PDI POST with Fall Conference Highlights
   Conference Highlights   Development Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events October 5, 2015



President Jason Hutcheson presents Representative Mary Ann Hanusa with the 2015 Legislator of the Year Award
 2015 PDI Legislator of the Year Award

The Professional Developers of Iowa awarded their 2015 Legislator of the Year Award to Representative Mary Ann Hanusa of Council Bluffs. Representative Hanusa is serving in her third term in the Iowa House and is the Chairwoman of the Economic Growth committee. She also serves on the Education, Labor, and Transportation committees, as well as the Economic Development budget subcommittee.

"Rep. Hanusa is being honored this year as PDI's Legislator of the Year because she embodies those qualities that PDI looks for in our legislators — a desire to put partisanship aside and work with members of both parties in both chambers to advance the goal of job creation and economic vitality in Iowa," said PDI President Jason Hutcheson, President and CEO of the Greater Burlington Partnership.

 2015 PDI Lifetime Membership Recipients: Ilene Deckert & Craig Hamilton


L to R: Drew Conrad, Craig Hamilton, Jason Hutcheson, Ilene Deckert, Maureen Elbert
- PDI Lifetime Membership Awards

In her capacity as Associate Director of the Eastern Iowa Community College District, Ilene Deckert manages the Iowa Jobs Training (260F) program that provides funding for companies to use for retraining of existing workers and coordinates the development of training plans for companies receiving New Jobs Training (260E) funds. She also supervises the Iowa Waste Exchange and Career Link Essentials Pre-employment programs. Deckert was responsible for EICCD’s Skills 2006 and 2010 Surveys, a study of companies’ employment and skill needs, and coordinated administration of the survey statewide. Prior to this position, Deckert served as Director of the Regional Economic Development Center and Executive Director of the DeWitt Chamber and Economic Development Commission. Deckert has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and is a certified economic development professional (CEcD). She has completed the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management and the American Management Association’s strategic planning certificate programs. She has served on PDI’s Committees including Membership, Education, Fall and Spring Conference and served six years on the PDI Board and as President in 2010.

Craig Hamilton was the first president of the Professional Developers of Iowa which was incorporated in 1989. Prior to Craig assuming that position he served as Vice President of the Iowa Professional Developers (IPD) the predecessor organization of today's PDI. As Vice President, Craig functioned as IPD's liaison with legal counsel to facilitate the transition from IPD to PDI, a transition necessitated by the need to formalize the tax status of the organization. As PDI's first president Craig was key to working through the board in formulating policies and procedures along with meeting legal requirements to establish PDI as a 501(c3) organization. Craig also served on the IPD board when it was determined that for the organization to grow in status and influence it was necessary to expand the eligibility criteria for membership in the organization. Until action by the then IPD board, only a very limited number of those individuals involved in economic and community development were eligible to become members of IPD. The change of membership criteria enabled the new PDI organization to dramatically increase both its membership and influence in economic development in Iowa. In the years following his service on the IPD/PDI board and as PDI president, Craig continued to be actively involved in PDI and found ways to serve and contribute to the organization. Craig was an active participate in the annual board planning sessions, served on a number of committees and volunteered his time to organize a variety of PDI conference events. During that time Craig had an impact statewide while serving many years as a Marketing Manager for the Iowa Development Commission/Iowa Department of Economic Development and then as a Senior Vice President for the Iowa Area Development Group. Craig also made significant contributions at the local and regional levels by serving as the executive director for the Jasper County Economic Development Corporation and the Iowa County Economic Development Commission and serving as Manager for Community Relations for Iowa Telecom. Additionally, over the years Craig served as a mentor and resources to many individuals who have entered the economic development profession.

 PDI Speakers Engage and Inform


Randy Dean shares information on getting an extra hour in your day.


IEDA Director Debi Durham shares updates.

 PDI Members Enjoy the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake


Surf Ballroom


Surf Ballroom



 State of Iowa Coordinated Comments on Proposed NAAQS Ozone Standard

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT), and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), appreciate the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule "National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone" (NAAQS) published in the Federal Register (79 FR 75233) on December 17, 2014. The EPA proposed setting the primary standard range between 65 and 70 parts per billion (ppb). We jointly can support setting a primary standard at 70 ppb. We also write to express concerns about the balance between costs and benefits for any level below that threshold.

Read Full Document >>




 Contractors Identified for Dakota Access Pipeline
Fort Madison Daily Democrat, September 23, 2015

Dakota Access Pipeline, LLC today announced that union contractors Michels Pipeline Construction, a Division of Michels Corporation and Precision Pipeline, LLC have been awarded construction contracts for multiple segments along the 1,134-mile Dakota Access Pipeline, which will provide needed infrastructure to transport domestically produced light sweet crude oil from the Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Ill, where shippers will be able to access multiple markets including Midwest, East Coast and Gulf Coast regions. Michels Pipeline and Precision will each construct pipeline segments in North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa. Ultimately, Dakota Access will sign construction contracts with up to five union contractors.


