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   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events February 20, 2017


  Thanks to everyone who supported PDI Grow Iowa Day

Mark Reinig, CEcD
PDI President
A hearty thank you to the PDI members that battled the weather conditions to attend PDI’s Grow Iowa Day at the State Capitol on Wednesday, February 8th. Thank you to all the volunteer experts who manned the issue tables, to all the PDI members that had booth space and to all who were there volunteering on the logistical side and meeting with your local legislators on the hill. This year looks to be one of the shortest sessions in years so it is important to continue the discussions with your legislators on a continual basis. The PDI Board of Directors held a meeting directly after the Grow Iowa Day and Directors Durham and Townsend from the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Workforce Development shared their legislative asks, and how the legislative budget cuts are affecting their respective operations. All in all, both Directors were excited about 2017 and the opportunities for economic development and workforce development in the state of Iowa.

Spring is rapidly approaching and the PDI Spring Conference and SMART Conference are right around the corner. Registration is open on the PDI website for both conferences. The PDI Spring Conference has a great lineup of keynote speakers you will not want to miss. A reminder to submit your Business Retention and Expansion projects for the BR&E Awards by Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Remember this year PDI has added workforce development efforts and activities as eligible for the BR&E Awards. Any BR&E project accomplished or ongoing since April 4, 2015 is eligible to submit. So submit early, don’t wait until April 4th!

The Heartland Economic Development Course is accepting applications for their April 23-27, 2017 session. Whether you are new to the profession or a seasoned professional the Heartland ED Course is a must. This course once completed allows you to continue training toward certification through the International Economic Development Council’s professional development series or the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute. Scholarships are available through PDI and many of your utility partners across the state. Speaking of certification, I was in Jacksonville, Florida attending the IEDC’s Leadership Summit at the end of January and two PDI members became Certified Economic Developers, a big shout out to Shannon Landauer of the Carroll Area Development Corporation and Susanne Knutsen of the City of Davenport for having achieved a great milestone in their careers!

Mark Reinig
CEcD, PDI President

 Photos from PDI Grow Iowa Day





 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 >>



 Brent Willett Receives 40 Under 40 Award in Economic Development

The Cultivation Corridor’s Brent Willett has been selected as a winner in the economic development profession’s 40 Under 40 awards, the only award of its kind recognizing young talent in the economic development profession.

An independent six-member selection committee evaluated and chose the winners from more than 150 finalists based on their exceptional contributions to the economic development industry. The award’s program was managed by Development Counsellors International (DCI), a New York-based firm that specializes in economic development marketing.


 Dan Culhane Named a 'Top 50 Economic Developer in North America'

Ames Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission President & CEO Dan Culhane was named a 'Top 50 Economic Developer in North America' by Consultant Connect.


 IEDA Seeks Increase in Workforce Housing Tax Credit Program
Business Record Commercial Real Estate Weekly, February 1, 2017

The Iowa Economic Development Authority wants to raise the amount of workforce house tax credits it can issue each year to $30 million from the current $20 million, with the $10 million difference earmarked for what are described as small cities -- those communities located in the counties that are not among the top 11 in population. The overall cap on tax credits issued by IEDA would remain at $170 million. The proposal, contained in House Study Bill 65, provides that a housing project that creates at least two new single-family units at a greenfield site can qualify for incentives of up to 20 percent of qualifying investment in the development. Greenfields are defined in the study bill as projects on undeveloped land or farmland. The small cities would be required to provide a local match of $1,000 per housing unit.

 Historic Tax Credits Workshop and Funding Round Scheduled
Business Record Commercial Real Estate Weekly, February 1, 2017

The Iowa Economic Development Authority and the state Department of Cultural Affairs' State Historic Preservation Office will have a workshop from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 23 at the State Historical Building auditorium, 600 E. Locust St., Des Moines, to discuss changes to the Historic Preservation and Cultural Entertainment District tax credit program. As the result of legislative changes, both divisions of state government are responsible for the program, which provides state tax incentives for the rehabilitation of historic buildings. The IEDA board approved final administrative rules on Jan. 20. The workshop leads up to the next registration round, which runs April 10 to 24. Applicants can apply for the tax credit program here. A second round is anticipated for the fall. An IEDA spokesman said an estimated $22.5 million in tax credits is available for the first registration round. Click here to register for the workshop.

 Construction on Davenport's New Sterilite Plant to Begin in Spring
City Council removed final hurdle Wednesday
David Nelson, KWQC-TV, February 9, 2017

Crews will soon break ground on what will become the largest building in Davenport. Sterilite Corporation, the largest plastics housewares company in North America, will construct a 2.5 million square foot manufacturing and distribution center on 160 acres at Northwest Boulevard and I-80.


 Betty Jane Candies to be Included in Sunday's Grammy Awards Swag Bag
Diana Nollen, The Gazette, February 7, 2017

For about $12, Eastern Iowans and people all over the world can nosh like a superstar before, during and after Sunday’s 59th annual Grammy Awards, airing at 7 p.m. on CBS. Tucked alongside a swag bag certificate for an $8,850 spa week, a “smart home” starter kit, a $2,316 year’s supply of hair-loss prevention serum, a $99 cellulite-reducing massage mat, a CPR kit, luxury volume hair extensions, a lamp shade, jewelry, original art and about 30 other items, will be two bags of Betty Jane Candies, straight from Dubuque.





 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 Members Earn Certification

The Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) program is the leading industry designation in economic development. It not only shows that individuals have the breadth of knowledge to perform at the top level in the profession, but it enhances the visibility within organizations and the visibility of that organization within the profession and economic development community.

Core courses include: Introduction to Economic Development (Basic Economic Development Courses); Business Retention & Expansion; Economic Development Credit Analysis and Real Estate Development and Reuse along with two electives including finance, marketing and attraction, strategic planning, technology, workforce, entrepreneurial and small business development and managing an organization. For more information on how to become certified visit IEDC.

Earning their CEcD recently are:

Shannon Landauer
Executive Director
Carroll County Chamber of Commerce

Susanne Knutsen
Economic Development Coordinator
City of Davenport

 New Members

Bill Menner, Founder, The Bill Menner Group, Grinnell

 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
Executive Director of Community Development, Mahaska Community, Oskaloosa

More Information >>



2017 Main Street Iowa Application Workshops
February 21, 2017, 9:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Sac on 6th
519 West Main Street, Sac City, IA
More Information & Registration

2017 Main Street Iowa Application Workshops
February 22, 2017, 9:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Mount Vernon City Hall
213 First Street NW, Mount Vernon, IA
More Information & Registration

2017 Main Street Iowa Application Workshops
February 23, 2017, 9:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Oskaloosa Area Development Group Office 222 First Avenue East, Oskaloosa, IA
More Information & Registration

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 >>

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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