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   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events January 31, 2017


  Join PDI for Lunch in the Capital Rotunda

We've invited your legislators to join PDI for lunch in the Capital Rotunda on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 but we need you to do the same! We have some competition that day with other organizations holding their events the same time as ours. So, contact your legislators to meet you in the rotunda at 11:00 am. Grow Iowa Day is PDI's best opportunity to demonstrate how economic developers are 'Growing Iowa.' We understand that not everyone is comfortable speaking individually with their legislators so PDI has prepared talking points covering all of the item in our 2017 Legislative Agenda. In addition, the PDI Lobbyists, Craig Patterson & Amy Campbell and the PDI Legislative Committee will be available to help.

Here's how you can help: You can staff one of the issues tables, you can be a greeter, help exhibitors with set-up, handout pizza, water/soda, or cookies. You can check folks in, help with clean-up. Exhibit spaces are sold out but spaces for pop-up banners are still available and the application form is attached or online at



 Best of Iowa Annual Report Webinar

Save the Date
Mark your calendars for Thursday, February 2 — 10:00 -11:00 a.m. — as the BEST Management Team hosts a webinar highlighting the 2016 Annual Report. The Institute for Decision Making and Strategic Marketing Services at the University of Northern Iowa was engaged to analyze and aggregate the data to assess the state's economy. While more than 1,500 interviews were conducted, the 2016 annual report focused on the 661 interviews completed with organizations in our targeted industries. By looking at these specific interviews, BEST can identify trends that are important to economic developers to understand. Over 169 communities across 61 counties are represented in the data analyzed.

In addition to reviewing the 2016 annual report, we will also discuss the new approach for conducting Synchronist interviews in 2017.

Webinar: 2016 BEST of Iowa Annual Report
Date: Thursday, February 2
Time: 10:00-11:00 a.m.

To participate in the webinar, please email or call Chris Cataldo at or 515.725.3157.

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

Smart16_BRE_Quad Cities

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 opens early February 2017 - 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 >>




 Join PDI for Grow Iowa Day

NEW in 2017 for PDI's Grow Iowa Day - the inside 10 tables will be used as issues tables - highlighting each of the 2017 PDI Legislative agenda items with PDI member experts. (Tax Increment Financing, Workforce Housing Tax Credit, Workforce Recruitment, Workforce Training, State Economic Development Resources, Brownfield/Grayfield Tax Credit Program, Corporate Income Tax; Enhance Iowa, School Funding, Minimum Wage, Water Quality, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Support.)

Thank you to the following groups who will be exhibiting:

America's SBDC Iowa
Ames Chamber of Commerce
City of Sioux City
Greater Des Moines Partnership
Iowa Area Development Group
Johnston Economic Development Corporation
Mid Iowa Growth Partnership
MidAmerican Energy
Northwest Iowa Development
Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce
Renew Rural Iowa/Iowa Farm Bureau Federation
Iowa State University - Center for Ind Research & Service
UNI Center for Business Growth and Innovation
UNI Institute for Decision Making
Warren County Economic Development

For More Information Contact:
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;

 Policy Update

Read Policy Perspectives Newsletter >>



 CMI Roadbuilding Taking Over Terex Facility
John Molseed, Cedar Valley Business Monthly, January 9, 2017

An Oklahoma-based company is taking over the vacant Terex manufacturing facility.

CMI Roadbuilding Inc. purchased the facility in December with plans to start manufacturing operations there by the end of the year, said Bill Werger, Waverly city attorney and director of community and economic development.


 Council Gives Thumbs-up to $9.3M Renewable Fuel Project at Wastewater Plant
Ian Richardson, Sioux City Journal, January 10, 2017

Sioux City Council members gave favorable reviews Monday to a $9.3 million project that will allow the city to capture, clean and compress gas at its wastewater treatment plant, then sell it as renewable fuel.

The council voted 4-0 Monday to enter into an agreement with a West Des Moines-based firm for engineering and planning services for the project.


 Marion Eyes $20 Million Downtown Investment
Plan for hotel and commercial spaces along Seventh Avenue progresses
Makayla Tendall, The Gazette, January 11, 2017

Marion's quest to revitalize its central corridor is poised to take a $20 million step forward.

In the next few years, visitors may be able to check into a new business-class hotel and residents could check out new restaurants and retail spaces downtown.


 Keeping Iowa Agriculture on The Global Stage
Brent Willett, Guest Columnist, The Gazette, December 12, 2016

During the Iowa Food Leadership Reception on the sidelines of the World Food Prize in Des Moines in October, guests from around the world heard from Iowa State University President Steven Leath and Iowa State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Dean Wendy Wintersteen regarding the important work the university is doing to address global food and nutrition challenges.


 Local Biotech Pioneer Dr. Feng Zhang Confirmed to Speak at 'Partnering for Growth' Forum

Iowa Biotechnology Association (IowaBio) Executive Director Joe Hrdlicka announced Dr. Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been confirmed as a keynote speaker at the group's upcoming "Partnering For Growth" forum in March.

Zhang, a native of Des Moines, is a pioneer in the development of CRISPR-Cas9, a technology that simplified the process of replacing DNA letters in an organism's genome. He will join other prominent keynote speakers including Dr. Robert Zolynas, Vice President, Research and Development, Bayer Health Care; Dr. Mike Stern, Chief Operating Officer of Climate Corp. and Dr. Robert Baur, Chief Global Economist of Principal Global Investors.


 Protection of Ancient Human Remains in Iowa
Bioarchaeology Program, Office of the State Archaeologist, The University of Iowa

PDI would like to share this information from the Office of the State Archaeologist about the need to do all we can to prevent impacts to these very important ancient human remains and burials sites in Iowa . Included is a document summarizing considerations for developers.

Read The Document from The Bioarchaeology 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.



 New Members

Jim Fountain, CN Railway, Homewood
Tim Helmbrecht, USDA Rural Development, Des Moines
Kurt R. Phillips, Boone County Economic Growth Corp, Boone
Adam Plagge, City of Johnston, Johnston
Melissa Pomeroy, Iowa Area Development Group, Des Moines
Joseph Rossiter, Carroll Chamber of Commerce Carroll
Jacob Tjaden, Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments, Waterloo
Craig Van Meeteren, MidAmerican Energy Company, Sheldon

 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 >>


Best of iowa Annual Report Webinar
February 2, 2017, 10 - 11 a.m.
Email Chris Cataldo

PDI 2017 Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Iowa State Capitol Rotunda
Des Moines, IA
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
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
Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corp.

Conference Supporting Sponsor
Iowa Workforce Development

BRE Award
Smart Solutions Group

Contributing Sponsors - Spring & Fall
Central Iowa Power Cooperative
Spring only
Greater Des Moines Partnership


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