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PDI 40 Years

By Stacie LoVan, PDI President

Stacie LoVan
PDI President
Every economic development professional knows that business retention and expansion (BRE) is a fundamental component of any economic development program. To promote successful BRE programming, PDI, along with our sponsors Smart Solutions Group and eSynchronist, will once again recognize local communities and organizations that are successfully implementing BRE programs. All PDI Members are welcome and encouraged to apply.

Four awards will be given to outstanding communities during the SMART Conference on Thursday, May 1, 2014. The awards will recognize communities that stand out above the rest with successful initiatives. There are two award categories:

  1. The Overall BRE Program Award will recognize communities/counties or regions that have established a successful, continuous BRE program in their area.
  2. The Single Project (Issue) Success Award will recognize a community that successfully mobilized to retain and/or expand an existing business.

This is a chance to be recognized in front of your peers and celebrate the victories in your community. Please submit your application by April 1, 2014.

Stacie LoVan
President, Professional Developers of Iowa


 PDI as The Voice of Economic Development

"When I joined PDI in December 1978, membership was around 85, mostly male. Annual dues were in the process of doubling from $10 to $20. John Wetzel was the incoming president for 1979 and the wheels were in motion for a thriving organization. It was the genuine article; the real deal. The main thing was to keep the main thing the main thing. And that's what PDI leadership has done over the past 40 years. When that small group of leaders started the organization, it was for all the right reasons: to enhance cooperation among development professionals, provide opportunities to learn and share information, and to encourage legislation that would further improve the business climate of the great State of Iowa. That focus remains today and has provided a positive impact for both individual growth and advancing statewide initiatives. For me, PDI is a fantastic organization represented by some of Iowa's finest. It has been my privilege and pleasure to be a member."

-Glenn Ivarsen, PDI President 1985-1986

"I was fortunate to have a boss and mentor, Gary Owens, who understood the importance of involvement in the Professional Developers of Iowa. Peer-to-peer networking with local developers, utility representatives, private development companies, and government development entities has had the greatest impact on my career in Economic Development."

-Tim Leach, CEcD, Director of Economic Development, Downtown Community Alliance, PDI President 2001

 Kathryn Kunert Talks about PDI's 40th Anniversary


 PDI 40th Anniversary Booklet Now Available!

In memory of 40 years of success, collaboration and devotion to economic development PDI created a booklet to celebrate the pioneers of PDI, important contributions to economic development and past presidents that have helped shape the organization. The booklet captures special moments in PDI's history that showcase the transformation of the organization and the contributions made by devoted members and partners.

View PDI's 40th Anniversary Booklet >>


 Available Funds - IEDA Programs

For the remainder of the fiscal year ending on June 30th, following are the funds available through the several IEDA programs:

  • Demonstration Fund: $986,650;
  • i6 Green Challenge Grant: $120,000; and,
  • Innovation Acceleration Fund (inclusive of Launch, Propel & Expansion programs): $1,060,000
Note that there are two review cycles between now and June 30th.

Demonstration Fund and Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund 2014 Application Deadlines >>

 PDI Exhibited at Transportation Day

A coalition of groups supporting better roads in Iowa scheduled a "Transportation Day" at the Iowa Capitol on Jan. 29 to lobby for increased road funding. The groups include Iowa Concrete Paving Association, Iowa League of Cities, Iowa State Association of Counties, Iowa County Engineers Service Bureau, Iowa Asphalt Paving Association, Iowa Bankers Association, Community Bankers of Iowa, Associated General Contractors of Iowa, Iowa Good Roads Association, Professional Developers of Iowa, cities, counties, development groups. Organizers again made the case for an increase in transportation infrastructure income to maintain and build Iowa's roads and bridges.

Paul Trombino and PDI Members Rick Hunsaker and
Evan Blakley listen to Governor Branstad's comments
on commitments to Iowa's infrastructure.

PDI Members Shirley Phillips and Cindy Litwiller
participate in Transportation Day at the Iowa State Capitol

 Public Transit Consideration in Development Activities

In a letter to all PDI Members, Kristin Haar with the Iowa Transportation Council, writes:

The Iowa Transportation Coordination Council (ITCC) is an advisory group with the mission...

More Information >>


 Grow Iowa Day

Thank you to everyone who exhibited, volunteered and attended Grow Iowa Day on February 5 at the Iowa State Capitol. We seem to be cursed when it comes to weather for this event, so for those of you who were able to get to the Capitol, we truly appreciate your support of this important event.

