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PDI 40 Years

PDI’s 40th Anniversary State of Iowa Proclamation

Executive Department

In the Name and By the Authority of the State of Iowa





Now Therefore, I,

In Testimony Whereof, I
the Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI) is a statewide non-profit organization representing more than 320 practicing economic development professionals dedicated to expanding the economy of the State of Iowa

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.

PDI’s is dedicated to fostering cooperation and mutual support among the members, using the collective expertise of the members to provide guidance and direction to policymakers as it pertains to economic development, and working consistently to enhance the long-term competitive posture of the State of Iowa as it pertains to economic development:

Terry E. Branstad, Governor of the State of Iowa, do hereby recognize the 40th anniversary of PDI.

have there-unto subscribed my name and caused the Great Seal of the State of Iowa to be affixed. Done at Des Moines this 5th day of September in the year of our Lord Two Thousand Thirteen.

[Terry E. Branstad]        Attest: [Matt Schultz]
Governor of Iowa          Secretary of State




“Twenty eight years ago I attended my first PDI conference in Waterloo. At that time there were eighty members. I was straight out of college when I attended the first meeting. It was a fun group at that time, and the older members invited me right in. Friendships were formed. I could call any of the older members on the phone and get advice. I did too, regularly. After all, most of us are the only ones in our community that do what we do. So it’s nice to have someone else to bounce ideas. PDI was about learning and networking when I started. We have now added legislative to the mix because we are a bigger organization. PDI has grown a lot in the last twenty eight years. So have I, with the help of PDI.”

- Clark Smith, Smart Solutions Group - PDI President 1996

“PDI for many years has served as Iowa economic developers’ drink of water. Up against all odds, economic developers thirst for answers for how to increase the economic competitiveness of Iowa communities. Through networking opportunities, expanding professional capacity of members, and non-partisan advocacy of public policy concerns, economic developers have been transformed from project managers and technicians into leaders and change agents for community, regional, and statewide wealth creation.”

- Jason White, Warren County Economic Development Corporation – PDI President 2010

 Doing Things Right
By Harley Thornton, HLT Development Services, LLC

Iowans have a well-deserved reputation for doing things right. That certainly was the case in the early seventies when industrial and economic developers from all over Iowa determined the need for an organization to enhance professionalism. Seasoned Bob Dorothy, Phil Brunk, Dick Weeks, Hal Swesey, Keith Peterson, Dick Powell, George Wimmer, Dean Chandler, Biff Byrum et al...were historically quick to step up and help new people succeed. A professional developers' organization was the next logical step.

I'm proud to be a charter member of PDI. I know it's the best in the Midwest because at one time or another, I've belonged or participated with the counterparts in the surrounding states of Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska and Minnesota. Respect for PDI has become enormous. The PDI membership has truly become a valuable resource, utilized often by Iowa's lawmakers and the Governor, helping shape the future of Iowa.



 Iowa Global Entrepreneurship Week: November 18–24

IASourceLink—the premier online resource connecting entrepreneurs and small businesses to more than 300 resource providers across Iowa—is celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) all across Iowa with activities designed to reach every type of entrepreneur.

Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch start-ups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. During one week each November, Global Entrepreneurship Week inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help entrepreneurs explore their potential as self-starters and innovators.

Global Entrepreneurship Week is about unleashing ideas and doing what it takes to bring them to life—spotting opportunities, taking risks, solving problems, being creative, building connections.

More Information >>

 2014 SMART Conference

Mark your calendars for Thursday, May 1, 2014. The SMART Conference is sponsored by the Iowa Utility Association and the Iowa Economic Development Authority and will be held in Des Moines at the Iowa Event Center. Invite your entire board, as this conference is specifically focused on those volunteers who serve on economic development boards across the state. If you have suggestions for either speakers or topics, this is the perfect time to provide your input. The committee is particularly interested in suggestions for speakers who could make a clear, succinct and entertaining 5-15 minute presentation about any of the following: a new approach used for economic development, the story behind landing a unique project, how to assisted with an local expansion, or an innovative program that has made a difference in your community or region. Please send those ideas to Kathy Anderson at

 Iowa DOT Funding Options

For several years, there has been ongoing discussion regarding the transportation funding challenges that exist in Iowa. In an effort to broaden that discussion, Governor Branstad directed the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) to review all transportation funding options and propose some ideas. We have completed our initial review and developed some initial transportation funding concepts. These concepts are not a final recommendation and are not part of our legislative proposals; however, we feel it is important to present these for review and feedback.

View the summary of our draft transportation funding concepts here. We believe these concepts warrant additional consideration and a key component of that is the gathering of input and feedback from groups that have a strong interest in Iowa’s transportation system. Therefore, we are asking for you to review this document and provide us with your thoughts, comments and suggestions.

As you review the document, you will note that there are some unique concepts that will generate a lot of discussion. As you know, there is no easy solution to our transportation funding challenges but we feel this effort will result in discussions that will facilitate a more useful dialogue this coming legislative session.

