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By Stacie LoVan, PDI President

Stacie LoVan
PDI President

PDI had an outstanding annual conference at Honey Creek Resort last week! The speakers were excellent and provided insights for all of us to ponder and put into practice in our communities. The networking events were well-attended and I heard nothing but raving reports from all the activities. I don't believe we could have asked for better weather or scenery for the boat ride and picnic/walking tour.

I would like to thank the conference committee, under the leadership of Jason Hutcheson, Carla Eysink, and Tod Faris, and our PDI staff for their work in organizing this stellar conference. I would also like to thank the Rathbun Area communities and Honey Creek Resort for their warm welcome.

During the annual meeting, we elected three board members to serve 3-year terms: Terry Bailey, Brian Crow, and Kim Didier. Congratulations to these new board members! Steve Dust and Brent Willett's board terms are expiring this year. We thank both Steve and Brent for their leadership over the past few years — you will be missed! The following members have been elected to serve as your 2015 PDI officers: Jason Hutcheson, President; Wayne Pantini, Vice President; Mark Reinig, Secretary/Treasurer; and myself as Past President. I have high expectations for PDI in the coming years with this newly-elected PDI leadership and know that I will not be disappointed.

We also had the opportunity to award a long-time friend of PDI, Kathy Evert, with a lifetime PDI membership. Kathy's reputation as an outstanding leader is well-known and she generously shared her expertise with PDI, serving as PDI President in 2003. Congratulations, Kathy!

Thank you to everyone who attended the PDI Conference. Your participation in PDI is what makes our organization strong! If you were unable to attend the annual conference this year, we will see at an upcoming PDI event or at the 2015 annual conference in Mason City September 23-25, 2015.



 US Census Population Estimates 2010-2013

Iowa State's David Peters, Ph.D. has published information about the change U.S. population. For example, Iowa's population grew 1.43% to 3.090 mil (43,559 increase) between 2010-2013.

More Information >>

 Fifteen Iowa Community Colleges Get Federal Grants
Business Record Daily PM, September 30, 2014

The federal government today announced $450 million in training grants for 270 community colleges in Iowa and other states.

The funding is part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) competitive grant program, which is administered by the education and labor departments.

The money will help community colleges train workers for fields that include information technology, healthcare, energy, and advanced manufacturing. Fifteen Iowa schools received a combined $15 million.

Here is a breakdown:

Des Moines Area Community College - $993,628
Eastern Iowa Community College - $869,671
Hawkeye Community College - $1,852,096
Iowa Central Community College - $984,092
Indian Hills Community College - $999,548
Iowa Lakes Community College - $808,102
Iowa Valley Community College District - $999,999
Iowa Western Community College - $998,431
Kirkwood Community College - $999,881
North Iowa Area Community College - $1 million
Northeast Iowa Community College - $1 million
Northwest Iowa Community College - $993,468
Southeastern Community College - $678,349
Southwestern Community College - $1 million
Western Iowa Tech Community College - $822,735




 PDI Member Input for 2015 Session

44 PDI Members responded to the legislative survey regarding issues and priorities for the 2015 legislative session. The PDI Legislative Committee met at the Fall Conference to begin work on the legislative agenda and the PDI Board will take final action at their November meeting on the items. If you have additional comments or questions, please contact:

Wayne Pantini, Legislative Committee Co-Chair 641/782-2003;
Steve Dust, Legislative Committee Co-Chair 319/232-1156;
Brent Willett, Legislative Committee Co-Chair 515/232-2310;
Amy Campbell, Lobbyist 515/554-5838;
Craig Patterson, Lobbyist 515/554-7920;

See Legislative Survey Results >>



 Iowa's First Commercial Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Opens in Emmetsburg
Russ Oechslin, Sioux City Journal, September 3, 2014

With dignitaries including city officials, the governor of Iowa and a European monarch, more than 2,000 people watched Wednesday as baling wire was cut to signify the grand opening of the state's first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant.

