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   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events March 9, 2017


  Would You Like Your Community to Be the Host for the 2018 or 2019 PDI Fall Conference?


Each year PDI holds an Annual Meeting/Conference in late September/early October. Preliminary events are held on Wednesday and conference workshops and general sessions are held on Thursday and Friday. There are also events in the evening for some Conferences. Taking on the host community tasks works best when there is full contention of PDI members and key non-members who work together to put together topics/speakers/panels, optional activities, evening receptions and meeting logistics.

Timing & Selection: The host community for the PDI conferences is completely open to bid every two years and sites selected up to two years in advance. PDI works to move the conference around the state of Iowa and our goal is to locate the conference in the member communities who have a successful economic development story to tell. Consideration is given to cost effective hotel properties, meeting room/sleeping room space, locations of prior years, and ability to raise local sponsor dollars. Special consideration is given to communities with PDI member leadership as they serve as co-chairs.

Process: The PDI Board puts a task force together who will review all bids and interview the cities by phone with specific questions to determine the community/region which best fits the members conference needs. The task force, along with the Executive Director, then review all hotel proposals which meet the minimum requirements and conduct a site visit. Recommendations are made to the full Board for the final decision.

For more information regarding the conference contact Lynn Harkin, PDI Executive Director at (515) 243-4585 or

P.S. The deadline to announce the next host communities is April 30. Confirmation of interest must be received by March 31.


 Economic Development Organizations Encouraged to Submit Awards Application for Business Retention and Expansion Efforts


The Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI) will honor economic development organizations from across Iowa during the SMART Economic Development Conference held in Des Moines on May 4.

The PDI Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Awards Program recognizes the outstanding efforts of local and regional economic development initiatives in supporting growth and expansion of existing Iowa companies.

"Supporting Iowa’s existing industry is a key priority for PDI's membership," stated Mark Reinig, PDI President. "The BRE Awards are intended to increase the focus on fostering Iowa business growth by economic development organizations and spotlight BRE programs and projects that have made a significant impact on Iowa communities."

Learn More About The BRE Awards>>

 PDI Spring Event, Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Held at DMACC Center for Career
& Professional Development at Southridge Mall,
1111 South Army Post Road, Des Moines, Iowa

NOTE: Early start time: 10:00 am (New Member Orientation at 9:30 a.m.)

Theme: Thought Leaders in Iowa's Economic Development
General Sessions: "2EQLAST" — Joe Max Higgins, Mississippi's Golden Triangle
"Creating a Collaborative Economic Development Team"- Panel
"How to Build the Future" — David Zack, Futurist
There will not be a reception following so plan to meet your PDI Friends at a local establishment for networking.

Registration - PDI Members will be able to register for both events on one form.

PDI does not have a room block reserved. Contact the Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau for hotel information in the area. A limited number of hotel rooms have been secured for the SMART Conference at the Holiday Inn Downtown at Mercy Campus, 1050 6th Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa for the night of Wednesday, May 3, 2017 with a special group rate of $129.00 per night. Call (515) 283-0151 and indicate that you are with the "Iowa Smart Conference" when making reservations. Or book online using the link below.

Iowa Smart Conference Reservations >>
Room block closes by April 12, 2017.

Are you attending the SMART Conference only?
SMART Conference Agenda & Registration >>




 Policy Update

Read Policy Perspectives Newsletter >>

 Talking points for PDI's 2017 Legislative Agenda

Don't know who represents you? Below you will find hyperlinks to Iowa House, Iowa Senate and Congressional district maps. You will also find on the right side of the page a place where you can type in your address and find out your Member of Congress, your State Senator and your State Representative.

