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   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events Oct. 3, 2017

PDI Fall Conference Recap

 The Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI), held their annual Fall Conference on September 27-29, 2017 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Over 175 attendees, speakers, ED board members, and guests attended the two and a half day educational event which included networking activities such as golf, trap shooting and two receptions - spotlighting Cedar Rapids and Marion metro areas along with the Creative Corridor region.

Adam Gregg
The agenda was dedicated to “Rise to the Occasion – Thought Leadership in Economic Development”. Our goal was to provide attendees with a good balance of challenging material – site development, community and organization growth, entrepreneurship and technology, board engagement, bringing talent to Iowa; tax credits and TIF along with professional development – IEDA’s update, federal policy update, career conversations and leading change.

The Honorable Adam Gregg:
PDI was pleased to have The Honorable Adam Gregg join us for the Annual Meeting. Lt. Governor Gregg talked about the state of economic development in Iowa.

Thanks to the 2017 Conference Planning Committee:
Brian Crowe, Mark Nolte, Co-Chairs, Steve Shupp, Nick Glew, Allison Antes, Jasmine Almoayed, Emily Upah, Steve Shupp, Mary Meisterling, Dusty Embree, Ed Raber, Cherri Popp; and PDI Staff: Lynn Harkin and Kristen Dearden.

Special Thanks:
Special thanks to our title sponsor, Alliant Energy who provided additional financial support for the host community of Cedar Rapids. Alliant hosted the location and food for the welcome reception at the City of Cedar Rapids Public Library and joined the other local host sponsors for the Thursday reception transportation, food and beverages.

PDI wishes to thank all of their sponsors who have supported throughout the year. Their financial support provides for PDI to deliver legislative advocacy, professional networking to share a variety of skills and knowledge; learning programs for developers, leadership opportunities through involvement, scholarships for national trainings/certifications and publications for up-to-date information.

 Fall Conference Photo Gallery

36 golfers spent a day at Hunter Ridge Golf Course enjoying team competition.
Golfers at Hunter Ridge Golf Course.
PDI congratulates the Institute for Decision Making at the University of Northern Iowa on their 30th anniversary.
10 Conference attendees enjoyed a day of trap shooting at the Otter Creek Sportsman’s Club. Thanks to Interstates Companies for sponsoring and Rick Allely for coordination.
Thursday’s reception was held at the NewBo Market where PDI members enjoyed foods and beverages prepared by local vendors.
Thursday Reception at NewBo Market.
 Thank You to Our Sponsors

Alliant Energy
Black Hills Energy
Blane, Canada Ltd.
Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance
Central Iowa Power Cooperative
City of Cedar Rapids
Convergent Fundraising Solutions
Corn Belt Power Cooperative
Greater Des Moines Partnership
Interstates Companies
Iowa Area Development Group
Iowa Association of Business and Industry
Iowa City Area Development Group, Inc.
Iowa Economic Development Authority
"Iowa Farm Bureau Federation/ Renew Rural Iowa"
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative
Iowa Utility Association
Iowa Workforce Development
ISU, Center for Industrial Research & Service
ITC Midwest LLC
Kossuth/Palo Alto Co. Economic Development Corp.
Marion Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO)
MidAmerican Energy
Midland Power Cooperative
North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation
Smart Solutions Group, Inc.
UNI Business & Community Services

 Silent Auction Raises Needed Monies for PDI Scholarship Fund - $870 Goal

Thank you to those who donated & those who had winning bids:

