Click here to view this email in your browser.

   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events October 21, 2016


 Wayne Pantini, CEcD, PDI President

Wayne Pantini, CEcD
PDI President
What a spectacular year for PDI! As we transition to our new board leadership under the helm of Mark Reinig, I find myself reflecting on the outstanding accomplishments our board has achieved this past year.

We had two wonderful conferences provided by the conference and education committees that provided ample networking and educational opportunities for our membership. This would not be possible without our board leadership rolling up their sleeves, listening to membership surveys and delivering a high quality experience.

Our membership committee worked diligently to canvas the state to encourage membership retention and to be the first contact with a new individual in our profession showcasing the value of the association. We have been fortunate to be able to maintain our level of membership in the organization.

The legislative committee did an outstanding job of advocating for our legislative agenda and were a strong partner in communicating the importance of passing the renewable chemical tax credit bill. Watch for the new 2017 Legislative Agenda to come out soon.

Our PR/Communications committee did a fantastic job of communicating the events, initiatives and programs through the PDI Post, website and social media assets. We appreciate the hard work to stay on top of all the activities of the organization.

We completed a successful financial audit providing transparency to our records. We remain financially healthy and are grateful to the careful fiscal management of our Treasurer, Carla Eysink.

We took new strides in the areas of workforce development by creating some taskforces to create a plan to address the challenges of immigration, upskilling and recruitment or our workforce. You saw the results of this in small and large group sessions at our conferences this year. Watch for more emphasis in this regard.

A shout out to Lynn Harkin our executive director and the AML staff who provides a great service to us by keeping us organized, on task, and brings a level of professionalism that is unmatched. Thank you! And finally, I would like to recognize our membership. Without you this association would not be able to maintain our quality programs. Your input and diligence to attend our events all while managing your busy schedules is greatly appreciated. I hope you continue to recognize PDI as a terrific value and will renew your membership for 2017!

Wayne Pantini
CEcD, PDI President

 PDI Thanks Outgoing Board Members

Patty Manuel joined the PDI Board in 2012 and provided leadership in the areas of public relations and communications, and membership along with some sponsorship recruitment. Patty has been a member since 2001. Patty travels a fair amount in her position and is very involved in her service area but has remained committed to PDI through the four years. We are grateful for her service. We are very much appreciate of the support from Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative for allowing us to have Patty involved on the board.

Jason Hutcheson is leaving us after seven years on the PDI Board. Jason rose to our attention through his great work and leadership when they hosted the PDI Fall Conference in Burlington. PDI was always in great hands with Jason at the helm. He is known around the state as a leader, innovator, and knowledgeable economic developer. Jason provided a wealth of knowledge in the legislative arena and was a sound advisor on all matters related to the strategic direction of the association. Jason was the fiscal conservative regarding association finances and represented PDI as a true professional in the field. He mentored many others in the profession and on the board. Jason and his organization, the Greater Burlington Partnership, are leaders in supporting economic development all around Iowa. He has given countless hours to PDI and will be terribly missed at the board table.

Outgoing Board Members Jason Hutcheson (left) and Patty Manuel (right) with Wayne Pantini (center).


At the PDI Fall Conference, Patti Dunning, Spherion Staffing, Raleigh, NC; Tanya Doyle, Vantec, Inc., Webster City, IA; and Shelly Blunk, Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge, IA provided “Best Practices to Recruit & Retain Millennials.” 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 talked about how they recruit the mysterious Gen Y & Z and more importantly retain them, identify the best suited worker, incite them to the team, engage them, and develop them.

Dr. Ernie Goss, Ph.D., Department of Economics & Finance, Jack A. MacAllister, Endowed Chair in Regional Economics, Creighton University, Omaha, NE presented “Economic Impacts on Industrial Development and the Role of the Community College.” He discussed and identified economic development challenges and opportunities for the area, state and regional economies. He also provided survey results from two monthly surveys that Creighton University conducts that include Iowa identifying what they indicate for the economy.

PDI is grateful to Kelly Halsted, Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, Fort Dodge, IA who spoke on Internships; Samantha Pingel, Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge, IA who covered Career on Wheels; Kristin Dietzel, Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, Dubuque, IA who discussed Workforce Recruitment & Retention; and Paul Gibbons, Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Ames, IA who moderated and shared into on STEM.



 2017 Legislative Update

2017 Legislative Update from Campbell/Patterson LLP and a link to their PPT from the conference:


PDI’s lobbyists, Craig Patterson and Amy Campbell provide a legislative update for the 2017 session.



