Click here to view this email in your browser.


PDI 40 Years

By Brent Willett, PDI President

Brent Willett
& Stacie LoVan
Farewell messages tend to drift toward the self-indulgent, and so I'll do my best to avoid that trap and say only that is has been an absolutely pleasure, and I have more people to thank than I could have imagined when I assumed the role of PDI President last November. That my term ends following a well-packaged, well-attended — all the way through lunch on Friday(!) — and superbly-executed annual conference is the greatest treasure a president can leave with. Enormous thanks and appreciation to every member of the Conference Committee, chaired by Steve Dust and Greg Theis, for their efforts.

Judge the year on its merits, and assign any thoughts of appreciation to one of the hardest-working leadership groups I've ever had the pleasure of being a part of in the 2013 PDI Board of Directors: Stacie LoVan, Jason Hutcheson, Sandy Ehrig, Shaun Arneson, Beth Balzer, Steve Dust, Patty Manuel, Kiley Miller, Wayne Pantini, Tami Petsche, Mark Reinig and Greg Theis.

The superb staff work of Executive Director Lynn Harkin and advocacy work of Craig Patterson deserve special recognition. As leaders in our own organizations, each one of us can appreciate that well-executed programming and effective legislative advocacy do not happen by accident. This association is no different.

It was a distinct pleasure to help pilot the vessel during the year PDI celebrated 40 years of economic development advocacy in our state. We all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the hundreds of PDI leaders who came before us who positioned this association as an effective and sought-after voice for economic development in Iowa. We've worked this year to make investments in technology to create new capabilities, build coalitions to augment the association's political potency and establish new programmatic partnerships to improve member experience, and it is only as a result of the 39 years of superb stewardship that PDI leaders before us demonstrated which allowed us to focus on these sorts of growth-focused goals in 2013.

Most of us endeavor to leave that which we are given the opportunity to lead in a better state than we found it, and a four-decade long run of PDI leaders set just such a standard before me and for the rest of us to try and meet. Thank you so very much for a turn at the wheel. I am thrilled on the behalf of PDI to turn the gavel over to Stacie LoVan, who is more qualified and much more patient than her predecessor. We are in truly great hands.

Brent Willett
President, Professional Developers of Iowa



"PDI has always been a great resource, an advocate promoting our profession, and a respected leader in Iowa and the Midwest. I am proud to be a member, to be a past president, and to see the continuing strength and leadership of the Professional Developers of Iowa."

- Stephen P. Lacina, Area Specialist/BP, Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture

 And we call it PDI because… a long look back!
By Don Chaplain, Senior Program Manager, UNI

In 1973 the incorporation of the Iowa Professional Developers (IPD) was a formalization of what had previously been a quasi-professional/social group of what were known then as industrial developers. Its membership was comprised of primarily employees of the state development commission, utility and railroad companies (there were many more of those organizations at that time) and some full time community developers. Most of these folks were “self-taught” and almost exclusively male. The IPD conferences at this time were comprised of golf, poker, relationship building and some educational programs. More >>

Debi Durham
 PDI 40th Anniversary Letter
By Debi Durham, Director, Iowa Economic Development Authority

Thank you for inviting the Iowa Economic Development Authority to extend its congratulations to Professional Developers of Iowa for this huge milestone. It is no small feat to serve as a member organization for 40 years. Economic development professionals know full well how much has changed within that time and how challenging it is to shepherd a community, region or state through those changes. More >>

 40 Years of PDI
Sandy Ehrig, Economic Development Administrator, Renew Rural Iowa/ Iowa Farm Bureau Federation

I have served several times in leadership roles in PDI over my thirty year career. It is an honor to work with peers and share the common need for professional development, policy development, and enhancement for Iowa's economic standing. Over the years these pillars for the organization have remained constant. Only the methods to accomplish this mission have changed. More >>



 Connect Every Iowan Initiative

On September 3, Governor Branstad announced the launch of the 'Connect Every Iowan' initiative, and missioned the STEM Advisory Council Broadband Committee to three directives:

  1. Recommend policies to encourage build out of broadband technologies throughout the state, particularly in unserved and underserved areas. (December 1st deadline).

  2. More Information >>
 2013 Leading Leaders Conference

Calling all Iowa leadership program directors, staff, board members, and those wishing to start a leadership program...

Leadership Iowa, a program of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry Foundation, invites you to attend statewide conference of your peers. You will gain valuable information to advance your programs, share best practices, network, and hear from Iowa leaders.

The Conference is Monday, November 4, 2013, 8:00 am - 3:00 pm at The Meadows Events & Conference Center, Prairie Meadows.