  • Iowa Basket: – valued at $100 – donated by Association Management Ltd. (Recipient: Steve Shupp)
  • Stained glass artwork: - donated by Kristen Dearden and Lynn Harkin, PDI Staff (Recipient: Susan Judkins)
  • Free round of golf for four: Hunters Ridge Golf Course & Golf accessories from Marion Economic Development Corporation (Recipient: Drew Conrad)
  • Free night stay at Doubletree by Hilton Cedar Rapids – value $150 – donated by Doubletree by Hilton Cedar Rapids (Recipient: Susan Judkins)
  • Cedar Rapids Kernels Baseball Package: - value is $123.00. – donated by Cedar Rapids Kernels Baseball (Recipient: Mary Meisterling)
  • Cedar Rapids Convention & Visitors Bureau – Go Cedar Rapids! Basket - Susan Judkins
  • Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development - Chocolate Anyone? Basket (Cindy Litwiller)
  • Iowa City – Coralville CVB & Mark Nolte – Iowa Hawkeye Basket (Recipient Carly Eysink)
  • University of Northern Iowa Panther Basket (Recipient: Christy Ryken)
  • Iowa State University – Cyclone Basket (Recipient (Recipient: Jason Passmore)

  PDI Board Elects Officers for 2017

The Board of Directors elected the Officers for 2017-2018 at the Board meeting On September 28. They are as follows: Carla Eysink, President, Kelly Halsted, Vice President; Kim Didier, Secretary/Treasurer and Mark Reinig will be serving as Immediate Past President. The remaining board members include: Tod Faris, Kiley Miller, Mark Nolte, Alissa O’Conner, Steve Shupp; Beth Balzer who is appointed and newly elected James Hoelscher, Drew Kamp, and Shannon Landeaur.

Carla Eysink and Mark Reinig
Incoming president, Carla Eysink presents outgoing president Mark Reinig with a plaque of appreciation.

  Thank You to Three Members Who Rotated Off PDI Board

At the 2017 PDI Annual Meeting on September 28, President Mark Reinig recognized three board members who are leaving the Board.

Brian Crowe joined the PDI Board in 2014 and provided leadership in the areas of legislative committee and as chair of this year’s conference including sponsorship recruitment. He has been a member since 2014. Brian has a very well-rounded background in economic development, having worked for the Iowa Economic Development Authority prior to his current position in Cedar Rapids. He’s a thought leader and has developed many connections in the industry. PDI is grateful for his service and very much appreciate of the support from Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance for allowing us to have Brian involved on the board. Thankfully in his new role as Director of Business Attraction at Creative Corridor Development Corp in Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, PDI will continue to see Brian involved.

Wayne Pantini, CEcD is leaving PDI after seven years on the Board. Wayne rose to Nominating Committee’s attention through his great work and leadership in the legislative arena. PDI was always in great hands with Wayne at the helm. While quiet and reserved, he is known around the state as an informed and knowledgeable economic developer. Wayne provided a wealth of knowledge in the legislative arena and was a sound advisor on all matters related to the strategic direction of the association. Wayne kept a clear and conservative eye on association finances and represented PDI as a true professional in the field. Wayne and his organization, the Union County Development Association, are leaders in southwest Iowa supporting economic development in the county and region. He has given countless hours to PDI and will be terribly missed at the board table.

Terry Bailey, CEcD, EDFP, FM, Iowa Western Community College, Council Bluffs, Iowa was unable to be attendance at the annual meeting. He was attending the IEDC annual conference in Toronto, to accept his Honorary Life Membership. Terry is a strong believer in education, earning the CEcD, EDFP, FM certifications. During his membership – starting in 2003, he has served on almost every PDI Committee – legislative, education, spring & fall conference and the board for the past three years. He is a regular attendee at PDI events, and a committed professional the economic development industry. Terry is one of the longest, consistent members in good standing in PDI. His willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done were always appreciated.

PDI expresses our sincere gratitude and praise for all three of professionals who served as PDI board members.

James Hoelscher, Shannon Landeaur, Drew Kamp
James Hoelscher, Shannon Landeaur, Drew Kamp

 PDI Board Welcomes Newly Elected Members:

The 2017 PDI Nominating Committee with Carla Eysink as chair, Deb Calvert, Sandy Ehrig, Kelly Halsted and Wayne Pantini committee members had three seats to fill. James Hoelscher, Institute of Decision Making – UNI, Cedar Falls, Iowa; Drew Kamp, Ames Economic Development Commission, Ames, Iowa and Shannon Landeaur, CEcD, Carroll Area Development Corporation, Carrol, Iowa will all begin new three year terms November 1. The Nominations Committee also recommended Kim Didier, Des Moines Area Community College Business Resource, Des Moines, Iowa as Secretary/Treasurer.

