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PDI 40 Years


By Stacie LoVan, PDI President

Stacie LoVan
PDI President
With elections coming up on November 4, PDI needs your help in making the case for economic development with candidates running for elected office. This year is a gubernatorial as well as a state legislative election. Whoever is elected to State government will decide the future of important economic development tools like TIF and determine if and how Iowa's tax structure will be changed. We need to make sure the value of economic development and the importance of a positive business climate is understood and prioritized by all the candidates for State office!

In addition, because Iowa has one senate seat and two congressional seats open in DC, you need to get involved in your local campaigns/community forums. This hasn't happened in a generation and will have a tremendous effect on Iowa's economic development environment.

You need to be talking with the candidates in your district. Here are some suggestions on meeting with the candidates:

  • Meet them for coffee at a local coffee shop.
  • Invite them out to a local project site or your office.
  • Invite them to your board meeting to chat with your board members.
  • Invite them to any and all events you plan locally.
  • Plan a lunch with other local developers or your local elected officials (you don't have to do it alone!)
  • Sit down with them at their campaign headquarters (if they have one).
  • Attend local campaign events or fundraisers.
  • Attend local candidate forums and ask about their views on economic development.
  • Participate in call-in shows and ask about their views on economic development or write an opinion editorial in the local newspaper challenging candidates to support economic development priorities.

What should you be talking about?

  • Preserving TIF as a viable local economic development tool. (Talk about how TIF has helped your community grow and prosper.)
  • Maintaining a highly-skilled workforce.
  • Investing in Iowa's transportation infrastructure.
  • Funding Iowa's economic development resources.
  • Reforming Iowa's income tax structure to improve Iowa's competitiveness.
  • Supporting small business and entrepreneurial programs.

Remember to invite PDI's lobbyists to any of your local legislative events. If they can consolidate a few meetings in the area, they will definitely try to be there. Contact Craig Patterson at (515) 554-7920 or Amy Campbell at (515) 554-5838.

Also, check out PDI's legislative agenda and other legislative resources at

  Join PDI for the Fall Conference—September 24-26, 2014
     Honey Creek Resort, Moravia, IA


Our Keynote Speaker is Christopher Lloyd, McGuireWoods Consulting, Richmond, VA—his topic: Incentives: The Good, the Bad, and the Responsibility. There is no doubt about it, scrutiny of incentives for economic development projects is on the rise from elected officials, taxpayers, and the media. While financial assistance programs are a necessary tool in our business, there is significant responsibility on the part of the economic developer. Which types of incentives are most effective and which ones should be avoided? This is a must attend session for every economic development practitioner.

Chris Lloyd
Chris Lloyd leads the McGuireWoods Consulting infrastructure and economic development team where he specializes in site selection and economic development incentives negotiations. Chris has also worked closely with clients on numerous public-private partnership projects for transportation and other infrastructure as well as playing a leading role in the development and passage of Virginia's public-private partnership laws. These statutes have since become model legislation for use in other states. As a result of this work, Chris has become a frequent speaker on economic development policy issues and public private partnership projects around the country. Prior to joining McGuireWoods Consulting, Chris served for nearly five years in the Office of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade under Virginia Governors Allen and Wilder. In this position, he was responsible for legislative, budgetary, and regulatory coordination and development for the fifteen agencies within that Secretariat which oversees the state's economic development programs. Chris graduated from the College of William & Mary in 1993. He lives in Richmond with his wife, Megan, and children, Ryan and Meredith.


 Brent Willett Talks about PDI's 40th Anniversary


View Brent Willett's Interview >>


 Help PDI Spread the Good Word about Iowa Development

Professional Developers of Iowa is dedicated to spreading the good word about Iowa and its business environment. Now we're asking PDI members to help us help you by following these three easy steps.

Add PDI to your media distribution list—There's a lot of great stuff going on in your organizations and communities. Please go to your media distribution list right now and add so that we receive your press releases. We'll share the best stories from around our state with more than 300 fellow PDI members via the PDI Post and with ### people who follow us on social media.

