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 Presidential Post   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Who's Who   Events March 17, 2015

Economic Development Organizations Encouraged to Submit Awards Application for Business Retention and Expansion Efforts

The Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI) will honor economic development organizations from across Iowa during the SMART Economic Development Conference held in Des Moines on May 7.

The PDI Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Awards Program recognizes the outstanding efforts of local and regional economic development initiatives in supporting growth and expansion of existing Iowa companies.

"Supporting Iowa's existing industry is a key priority for PDI's membership," stated Jason Hutcheson, PDI President. "The BRE Awards are intended to increase the focus on fostering Iowa business growth by economic development organizations and spotlight BRE programs and projects that have made a significant impact on Iowa communities."

Learn more about the BRE Awards >>

 Facebook Group

Professional Developers of Iowa now has a Facebook group. Unlike our other social media accounts, this is a closed. Only members of PDI are accepted into membership of the group. The purpose of the group is to facilitate discussion among members about topics relating to economic development in the state of Iowa.

Request Admittance to The Group Here >> - then click on "+ Join Group".


Date: Wednesday, May 6, 2015 1:00 - 7:30 pm
Location: Farm Bureau Auditorium, 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, IA
Registration Fee: $100 for members / Registration info

1:00 - 1:30 Welcome/ PDI and Legislative Update
1:30 - 2:30 Time Management - Balancing Work and Life
2:30 - 2:45 Break
2:45 - 3:45 Corporate Panel on Site Selection Perspective
Wells Fargo Corporate Properties Group, DuPont Pioneer; Precision Tank and Equipment & Iowa Economic Development Authority
3:45 - 4:45 Economic Developers on Site Selection & Best Practices
Greater Fort Dodge Alliance, Siouxland Initiative, Butler County Development Corp and Iowa Economic Development Authority
4:45 - 5:00 Wrap up
5:30 - 7:30 Reception: Des Moines Social Club, 900 Mulberry Street, Des Moines, IA

Sleeping Rooms: PDI does not have a room block reserved. Contact the Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau for hotel information in the area.

A limited number of hotel rooms have been reserved for the SMART Conference at the Embassy Suites Des Moines Downtown for the night of Wednesday, May 6, 2015 with a special group rate of $164.00 USD per night. Click on the reservation link below to make an online reservation. Room block closes by April 6, 2015. BOOK WITH GROUP RATE: Iowa Utility Association >>

Are you attending the SMART Conference only? Please register directly at You may also view the event summary and view the full SMART Conference agenda.

Registration Information >>


(You Don't Know What You Don't Know Series)

 Revolving Loan Funds - What? Where?

Revolving loan funds (RLF) are a gap financing tool designed to assist job creation and business expansion projects. They are considered "revolved" because initial funds received from a USDA program were directed towards a community or non-profit organization with the understanding that repayments would be not be sent back to USDA, but instead re-invested into business and community growth. These competitive, low interest funds operate like a typical loan requiring a business plan, financials, collateral and lender or equity participation. Loan terms, interest rates and other criteria may vary slightly among funds. RLF's exist all across Iowa and may be found by contacting USDA Rural Development ( ), a rural electric cooperative or a telephone cooperative serving the project area, or your local council of governments. Applications are accepted year-round as funds are available. When loans are repaid to the lending entity, the funds continue to revolve to assist future projects.

 Dream Big Grow Here Business Grant Program Announces 30 Finalists

The University of Northern Iowa Regional Business Center has announced 30 finalists in the Dream Big Grow Here business grant program. A pitch off event held in conjunction with EntreFEST is scheduled to take place during the day of Thursday, May 21st in Iowa City to determine the six industry winners of $5,000. These six will then compete in an additional pitch off that evening for the $10,000 grand prize business grant.

During the online portion of the grant program, the Dream Big Grow Here website accumulated 1.3 million pageviews. The site attracted over 100,000 total users, roughly half from Iowa. The other half came from every state in the United States. In addition to the online traffic, the web portal logged 75,665 votes and 2,700 comments of support for Iowa small business owners all across the state.




 Policy Perspectives

Check out the March 7 Edition of Policy Perspectives.

Read Policy Perspectives >>



 TechWorks Developer: Project's Building Pace Should Accelerate
By Jim Offner, Cedar Valley Business Monthly Online, February 22, 2015

The redevelopment mosaic that is Cedar Valley TechWorks is starting to come together, its chief developer says.

Planners say their project took a giant step forward when the Iowa Economic Development Board in Des Moines approved the maximum amount of $12 million for the TechWorks Campus Reinvestment District plan submitted by the city of Waterloo.


