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   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events December 22, 2016


 Mark Reinig, CEcD, PDI President

Mark Reinig, CEcD
PDI President
Exciting times we live in! The PDI Board of Directors held a strategic planning retreat on November 8th and 9th to chart our organizations course over the next year and beyond. Under the guidance and facilitation of Brent Willett, Past President of PDI the board the PDI board and many other past presidents in attendance, we focused in on how PDI can be more relevant and become a stronger value proposition to our members. Now that's a large task that will take more than one year to accomplish but you will see exciting changes during 2017. PDI will become the thought leader in transformative economic development in the state of Iowa through partnerships and collaborations with other state wide organizations along with business and industry to strengthen our economic development efforts.

Disseminating best practices, educating members and Iowans, and elevating awareness of the profession and PDI will be foremost on the agenda.

One of the first changes will be our approach to Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol. The PDI Legislative Committee has developed banners that address most of our legislative priorities this year and these will be placed on the inside of the rotunda with PDI members cognizant of each issue assisting in answering any questions by legislators, the public and PDI members. I know I'm not an expert on all issues so you will find me listening and learning as the day goes on!

So as we enter into 2017 taking strong steps forward to bringing a stronger PDI to our members. Remember, PDI is only as strong as its membership so let us know if you have any ideas or know of new potential members to assist us on our journey.

With new leadership at the federal and state levels many changes will be facing our profession in 2017, so more than ever take time to enjoy family and friends and on behalf of the PDI Board of Directors we wish you a safe holiday season!

Mark Reinig
CEcD, PDI President

 Holiday Notice:

PDI Offices will be closed on the following:
Fri/Mon - Dec 23-26, 2016 for Christmas & Mon - Jan 2, 2017 for New Year's.

Please enjoy the holidays and stay safe!



 Review of Iowa DOT Administrative Rule Chapter 163, RISE Program

In compliance with Iowa Code section 17A.7(2), the Iowa Department of Transportation is conducting a five-year review of all of its administrative rule chapters, and we are asking for your assistance. Chapter 163, RISE Program, has been reviewed and a marked-up draft of the proposed changes is attached for your review and comment. The following summarizes the proposed changes:

  • Removed and revised outdated, unnecessary language.
  • Clarified the purpose of the program and the types of development activities that the program is intended to assist by adding a definition for value-adding activities and further defining that tourism must also have a state impact rather than just local impact.
  • Provided more detail on the responsibility of the Iowa Transportation Commission to monitor RISE fund cash flow and take actions to ensure availability of funds if necessary.
  • Added that all projects require a public letting to be completed by the public project sponsor and in accordance with all laws and rules.
  • Under eligible activities, additional explanation of eligible costs for right of way, design, utilities and permit costs were added. As a result, complementary changes were also made to the ineligible activities.
  • The ability to incur eligible right of way costs prior to a funding commitment has been rewritten and now includes the ability to incur certain design costs as well.
  • The requirement that applications include a formal resolution from the jurisdiction has been rewritten to more clearly communicate requirements that the roadway project be dedicated to public use and properly maintained.
  • Clarified that matching funds from other state agencies and in-kind costs may be eligible match to RISE funds.
  • A rule was added stating that project costs may be subject to audit by the State.

Please return your comments by January 9, 2017, to me at the Iowa Department of Transportation, Office of Systems Planning, 800 Lincoln Way, Ames, IA 50010 or Feel free to call Craig Markley at 515-239-1027 if you have any questions.

Thank you for participating in our rules review process.

More Information on Chapter 163, RISE Program >> >>




 Key Issues Identified by PDI for 2017 Legislative Session

The 2017 PDI Legislative Agenda is announced! The most significant impediments to economic growth in Iowa are a tight labor market and inadequate housing. Together these challenges perpetuate a cycle: Businesses choose not to locate in areas of Iowa due to insufficient numbers of workers and a shortage of housing. In turn, communities are unable to build housing or draw new residents because of a lack of jobs. Solving the problem will require action on multiple fronts: Check out the items that will focus PDI's efforts for the upcoming session. Feel free to contact PDI’s Legislative Leaders:

Tod Faris, Legislative Committee Co-Chair - 641/856-3388;
Kiley Miller, Legislative Committee Co-Chair – 712/264-3474;
Amy Campbell, Lobbyist – 515/554-5838;
Craig Patterson, Lobbyist – 515/554-7920;

2017 PDI Legislative Agenda Online >>
2017 PDI Legislative Agenda - Download PDF >>

 Sign Up for PDI Grow Iowa Day

Join us for the 2017 Grow Iowa Day at the Iowa State Capitol on February 8, 2017. As you know, Grow Iowa Day is PDI's best opportunity to demonstrate to legislators the strength and breadth of our membership organization. Legislators respond to their constituents which is why it is so important that our members attend in mass and dialogue with them. We realize this important event requires an investment of your time and financial resources, but our history with the Grow Iowa Day has demonstrated a tremendous return on investment with our legislators.