More Information >>

 Workshop September 16:
Funding Economic Development & Land Revitalization through Brownfields Workshop

Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance Offices

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources Brownfields Program and the Technical Assistance to Brownfields Program (TAB) at Kansas State University present this free workshop to help communities learn about Brownfields properties and how to fund successful redevelopments through different available resources. The workshop will focus on identifying State, Federal, and other financial and technical resources to address environmental and redevelopment issues for communities in Illinois and Missouri. Often vibrant community spaces such as housing, parks, trails, and job-creating businesses can be developed on previously used sites, including Brownfields.





 SBDC Names Shimkat as Director
Business Record Daily PM August 6, 2014

The Iowa Small Business Development Center announced today that Lisa Shimkat has been named its director, Iowa State University announced. Shimkat was elevated after working as the director of the North Central Iowa region based in Fort Dodge. She will replace Jim Heckmann, who retired in February. The Small Business Development Center is an economic outreach arm of the Iowa State University College of Business.

 Genesis Systems Completes $4.6M Davenport Expansion
By Jennifer DeWitt, August 05, 2014, Quad City Business Journal

Genesis Systems Group's robots are known around the globe, but when the Davenport manufacturer was planning to expand, the owners needed to look no farther than their own hometown, in part, to keep accessing the homegrown talent that has served it well for more than three decades.





 Remembering John Rodeen and "R.J." Baker

John K. Rodeen, 77 of Dakota Dunes, SD passed away on Friday, June 13, 2014 at a Sioux City hospital.

Services will be at 11:00 A.M. Tuesday at Grace United Methodist Church. Rev. Timothy Bonney will officiate. A reception with the family will be immediately following the service. Private graveside services will be in Memorial Park Cemetery. Visitation with the family present will be from 5:00 - 8:00 P.M. Monday with a Masonic Service at 7:00 Meyer Brothers Morningside Chapel, 6200 Morningside Ave. Online condolences may be sent to


Robert Jerry "R.J." Baker, 74, Norfolk, NE, passed away on Monday, August 11, 2014, at his home after battling kidney cancer for six years.

R.J. was born January 15, 1940, in Newton, IA, to parents Verl and Helen Baker. R.J. was the youngest of brothers William and John. R.J. had three additional siblings, Elizabeth Stockton, Mary Baker and James Baker, after Verl and Helen both later remarried.

R.J. grew up in Newton, IA, attending Lincoln Elementary and graduating Newton High School in 1958. R.J. played Cardinal football in his older brothers' footsteps, and spent a fair amount of time working in the family grocery business, Stockton Super Value, which operated three stores in town for many years.


 Job Postings:

Executive Director, Shelby County (Harlan) Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Harlan
Community Coach/Organizer, Louisa County, Iowa & Keep Iowa Beautiful, Louisa County
President & CEO, Iowa Great Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce (IGLACC), Arnolds Park
Executive Vice President, Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance, Mount Pleasant
Executive Director, Manchester Enterprises, Inc., Manchester
President, Marion Economic Development Company, Marion
President & CEO, North Iowa Corridor Economic Development, Mason City

More Information >>



 Preserve Iowa Summit
August 21-23, 2014
Cedar Rapids, IA

 2014 Housing Iowa Conference
September 3-5, 2014
Downtown Marriott, Des Moines, IA
More Information & Registration >>

 Funding Economic Development & Land Revitalization through Brownfields Workshop
September 16, 2014
Cedar Rapids, IA
More Information & Registration >>

 Midwest Creative College Town Conference
September 20, 2014
Iowa City, IA
More Information & Registration >>

 Home Base Iowa Webinar
September 21, 2014
Noon 1:00 PM
Register Here >>

 PDI Webinar: D-Days of an Ethical Dilemma in Economic Development
September 21, 2014
1:00 2:00 PM
Register Here >>

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

 PDI Fall Conference
September 24-26, 2014
Honey Creek Resort, Moravia, IA
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.

Host Community Sponsors
1st Iowa State Bank
Albia Industrial Development Corporation
Appanoose Industrial Corporation
Cargill Meat Solutions
Chariton Valley Electric Cooperative
Indian Hills Community College
Lucas County Development Corporation
Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative
Opportunity Squared
Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation
Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation
Peoples State Bank
South Ottumwa Savings Bank
Southern Iowa Electric Cooperative
US Bank
John Deere Ottumwa Works

Conference Supporting Sponsors
Black Hills Energy (Fall only)
Strategic Marketing Services - UNI

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

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


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