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   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events August 29, 2016

President's Message

Wayne Pantini, CEcD
PDI President
We are about a month away to when our membership annually convenes for the Fall PDI Conference. We are excited to be in Ft. Dodge this year. This month I want to take a moment to highlight some of the great breakout sessions that being offered.

First, there will be a session on engaging your elected officials. This session will include best practices from a broad panel of individuals who will provide tips and strategies on how to garner support for projects and initiatives from elected officials. They are a key part of success in a community.

Another great session will be learning how to incorporate social media in your marketing efforts. This tool is ever increasing in use to attract employees, showcase community amenities and gauge the pulse of a community. Come learn how to improve your efforts or start a new campaign in your community. And finally, don't forget about the rolling bus tour of Ft. Dodge. The community has been hard at work to reinvent itself and have created a unique shared site investment opportunity to promote and grow their industrial development efforts. You won't want to miss this.

List of Things to Do While You're at the Fall Conference:

  1. Meet a new PDI member — they will be wearing white ribbons. Introduce yourself and ask how it's going or invite them to join you at your table. You remember when you were new, right?
  2. Visit the exhibitors — these are the organizations and people who support economic development in our state. Learn about a new service!
  3. Attend Committee meetings over Thursday's breakfast — great way to get involved with PDI!
  4. Think of a questions you want to ask Governor Branstad or Lt. Governor Reynolds — they will be with us for Thursday's lunch.
  5. Get motivated about the award recipients — these are the people who have given back to their professional association.
  6. Experience Fort Dodge — "find your adventure" and contact the CVB in advance. The reason PDI chose Fort Dodge is all the great things this community has done to reinvent itself and make it a global competitor.
  7. Chat up your colleagues — networking is the #1 reason people belong to PDI!
  8. Pick your breakout session — many of you haven't made your choices so figure that out ahead of time.
  9. Keep your notepad close by — jot down the three take-away you're going to do when you get home.
  10. Practice your singing — the dueling pianos are going to require participation.

See you in Ft. Dodge!

Wayne Pantini
CEcD, PDI President



 Brownfield & Abandoned Site Resource Grant Workshop — Ames, Iowa September 21st, 2016

Does your community have vacant, abandoned, or underutilized commercial or industrial sites where questions about environmental contamination have hindered interest in sale, reuse, and redevelopment? Does your community wish to acquire and direct redevelopment at these sites, but has been hesitant to because of environmental liability, assessment, or cleanup costs? If so, you have a "brownfield", defined as sites where environmental angst has dissuaded reuse and redevelopment. Brownfields are commonly former gas stations, abandoned petroleum bulk plants, old buildings with asbestos, or other contaminant concerns. Brownfields affect the quality, character, and tax base of your community!

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) may be able to help with these issues! The DNR has a technical and financial program to help local governments and non-profits answer these environmental questions before they take title, and we can even help with environmental risk assessment and cleanup to prepare the site for your community redevelopment plans. The DNR has grants and technical assistance available for these questions, and the DNR is hosting a FREE workshop on Sept 21st in Ames, Iowa to offer tips, tricks, success stories, and a road map for how we can help you tackle brownfield sites in your community! To find out more about this September 21st brownfield resource workshop visit the link below to register to attend. For more information on this workshop, or brownfield resource questions in general, please contact Mel Pins, Iowa DNR at or 515-725-8344.

More Information & Registration >>




 Policy Perspectives

Read Policy Perspectives Newsletter >>





 Accumold Dedicates $10 Million Expansion in Ankeny
Business Record Iowa, August 12, 2016

Accumold, a global leader in the design, development and production of micro-engineered parts for various high-tech industries, cut the ribbon Tuesday on its second expansion since 2011 in Ankeny. Gov. Terry Branstad and other government and economic development officials were present to dedicate the 40,000-square-foot, $10 million expansion that will result in more than 200 employees in the next three years. The addition is capable of withstanding an F-5 tornado. Accumold CEO Roger Hargens said the expansion, which has the capability to be a stand-alone facility because of its unique features, represents a "vastly different change in our operations and our approach to business."

 Iowa Approves $11.5 Million to Prestage for Pork Plant
Kevin Hardy, The Des Moines Register, August 18, 2016

Prestage Farms is poised to receive nearly $20 million in taxpayer incentives to help build a proposed $240 million pork plant in Wright County.

Though dozens of opponents flooded Thursday's specially called meeting, the Iowa Economic Development Authority board ultimately voted 8-1 to approve about $11.5 million in state incentives for the North Carolina-based company. Only board member Dawn Ainger voted against the measure.


 Green Plains Inc. to Purchase Three More Plants
RUSSELL HUBBARD OWH News Service, Valley News, August 24, 2016

Green Plains Inc. said Monday, Aug. 22, that it plans to increase its ethanol production by 20 percent, saying it has agreed to buy three plants from bankrupt Spanish producer Abengoa to increase its access to burgeoning export markets for the corn-based motor fuel.

