame as a unit in 1946.

What matters is the result.


Brent Willett
President, Professional Developers of Iowa



 Large Site Certification Program Kickoff Webinar- Tuesday, July 16

One of the fastest growing trends in the site selection business is the demand for shovel-ready industrial sites. As companies continue to put pressure on the time allowed for making a location decision as well as the time required to start construction and complete the project, the need for certified sites increases. Companies looking to build new facilities want sites that are shovel-ready and relatively risk free.

IEDA launched the Mega Site certification program in May 2012. There are currently 12 sites working toward certification. We are now opening the program to smaller sites. Sites with contiguous acreage of between 50-249 acres are invited to apply. There is also an industrial park category for sites between 100-499 acres. Rail is not required for either category.

More Information >>

 New FY14 Wage Rates

July 1 marked the beginning of fiscal year 2014. As such, new laborshed wages are in effect. The new wage rates (including 100%, 90%, and 120%) and the list of distressed counties for FY14 have been posted on the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) website.

More Information >>



See the latest issue of PDI Policy Perspectives >>




 Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation Receives Economic Development Award

Iowa Area Development Group (IADG), honored Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation and President & CEO Kathy Evert with the Silver Shovel Award at a gathering at King's Pointe in Storm Lake on June 24. The Silver Shovel Award honors outstanding leadership, innovation and achievement in business and community development. In presenting the award Rand Fisher, president of IADG, highlighted numerous accomplishments of the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation. Fisher recognized their comprehensive approach to economic development in leading business and community development efforts with entrepreneurship, existing industry, new business and industrial locations. Kathy Evert was recognized for her leadership as past President of the Professional Developers of Iowa and MidAmerica Economic Development Council; as well as her collaboration in advancing the vitality of the Iowa Lakes region. Recent business growth within the region includes the new Green Industrial Center in Spencer with the recent addition of the DuPont Pioneer Distribution Warehouse as a tenant; the recently opened East Lakes Industrial Park in Spirit Lake with new tenant Federal Express; and expansion of Polaris in Spirit Lake, to name a few. Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation was nominated for the award by Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative and Corn Belt Power Cooperative.

More Information >>

IADG Award
Rand Fisher, President of IADG, presents Kathy Evert,
President and CEO of Iowa Lakes Corridor, with the Silver Shovel Award.

 ESOP Certification Process

As you know, the IEDA and PDI have worked together over the past couple of years to advance legislation to make it easier in Iowa for businesses to convert themselves to Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). The goal of this has been to give Iowa business owners who plan to retire in the near future some options other than just selling the business they built to an out-of-town or out-of-state corporation that may close it down or move it somewhere else. The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) has put together some information about ESOPs and asked IEDA to ensure that PDI's members have a chance to look it over. There are phone numbers and email addresses for NCEO in the handout in case you need further information.

More Information >>




 Save The Date!

PIPAC Center
September 25-27, 2013
PDI Fall Conference — "Building the Economic Developer"
Park Place Event Centre, Cedar Falls, Iowa
Wingate by Wyndham and AmericInn Hotel — Hosted by the Cedar Valley Regional Partnership

Hear from Marsia Gunter one of two founders of Carnahan, Smith & Gunter, Inc., who has over 23 years experience as an Ontological Coach emphasizing Leadership, Ownership and Business Growth. Her primary work includes strategic futuring and visioning, business development long and short term planning, leadership and ownership development for all members of the team.

Participate in an Economic Development Bar Camp and pick the topics to discuss with your fellow members that mean the most to you and your position.

Learn how to nurture your relationships with federal legislators and focus your message for the Washington DC audience.

Experience what a Blue Zone community is all about with special menu selections, interactive options for activities and networking to develop the whole person.

Dine Around in Downtown Cedar Falls, visit the Waterloo Arts Center and network, network, network with your PDI colleagues. You won't want to miss it!

 Job Postings:

Executive Director, Hamilton County S.E.E.D., Hamilton County
Economic Development Director, The City of Webster City, Webster City
Economic Development Director, Mahaska Community Development Group, Oskaloosa
Capital Investment Campaign and Marketing Coordinator, Lee County Economic Development Group, Keokuk
Economic Development Director / City Administrator, City of Ackley, Ackley
Community Development Director, City of Orange City, Orange City
Economic Development Specialist, City of Sioux City, Sioux City

More Information >>

 New Members:

Janell Hansen, Marne Elk Horn Telephone Co., Elkhorn, IA



 Preserve Iowa Summit

August 22-24, 2013
Burlington, IA
More Information & Registration >>

 Community Efficient and Renewable Energy Workshop - FREE

August 27, 2013, 9:30 a.m. 4:00 p.m.
American Legion
103 East Main Street
West Union, IA 52175
More Information >>

 The 2013 HousingIowa Conference

September 4-5, 2013
Marriott in Coralville, IA

 On-Line Course: University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute - Business Retention & Expansion

Summer 2013 - TBA
More Information & Registration >>

 On-Line Course: University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute - Strategic Planning
More Information & Registration >>

 PDI Fall Conference

Building the Economic Developer
September 25-27, 2013
Park Place Event Centre
Wingate by Wyndham and AmericInn Hotel
Cedar Falls, Iowa - Hosted by Cedar Valley
Registration Materials available in July; check out conference videos here >>

 University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute (On-Site)

November 3-7, 2013
Crowne Plaza Hotel - Downtown Union Station Indianapolis, Indiana
More Information & Registration >>

 On-Line Course: University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute Marketing Course

November 4, 2013 - January 13, 2014
More Information & Registration >>

 University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute (On-Site)

May 4-8, 2014
Hotel: TBA
Dallas, Texas
More Information & Registration >>

For more information, contact Lynn Harkin, PDI Headquarters at (515) 243-4585 or Email


PDI Thanks the 2013 Sponsors



Alliant Energy

Renew Rural Iowa

Special thanks to our local sponsors in Cedar Valley:
Cedar Valley Regional Partnership
City of Cedar Falls
Farmers State Bank
Hawkeye Community College
Point Builders
In-Kind: Waverly Chamber of Commerce

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

Conference Benefactor Sponsor
Iowa LinkedUp/ITC Venture
North Iowa Corridor Development Corp.

Conference Exhibit Sponsors — Fall & Spring
Black Hills Energy
Center for Industrial Research & Service - ISU
Convergent Fundraising Solutions
Peoples Company

Spring Only
Viebicher Associates Inc.
The Iowa Regional Center

Fall Only
Iowa Small Business Development Centers
JEO Consulting Group Inc.

BREI Award
Smart Solutions Group
Blane Canada

Contributing Sponsors — Fall & Spring
Iowa Association of Business & Industry
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative
Central Iowa Power Cooperative

Contributing Sponsors — Spring Only
Great Des Moines Partnership
Iowa Utility Association

Contributing Sponsors — Fall Only
Access Energy Cooperative
East Central Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative
Grow Greater Burlington
Guthrie County Rural Electric Cooperative Association
Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative
Midland Power Cooperative

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