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PDI 40 Years

By Stacie LoVan, PDI President

Stacie LoVan
PDI President
Grow Iowa Day 2014 is quickly approaching on February 5th!

Please make every effort to join us, whether or not you have registered for a booth. It is important that we have a strong contingent at the State Capitol to demonstrate our support for economic development and maintaining a positive business climate in Iowa.

We have all heard that this session should be a short one without many political hot-button topics making it through the chambers, but we need to continue to remind our elected officials about the importance of economic development programs and how their legislative decisions affect the State's economic growth.

Prior to Grow Iowa Day, please review PDI's legislative agenda >>

Grow Iowa Day Schedule >>

PDI Sponsorships

The Professional Developers of Iowa partners with many organizations in the form of sponsorship each year. PDI's seminars and conferences continue the tradition of providing quality training opportunities for Iowa's economic development professionals — but this all would not be possible without their support. Their investment provides recognition, networking, access, and visibility of their organization to more than 320 of Iowa's economic development professionals.

We also offer advertising on both the website and newsletter! If your organization would be interested in being a sponsor or advertising on our website, please go to

We appreciate and are truly grateful for all of our partnerships and their financial support. Please be sure to look over the list at the end of the newsletter and make a special note to say 'thank you' to these generous folks when you see them.

Stacie LoVan
President, Professional Developers of Iowa


 PDI as The Voice of Economic Development

"As a past president and member of PDI for over thirty years, I appreciate the leadership and member engagement that has transformed PDI into the voice of economic development for Iowa. Thank you to my colleagues across that state for their efforts!"

- -Deb Calvert. MidAmerican Energy, PDI President 1992

"The Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI) has had a tremendous impact on me as a person and on my economic development career over the past 20 years! Over the years I have developed many great friendships and professional relationships with so many of my fellow PDI members. PDI has shown me the impact that an association and its members can have on public policy. Over the year's PDI has played a critical role in helping to shape Iowa's economic development policy and practices. One of the earliest efforts I can recall during my years of membership was PDI working with Governor Branstad and the Legislature to pass the sales and use tax exemption for machinery and equipment. And since that time PDI has played an active role in policy debates such as tax increment financing, incentive funds, regionalism and property tax reform. What makes PDI such a good association is that so many members are invested in the organization and have taken ownership! It made serving as a PDI President a real privilege and a lot of fun!"

-Drew Conrad, Business & Community Services - University of Northern Iowa, PDI President 2005

 Sandy Ehrig Talks about PDI's 40th Anniversary



 Iowa Commercial Property Reform Tax Credit
Deadline is Wednesday, January 15th

During the 2013 Legislative Session, the State of Iowa passed Property Tax Reform. This legislation includes a Business Property Tax Credit for commercial, industrial, and railway property under new Iowa Code chapter 426C for property taxes due and payable in fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2014. This credit is similar to the Homestead Credit.

More Information >>

Instructions >>

 More Than 2,600 Rural Iowa Families Become Homeowners in 2013
through USDA Rural Development Housing Programs
Home Loan Funds Provided Through Agency Increase 16 Percent from 2012

A record 2,663 rural Iowa families utilized more than $277 million in home loans offered through USDA Rural Development to achieve their homeownership dreams in 2013. This represents a 16 percent increase in home loan funding from 2012.

"While the past few years have been a financial challenge for many Americans, the goal of achieving the American Dream of homeownership remains strong," said Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa. "Our zero-down-payment home loan programs are designed to ensure that as many rural Iowans as possible have access to adequate housing."

More Information >>






 General Mills Considering Expansion in Cedar Rapids

General Mills is considering a continued investment of its facility in Cedar Rapids in 2014, which if completed would create 40 new jobs. The Cedar Rapids City Council will consider sponsorship of a state financial assistance application for the company to increase production at the facility. Financial assistance will primarily come in the form of State Investment Tax Credits.

More Information >>

 ICAD Group Receives MAEDC Award for FY2012 Annual Report

The Iowa City Area Development (ICAD) Group was one of three Midwest economic development organizations recently recognized in the "Annual Report" category during the MidAmerica Economic Development Council (MAEDC) Economic Development Awards held December 9 in Chicago. More than twenty-five organizations from MAEDC's ten-state territory submitted entries in their choice of six categories, including Annual Report, Community Marketing, Newsletter, Workforce Development, Online Marketing and Business Retention programming.

More Information >>

 Rumler to Lead Chamber Economic Development
By Doug Schorpp, Quad City Business Journal, December 16, 2013

Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce veteran Paul Rumler has been named chief economic development officer of the organization. He will remain in his position as the chamber's executive vice president in addition to his new duties. He will lead economic development initiatives of the chamber to drive job creation and business investment.