King Willem-Alexander, of the Netherlands, was not expected to take the stage during the opening ceremonies at the Poet-DSM plant in Emmetsburg but surprised organizers with his willingness to take part. His Majesty spoke briefly in praise of Royal DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma and his company's efforts in enzyme research that make the process work.


 ISU to Break Ground on Economic Development Hub
Business Record Daily PM, September 8, 2014

Iowa State University President Steven Leath and Gov. Terry Branstad will break ground Wednesday for a new economic development center at ISU Research Park in Ames.

A $12 million state appropriation is supporting construction of the 49,210-square-foot Economic Development Core Facility, which will be located south of the existing research park, the university said in a release. The building will be "a one-stop shop for business and industry to seek Iowa State expertise and assistance," ISU officials said. The new center, which is expected to open in mid-2016, will house about 100 employees and provide conference and meeting space for several hundred people.


 Washington Awarded Grant to Open New Lots in Industrial Park
Corridor Business Journal Daily PM, September 12, 2014

The city of Washington was awarded a $581,784 Competitive RISE grant to open up new development-ready industrial lots in the city-owned Southwest Industrial Park. The grant is for 700 feet of paved road on West Buchanan Street, including new turn lanes on Highway 1.

This project is necessary to provide access to nine lots totaling more than 13.2 acres for industrial purposes. This project is anticipated to be completed by November 2015.

Prices of the new lots are not yet determined. Future phases of the West Buchanan Street improvement will open up a total of more than 50 acres of commercial/industrial land.

According to Washington Economic Development Group Director Ed Raber, extending West Buchanan Street from the center of town west to Highway 1 has been a proposed project in the city's comprehensive plan going back to the 1930s.

 Downtown Skywalk Project Comes Back to Haunt Cedar Rapids
Federal, state transit officials question funding

By Rick Smith, The Gazette, September 17 2014

State and federal transportation officials are telling the Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization to make major changes in its operation or face the possible suspension of about $4-million in annual federal aid.

The demand comes in part after two MPO member cities, Marion and Hiawatha, complained to transit officials when the Cedar Rapids majority on the organization's board steered $1.4 million in federal funds, administered by the MPO, to a yet-to-be-built section of downtown Cedar Rapids skywalk.


 Isolated Iowa Brewery is Heart of Granite City
By Anthony Capps, September 13, 2014

Nestled in the northeast corner of the small town of Ellsworth, about 30 miles north of Ames, is the basis for a growing restaurant chain.

The Granite City Brewery sits tucked away and without any flashy signage outside. With no specific space for gathering and socializing, it isn't designed for regular visitors but they are welcomed when they arrive.





 PDI Member Survey Results Available

How does your organization's budget compare to that of similar sized groups?
How much do organization's your size spend on marketing? On salaries?
What fringe benefits do your peers receive?
How many developers have an employment contract?

These and many more answers are available from the results of the 2014 PDI Membership Survey, and we want to thank everyone that participated in the survey — we had record responses.

Survey results include information related to wages and benefits, educational achievements, the type of organization the member represents, job titles, size of organizational budgets along with questions the PDI Board and its committees felt should be asked regarding not only PDI activities and services, but also the constantly changing business of economic development. The survey results can be found at

PDI has conducted a biennial membership survey since 1994, and the information obtained through those surveys provides a good means of developing trend information regarding economic development activities in Iowa. The PDI Board also uses results of the membership survey to evaluate our member activities and programs.

The membership survey was conducted and tabulated on behalf of PDI by the University of Northern Iowa's Institute for Decision Making (IDM). Initial results of the survey were presented at this fall's PDI Annual Conference in Moravia in September.

Questions concerning completing the survey can be directed to Drew Conrad (319.273.6977 - with IDM.