We appreciate your support in any way you can help. Exhibit spaces are available and the application form is available online or as a print-ready PDF.

NEW in 2017! The inside 10 tables will be used as issues tables — highlighting each of the 2017 PDI Legislative agenda items with PDI member experts.

2017 PDI Grow Iowa Day Registration Form - Online >>
2017 PDI Grow Iowa Day Registration Form - Download PDF >>

 Consider Sponsorship in PDI — Get the Most out of Your Professional Association

Please consider being an Annual Sponsor or a Triple Event Sponsor next year. You can receive benefits for all PDI events or choose any three out of four events that PDI has slated for 2017 including Grow Iowa Day. Conference Sponsors can focus their resources on PDI’s Spring or Fall Events. More information on sponsorships is available online.

2017 PDI Marketing Sponsorship Information >>
2017 PDI Marketing Kit - Download PDF>>




 Prairie Hill to Become Iowa's First Cohousing Site
By Chase Castle, Corridor Business Journal, November 22, 2016

A cohousing development southwest of downtown Iowa City will provide a unique option for aspiring homeowners who value convenience over autonomy when the project opens next year.

Prairie Hill is an eight-acre cohousing development located about one block north of Highway 1 on Miller Avenue, with a western boundary shared with Culver's restaurant. It will contain 36 attached homes and a common house as a space for shared meals and activities.


 Wind Farm Construction to Begin in 2018
By Courtney Fiorini, Cedar Valley Business Monthly, November 21, 2016

Alliant Energy officials met with landowners in Franklin County last week to answer questions about a $1 billion wind farm project.

The project is a westward expansion of Whispering Willow Wind Farm south of Hampton. Alliant announced the project in July and has since gained approval from the Iowa Utilities Board.


 Mega Industrial Park Planned for Cedar Rapids
Center intended to increase chances of attracting major employers

By George Ford, The Gazette, November 28, 2016

A major industrial park under development on the southwest edge of Cedar Rapids — a first of its kind for Iowa — is expected to give the state a better shot at recruiting businesses that usually bypass it.

Iowa Land and Building, a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corp., will develop the 1,300-acre Big Cedar Industrial Center, the state's first certified Mega industrial park and located not far from The Eastern Iowa Airport and Interstate-380.


 Gazette Communications Buys Three Southeast Iowa Newspapers
Fairfield, Mount Pleasant, Washington papers to maintain local name, stories

By Chelsea Keenan, The Gazette, December 1, 2016

Gazette Communications is getting a little bigger. The Cedar Rapids media company, which runs The Gazette, the 133-year-old locally owned newspaper, on Thursday announced it has purchased three southeast Iowa newspapers — in Fairfield, Washington and Mount Pleasant.

The Fairfield Ledger, Mount Pleasant News and Washington Evening Journal — each more than 130 years old — publish Monday through Friday and have free weekly publications. The three papers, all in communities that are county seats, have a combined circulation of about 5,600.


 Des Moines-based West End Salvage Lands in LeClaire
By Jennifer DeWitt, Cedar Valley Business Monthly, December 11, 2016

Another Iowa native and picker with star power among do-it-yourselfers is putting down roots in LeClaire.

Don Short, owner of the Des Moines-based West End Architectural Salvage and star of the HGTV/DIY Network cable show "West End Salvage," has brought his eclectic mix of architectural salvage and custom repurposed furniture from a four-story warehouse store to a new sister store in downtown LeClaire.


 Deere Delivers its 2 Millionth Engine in Waterloo
By Pat Kinney, Cedar Valley Business Monthly, December 12, 2016

The John Deere Engine Works can now hang a sign that says "More than 2 Million Served."

Deere's Waterloo engine plant, which began production 40 years ago, built engine No. 2 million last month, produced for a Waterloo-made Deere tractor. On Monday the company marked that milestone as it completed assembly of that tractor, an 8345R model, at the Deere's East Donald Street plant. The customer watched the final assembly as part of Deere's "Gold Key" customer program.





 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.




James Hoelscher, CEcD
 Hoelscher Earns CEcD Designation

James Hoelscher, Program Manager, University of Northern Iowa Business & Community Services, Cedar Falls, Iowa earned his CEcD (Certified Economic Developer) designation.

IEDC's Certified Economic Developers (CEcDs) are acknowledged around the world as having achieved the pinnacle of excellence in the economic development field. The CEcD is the leading industry designation. It gives economic development professionals the opportunity to develop core competencies across the breadth of topics necessary to being a well-rounded and successful economic developer.

Congratulations James!

 New Members

Jill Heisterkamp, Calhoun County Economic Development Corp., Rockwell City, IA

 Job Postings:

Field Specialist I/II – Retail Business Specialist, ISU Extension & Outreach, Ames
Chamber Director of Business Services, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Waterloo/Cedar Falls
Strategic Marketing Director, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Waterloo/Cedar Falls

More Information >>


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 Fall 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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