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   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events July 18, 2017

President's Message
Mark Reinig, CEcD, PDI President

Mark Reinig, CEcD
PDI President
We sometimes hear from members that wish PDI could be more proactive on policies rather than always having to play defense to protect programs and policies at the Iowa State Capitol. While PDI certainly has had to play lots of defense over the past few decades to defend TIF, department funding and several other priorities. It is important to remember that PDI members’ best ideas do often become law. Many times PDI has had other entities bring forward and take the lead in developing and promoting the legislation. Here are a couple of recent successes, which can be attributed to the ideas put forth by PDI members.

Shovel Ready Certifications — This idea was brought up by PDI members during meetings to draft a legislative agenda. IEDA immediately took notice and began to research how to structure a program around shovel ready sites and certification. Within a short period of time, IEDA had a proposal together that they took to legislators who ended up passing legislation enacting Iowa’s Certified Site Program.

Workforce Housing — While many PDI members loved the Enterprise Zone program, the expiration of the program was looming. Without a clear legislative path to getting the program reauthorized the program was in danger of being eliminated. Workforce housing was (and is) clearly one of the top priorities for PDI members and many ideas were forwarded to IEDA. IEDA used your ideas to formulate the current program, and was able to add a new rural component to the program just last session based on feedback they were hearing from PDI members. As the Workforce Housing Program continues, you can be assured that IEDA will continue to look to PDI for advice about the size, scope and operation of the program.

The Professional Developers of Iowa is working hard to be on top of legislative issues. Look for additional opportunities for education and input prior to the 2018 legislative session as PDI continues to be the go to economic development organization in the state of Iowa.

Mark Reinig
CEcD, PDI President


 $7.4 million Awarded to Iowa Communities for Community Development and Housing Rehabilitation Projects

Today, grant awards totaling $7.4 million were announced for 27 communities across the state. The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) awarded the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funds to support investment projects for community facilities, downtown revitalization and single family owner-occupied housing rehabilitation.





  2017 Legislative Session

For the recap of the 2017 Legislative Session >>



 Winterset Will Receive Federal Money to Rehab Downtown Storefronts
Business Record, June 29, 2017

The city of Winterset will receive $500,000 in federal money to improve the facades on 20 buildings in its historic downtown, according to a release from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The federal Community Development Block Grant funds will be matched by $1.2 million from local sources, according the release.


 $5 Million Pledge Part of 'Milestone' in Cedar Lake, Sleeping Giant Bridge Projects
Estimated $20M project being packaged under 'ConnectCR' banner

B.A. Morelli, The Gazette, June 28, 2017

Elected officials are calling a $5 million pledge from the city a "milestone" in a decades-long effort to spruce up Cedar Lake and a more recent plan to construct a trail bridge dubbed the "Sleeping Giant" over the Cedar River. Cedar Rapids City Council unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday pledging its support for a project being packaged together under the banner of ConnectCR. The resolution comes with strings attached.


 Cedar Rapids Receives $1.7 Million Grant for Flood Control
Business Record, July 7, 2017

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced it has invested $1.7 million into creating flood control infrastructure in Cedar Rapids.





 Nominate Your Future PDI Board Leaders

This year's annual meeting will be held on Thursday, September 28, 2017 during the PDI Fall Conference at the Doubletree by Hilton, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A nomination committee has been appointed, with current Vice President Carla Eysink chairing the group. The committee will be accepting nominations through Friday, July 21, 2017. PDI is a member-driven organization with a great tradition of an active board — the terms are three years.

The PDI Board is responsible to:

a. Promote PDI among economic development industry;
b. Co-Chair a Committee and provide information to full board and back to members;
c. Recruit, retain and support membership;
d. Attend 10 board meetings/year and support PDI events;
e. Participate in association strategic planning and continue to monitor work plan throughout the year;
f. Be fiscally responsible and monitor association finances, programs, policies/practices etc.

If you would like to nominate yourself or a fellow PDI member, please send your nominations along with a bio/background information to PDI Headquarters by Email Thanks for supporting YOUR professional association!

P.S. We're working on registration materials for the fall conference and should be available this week! You can check out some of the information at



 Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) Online Course

Starts August 7th - Less than a month away!

BRE is a core (required) OU EDI course, and available online. This is a great opportunity to complete the OU EDI Certificate more quickly, and give yourself greater flexibility at our in-person Institutes. About OU EDI — the only Economic Development Professional Development certification program of its kind for more than fifty years! We provide Economic Developers with up-to-date skills and tools needed to succeed in economic development today. OU EDI is a highly recognized and valued certification.

Here are a few key advantages of OU EDI:

  • IEDC Full Partner - OU EDI is fully aligned with IEDC content. Our program and the Exam Prep Course help to prepare you for the CEcD exam - should that be your goal.
  • Flexibility - we offer a variety of online, and in-person institutes, providing many ways to fit program to your needs.
  • Advising - we are happy to talk to you about your unique situation and help you meet your career goals.