 Cultivation Corridor Racks up $1.8 Billion in Investments
By Perry Beeman, Senior Staff Writer, Business Record, February 25, 2015

The Business Record's Power Breakfast on the Cultivation Corridor on Wednesday brought together four development heavyweights who are fully versed in collaboration, working on a regional scale and promoting an area.

All four said the fledgling Cultivation Corridor - Central Iowa's answer to the California's Silicon Valley and North Carolina's Research Triangle - will be a success. It will take time, they all stressed, but they expect Central Iowa to see expansions and new businesses in the agricultural biosciences arena within a couple of decades, and broader success in less than the 50 years the Research Triangle took to develop.


 Des Moines Water Works to Proceed with Water Quality Suit
By Joe Gardyasz, Senior Staff Writer, Business Record, March 11, 2015

The Des Moines Water Works board of trustees unanimously voted Tuesday to move forward with a lawsuit against three upstream counties and their drainage districts in an effort to address worsening nitrate pollution that threatens Greater Des Moines' drinking water quality.

Iowa agriculture groups were quick to condemn the board's action, saying that the lawsuit "risks slowing the momentum of the nationally recognized Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy implemented with bipartisan legislative support in 2013."


 Coralville Eyeing Possible 7,000-seat Arena for Iowa River Landing
Hoping to receive $10 million in state revenue for project

By Mark Carlson, KCRG, The Gazette, March 12, 2015

City officials are moving forward with a plan that could bring a new 7,000-seat arena with an attached "sports performance" center to the Iowa River Landing area near where First Avenue meets Interstate 80.

"We're still in the early stages of this," said city administrator Kelly Hayworth.

The project will rely on a pre-application the city plans to submit to the state's Economic Development Authority, which could provide the city with $10 to $13 million in revenue for the project through a reinvestment program.


 Omaha-Council Bluffs Seeks to Become Leader in Agriculture
By Matt Kelley, Radio Iowa, March 10, 2015

Poised in the nation's heartland between two big farm states, Omaha-Council Bluffs officials hope to benefit from the region's strong agricultural sector to become one of the world's top five agri-business leaders.

Randy Thelen, senior vice president at the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, sees value-added agriculture as a key to making the metro area a global leader in food processing, biofuels and biochemicals.


 Geotourism Plans Unveiled for River, Q-C Region
By Doug Schorpp, Quad City Times, March 9, 2015

By June 2016, the Upper Mississippi River region and all of its sights will be part of the National Geographic website that helps promote amazing tourism spots around the world.

But in the meantime, there is much work to do and a lot more gatherings will be needed — on top of one held Monday in the Quad-Cities — to iron out the details.

"This is the first of several meetings. All of this is just the gathering point," said Joe Taylor, the president and CEO of the Quad-Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau. "This project will entail the entire length of the the river, and the Quad-Cities was picked to be one of four sites for these meetings."


 New $9M Sawyer Building — with Its Housing, Retail, Office Space — Joins the Old in Downtown Council Bluffs
By Cindy Gonzalez, World-Herald staff writer,, Friday, March 13, 2015

It's the newest and tallest structure on the historic 100 block of West Broadway in Council Bluffs.

But perhaps most notable about the three-story Sawyer building — which will add housing and 9,323 square feet of retail and office space — is its anticipated boost to the sought-after mix of residential and commercial activity that attracts today's merchants and millennials.

"To have an active historic district and downtown, you need people living here," said Julie Stavneak of J Development Co., who along with Jim Royer owns the Bluffs-based firm building the complex. "Bring in new projects, and it will help the city grow."


 Iowa DOT Director Wants to Improve Supply Chain for Business
Says he hopes to link transportation investment with economic development planning

By B.A. Morelli, The Gazette, March 11, 2015

Iowa Department of Transportation Director Paul Trombino laid out a vision for his agency that links transportation investment with economic development during a visit Wednesday to Eastern Iowa.

Trombino, as the keynote speaker at the Marion Economic Development Co. annual business luncheon, said the DOT and Iowa Economic Development Authority are working closely on an effort to optimize Iowa's supply chain design.




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

More than one-half of PDI members have been members for 7 years or longer.

 Job Postings:

Executive Director, Allamakee County Economic Development, Waukon
Executive Director, Decatur County Development Corporation, Decatur County
Development and Communications Specialist, City of Pleasant Hill, Pleasant Hill

More Information >>


PDI Fall Conference


 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 >>

 Economic & Workforce Development: Meeting the Needs of Employers Webinar
Thursday, March 26, 1:00 pm
Presented by: Sara Dunnigan, Executive Director, Virginia Board of Workforce Development, Christine Quinn, Director, State of Michigan Workforce Development Agency et al
Hosted by: Whittaker Associates, Inc.
PDI Registration Link >>

 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
Registration & Information >>

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

 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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