The Omaha-based ethanol producer, with a location in Shenandoah, said in a statement that it is the successful bidder in bankruptcy proceedings for Abengoa plants in York, Nebraska; Mount Vernon, Indiana; and Madison, Illinois.


 Inland Sea Launches $12 Million Equity Drive
Business Record Iowa, August 26, 2016

Ames-based Inland Sea-Harlan LLC is seeking $12 million in equity capital for a proposed salmon production facility in Harlan. The 2-acre complex would produce an estimated 5.3 million pounds of salmon a year in tanks. A meeting for potential investors is planned at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines. The $27.6 million production facility would need $7.5 million in cash flow before the first salmon are ready for market, and a $1 million harvest facility. Construction could begin this year, with the first harvest in 2018. Annual revenues are projected at $16 million to $20 million.





 Social Media Tip!

When you have detailed information to share on social media, you should add that information to your website and then share the link to that information on social media. This will result in a more user-friendly and attractive post on social media and will drive more traffic to your website.

 Mark Your Calendars for The Heartland Economic Development Course

April 23 - 27, 2017
Adam's Pointe Conference Center | Blue Springs, Missouri

Heartland Economic Development Course
University of Northern Iowa
113 Business and Community Services Bldg.
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0186

Office: (319)273-6944, (800)782-9520
FAX: (319)273-2787

Presented By: Heartland Economic Development Course, Inc., with the Institute for Decision Making at the University of Northern Iowa, in partnership with the Kansas Economic Development Alliance, Professional Developers of Iowa, Missouri Economic Development Council, Nebraska Economic Developers Association, Oklahoma Professional Economic Development Council (OEDC) and South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development.

 OUEDI 2016 Course Offerings


November 13-17, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, FL


Entrepreneurship: July 18 - September 11
Marketing: September 19 - November 13
Business Retention & Expansion: November 21 - January 15, 2017

More Information >>




 Getting To Know Your Members — Spotlight Article

The PDI PR/Communications Committee invites you to share information about your organization in our monthly spotlights. You can use this information to connect with other PDI members who have the same issues you might be facing or can contact them regarding something new they are doing. We want to hear from YOU too! It should include information on: Name; Geography (area served; location in state); Funding make-up; Budget size; Staffing (how many & their titles); Board make-up; Priority Areas; Metrics (ie: Jobs Created and Retained; Capital Investment; Businesses started; Capital raised; Housing starts etc.); News & Accomplishments; PDI Contact & Email/phone. Send photos too! Please meet our next PDI member in the following spotlight:


Name: Union County Development Association
Geography: Union County
Funding: Public-Private
Budget: Approximately $282,000 annually
Staffing: 1 FT  Executive Director 1 PT  Program Coordinator
Board: 17 members: Small business owners, bank presidents, industry representatives, city and county representation, agriculture representatives and 2 school superintendents
Priority Areas: Business Retention and Expansion, Workforce & Leadership Development, Housing, Entrepreneurship, Community Development
Metrics: Jobs Created and Retained; Capital Investment; Taxable Valuation
Recent News: 50 Unit Condo Development, Elm St. Corridor Project (infill housing), Former Wal-Mart Building converted to Retail/Event Center, 3 mile Park-to-Park Trail Expansion,
PDI Contact: Wayne J. Pantini, CEcD I Executive Director, Union County Development Association

 New Members

Peter Ampe, Ames Chamber of Commerce, Ames, IA
Glenn Anderson, City of Sibley, Sibley, IA
John Danos, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Des Moines, IA
Jefferson Fosbender, Ackley Development Commission, Ackley, IA
Micah Freese, Rock Rapids Development Corporation, Rock Rapids, IA
Ryan Moffatt, City of Des Moines Office of Economic Development, Des Moines, IA
Ross Opsal, Sac City Chamber/Main Street, Sac City, IA
Andy Sokolovich, Clinton Regional Development Corporation, Clinton, IA

 Scholarship Recipient

Katie Gieszler, City of Urbandale, Economic Development Marketing & Attraction, Nov 3-4, 2016 Phoenix, AZ
Alex Lynch, Eastern Polk Regional Development Inc. OU-EDI Session, Indianapolis, IN Nov, 2016

 Job Postings:

Project Manager, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Des Moines
Executive Director, Calhoun County Economic Development, Rockwell City
Economic Development Project Manager, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, Cedar Rapids
Executive Director, Fairfield Economic Development Association, Fairfield
Business Development Coordinator, City of West Des Moines, West Des Moines
Team Leader for the Regulatory and Workforce Assistance Team, IEDA, Des Moines
SWIPCO Community Development Specialist, Southwest Iowa Planning Council, Atlantic
Executive Director, Advance Southwest Iowa, Omaha, NE

More Information >>

September 28-30, 2016
Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites, Fort Dodge, IA
"Positioning Your Assets for Global Competition"

Registration is open! Click here >>
Check out these Breakout Sessions available during the conference...

