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Professional Developers of Iowa — Grow Iowa Day a Big Success

PDI Grow Iowa Day

PDI Grow Iowa Day

PDI Grow Iowa Day
The Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI) sponsored the 2015 "Grow Iowa" Day at the Iowa State Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 4.

Members were invited to join PDI legislative leaders and economic developers from around the state of Iowa, as they highlight the issues affecting economic development in Iowa. Key issues include • Tax Increment Financing, • Workforce, • State Economic Development Resources, • Transportation Infrastructure, • Income Tax Reform, • Housing, • Small Business & Entrepreneurship Support and • Broadband Expansion — all efforts to recruit and sustain Iowa companies.

Jason Hutcheson, President of PDI, says "In order to compete with other states and countries, Iowa must improve our competitiveness in a way that enhances the state's strengths, expands tax base, creates and retains high-paying jobs and builds industries of the future. The proverbial green shoots of growth in many of our communities are real, but if we intend to maintain and accelerate the trend, we've got to have the tools to compete, and that starts with strengthened economic development tools and a better climate to make Iowa the competitive choice for business."

"During these economic times, we stand ready to grow Iowa's economy, but legislative support is critical in maintaining a business-friendly atmosphere," Hutcheson says. For decades PDI has successfully represented the collective economic development interests of both the private and public sectors by providing leadership in defining and promoting statewide economic initiatives.

Special thanks to all the members who volunteered to help that day and to our exhibitors:

Advance Iowa
Ames Chamber of Commerce
City of Sioux City
Diligent Development/Peoples Company
Greater Burlington Partnership
Greater Cedar Valley Alliance
Greater Des Moines Partnership
Iowa Area Development Group
Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corp
Iowa Small Business Development Center
Iowa State University - Center for Industrial Research & Service
Johnston Economic Development
Marion County
Mid Iowa Growth Partnership
MidAmerican Energy
Northwest Iowa Development
Quad Cities First
Renew Rural Iowa/Iowa Farm Bureau Federation
UNI - Regional Business Center
UNI - Strategic Marketing Services
UNI Business & Community Services
Western Iowa Advantage

Save The Date — PDI's Spring Event

Join PDI on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 1:00 — 7:30 pm (In conjunction with SMART Conference on May 7, 2015) at the Farm Bureau Auditorium, 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, IA for PDI's Spring Event.

Draft Agenda:

1:00 - 1:30 Welcome/ PDI and Legislative Update...Jason Hutcheson and Craig Patterson
1:30 - 2:30 Professional Development Session — "Time Management — Balancing Work and Life" with Theresa Bornbach, Cedar Rapids, Metro Economic Alliance, Cedar Rapids, IA
2:45 - 3:45 Corporate Panel on perspective of Site Selection: Stan Gibson, Wells Fargo Corporate Properties Group; Representative DuPont Pioneer; David Hemming, CEO of Precision Tank and Equipment, Humboldt, IA; and Mark Laurenzo, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Des Moines, IA, Moderator
3:45 - 4:45 Economic Developers...Best Practices: Kelly Halsted, Greater Fort Dodge Alliance, Fort Dodge, IA; Chris McGowen, Siouxland Initiative, Sioux City, IA Jeff Kolb, Butler County Development Corp, Allison, IA; and Michael Gould, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Des Moines, IA, Moderator
5:30 - 7:30 Reception (SMART VIP's invited)

Reception: Des Moines Social Club, 900 Mulberry Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

Registration Fee: $100 for members / Registration opens late February


 PDI Exhibits at Transportation Day

A coalition of groups supporting better roads in Iowa scheduled a Transportation Day, "We Can't Afford to Wait" at the Iowa Capitol on Jan. 28 to lobby for increased road funding. The groups include Iowa League of Cities, Iowa State Association of Counties, Iowa County Engineers Service Bureau, Community Bankers of Iowa, Associated General Contractors of Iowa, Iowa Good Roads Association, Iowa Motor Truck Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Limestone Producers Association and 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.