 14 Industry Trends of 2014
Local Industry Leaders Predict Business Trends in the Coming Year.

Chris Conetzkey, editor of the Business Record, Business Record, January 6, 2014

Taking a selfie — a self-taken photograph — was such a popular trend in 2013 that "selfie" was named Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year.

We're not here to say selfies will be a business trend in 2014, but Josh Fleming, our willing cover model, is projecting that Instagram — a popular photo-sharing app — will be the next big thing for marketers to flock to in 2014.




 PDI Loses a Long Time Member — Kirk Grau

Kirk Grau, 60, of Sibley, Iowa, originally of Inwood, Iowa, passed away Monday December 23, 2013 at Sanford Hospice Cottage in Sioux Falls after a lengthy battle with esophageal cancer. Funeral service was held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, December 28, 2013 at Porter Funeral Home, Inwood. IA. Kirk worked in seven different states at community and developmental agencies with the last 18 years at Sibley at the Osceola County Economic Development Commission. Condolences may be left for the family at

 Testimonials from a PDI member about Her Scholarship Experience...

"Thank you for the scholarship opportunity you have provided to members who are furthering their education. The scholarship award allowed me to attend my first of three sessions in completing my certification as a Certified Economic Developer through the Oklahoma University Economic Development Institute.

I can't tell you enough how useful the courses at the Institute are; they are intense but the amount of new information given and connections you make with people pursuing the same certification makes it all worthwhile. This is a certification that most might not know is available so PDI recognizing this and making scholarships available is fantastic. I have already shared with some of my peers the opportunity available through PDI and will continue to do so.

Thanks again to PDI for the scholarship; I intend to apply again in the near future!"

-Sheena Danzer


More Information on PDI Scholarships

 Job Postings:

Executive Director — Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation
Economic Development Coordinator - Robins Economic Development (REDI), Robins
Executive Director - Sac Econ & Tourism Dev, Sac County (Sac City)
Vice President, National Business Attraction - Quad Cities, Davenport, IA and Moline, IL
Economic Development Associate Director, The University of Iowa (UI), Iowa City
Marketing & Public Relations Specialist, The Marion Economic Development Company (MEDCO), Marion
Project Manager, The Iowa Economic Development Authority, Des Moines

More Information >>



 Heartland Economic Development Course Scholarship for Community Service

Heartland EDC's Scholarship for Community Service is a tuition scholarship awarded annually to one community volunteer involved with local economic development initiatives in rural communities or urban neighborhoods. To be eligible, volunteers must reside in Heartland's partner states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. The scholarship for Community Service application must be completed and submitted no later than February 28, 2014 to be considered for the April 2014 course.

This scholarship is for tuition only (valued at $595). Recipients must pay for their own lodging and Heartland Meal Package. Heartland's early registration deadline is March 7, 2014. Lodging reservations must be made by March 23, 2014. Please visit for more information. Volunteers being awarded tuition scholarships from their respective state development association or utility provider are ineligible to receive The HEDC Scholarship for Community Service.

The Scholarship for Community Service recognizes the long-standing contribution of Dr. Jerry Wade to the Heartland EDC. He was the Assistant Course Director from the course's inception in 1985 to 1995. In 1995, he became the Course Director until 2000, when the LaDene Bowen, CEcD became director. In addition to his involvement with Heartland, Dr. Wade was Associate Professor of Community Development and State Community Development Specialist at the University of Missouri until his retirement in 2000. His career has been devoted to helping communities build their future through volunteer service and creating opportunities for upgrading professional skills in development through the Heartland Economic Development Course and the Community Development Academy at the University of Missouri. The tuition scholarship reflects Dr. Wade's dedication to providing the resources and tools necessary for economic and community developers to help strengthen and improve the communities they serve.



 Webinar: Attracting Foreign Direct Investment to Your Community
January 23, 2014
1:00 — 2:30 pm
More Information & Registration >>

 PDI's Grow Iowa Day
February 5, 2014
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Iowa State Capitol
Des Moines, Iowa

 i6 Green Challenge Workshop
February 10, 2014
11:00 AM — 1:00 PM
Indian Hills Community College
Ottumwa, Iowa
More Information >>

 i6 Green Challenge Workshop
February 11, 2014
11:00 AM — 1:00 PM
Clarke County Events Center
Osceola, Iowa
More Information >>

 Scott County Economic Development Summit
February 13, 2014
9:00 AM — 1:30 PM
Bettendorf Waterfront Center
Bettendorf, Iowa
More Information & Registration >>

 Heartland Economic Development Course
April 6-10, 2014
Adams Pointe Conference Center
Blue Springs, Missouri
More 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 2014 Sponsors



Alliant Energy

Renew Rural Iowa


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