 Northwest Iowa Feed Mills Being Acquired by KNG
O. Kay Henderson,, September 28, 2016

An eastern Iowa company that got its start in the animal feed business nearly 90 years ago has announced plans to acquire a northwest Iowa firm with feed mills in Ireton and Sheldon.


 Congratulations "Best of Des Moines"

Congratulations to PDI member Jay Byers as Runner Up for the Best Metro Business Leader category of the Business Record's "Best of Des Moines." This annual survey allows our readers to vote via an online open-ended poll for the businesses, people and events that they think are the “Best of Des Moines.” Then we analyze the data, remove any suspicious or erroneous votes, and simply tally the results for all 74 categories.


 Winnebago Shares Soar after Its Biggest Deal Ever
Business Record, October 3, 2016

Motor home maker Winnebago Industries Inc. said today that it would buy privately held Grand Design Recreational Vehicle Co., a maker of towable recreational vehicles, in its biggest-ever deal, sending its shares soaring. Reuters reported that the cash-and-stock deal, valued at $500 million, will give Forest City-based Winnebago a bigger foothold in the growing towables market and create a company with revenue of about $1.4 billion. About 37 percent of Winnebago's revenue will come from towables as a result of the deal, compared with about 10 percent now, Chief Executive Michael Happe said. Winnebago's stock price was up 23 percent by midafternoon, at $29.


 Chinese Seed Company Opens North American Office in Des Moines
Business Record, October 3, 2016

Origin, a germplasm and crop seed provider, established its North American office in Des Moines' Financial Center Aug. 29, the company announced today. The company has expanded its work in biotech traits. CEO Bill Niebur, CFO Shashank Aurora and other employees will work in Des Moines. Key biotech and seed breeding operations will remain in China.


 NewLink Awarded $25 Million Contract for Ebola Zaire Vaccine
By Grayson Schmidt, Ames Tribune, October 4, 2016

After successful initial trials, Ames-based NewLink Genetics will continue development on the Ebola Zaire vaccine (designated V920), thanks to a $25 million contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.


 How Polk County's New Minimum Wage Affects You
By Kevin Hardy, The Des Moines Register, October 12, 2016

This April, minimum wage workers in Polk County will be getting a raise. After months of sometimes rancorous debate, the county Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 Tuesday to raise the local minimum wage to $10.75 by 2019. (Supervisor Steve Van Oort, who voted against the ordinance's first two readings, was absent).


 Digital Mapping Firm Here Wants to Transform Iowa Highway into A Self-driving Utopia
By Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, October 10, 2016

Here, the mapping business, announced today that it was teaming up with Iowa’s Department of Transportation to transform a nearly 30-mile stretch of Interstate-380 into a special corridor for self-driving cars and trucks.





 Social Media Tip!

The amount of traffic your website gets is a big factor in how high your business will show on search engine rankings. Social media can play a big role in driving traffic to your site. Be sure your social media strategy includes links to information on your website. Then watch your website analytics to measure the effectiveness of your strategy.

 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.




 2016 PDI Lifetime Membership Recipient: LaDene Bowen

Past President Jim Gossett, LaDene Bowen, President Wayne Pantini

The Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI) Board of Directors unanimously approved LaDene Bowen for lifetime membership in PDI.

In a career that spanned nearly three decades, LaDene Bowen served in a leadership role in facilitating and creatively implementing economic development programs. As Director for the Institute for Decision Making (IDM) and EDA University Center Director at the University of Northern Iowa, LaDene integrated business and community services programs, consulting hundreds of communities in all aspects of economic development in Iowa, West and Midwestern states. She is considered one of the emerging transformational leaders in helping local communities and economic development professionals prepare for a different kind of future.

LaDene’s commitment to the economic development profession is reflected in her years of service to PDI as a board member, conference presenter and service on a number of PDI committees, including legislative, conference and education committees. Additionally, LaDene was a valuable representative for Iowa and PDI on the American Economic Development Council (AEDC) Board of Directors and then on the International Economic Development Council Board of Directors after the merger of AEDC and the Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED).

Over the years, LaDene has been a mentor to many individuals who have entered the economic development profession. LaDene led the Heartland Economic Development Course for a number of years as Executive Director and helped make it a staple for PDI members who were new to the profession. Many PDI members who have earned their Certified Economic Development (CEcD) designation credit LaDene for helping them successfully prepare for the exam.

Congratulations LaDene!

 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

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


Twitter      Facebook      LinkedIn

Published by WinM@il