Read The Report >>

 PDI Participates in Iowa Tourism Industry Showcases Benefiting Iowa Tourism

Iowa tourism supporters hosted the 26th annual Tourism Showcase for Legislators at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Tuesday, January 27, 2015. "Unite for Success" was the theme. More than 65 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.

"Tourism in our great state of Iowa is about more than places to visit, it is about economic growth, quality of life, jobs and most importantly, it is a revenue generating clean industry. Tourism works for Iowa. Its economic impact reaches every job sector, county, school, child and household in Iowa. Tourism brings new money into our local economies from visitors and increases our tax receipts," said Lisa Riggs, President of the Travel Federation of Iowa.

Tourism is Iowa's eighth largest employer. In 2013, travelers in Iowa generated over $7.75 billion in revenue, 65,400 jobs, and a payroll of $1.18 billion at local businesses in communities throughout the state. All of these figures represent increases over 2012. In Iowa, these dollars in turn generated $857.5 million in federal, state and local tax receipts. The tax collections of $857.5 million in 2013 represent growth of 1.9% from 2012.

The Travel Federation of Iowa is a statewide, grassroots organization dedicated to growing Iowa's tourism industry through advocacy and education. For more information visit

Read More about Iowa Tourism >>

 SAVE THE DATE! 2015 Iowa SMART Economic Development Conference
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — Registration Now Open


Save the date for the Iowa SMART Economic Development Conference on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.

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.

Read More & Registration >>



 Group to Review the Battelle Economic Development Study

The Iowa City Area Development Group is working with MidAmerican Energy and the Iowa Economic Development Authority to host an informal gathering on Wednesday, February 25, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort to review the new Battelle Economic Development Study (link at

During this event, Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham and Kathryn Kunert, Vice President, Business and Community Development for MidAmerican Energy, will lead Battelle "Show and Tell," providing more information about the report and leading a conversation about the next steps for communities, leaders, and economic development groups.

This event is intended to be informational, but informal. Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be provided, along with a cash bar.

Free to attend, but seating will be limited. We welcome fellow PDI members for across the state to join us and we ask you extend this invitation to your boards, business leaders, and elected officials.

If you have any questions, please contact Mark Nolte or Eric Hanson at the ICAD Group office at (319) 354-3939.

Read More & RSVP >>

 City and County Estimate of 10cpg

As the debate to increase the gas tax continues in the state capital building, it is important that economic developers across Iowa recognize how new revenue from an increase in the gas tax would translate in additional revenue in your community. In the table below you will find information on what the city and county realization of a 10 cent per gallon tax increase would mean in additional funding to your community's transportation infrastructure. The table below assumes an across-the-board ten cent increase would be implemented at once, with no phase in. The estimate does not include a variable tax rate for gasoline and ethanol, therefore all gasoline and ethanol blended gallons were assumed to be taxed at a rate of 30 cents per gallon, and diesel fuel was calculated at 32.5 cents per gallon. We encourage you to take this information and share it with your members that can strengthen support for implementing needed change to our aged infrastructure.

Estimated Increase in City County Funding by County 10 cpg >>

Estimated Increase in City Funding 10 cpg Increase >>

Estimated Increase in County Funding 10 cpg Increase >>



 $92M Egg-Processing Plant Planned for Winnebago County, 197 Jobs
By Rea Yost, The Globe Gazette, February 03, 2015

Rembrandt Enterprises Inc. plans to build a $92 million large-scale egg-processing plant in Winnebago County that is expected to create 197 full-time jobs.

The company, with headquarters in Spirit Lake, already has an egg-laying facility in Winnebago County near Thompson that employs 134.


Kiley Miller
 Corridor CEO Earns Certified Economic Developer Designation

The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation and the International Economic Development (IEDC) council announce that Kiley Miller has earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD).

Miller serves as President and CEO of the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation, the regional economic development agency for Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson and Emmet counties. He completed the CEcD examination administered by the IEDC January 24-25, 2015 in Palm Beach County, Florida.