 Corbett Launches Conservative Think Tank
By Christinia Crippesn, WCF Courier, September 21, 2015

In 1997, then-Speaker of the House Ron Corbett was eager for data that could offer some insight into whether Iowa should cut its income taxes by 10 percent or 15 percent, as the two chambers were debating between those figures. It never materialized, and a 10 percent cut was enacted.


 Ames Develops Long Range Transportation Plan to Meet Future Needs
Austin Harrington, Staff Writer, Ames Tribune, September 23, 2015

A newly adopted long-range transportation plan for the city of Ames will focus on connecting modes of travel, along with promoting walking, bicycling, safety and environmental awareness.

The plan was adopted by the Ames Transportation Policy Committee Tuesday, and it outlines the city"s vision for transportation over the next 25 years. The plan is referred to as the Ames Mobility 2040 and is a result of months of work by the Ames Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.


 Property Owners Get Details on 80/380 Interchange Project
Logistics during construction a concern
B.A. Morelli, The Gazette, September 30, 2015

Replacing the Interstate 80/380 cloverleaf interchange makes sense, even it if will cost Steve Branin, 47, part of his land at 355th Street in rural Johnson County. Traffic has been increasing and crashes are too frequent, he said.

"It absolutely makes sense," he said Tuesday evening during a meeting at the Coralville Public Library.


 TrinityRail Delays $30.9M Sioux City Project
Kirby Kaufmann, Sioux City Journal, September 26, 2015

While Sioux City"s drop and pull rail yard is nearing completion, the nearby proposed TrinityRail project has been delayed, city officials said.

City officials have said construction of the $30.9 million rail car maintenance facility would bring more business to the city. A fall opening was scheduled. Sioux City and TrinityRail have not finalized a project agreement.


 Iowa Executive Council Approves 6.7 Percent Rise in State Insurance Costs
Deal will increase state's annual share of employee insurance by $40 million
Rod Boshart, The Gazette, September 28, 2015

The Iowa Executive Council voted 4-0 Monday to approve a two-year extension of state group insurance rates that would boost the state"s share for health premiums by 6.7 percent for next year, effective Jan. 1.





 PDI Scholarship Program: Purpose and Intent

Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI) offers a limited number of scholarships to (priority will be given to the following courses) Heartland Economic Development Course, IEDC certified Regional Economic Development Courses, Economic Development Institute (EDI), and the National Development Council's Professional Certification Programs. In addition, other courses will be considered for eligibility on a case-by-case basis. The intent of the fund is to assist members whose development organization cannot provide total funding. Scholarships are made available to PDI members (individual in whose name membership is held) in an effort to provide educational opportunities and promote professionalism. Funding priority will be given to assist members new to the profession and members whose development organizations cannot provide total funding. The number of scholarships to be awarded shall be determined yearly by the Board of Directors, through their planning and budgeting process.

Eligibility Requirements for Scholarship:

  1. As the intent of this fund is to assist members whose employers cannot provide total funding, the member must demonstrate a need for the scholarship funds. The member's employer must participate in the expense of the course.
  2. The scholarship application will be reviewed and recommendations made to the Board of Directors by the Education Committee. Final action will be taken by the Board of Directors if application is received prior to that month's board meeting.
  3. Scholarship funds will be disbursed to approved applicants upon receipt of a copy of the certificate of completion from the course identified in the scholarship application.
  4. Scholar's awards will include the following:
    Maximum scholarship available is $500 per application. Eligible costs include tuition fees, course fees, and course material fees.
  5. The maximum amount of scholarship funds available to any one member is $1,000.

Other possible funding sources:

  1. Additional scholarships may be available from other entities. Contact Lynn Harkin, Executive Director at director@pdiowa.com or call (515) 243-4585 for information.
  2. Utility providers often have funding streams for education to include: Electric providers, natural gas providers, rural telephone providers. Contact your local representatives for more information)
  3. Don't overlook local businesses for assistance. Many corporations want to be involved with assisting communities grow and may be willing to provide possible funding.




 PDI Needs Your Help Recruiting College Students into Economic Development Careers

Please click on the link to the survey to share your background and how best PDI can reach college classrooms we might access to share the rewards of a career in economic development.

Survey >>

 New Members

Mark Laurenzo, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Des Moines

 Job Postings:

Director, Business Development & Marketing, Ames Economic Development Commission, Ames
Director of Marketing & Communications, Marion Economic Development Corp (MEDCO), Marion
Executive Director, Cass County NE Economic Development Council, Omaha, NE
Project Manager, City of Des Moines, Des Moines
Economic Development Coordinator, City of Des Moines, Des Moines
Community Development Director, SWIPCO, Atlantic
Executive Director, Sac County Economic and Tourism Development, Sac County

More Information >>



 Mark Your Calendars for Future Events/Conferences:

PDI 2016 Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Iowa State Capitol Rotunda, Des Moines, Iowa

September 28-30, 2016
Best Western Starlite Village
Fort Dodge, IA

September 27-29, 2017
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cedar Rapids Convention Complex
Cedar Rapids, IA

For more information, contact Lynn Harkin, PDI Headquarters at (515) 243-4585 or Email director@pdiowa.com.

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