Getting Your Elected Officials on Board — Best Practices
Panel: - Grand Prairie Parkway & Kettlestone - Dan Dutcher, City of Waukee, Waukee, IA; Hwy 34 Bridge - Rick Allely, CEcD, Mills County Economic Development Foundation, Inc., Glenwood, IA; Presenting to City/County Officials - Kim Didier, DMACC, Des Moines, IA; The Honorable Tim Kraayenbrink, Iowa State Senator, Fort Dodge, IA, - Moderator

The focus of this panel is to provide real life experiences, processes, tips and in-site from a controversial project that needed elected officials' support from a financial and advocacy perspective.

Rolling Classroom — Iowa Crossroads of Global Innovation Bus Tour
Host: Dennis Plautz, Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, Fort Dodge, IA

Iowa's Crossroads of Global Innovation - a Community Partnership in Infrastructure Investment New concept! A rolling classroom. This session will include a brief history of why the Region chose the location for the site to be developed, the history of the tenants, the unique partnership in shared investment of the development and site certification.

Best Practices to Recruit & Retain Millennials
Panel: Patti Dunning, Spherion Staffing, Raleigh, NC; Dave Tucker, Workiva, Ames, IA; Tonya Doyle, Vantec, Inc, Webster City, IA; Moderator: Shelly Blunk, Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge, IA

With 92% of emerging companies identifying that recruiting and attracting Gen Y & Gen X is critical to the success of the future of their company, it is important to understand how companies do this. The panel will discuss how they recruit the mysterious Gen Y & Z and more importantly retain them. They will provide first-hand experiences of how to identify the best suited worker, incite them to the team, engage them, and develop them.

Session 2A: Social Media — Incorporating a Campaign for Economic Development
Speaker: Beth Trejo, Chatterkick, Sioux City, IA

Digital recruitment, also known as e-recruitment or online recruitment, is the practice of using web-based technology to attract, qualify, interview, and hire candidates. For communities, the process wraps around everything that is published online, from earned media, press releases, blogs, social media pages, employment reviews, company and product reviews, paid advertisements, and even one-on-one digital correspondence. In this session, we will look at the barriers for digital recruitment for employers and how to assist your community in building human capital.


2016 HousingIowa Conference
September 7-8, 2016
Mariott Downtown
Des Moines, IA
All nominations must be submitted to the Iowa Finance Authority no later than Friday, July 15, 2016.
Register Today >>

Small Scale Developer Training Workshop
September 14, 2016
Cedar Rapids, IA
More Information >>

Moving Iowa Forward Conference
September 20, 2016
Des Moines Mariott
Des Moines, IA
Registration & Information >>

Workshop: 2016 Funding Economic Development & Land Revitalization through Brownfields, Ames IA Workshop
September 21, 2016
Octagon Center for the Arts
Ames, IA
Registration & Information >>

PDI 2016 Fall Conference
September 28-30, 2016
Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites
Fort Dodge, IA

17th Annual Synchronist Users Forum
October 3-4, 2016
Chicago, IL
More Information >>

Dorsey & Whitney's Annual Des Moines Symposium
Using Public Private Partnerships (P3s) for Facilities and Infrastructure Development

October 27, 2016
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
Des Moines, IA
Registration >>

University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute
November 13-17, 2016
Fort Lauderdale, FL

PDI 2017 Spring Conference
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


PDI Thanks the 2016 Sponsors




Alliant Energy


Renew Rural Iowa


Triple Event Sponsors
Diligent Development
(Peoples Company)
ITC Midwest LLC
Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corp.

Conference Supporting Sponsor
Iowa Workforce Development

Conference Supporting Sponsors - Fall only
Black Hills Energy

Conference Exhibit Sponsors - Fall only
Convergent Fundraising Solutions
Greater Burlington Partnership

BRE Award
Smart Solutions Group

Contributing Sponsors - Spring & Fall
Central Iowa Power Cooperative
Greater Des Moines Partnership
Iowa Association of Business & Industry
Union County Development Association
Fall only
Access Energy Cooperative
Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative
North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corp.
Spring only
Iowa Utility Association

Trap Shoot Sponsor
Interstates Companies

Golf Sponsor
Woodruff Construction, LLC

Local Host Sponsors
Calhoun County REC
Calhoun County Economic Development Corp
City of Fort Dodge
Corn Belt Power
Fort Dodge Convention & Visitors Bureau
Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance
Iowa Central Community College
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative
Mid Iowa Growth Partners
Midland Power Cooperative
Prairie Energy Cooperative


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