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PDI 40 Years


By Stacie LoVan, PDI President

Stacie LoVan
PDI President
The Iowa SMART Conference and PDI Spring Event are next week! An excellent agenda with high caliber speakers has been planned for both days. This is also a great time to pick up some best practices and to network with your peers.

At this year’s event, PDI will once again award communities for successful business retention and expansion programs. As economic development professionals, we know and see our business leaders regularly; however, we have to make a concerted effort not to take these relationships for granted. We cannot assume these executives will automatically think to discuss with us a business issue they are facing in our community. You may see the executive at a chamber event, a school function, or other community meeting, but in that moment, they are not necessarily connecting you as a resource to solve a particular issue. On the flip side, when you visit an executive at his/her office for the purpose of inquiring about the state of their business, they are more apt to share successes or issues they are experiencing. You are also in a better position to respond accordingly and share about the resources you bring to the table. It is important that you build a strong relationship with your local executives, both at the community and the professional level. Business retention and expansion programs bring the necessary formal aspect to the relationship.

During the opening session of the SMART Conference, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor will join PDI to present the 2014 Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Awards. This is a great opportunity to honor those communities who have had a significant retention or expansion project during the past year or who have developed an outstanding program to stay in contact with their local businesses. Presenting the BRE awards at the SMART Conference allows us to raise the profile and value of existing industry programs to volunteer and professional community leaders.

PDI received many outstanding BRE applications this year. While the award winners will be announced at the event, I want to congratulate all the applicants on their efforts in BRE over the past twelve months. Keep up the good work! The dividends that these efforts bring to your community are innumerable.

See you May 1st and 2nd!


 Jason White Talks about PDI's 40th Anniversary


View Jason White's Interview >>


 Partner With the Business Concierge to Connect Businesses with Information

Professional Developers of Iowa; The Business Concierge, a program of UNIs MyEntre.Net, wants to share their services with you! Since 2011, the Business Concierge has been working with small business owners across Iowa to provide free market research and high quality referrals. In the past 3 years we have served over 1000 clients with information to help start and grow their businesses.
Learn More about the Business Concierge >>

This year we have created a web portal that can be placed onto partner websites to allow for quick and easy access to the Iowa Business Concierge. The portal can be placed into any existing website at no cost. Once it is placed the business owners can get market research information from the Business Concierge without ever leaving your website. Each time the portal is used, you will be connected with them to help start, grow, or expand their business in your area.

The Cherokee Area Economic Development was the first to implement this new feature.
Check It on Their Website >>

To bring the Iowa Business Concierge to your website; please contact Patrick Luensmann by phone at 319-273-4335 or by email at

 Greater Des Moines Partnership Launches Iowa Equity Investment Fund
Nestmint Will Provide Capital Needed to Move Ideas to Actuality

The Greater Des Moines Partnership has announced a new statewide funding program designed to help grow Iowa's entrepreneurial ecosystem. NestMint is the latest tool in the Partnership's economic development toolbox. NestMint joins the Central Iowa Business Innovation Zone (BIZ) and Plains Angels in helping young businesses grow and create jobs.

NestMint is an equity funding vehicle that will provide Iowa startups with additional capital to move their venture from idea to actuality. Commonly referred to as seed funding, the model is focused on providing initial financing for fledgling businesses throughout Iowa.

More Information >>



 Policy News

Please see the most recent edition of Policy Perspectives.

Read Policy Perspectives >>


 Marshalltown Named an All-America City Finalist
By Stephanie Ivankovich - Staff Writer, Times-Republican, April 10, 2014

Having the title of an All-America City once was so nice, Marshalltown hopes to receive it twice.

Marshalltown and 24 other cities across the United States were named All-America City finalists Wednesday, recognized by the National Civic League, for being a healthy community.

Michelle Spohnheimer, housing and community development director, applied for the award on behalf of the city.


 Alliant Energy Gets Final Marshalltown Plant Permit
Steps Still Needed Before Construction Begins
By Chelsea Keenan, The Gazette, April 16 2014

Alliant Energy’s Interstate Power and Light Co. secured the final permit on Monday from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for its proposed $700 million, 650-megawatt natural gas-fired plant in Marshalltown.

The company still has a number of steps to complete before it can begin construction.

“It was a great step forward,” said Ryan Stensland, a spokesman for the utility.




 Job Postings:

Director of Economic Development, Buchanan County Economic Development, Independence
Economic Development Specialist, City of Urbandale, Urbandale
Director, International Business Development, Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership, Omaha, NE
President & CEO, North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation Mason City, Mason City
Workforce Development Coordinator, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance, Cedar Valley of Iowa, Waterloo

More Information >>

 Clayberg Accepts Position with Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber.

Nate Clayberg, who has directed economic development efforts in Buchanan County for several years, is leaving that post to be director of business retention & expansion with the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber.

Clayberg, 39, who will begin his new job May 1, will plan, develop and implement regional economic development initiatives to encourage and facilitate growth in targeted industry sectors, the Alliance said in a news release.




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

 PDI Spring Event
May 2, 2014
Renaissance Savery Des Moines Hotel
Des Moines, IA
More Information & Registration >>

 OU/EDI Onsite Course
May 4-8, 2014
Dallas, TX

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

Conference Supporting Sponsors
Black Hills Energy (Fall only)

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

Fall Only
JEO Consulting Group Inc.
Iowa Small Business Development Centers
North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation
Point Builders LLC
Spring Only
UNI-Small Business Development Center

BREI Award
Smart Solutions Group
Blane Canada

Contributing Sponsors — Fall & Spring
Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO)
Iowa Association of Business & Industry
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative
Greater Des Moines Partnership
Midland Power Cooperative
Spring only
Iowa Utility Association
Fall only
Access Energy
Greater Burlington Partnership
Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative

Host Community Sponsors
Indian Hills Community College
Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative

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