Register Now >>



PDI's 2017 Fall Conference

September 27-29, 2017
Doubletree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex
Cedar Rapids, IA
THEME: Rise to the Occasion — Thought Leadership in Economic Development

More Information & Registration >>




  • Community Growth – Ron Kitchens
  • Entrepreneurship & Technology Best Practices Panel
  • Tax Reform/Tax Credit/TIF Discussion Panel
  • Reimaging Iowa – IEDA Update
  • Federal & State Policy Update
  • Leading Change


  • Board Recruitment, Engagement & Leadership
  • Organization Excellence
  • Bringing Talent to Iowa
  • Career Conversation for ED Professionals



  • Golf at Hunter’s Ridge
  • Trap Shoot at Otter Creek Sportsman’s Club
  • Educational Session on Site Development Case Studies
  • Welcome Reception at Cedar Rapids Public Library
  • Thursday Reception at NewBo City Market

Plus a Silent Auction to raise scholarship funds!

 PDI Shining Star

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 below 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:

Organization Name:Workiva
Organization Website Address:
Contact Person Name: Drew Kamp, Director of Business Retention and Expansion, Director of Government Relations
Phone: 515-817-6311
Special Project/Initiative Category: Workforce, Organizational Development
Special Project/Initiative Title: Workiva ranks #13 for 2017 Best Places to Work in IT
Project Leaders-Stakeholders-Partners: Workiva, Iowa State University Research Park
Special Project/Initiative Description: Workiva is a publicly traded company that has called the ISU Research Park home since 2008 and move into their spectacular new facility in the Research Park in 2014. They have received numerous prestigious rankings in addition to this one including a ranking of #4 in Fortune's 2016 10 Best Large Workplaces in Tech, ahead of Google. They are an outstanding corporate citizen and a strong and consistent supporter of the Ames Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission.
Special Project/Initiative Information Can Be Found By: Contact Drew Kamp or here.

 Member Props

Angel Completes Certification Program

Cindy Angel, IDM Research Manager, recently completed Economic Gardening training and certification through the National Center for Economic Gardening (NCEG). The certification process included six weeks of online learning, a four-day learning retreat at the Edward Lowe Foundation, post-retreat case studies and hands-on experience with an NSRT member working with companies currently enrolled in an Economic Gardening engagement. Cindy is now a Certified Market Research Specialist for Economic Gardening.

Gossett Named CEO of Raccoon Valley Electric Cooperative

RVEC has named Jim Gossett as its new Chief Executive Officer. The RVEC Board of Directors selected Gossett after a national search process to fill the position following the resignation of Jim Bagley, who became the CEO at United Electric Cooperative, Savannah, MO in March, 2017. Roxanne Carisch, CEO of Calhoun County REC, led RVEC in the interim. Prior to the promotion, Gossett was Director of Key Accounts & Economic Development at RVEC. The seven-member Board of Directors conducted the search and ultimately landed on Gossett as the top pick. "We are excited to name Jim to lead RVEC, said President Dave Onken, "his solid management background, communication skills and vision for the future will serve our member-owners well."

"I'm honored by the Board's decision to select me as the next CEO of Raccoon Valley Electric Cooperative," said Gossett, "we are focused on providing reliable, affordable and responsible electric service to our member-owners. "Our challenge now is to keep that standard while taking advantage of new technologies and remain proactive. With our experienced, talented employees and the vision of our Board, I know we can meet this challenge and continue to deliver the excellent energy services our member-owners have come to expect from us."

 New Members

Jennifer Andrade, Executive Director, Osage
Jeremy Hess, Director of Economic Development, Burlington
Sara Sheller, Marketing Specialist, Clarion
Philip Wasta, Executive Director, Cedar Rapids
Brittany Wirtz, Project Finance Analyst, Des Moines

 Job Postings:

Executive Director, Benton County, Vinton

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 Convention Center
Sioux City, IA
More Information & Registration >>

Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) Online Course
August 7, 2017
Registration >>

Entrepreneurial & Small Business Development Strategies
August 24-25, 2017
DoubleTree by Hilton
Omaha, NE
FOR DISCOUNT through partnership with NREDA use Promo Code: NE17
More Information & Registration >>

Iowa SBIR Showcase
September 6, 2017
Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
Coralville, IA
More Information & Registration >>

2017 HousingIowa Conference
September 6-8, 2017 Cedar Rapids Double Tree
350 1st Ave NE
Cedar Rapids, IA
More Information & Registration >>

2017 IEDC Annual Conference
September 17-20, 2017
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
More Information >>

PDI 2017 Fall Conference
September 27-29, 2017
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Cedar Rapids Convention Complex
Cedar Rapids, IA
Registration opens this week!

PDI Fall Conference

Synchronist Users Forum 2017
October 2-3, 2017
Chicago, IL
More Information & Registration >>

Shattering Expectations: The Re-emergence of a Region
October 22-24, 2017
Des Moines Marriott Downtown
Des Moines, IA
More Information & Registration >>

Iowa Tourism Conference
October 25-27, 2017
Sioux City Convention Center
Sioux City, IA
More Information & Registration >>

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

Blane Canada

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


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