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

President's Message
Mark Reinig, CEcD, PDI President

Mark Reinig, CEcD
PDI President
 Top 10 Reasons to Attend the 2017 Fall Conference

10. Because you said that ‘lack of leadership – local, state and federal levels' is one of your top three greatest challenges.

9. You're one of the new kids on the block and need to learn how to explain TIF, Tax Credits and Tax Reform to your board.

8. Somebody told you about Ron Kitchens from Southwest Michigan First and you thought you better hear what he's got to say.

7. The car full of PDI members coming from your region wasn't quite full yet, so you jumped in.

6. You've decided to take your economic development career to the next level.

5. An elected official in your community wants to know about site development. You said, "I'll tell you all about it after I've been to PDI's conference."

4. If you schedule your time accordingly, you can golf on a beautiful course or shoot trap at an outstanding shooting range.

3. We'll talk about you if you're not there.

2. There are so many people to meet and you want to build your professional network.

1. Cedar Rapids, Marion and the surrounding region have put out the red carpet for you and it's going to be a blast!

Mark Reinig
CEcD, PDI President


  Economic Development Board approves awards to support over $111 million in capital investment in Iowa

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to seven companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 370 jobs and will result in over $111 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding for four startups.

The board approved assistance for planned or proposed projects located in Ankeny, Des Moines, Fairfield, Huxley, Independence, Oskaloosa, Polk City and West Des Moines.


  Economic Development Organizations Announce Merger

Following a three year trial period with shared staff and a year of planning, the merger between the Butler County Development Corporation and the Grundy County Development Alliance is now complete with the new Butler-Grundy Development Alliance.

Discussions on the viability of bringing both non-profit economic development organizations together began early last year. Since 2013, the organizations have been sharing an Executive Director and officials expressed that with the success of the arrangement a formal merger was the obvious next step.





  2017 Legislative Session

For the recap of the 2017 Legislative Session >>




 New Main Street Programs Announced

Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Director, Debi Durham, announced today that two Iowa communities were selected to join the Main Street Iowa program: Clarence and Fort Dodge. The announcement was made during the opening session of the Iowa Downtown Conference in historic downtown Sioux City.

"Iowa's historic main streets are the heart and soul of our communities," said Director Durham. "We will continue to do whatever we can to keep Iowa's downtowns strong and vibrant for business owners, workers, residents and visitors. I am pleased to welcome each of these communities into the Main Street family, and wish them much success in the future."


 Whirlpool to Hire 500 for Amana Refrigerator Plant
Demand driven by customers wanting bottom-mount refrigerators

George C. Ford, The Gazette, Aug. 2, 2017

Whirlpool Corp.'s Amana Operations refrigerator plant is planning what officials there call a hiring blitz over the next three weeks, aiming to add 500 employees.

Chris Rice, Amana Operations human resources director, said the full-time positions, which start at $15 per hour, include assemblers and utility assembler as well as more specialized work as brazers, foam operators, plastic setup operators and assembly team leaders.


 New Roles for Two Staff Members at Iowa's Creative Corridor Development Corporation

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and the Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD) jointly announce new roles for two staff members who will begin working on regional workforce and business attraction initiatives within the Iowa's Creative Corridor Development Corporation. The development corporation is a joint venture between the Economic Alliance and ICAD, being led by President & CEO Jennifer Daly.


 Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative Honored with Economic Development Impact Award

Iowa's rural electric cooperatives actively foster and utilize strategic partnerships to make significant contributions to economic sustainability and community vitality statewide. Iowa Area Development Group (IADG) annually recognizes their electric utility members for outstanding commitment, support, and participation in business development projects and local community initiatives.


 Apple Deal Gets an 'A' for Return on Investment
By John Stineman, Iowa View Contributor, Des Moines Register, Aug. 31, 2017

If you read, viewed or listened to the news last week, you are no doubt aware that Apple is building a massive new data center in Waukee.

As with many economic development deals, some gave it an "A" and some gave it an "F." Let's look at the facts.


 South Sioux City Partnering with BPI for New Power Plant
By Ian Richardson, Sioux City Journal, Aug. 30, 2017

South Sioux City will partner with Beef Products Inc. to construct a five-megawatt natural gas generation plant in the city's industrial park.