Please send your feedback and/or questions to Stu Anderson, Director of the Planning, Programming and Modal Division here at the Iowa DOT. Stu can be reached at 515-239-1661 or at In addition, if you are part of a group that would like to have a face-to-face meeting to discuss these concepts, please let Stu know and we will try to accommodate your request.

 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.

Information & Registration >>



 PDI Members: Send Us Your Stories!

Economic developers, we need your stories for our newsletter. Send us your press releases about successes, awards, recognition, best practices, new programs, etc. Send your articles and press releases to Lynn Harkin at Your peers can learn from you!

 LaDene Bowen — Special Economic Development

LaDene Bowen
LaDene Bowen
Cedar Falls, IA-based Leader Recognized for Serving as a Source of Inspiration in the Advancement of Economic Development LaDene Bowen, CEcD, FM, Associate Director of the University of Northern Iowa, Institute for Decision Making, was awarded with the Honorary Life Member Designation by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), for a lasting commitment to the field of economic development. The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Monday, October 7 during the IEDC Annual Conference, October 6 — 9 in Philadephia, PA.

More Information >>

 Iowa Small Business Development Center Maintains National Accreditation

The Iowa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network was reviewed by its national association, America’s SBDC, and based on the outstanding progress of the network and the findings and recommendations of the accreditation team, maintains its full accreditation as a high quality economic development organization.

More Information >>

 City Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council

City of Sioux City
City of Sioux City
The City of Sioux City received a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award for its 2012 Sabre Industries project in the category of BRE Single Event for communities with populations of 25,000 – 200,000 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The honor was presented to Economic Development Director Marty Dougherty at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 8, during the IEDC Annual Conference, held October 6-9, in Philadelphia, Penn.

“The Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognizes the City of Sioux City as being one of the leading organizations in the industry for innovation, creativity and successful strategies,” said IEDC chair, Paul Krutko. “These awards are meant to honor the organizations and individuals who are dedicated to making a positive change in their communities. This organization uses creative solutions and inventive ideas, and offers other regions a wonderful example to learn and benefit from. The award represents an acknowledgment and appreciation for the City of Sioux City’s dedication to continuous growth within itself, as well as improving the industry overall.”

More Information >>




 PDI Elects New Board Members

Terry Bailey
Terry Bailey
Patty Manual
Patty Manual
Carla Eysink
Carla Eysink
Kelly Halsted
Kelly Halsted
Wayne Pantini
Wayne Pantini

At the PDI Annual Business Meeting held September 26, 2012 in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Stacie LoVan, Chairperson of the Nominating Committee, reported that the Nominating Committee made up of Bruce Nuzum, Kathryn Kunert, Sandy Ehrig, Jim Gossett, Brent Willett, and Jason Hutcheson offered for consideration the following PDI members: Terry Bailey, Pottawattamie County Growth Alliance to fill the remainder of a term vacated by someone moving into the Treasurer’s role, Patty Manual, Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative, who is able to run a 2nd term as she was initially appointed to fill an existing term, Carla Eysink, Marion County Development Commission and Kelly Halsted, Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, as new Board members. The PDI membership ratified the board slate with a unanimous vote. Wayne Pantini, Union County Development Association was also elected by the Board of Directors to serve as Secretary Treasurer.

 Job Postings:

Director, Regional Business Center and Entrepreneurial Outreach, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls
Program Coordinator III, ISU Extension & Outreach, Ames
VP National Business Attraction, Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce
Program Manager, Institute of Decision Making, Business and Community Services, UNI, Cedar Falls
Economic Development Director, Wilton Development Corporation
Region XII COG, Regional Planner, Carroll
Community Development Director, City of Sheldon, Sheldon

More Information >>





 BEST Workshop
October 31, 2013
Indian Hills Community College
Ottumwa, Iowa
More Information & Registration >>

 BEST Workshop
November 4, 2013
Iowa Western Community College
Council Bluffs, Iowa
More Information & Registration >>

 BEST Workshop
November 5, 2013
Des Moines Area Community College
Des Moines, Iowa
More Information & Registration >>

 BEST Workshop
November 6, 2013
Black Hawk Community College
Cedar Falls, Iowa
More Information & Registration >>

 BEST Workshop
November 7, 2013
Buena Vista University
Storm Lake, Iowa
More Information & Registration >>

 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 >>

 2013 Leading Leaders Conference
Monday, November 4, 2013
8:00 am - 3:00 pm
The Meadows Events & Conference Center
Prairie Meadows
1 Prairie Meadows Dr.,Altoona, IA 50009
More Information about Leadership Iowa >>

 Iowa Global Entrepreneurship Week
November 18-24, 2013
Around Iowa
More Information >>

 2013 Mid-America Competitiveness Conference and Site Selector Forum
December 8-10, 2013
Chicago, Illinois
Registration & Information >>

 Land Investment Expo
January 24, 2014
Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel
West Des Moines, Iowa
Registration & Information >>

 SMART Conference
May 1, 2014
Iowa Event Center
Des Moines, Iowa
Details to come.

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

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