Find Your Legislator:

All Iowa Senators:

All Iowa Representatives:

Iowa House and Senate Leadership:

A list of bills PDI is tracking:



 Altoona is Growing

In case you've missed the buzz, Altoona is growing. Commercial construction in Altoona jumped 35 percent last year, with the city issuing 138 permits with a $70 million representing 715,000 square-feet of new or improved space, according to a release from AltoonaNow, the city's economic development arm. The city's annual community development report also counted 327 permits for residential construction with a value of $46 million reflected in 447,000 square feet of new construction or updates. The city's population has increased 20 percent since 2010 to 17,5000. Plans were approved for 191 lots on nearly 95 acres for single-family homes. Among other highlights were the start of construction on an addition at LightEdge Solutions Inc. that will double the size of its operation; the planned addition of 117,000 square feet at Iowa Cold Storage; the expansion of the Facebook Inc. data center; and the construction of Outlets of Des Moines, which is scheduled to open in the fall. "We are truly seeing unprecedented growth to our community—both on the residential and commercial side," Altoona City Administrator Jeff Mark said in a release. Click here to view the report.

 The Iowa Downtown Conference will be held August 1 - 3, 2017, in Sioux City!

The Iowa Downtown Conference will include plenary sessions with motivational keynote speakers and educational breakout sessions focusing on downtown revitalization, field sessions, tours, an exhibit hall and a number of networking activities.

The Iowa Downtown Conference is brought to you by the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Iowa Downtown Resource Center, in partnership with the city of Sioux City, Downtown Partners, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce and the Sioux City Historic Preservation Commission.

Questions? Call 515.725.3075 or email

Online registration will be available in May at

 2017 Biotech Innovation Showcase & Partnering for Growth Forum

The Iowa Economic Development Authority is a proud sponsor of the Iowa Biotechnology Association's (IowaBio) upcoming Biotech Innovation Showcase and Partnering for Growth Forum on March 21-22 at the FFA Enrichment Center on the DMACC Campus in Ankeny.

The event features an investor conference and industry forum that joins innovators, investors and biotech leaders together over the course of a day and a half. It is a premier event for learning, investing and networking with various sectors of the biotech industry. Startup presentations will be focused around the development of biofuels and biomaterials; advances in food, ag and plant genetics; progress in animal health; as well as human health and medical technology.

More Information & Registration >>




 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 Kicks off the Shining Star Newsletter Feature

In an effort to promote best practices and to highlight successful programs and initiatives by PDI member organizations, the Shining Star newsletter feature segment was created. If you have a special project or initiative that has helped shape your community or organization, please complete the form and return it to PDI at: If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact PR-Communications Committee Chair Alissa O’Connor at:

Download Shining Star Form >>

 New Members

Rachel Gocken, Operations Manager, Warren County Economic Development Corporation, Indianola
Kristi Ray , Executive Vice President, Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance, Mount Pleasant
Emily Russ, Business Engagement Specialist, Marion Economic Development Co, Marion

 Job Postings:

Economic Development Executive Director, Appanoose County Economic Development Corporation, Centerville
Director of Planning & Community Development, City of Council Bluffs, Council Bluffs
General Manager, Sheldon Crossroads Pavilion Event Center, Sheldon

More Information >>



Partnering for Growth Forum
March 21-22, 2017
FFA Enrichment Center, DMACC
Ankeny, IA
More Information & Registration >>

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

PDI Spring Event
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
DMACC Southridge Conference Center
Des Moines, IA
More Information & Registration >>

Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) Awards
Held during the SMART Conference
Deadline to submit April 5, 2017
More Information >>

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

PPP Course: The Partners, the Profession and the Process
Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 9:00 - noon
Farm Bureau Board Room
5400 University Ave., West Des Moines, IA
More Information & Registration >>

The Iowa Downtown Conference
August 1 - 3, 2017
Sioux City, IA
Online registration will be available in May at

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

Synchronist Users Forum 2017
October 2-3, 2017
Chicago, IL

For more information, contact Lynn Harkin, PDI Headquarters at (515) 243-4585 or Email


PDI Thanks the 2017 Sponsors








Triple Event Sponsors
Iowa Economic Development Authority
Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corp.

Contributing Sponsors - Spring & Fall
Central Iowa Power Cooperative
Spring only
Grater Des Moines Partnership
Iowa Utility Association
Fall only
Iowa Association of Business & Industry

Trap Shoot


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