The South Sioux City Council on Monday approved a memorandum of understanding with BPI that will split the cost of the project 60-40, with BPI paying $3 million and South Sioux City paying $2 million.


 Hy-Vee Partners with Wahlberg on String of Burger Shops
By Patt Johnson, The Des Moines Register, Aug. 30, 2017

Hy-Vee Inc. is getting into the burger business with its favorite celebrity.

The West Des Moines-based grocery chain will open Wahlburgers restaurants with the first to debut in West Des Moines next year. The Boston-based chain is owned by Mark Wahlberg and his brothers Paul and Donnie. Hy-Vee will be Wahlburgers’ biggest franchisee.


 United Tech Closes in on $20B Purchase of Rockwell Collins
Business Record Staff, Aug. 30, 2017

United Technologies Corp. is nearing a deal to buy Cedar Rapids-based Rockwell Collins Inc. for more than $20 billion, a tie-up that would create one of the world’s biggest aircraft-equipment makers, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The companies are discussing a per-share price for Rockwell of $140 or less and could come to an agreement as soon as this weekend, according to people familiar with the situation.





  Workshop: 2017 Turning Environmental Obstacles into Community Redevelopment Opportunities Workshop

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources Brownfields Program and the Technical Assistance to Brownfields Program (TAB) at Kansas State University present this free workshop to help communities learn about Brownfields properties and how to fund successful redevelopments through different available resources. The workshop will focus on identifying State, Federal, and other financial and technical resources to address environmental and redevelopment issues for communities in Iowa. Often vibrant community spaces such as housing, parks, trails, and job-creating businesses can be developed on previously used sites, including brownfields.


  Tech Safety & Security Reminders
Brought to you by Darcy Watson, CAE, Association Management Ltd’s IT Director

  1. Don't use free Wi-Fi and don't connect to any network you don't know. (Airports and hotels are notorious for deceptive networks.) Instead use an external hotspot or the personal hotspot on your phone. Take into consideration that these connections will be slower than you're used to and may require more time/patience especially when using VPN and Exchange, depending on your signal strength.

  2. When connecting back to the office, always use a VPN connection.

  3. Update your anti-virus and back up your computer before you travel. Be prepared to wipe and reinstall your computer if necessary when you return. So make sure all your data is backed up and/or available in the cloud.

  4. Set up your devices to lock when not in use and be prepared to remotely lock/wipe them if they get stolen.

  5. Don't log into any your accounts from a community computer like a hotel business center, etc. If you have to print something, transfer it to a jump drive first and scan the jump drive when you're done. Avoid downloading files or opening executables (Excel, Word, PPT) that you're not specifically familiar with, or from people you don't know. Anti-virus software doesn't catch everything, and if you haven't done a virus software update in the last 24 hours, you're especially vulnerable to the newest threats/malware/viruses.

  6. Even if an email looks like it's from someone you know, if anything seems ‘odd' or unusual about the email, it's a lot safer to first call or email the person separately before opening the file. Trust your gut if something strikes you as not right, including strange phrasing or randomness of the email.

  7. Do not click random ‘fun' links while you're surfing around. A high percentage of malware is hidden and delivered through those very ‘exciting' links that thousands of people click because they look ‘fun'.

    Note: Even if those random links/videos don't have viruses, a lot of time they lead to massive increase in email SPAM, and SPAM emails are a huge source of threats/malware/phishing/viruses, etc.

  8. Don't re-use your work or important personal passwords when creating public accounts (whether social, gaming, shopping, or other apps).

  9. If you get any email from an official looking company you know (even if it has an official looking corporate logo), and it asks you to provide login/password info or to click an embedded link to change/update your personal info/profile (including logging into an official looking link), think twice. This is a very common phishing/breach method.

    Note: The best way to avoid giving away your personal info and passwords to a criminal hacker group is to instead go directly to the main company website instead (instead of the embedded link in the email). For example, if you have a credit card with American Express, or a bank account with Wells Fargo, then go to their main official home page and see if they are truly asking you to update something. Oftentimes, criminal hackers will include a very official looking link in an email that might even say ‘americanexpress' or ‘wellsfargo' or ‘facebook' in their link, but the URL will actually point to their own hacker server site that looks like an official bank or company page.