Governor Branstad visits with the folks from Sioux City

Sandy Ehrig with Renew Rural Iowa
visits with Representative Dave Deyoe

Representative Dave Jacoby visits with
the folks from Western Iowa Advantage

The University of Northern Iowa had three exhibits
at Grow Iowa Day

Legislative Co-Chair Brent Willett and PDI Lobbyist
Craig Patterson brief the PDI members before Grow Iowa Day

 PDI Participates/Exhibits at Travel Federation of Iowa’s 25th Annual Legislative Showcase

In 1988, travelers in Iowa generated over $2.1 billion in revenue, and supported over 41,000 jobs with a payroll of $330.7 million at local businesses throughout the state of Iowa. State tax receipts in 1988 was slightly over $120 million.

In 2012, travelers in Iowa generated over $7.6 billion in revenue, and supported over 64,400 jobs with a payroll of $1.17 billion at local businesses throughout the state of Iowa. State tax receipts in 2014 were $345.4 million.

Read More about Iowa Tourism >>


 PDI Participated in TFI's Tourism Showcase

Representative Jack Drake visits with PDI Members
Wayne Pantini and Terry Bailey

PDI Members Wayne Pantini and Terry Bailey
visit with Senator Bill Dotzler
Iowa tourism supporters hosted the 25th annual Tourism Showcase for Legislators at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Tuesday, January 28, 2014.

More than 60 Iowa communities, attractions and organizations showcased at the event in an effort to remind Iowa Legislators about the abundance of "Things to Do" in our great state and how important tourism is to the Iowa economy and employment.

More Information >>

TFI Website >>

 EntreFEST 2014 is set for May 14-16 in Downtown Iowa City

The vision is to give FEST a South By Southwest feel and a chance for attendees to immerse themselves in the local community.

The aim is to grow the event to 500 attendees (doubling its size!) and creating the largest statewide gathering of Iowa's entire entrepreneurial community.

Targeted attendees this year will be:

  1. small business owners
  2. early-stage, high-growth startup team members
  3. innovators within established companies
  4. economic development professionals and startup community champions working to foster entrepreneurship in their community
  5. anyone wishing to become an entrepreneur in Iowa
The "call" for speakers is a new approach for best content. Check it out and nominate speakers today!

Read More about EntreFEST 2014 >>



 Job Postings:

Executive Director – Osceola County Economic Development Commission, Osceola
City Administrator, City of West Union, West Union
Executive Director, Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation, Ottumwa
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

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.

 Women Mean Business Summit in Des Moines
Submitted by Deb Duncan

The National Association of Women Business Owners – Central Iowa (NAWBO-CI) is holding their 6th annual Women Mean Business® Summit entitled "Transform > Triumph > Transcend" on Thursday, February 27th at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel and Conference Center.

Sign up by February 6th for the lowest price at

The Iowa Small Business Development Centers is a proud sponsor and partner of the NAWBO-CI Women Mean Business® Summit.

More Information >>

 Save the Date for the Iowa SMART Economic Development Conference!

Save the date for the Iowa SMART Economic Development Conference on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Click for more information.

The SMART Conference is Iowa's premiere economic development conference catered to economic development professionals, business leaders, chamber of commerce executives, community leaders, elected officials and other board members who influence economic development and public policy issues across Iowa and within their own communities.

More Information >>



 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 >>

 Supply Chain Forum
February 26, 2014
8:30 AM — 1:00 PM
University of Northern Iowa Commons Bldg
Cedar Falls, Iowa
More Information >>

 Women Mean Business Summit
February 27, 2014
8:00 AM — 6:00 PM
Sheraton West Des Moines
West Des Moines, IA
Visit >>

 OU/EDI Strategic Planning Course
March 17 — May 11, 2014
More Information >>

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

 C2ER Training Sessions: The Fundamentals of Impact Analysis
April 16 & 17, 2014
Arlington, VA
More Information & Registration >>

 Iowa SMART Conference
May 1, 2014
Iowa Event Center
Des Moines, Iowa
More Information >>

 EntreFEST 2014
May 14-16, 2014
Iowa City, IA
More Information >>

 OU/EDI Entrepreneurship Course
May 19 — July 13, 2014
More Information >>

 OU/EDI Marketing & Attraction Course
July 21 — September 14, 2014
More Information >>

 OU/EDI Business Retention & Expansion Course
September 22 — November 16, 2014
More Information >>

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


PDI Thanks the 2014 Sponsors



Alliant Energy

Renew Rural Iowa

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

Conference Exhibit Sponsors — Fall & Spring
Center for Industrial Research & Service - ISU
Convergent Fundraising Solutions
Diligent Development

BREI Award
Smart Solutions Group
Blane Canada

Contributing Sponsors — Fall & Spring
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative
Greater Des Moines Partnership
Midland Power Cooperative

Spring only
Iowa Utility Association

Fall only
Greater Burlington Partnership

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