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   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events September, 30 2016

PDI Holds Fall Conference

The Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI) held its Fall Conference, September 28-30, 2016 in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

The theme of this year's conference was "Positioning Your Global Competition" and featured a variety of sessions that included: Appealing to Millennials and Generational Changes in the Workforce — Study Results, Successful Workforce Tactics on Any Budget, Legislative Update and the Best of Iowa Report, and an Iowa Economic Development Authority Update with Debi Durham plus much more. One of the highlights was having the Honorable Terry E. Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds join PDI for our Annual Meeting Lunch on Thursday, September 29.

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and Governor Terry Brandtad
Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and Governor Terry E. Branstad

PDI developed the Conference to assist its members in accessing the most up-to-date resources and information that will benefit their organizations through education and the exchange of ideas with their peers. Attendees were also treated to a golf outing, trap shoot, a community tour to show Prospective Employee Candidate Tours as a Recruitment Tool, and receptions at both Fort Frenzy and the Willow Ridge Golf Course.

Thanks to all the following: Shelly Blunk, Deb Calvert, Brittany Dickey, Maureen Elbert, Kerrie Kuiper, Jim Vermeer, Janet Wilwerding, Don Woodruff and co-chairs Kelly Halsted and Carla Eysink for putting together such a great conference.

PDI is grateful to the 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 & Anonymous Donor.

2016 PDI Annual Luncheon

 PDI Board Elects Officers for 2017

The PDI Board of Directors elected the Officers for 2016-2017 at their Board meeting on September 29, The Board of Directors elected the Officers for 2016-2017 at the Board meeting last evening. Introducing: Mark Reinig, 2016 President, Carla Eysink, Vice President; Kelly Halsted, Secretary/Treasurer and Wayne Pantini as Immediate Past President. The remaining board members include: Terry Bailey, Brian Crowe, Kim Didier, Kiley Miller, Alissa O'Conner; Beth Balzer who is appointed and newly elected, Tod Faris, Steve Shupp and Mark Nolte.

Mark Reinig & Wayne Pantini

 PDI Board Welcomes Newly Elected Members

The 2017 PDI Nominating Committee with Mark Reinig chair, Stacie LoVan, Deb Calvert and Maureen Elbert had three seats to fill. This first was open because of the vacancy created by Kelly Halsted to Secretary Treasurer. Congratulations to: Tod Faris, Executive Director, Appanoose Economic Development Corporation, Centerville, IA was able to run for a new three-year term as he was appointed to fill a term last year. Steve Shupp, Alliant Energy, Cedar Rapids, IA and Mark Nolte, Iowa City Area Development Group, Iowa City, IA, IA begin new three year terms.

Tod Faris has been the Executive Director of the Appanoose Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) in Centerville, IA since November 2008. Tod serves on numerous boards that focus on community betterment, housing, and business development. He is a member of the Iowa Community Development Advisory Board (that administers New Market Tax Credits), is a member of a group establishing a Tri-State EB5 Regional Center, is the Chair of the Opportunity Squared Regional Economic Development Group, and AEDC was awarded the Silver Shovel Award from the Iowa Area Development Group in March 2011. Before his position with AEDC, Tod was a regional vice president with Primerica. Together Tod and his wife Hope have a son Garrett, and a daughter Addyson.

Mark Nolte has been working to help Iowa companies and entrepreneurs for over 15 years. A native Iowan, Mark believes our state's best days are ahead of us if we continue to innovate and support each other. Before his role with ICAD, Mark was the National Training Director for the Abilities Fund and with the Institute for Social and Economic Development. In his current role with the Iowa City Area Development Group he works to grow new companies, support existing firms and attract new businesses to Iowa's Creative Corridor. Mark is the father of 5, the husband of an entrepreneur and solid little league coach.

Steve Shupp is the Senior Economic Development Manager for Alliant Energy based in Cedar Rapids. Starting with Alliant Energy in 2000 Steve has served many roles with the company including Account Management, Manager of Sales, and Regional Economic Development Manager. Steve was promoted to Senior Economic Development Manager in 2016. Prior to Alliant Energy Steve worked with Farm Service and Kent Feeds serving the agricultural industry around Iowa. Steve is a graduate of Iowa State University, University of Minnesota Economic Development, and the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute.




 Policy Perspectives

Read Policy Perspectives Newsletter >>





 CRST buys California-based Gardner Trucking
Largest single acquisition in Cedar Rapids company's history

George C. Ford, The Gazette, September 13, 2016

CRST International on Monday announced the purchase of a California trucking company, the largest single acquisition in the Cedar Rapids company's history.

Founded in 1989, Gardner Trucking of Ontario, Calif., is considered the largest truckload carrier based in that state. It provides specialized regional truckload services, logistics, short-haul transportation and warehouse services for bulk and commodity end-to-end markets.





 Social Media Tip!

Watch your website analytics to see where traffic is coming from, the cities users are from, pages they visit, amount of time visitors spend on your site, and more. By examining the referral sources (the other websites visitors are linking from to get to your site) you can see how your social media efforts are impacting your website traffic. If you're not seeing referrals from Facebook or Twitter, then it is probably because you are not posting links to your website on those networks.

 OUEDI 2016 Course Offerings


November 13-17, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, FL


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

More Information >>

 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.




 PDI Thanks Golf Chairs Jim Gossett and Drew Conrad

Jim Gossett, Raccoon Valley Electric Cooperative and Drew Conrad with University of Northern Iowa — Institute for Decision Making have been chairing the annual golf outing for PDI’s Fall Conference for the past years of helping. Thanks Jim & Drew!

 New Members

Joshua Laraby, Fairfield Economic Development Association, Fairfield
Liz Tallman, Quad Cities Chamber, Davenport
Jackie Haley, Community Bankers of Iowa, West Des Moines

 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

More Information >>


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 >>

Export Conference
November 4, 2016
Fairfield Arts and Convention Center
Fairfield, IA
Download More Information >>
Download Registration >>

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

PDI 2017 Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Iowa State Capitol Rotunda
Des Moines, IA

Heartland Economic Development Course, Inc.
April 23-27, 2017
Adam's Pointe Conference Center, Blue Springs, MO
More Information & Registration >>

PDI 2017 Spring Event
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Location TBD

SMART Conference
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center, Des Moines, IA

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



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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