Click here to view this email in your browser.

   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events May 5, 2017


 Economic Development Organizations Receive Awards for Business Retention and Expansion Efforts

The Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI) honored economic development organizations from the Ida County, Sheldon, Lee County and Northwest Iowa areas during the SMART Economic Development Conference held in Des Moines on May 4.

The PDI Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Awards recognize the contribution of BRE to the success of local and regional economic development initiatives. The purpose of the awards is to increase the focus on BRE in economic development organizations by identifying programs and projects that have significant impact on Iowa communities. Eligible projects are those in which the PDI member played a coordinating role or in which BRE activities played an integral role in the success of an economic development strategy. There are two award categories for the BRE Awards: Overall BRE Program and the Single Project or Success.

"Supporting Iowa's existing industry is a key priority for PDI's membership," stated Mark Reinig, CEcD, 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."

We will spotlight two of the recipients in this issue….

The Overall BRE Program Award Winners:

This award recognizes a community or region that has implemented a successful BRE initiative for their area. Criteria used to select the winner were: the success of communicating the program, improvements to the business climate, and measurable results and outcomes. Consideration was also given to the number of annual visits, quality of the data collected, and how the data was used. We have two award winners in this category:

Grow Lee 2.0 / Lee County Economic Development Group
Grow Lee 2.0 is a collaborative effort spearheaded and facilitated by Lee County Economic Development Group to create bold ideas and action plans for their future workforce needs. Major workforce initiatives addressed in 2016 were quality of available workforce; available workforce housing; and ease of doing business in Lee County.

Lee County Economic Development Group

Representing Lee County EDG are (L TO R) Joe Steil, CEO (Director Debi Durham, IEDA & Mark Reinig, PDI President) and Dana Millard, Marketing & Communications (Bob Henningsen, Smart Solutions Group & Sponsor)

Northwest Iowa Development
NWID is a six-county regional economic development partnership that focuses on sustaining and growing their regional existing business base and increasing the positive awareness of the region through marketing and promotion. The Partnership established a Foreign Trade Zone as an outreach tool to existing businesses to assist them with market/trade expansion efforts and to explore supply chain barriers. A major workforce development effort was the creation of sector boards for the manufacturing and health care sectors. Over 30 manufacturing and health care businesses are involved in the sector boards.

Northwest Iowa Development

The Northwest Iowa Development is represented by( L TO R) Curt Strouth, Sheldon Chamber & Development Corp.; Micah Freese, Rock Rapids Economic Development Corp. (Mark Reinig, PDI President); Dennis Dokter, City of Sioux Center; David Miller, Chairman NWID & Development Director, Rock Valley Economic Development Corp.; Steve Simons, NWID Board Member, Lyon County Economic Development; Mark Buschkamp, NWID Board Member, Cherokee County Economic Development (Bob Henningsen, Smart Solutions Group & Sponsor)


 Governor Branstad, Lt. Governor Reynolds Kick of Iowa Year of Manufacturing

As many of you may already know, advanced manufacturing makes up the largest single business sector of Iowa's GDP. More than 6,100 manufacturers contribute in excess of $29 billion to our state's economy. In recognition of this important industry, Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds officially kicked off the Year of Manufacturing initiative last week.

More >>

 Fast-Track Iowa's Future Conference

In partnership with the National Governor's Association Work-Based Learning Grant, the Iowa STEM Council and numerous organizational planning partners, as pleased to introduce, FAST-TRACK IOWA's FUTURE: "A Future Ready Iowa Conference to make Work-Based Learning and STEM work for you."

Fast-Track Iowa's Future, a conference featuring education-workforce innovations emerging across Iowa, will engage stakeholders in dialogue on how to grow and improve school-business partnerships, especially in STEM. The conference goal is to equip attendees with the knowledge, connections and resources to build school-business partnerships in home communities. It is the state's major work-based learning and STEM Conference on June 21, 2017, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, IA.

More Information & Registration >>

Focal on Local
 America's SBDC Iowa Promotes May 6 to Celebrate Iowa's Small Businesses

Small businesses are an important part of our communities. They play a central role to health and well-being of the state Iowa. To recognize the contributions of small businesses in Iowa, America's SBDC Iowa has designated Saturday, May 6 as Focal on Local Day.

On May 6, individuals are encouraged to support and shop at their local small businesses. "Small businesses are vital to Iowa and we feel that should be highlighted more," according to Lisa Shimkat, State Director for America's SBDC Iowa.





 Policy Update

Read the April 28th End of Session Recap in the Policy Perspectives Newsletter >>



 Casey's to Begin Offering Higher Ethanol Blend
Ken Anderson, Brownfield Ag News for America, April 26, 2017

Casey's General Stores has announced it will begin offering the higher ethanol blends of E15 and E85 at 17 sites in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas. The Iowa Corn Promotion Board applauds the move. Board president Larry Klever of Audubon says it's something they've been discussing with Casey's for quite some time.