The CEcD designation is a national recognition that denotes a mastery of principal skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth. Candidates must pass a rigorous and comprehensive three-part, two-day examination, which tests a practitioner's knowledge, proficiency and judgment in the key areas of economic development, including business retention and expansion, marketing, finance, workforce development, community development, technology-led economic development, real estate, strategic planning, and management. There are more than 1,100 certified economic developers in the nation.

Miller has more than six years of experience in economic development. From 2008 to 2014, he was Executive Vice President of the Mount Pleasant (Iowa) Area Chamber Alliance, where he played a role in more than $17 million in business retention and expansion projects and additional business attraction projects that yielded more than $8 million in new taxable valuation. He became President and CEO of the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation in August 2014. He has maintained the organization's focus on existing business support, entrepreneurial and small business development, workforce attraction and training, and business recruitment.

 Community College Presidents: Funding Needed to Meet Iowa Workforce Needs
The presidents argue that the demand of students and employers is exceeding funding

By James Lynch, The Gazette, January 27, 2015

Community college presidents presented a generally upbeat picture of Iowa's two-year college system role in meeting present and future workforce needs.

However, in a presentation to the Legislature's Education Appropriations Subcommittee Tuesday, they warned they need more funding to meet the demands of students and employers.


 Is Iowa's Business Tax Climate Really That Bad?
By Joe Kristan, CPA at Roth & Company, P.C., Business Record Iowa Biz, January 22, 2015

The Tax Foundation says Iowa has the 10th-worst business tax climate among the states. Their detailed overview of Iowa's tax system explains:

States that score well on the Index have broad bases and low rates, but Iowa has narrow bases and high rates on many taxes...

Competing states like South Dakota and Indiana offer more competitive corporate tax climates while Iowa can leave prospective businesses with sticker shock because of its 12 percent corporate income tax rate.

Further, many Iowa businesses file income taxes through the individual tax code, which has a high top rate of 8.98 percent. Even Illinois is more competitive in this regard; it files individual income at a single rate of 5 percent.




 Did You Know?
Snippets from 2014 Member Survey...

49.3% of our members work for an organization which experienced a budget increase in 2014.

 Job Postings:

Executive Director, Decatur County Development Corporation, Decatur County
Development and Communications Specialist, City of Pleasant Hill, Pleasant Hill
Wright County Economic Development Director, Clarion, IA

More Information >>




 Battelle "Show and Tell"
February 25 / 4 5:30 p.m.
Riverside Casino and Golf Resort
Riverside, Iowa
Information & Registration >>

 Mainstreet Iowa Application Workshop
Monday, March 23 / 1 - 5 p.m.
Cliff's Place
417 Main Street
Manning, Iowa
More Information & Registration >>

 Mainstreet Iowa Application Workshop
Wednesday, March 25 / 1 - 5 p.m.
Appanoose Rapids Brewing Company
332 East Main Street
Ottumwa, Iowa
More Information & Registration >>

 Mainstreet Iowa Application Workshop
Thursday, March 26 / 1 - 5 p.m.
Cedar Falls Public Library (2nd floor meeting room)
524 Main Street
Cedar Falls, Iowa
More Information & Registration >>

 Heartland Economic Development Course, Inc.
April 19-23, 2015
Adam's Pointe Conference Center, Blue Springs, MO
More Information & Registration >>
Scholarship Information >>

 PDI 2015 Spring Event
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
1:00-7:00 pm
Farm Bureau Headquarters, West Des Moines, IA

 SMART Conference
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center, Des Moines, IA
Embassy Suites Des Moines Downtown — Sleeping Rooms

 International Training on Importing, Filing an EEI, and Exporting
May 19 & 20, 2015
Iowa Farm Bureau Auditorium
West Des Moines, IA
More Information & Registration >>

 PDI's Fall Conference
September 23-25, 2015
Historic Park Inn, Holiday Inn Express
Mason City, IA

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

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Published by WinM@il