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:

Iowa FIND Project Logo

Organization Name: Iowa Area Development Group and Delta Dental of Iowa
Organization Website Address:
Contacts: Sue Cosner and Bruce Hansen
Phone: 515-223-4817
Special Project/Initiative Category: Business Recruitment/Retention; Workforce
Special Project Initiative: FIND (Fulfilling Iowa's Need for Dentists) is committed to connecting dentists and underserved communities with the resources needed to combat Iowa's dental shortage, so that dental care is close to home for every Iowan.
Project Leaders – Stakeholders – Partners: Iowa Area Development Group, Aureon, Delta Dental, University of Iowa College of Dentistry & Dental Clinics Office of Practice Opportunities, Iowa Department of Public Health, and Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.

Special Project/Initiative Description:
Iowa's dental care shortage hits home. If you live in rural Iowa, chances are your community is considered a dental health professional shortage area (HPSA). After all, over half of counties in Iowa are designated shortage areas, and many more are at risk of becoming so. In 2016, 29% of all Iowa dentists are 60 years of age and older, 50% of all Iowa dentists are 50 years of age and older and only 19% of all Iowa dentists are younger than 35 years of age. With an overall shortage of dentists – and a majority of active dentists facing imminent retirement – it is imperative that rural Iowa communities actively recruit new dentists to serve coming generations.

The FIND program continues to make a tremendous contribution to the vitality of Iowa communities by actively connecting future dentists with potential locations across the state. Currently, 35 placements have been made across Iowa. The FIND team is actively working to identify both candidates and communities with a need in eligible counties in Iowa. FIND can provide up to $100,000 in dental education financial assistance to dentists dedicated to practicing in an underserved area of Iowa.

 Member Props

IEDC 2017 Honorary Life Member

Terry Bailey, CEcD, FM, Principal, EcD Resources LLC has been selected as a recipient of the 2017 Honorary Life Member designation from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). This award recognizes an individual as a member who has furthered the profession of economic development and been a teacher or an inspiration to others in the economic development field. Upon retirement, the HLM designation provides a full complimentary membership to IEDC. Terry will be honored in front of economic development colleagues and peers at the Recognition Dinner during IEDC's 2017 Annual Conference held in Toronto, Ontario on Monday, September 18.

Willett to depart Cultivation Corridor, lead Iowa Health Care Association
By Joe Gardyasz | Senior Staff Writer
The Iowa Health Care Association has named Brent Willett as its new president and CEO. Willett, who is currently executive director of the Cultivation Corridor, will succeed current IHCA President and CEO Steve Ackerson, who will retire next month.

"The IHCA Executive Committee is excited to have Brent join the association," Tom Swanson, IHCA executive committee chair, said in a release. "The committee members agree that his experience in directing innovation and change will complement IHCA members' mission of promoting quality long-term services and supports for Iowa's frail and elderly."


 New Members

Christy Ryken, Director, Strategic Marketing Services, UNI, Cedar Falls
Chris Gallo, Sales and Use Tax Manager, BerganKDV, Ltd, Johnston
Craig Armstrong, Development Specialist, City of Newton, Newton
Kira Kruszynski, Office Manager, Keokuk Area Chamber of Commerce, Keokuk
Mindy Stalker, Marketing Coordinator, Union County Development Assoc, Creston
Shawnna Silvius, Executive Director, Montgomery County Economic Development, Red Oak
Kenneth Tidwell, Jr. Associate Dean of Economic Development, Western Iowa Tech Community College, Sioux City

 Job Postings:

Director of Economic and Community Development, Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muscatine

More Information >>



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 >>

IowaDNR Brownfield Financial Resource Workshop for Communities
September 14, 2017
Marshalltown Public Library
Marshalltown, 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

Iowa Skilled Trades Event
September 28, 2017
Iowa Events Center
Des Moines, IA
Registration & Information >>

Synchronist Users Forum 2017
October 1-3, 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 >>

OU Economic Development Institute
Nobember 5-9, 2017
Fort Lauderdale, FL
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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