 Dakota Access Pipeline to Start Interstate Service May 14
Reuters, April 13, 2017

The controversial Dakota Access Pipeline will begin interstate crude oil delivery on May 14, according to a filing with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Energy Transfer Partners LP on Thursday filed what is known as a tariff, which lays out details about the line and the oil to be delivered.


 Northey Pushes Ethanol at Trump Farm Roundtable
Business Record, April 26, 2017

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey sat in on President Donald Trump's agriculture roundtable Tuesday, taking the opportunity to push for support of the ethanol industry. Trump said during the campaign and after the election that he would support the industry, while some of his key appointees have questioned federal support of the corn-based fuel.





 PDI Spring Event = Huge Success

Over 150 PDI members and guests attending the PDI Spring Event on May 3, 2017. PDI would like to thank the Kim Didier and the staff at DMACC Center for Career & Professional Development at Southridge Mall, Des Moines, Iowa for allowing us to use their great facility. And as always, PDI thanks the SMART Economic Development Conference for their partnering on their event the next day. A big thank you goes out to all of our sponsors!

Joe Max Higgins, Mr. Mississippi, shares his experiences in building mega sites and the impact on economic development.
Joe Max Higgins, "Mr. Mississippi" shares his experiences in building mega sites and the impact on economic development.
The panel on Creating a Collaborative Economic Development Team (L to R)  Tim O'Tool, O'Tool Consulting, Dan Culhane, CEcD, CCE, Ames Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development; Randy Thelen, Greater Omaha
The panel on Creating a Collaborative Economic Development Team (L to R) Tim O'Tool, O'Tool Consulting, Dan Culhane, CEcD, CCE, Ames Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development; Randy Thelen, Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership and Brent Willett, CEcD, Iowa Cultivation Corridor (Moderator).
David Zach discusses,
David Zach discusses, "How to Build the Future"

 Mark Your Calendars

"The Partners, the Profession and the Process" workshop for those new to economic development or new to Iowa is scheduled for Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Farm Bureau Office, 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, Iowa.

An interactive day is planned. You will meet with PDI veterans that will lead discussions, make introductions, and answer questions. The session will conclude by 12:00 noon. There is NO COST to attend. Deadline to register is July . Questions? Contact Sandy Ehrig, Economic Development Administrator, Renew Rural Iowa/ Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, or Lynn Harkin, PDI Executive Director,

Register for Workshop >>

 New Members

Adrienne Miller, City of Waterloo, Waterloo, IA
Gretchen Tiedeman, Pocahontas County Economic Development Commission, Pocahontas, IA
Sam Whitehead, Fayette County Economic Development, West Union, IA

 Scholarship Recipient

Sara Lind, Appanoose Economic Development Corp., Heartland Economic Development Course
Gretchen Tiedeman, Pocahontas County Economic Development, Heartland Economic Development Course

 Job Postings:

Economic Development Analyst, City of Davenport, Davenport
Project Financial Analyst, Iowa Area Development Group, Des Moines
Chief Executive Officer, Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress, Ottumwa
Field Specialist I/II, Retail Business Specialist, ISU Extension, Ames
Executive Director, Mitchell County Economic Development Commission (MCEDC), Osage

More Information >>



Focal on Local Saturday, May 6

Regional Future Workforce Summit
Monday, May 22, 2017
Comfort Inn & Suites
Fort Madison, IA
More Information & Registration >>

Fast-Track Iowa's Future Conference
Wednesday, June 20, 2017 - "STEM Ed Chat" Reception
Thursday, June 21, 2017 - Fast-Track Iowa's Future Conference
Iowa Events Center
Des Moines, IA
More Information & Registration >>

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

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

PDI Fall Conference

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
ITC Midwest
Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corp.

Conference Exhibitor Sponsors
Convergent Fundraising Solutions

Contributing Sponsors
Spring & Fall
Central Iowa Power Cooperative
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative
Midland Power Cooperative
Spring only
Grater Des Moines Partnership
Iowa Utility Association
Fall only
Corn Belt Power Cooperative
Iowa Association of Business & Industry
North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corp.

Trap Shoot
Interstates Companies

BRE Awards
Blane Canada
Smart Solutions Group

Local Host Sponsors
Alliant Energy
Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance
Central Iowa Power Cooperative
City of Cedar Rapids
Iowa City Area Development Group, Inc.
ITC Midwest
Marion Economic Development Corporation


Twitter     Facebook     LinkedIn

Published by WinM@il