Overnight accommodations will be offered at a discounted rate. Registration information will soon be available.




Governor Terry Branstad and the PDI Board

 Governor Proclaims PDI's Impact

For the past 40 years, the Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI) has successfully represented the collective economic development interests of both the private and public sectors by providing leadership in defining and promoting statewide economic development initiatives. At the annual conference just last week, PDI hailed the culmination of a successful 40 years with Governor Branstad signing a proclamation recognizing the tremendous impact PDI has had on the state's economic development initiatives over the years, saying:

For the past 40 years, PDI has successfully represented the collective economic development interests of both the private and public sectors by providing leadership in defining and promoting statewide economic development initiatives.

The annual conference, hosted in the Cedar Valley this year, attracted 165 attendees and featured a lineup of national leaders in the economic development industry.

For more information about the Professional Developers of Iowa or to become a member, visit

PDI Conference Attendees at Trapshoot
PDI Conference Trapshoot Participants

 USDA Rural Development State Director Bill Menner Receives National Rural Hospital Champion Award
State Director Menner Plays Instrumental Role in Helping Rural Iowa Hospitals Receive Funding for Improved Patient Services

Bill Menner, U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director in Iowa, recently received the 2013 Critical Access and Rural Hospital Champion Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). State Director Menner was one of eight recipients announced nationwide this year by the HHS National Coordination for Health Information Technology.

The award recognizes collaborative efforts the individuals have taken with public and private sector partners to ensure critical access hospitals and small, rural hospitals all across the nation have access to the equipment and services they need to provide the best possible patient care.

More Information >>




 PDI Thank Retiring Board Members:

Retiring board members Shaun Arneson, Tami Petsche, Sandy Ehrig with President Brent Willett

At the 2013 PDI Annual Business Meeting, PDI said good-bye to three retiring board members.

Shaun Arneson joined the PDI Board in 2010 and provided leadership in the areas of membership and the public relations/communications arena. Shaun came to our attention when he served in a leadership role when PDI came to the Iowa Lakes region for our spring conference in 2008. Thru a job change/move to the North Iowa Corridor, Shaun remains committed to PDI. We are grateful for his service. We'll see Shaun again in 2015 when the conference returns to Mason City and the Corridor hosts.

Sandy Ehrig is leaving us after six years on the PDI Board. She served on nearly every committee and made her way thru all of the officer positions. PDI was in great hands with Sandy who works tirelessly for economic development. Sandy and her organization, Iowa Farm Bureau/Renew Rural Iowa are leaders in supporting economic development all around Iowa. She has given countless hours to PDI and will be terribly missed at the board table.

Tami Petsche was appointed in early 2012 to fill a seat vacated by Jeff Rossate who changed jobs. Tami stepped in immediately in the role of membership co-chair. She represented eastern Iowa with enthusiasm. She went thru a job change herself but stayed committed board member throughout the transition.

 Job Postings:

Vice President, National Business Attraction, Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, Davenport
Program Manager, Institute for Decision Making, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls
Economic Development Director, Wilton Development Corporation, Wilton
Regional Planner, Region XII COG, Carroll
Community Development Director, The City of Sheldon, Sheldon, Iowa
Executive Director - The Red Oak Chamber and Industry Association, Red Oak, Iowa

More Information >>

 New Members:

Tom Lerners, Executive Director, Madison County Development Group
Derek Lord, Economic Development Director, City of Ankeny
Laura Manatt, Marketing & Economic Development Coord., Poweshiek Iowa Development
Chelsea Morrison, Program Assistant, Business Concierge, My Entre.Net
Curtis Brown, Director of Economic Development, City of Urbandale
Stephanie Wiese, Marketing Customer Service Manager, Western Iowa Power Cooperative
Don Temeyer




 On-Line Course: University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute - Strategic Planning

September 9 - November 4, 2013
More Information & Registration >>

 Economic Development Tools for Iowa

October 2, 2013
Riverside Casino & Golf Resort

 Economic Development Tools for Iowa

October 3, 2013
Spencer Golf & Country Club

 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 >>

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:
Black Hawk Economic Development, Inc.
Cedar Falls Utilities
Cedar Valley Regional Partnership
City of Cedar Falls
Farmers State Bank
Hawkeye Community College
Iowa Waste Reduction Center
Point Builders
Prairie Construction
& JEO Consulting Group Inc.
Strategic Marketing Services - UNI
Veridian Credit Union
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

Twitter      Facebook      LinkedIn


Published by WinM@il