 Evert is Bestowed Lifetime Membership in PDI

Jim Gossett, CEcD and Dan Culhane, CEcD presented Kathy J. Evert, CEcD, with Life Membership of the Professional Developers of Iowa for her dedication to economic development in the state of Iowa. Gossett told of how she led both PDI and Mid America EDC with excellence and how she gave back to the profession through her leadership of these organizations and by mentoring new professionals. Culhane said, "Kathy Evert epitomizes everything that is good about the economic development profession. Kathy has been a leader in the industry for many years. She has enjoyed significant success in numerous communities and has left each one far better than how she found them. Coming from Nebraska to Burlington, Iowa; then to Davenport; and finally the Iowa Lakes Corridor where she took that group from a relatively sleepy economic development group to a bright, energetic, innovative regional economic development entity. Speculative buildings, workforce initiatives, international business development, and entrepreneurship are just a few of the efforts she has brought to the communities she has served. Kathy has been a difference maker wherever she has offered her expertise."

In her remarks, Kathy shared that she is donating money in honor of her late husband Craig Evert for PDI's Scholarship Fund. Congratulations and best wishes on your retirement Kathy!

 PDI Fall Conference Review

Christopher Lloyd, McGuireWoods Consulting, Richmond, VA speaks to a packed general session on "Incentives: The Good, the Bad, and the Responsibility." Lloyd focused on building a defensible and transparent incentives policy and covered areas such as media coverage/attention grabbing headlines regarding incentives; why projects go bad, incentive defense tactics doomed to fail and how even good projects can get political. He went on to say that job creation is the #1 political issue in the US. and how developers should use ROI to their benefit. Lloyd also offered tips on getting the business community buy-in, developing policies that work and sharing
policies to avoid.

Our last general session of the conference was on Innovative Actions/Mature Products. The speakers included Chris Hill, Innovation Program ISU/CIRAS, Ames, IA; Kathy Wauson, Kness Manufacturing, Albia, IA; Craig Ambrose, Cargill and was moderated by Bruce Hansen, Iowa Area Development Group, West Des Moines, IA

 PDI Members Enjoy Activities in Appanoose County for Fall Conference

Downtown Centerville
PDI Members Golfing
PDI Members On the Boat
PDI Members at the Majestic Theatre
PDI Members attending the Fall Conference this year enjoyed a wide array of activities in the area. Over 40 people golfed at The Preserve at Honey Creek Resort. 14 people participated in the trap/skeet shoot. And nearly 20 people walked the downtown Centerville area — the world's largest town square — learning about alternative businesses developed on many of the first and second floors of the buildings that have occupied the square for many years. The evening receptions found PDI members boating on Lake Rathbun, picnicking/hiking at the Honey Creek Resort and spending their dine-around dollars at one of Centerville's many restaurants after enjoying networking at the historic Majestic Theatre. PDI would like to thank the Opportunity Squared Regional Group, Centerville businesses, surrounding communities and all the folks in the area for hosting us in their area — we had a wonderful time!

 New Members

Mike Earll, Osceola Co. Econ. Dev. Commission, Sibley
Jenna Herr, City of Waukee, Waukee
Katie Gieszler, City of Urbandale, Urbandale
Ray DeWinkle, Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, Moline
Shelley Oltmans, Keokuk Chamber of Commerce, Keokuk
Matt Frandsen, Keen Project Solutions, Ames

 Scholarship Recipient

Hollie Askey, Warren County Economic Development Corporation, OU-EDI, Indianapolis, IN - Nov 2014

 Job Postings:

Executive Director, Winneshiek County Development Inc., Decorah
Executive Director, Hancock County Economic Development Corp., Garner
Executive Director, Shelby County (Harlan) Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Harlan
Community Coach/Organizer, Louisa County, Iowa & Keep Iowa Beautiful, Louisa County

More Information >>




 2014 Iowa Women of Innovation Awards
November 11, 2014
Meadows Events & Conference Center
Altoona, Iowa
More Information & Registration >>

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 Benefactor Sponsor (Fall only)
Strategic Marketing Services - UNI

Conference Supporting Sponsors (Fall only)
Black Hills Energy
Veridian Credit Union

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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