Please read more about our new PDI Board members on their Biographies Page here >>.



  PDI State Legislative Update

Visit this link for PDI's State Legislative Update - September 29, 2017, by Craig Patterson, Campbell/Patterson Consulting

View PDI Legislative Update >>




 Murdoch to Retire from CIPCO; Successor Named
By Business Record Staff

Central Iowa Power Cooperative's executive vice president and CEO, Dennis Murdock, will retire effective Sept. 30, the organization announced. Murdock has dedicated more than 50 years to CIPCO, including more than 28 years in his current role. The Des Moines-based cooperative's board of directors has appointed Bill Cherrier, currently chief planning and finance officer at Colorado Springs Utilities in Colorado, as his replacement. CIPCO is Iowa's largest cooperative energy provider, serving 13 electric cooperatives and associations spanning 58 of Iowa's 99 counties.


 Perdue Applauds President Trump’s Selections for Key USDA Posts

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today applauded President Donald J. Trump’s selection of three individuals for key positions within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The president announced Gregory Ibach as Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP), Bill Northey as Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC), and Stephen Vaden as USDA’s General Counsel.


 West Des Moines Company Opens Iowa City Office
Businessolver said it has room to expand in the space

By Matthew Patane, The Gazette, September 12, 2017

A West Des Moines-based human resources technology company has expanded to the Corridor. Businessolver, which makes software for the administration of employee benefits, opened an office Monday in Iowa City. Seventy-four employees work in the 18,000-square-foot space, but the company said it has room to expand.


 Ag Giants Plant $14M on ISU Grain Science Complex
By Business Record Staff, September 11, 2017

Three agricultural giants have committed $14 million to a $21.2 million, privately financed feed mill and grain science complex. Kent Corp. is committing $8 million and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board $4 million, the largest gifts either has made. Sukup Manufacturing Co. will provide $2 million of in-kind support including grain bins.


 Lee County EDG Receives International Award
Grow Lee Brings Home Gold

The Lee County Economic Development Group won a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award for Grow Lee, a project in the category of Human Capital of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 19, during the IEDC Annual Conference, which was held Sept. 17 - 20, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


 'New experiment' drives Raygun expansion in Cedar Rapids Furniture, community events aim to make business 'more than a clothing store'
By B.A. Morelli, The Gazette, September 25, 2017

Raygun is expanding its Cedar Rapids store less than 18 months after opening. The retailer that’s made a name for itself well beyond Iowa’s borders for satirical T-shirts poking fun at Iowa, politics and other topics, opened its fourth location — the Cedar Rapids store — in April 2016. Business has been good, but the impetus for expansion is to test out a new idea, said owner Mike Draper.





 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: Humboldt County Development Association
Organization Website Address:
Contact Person Name: Alissa O’Connor, Director
Phone: 515.332.2557
Special Project/Initiative Category: Workforce
Special Project/Initiative Title: “Jobs & Opportunities for Businesses and Students” (JOBS) High School Internship Program
Project Leaders-Stakeholders-Partners: Humboldt County Development, Humboldt Community School District and Humboldt industries.
Special Project/Initiative Description: Humboldt County Development offers high school seniors to intern in a career field of their choice for approximately 1.5 hours/day for an entire school semester. Students must meet the eligibility requirements, submit a resume and entrance essay and take part in a 6-member interview panel to be accepted into the program. Based upon the student’s career pathway, advanced coursework and previous experience students are allowed to intern with a business located in Humboldt that meets the needs of the student’s as well as the business’s. The goal of the program is to expose high school students to the careers in Humboldt and to provide an opportunity for students to gain real world experience in the field of their choice.
Special Project/Initiative Information Can Be Found By: For more information please contact Alissa at:

 New Members

Lynn Allendorf, John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, Iowa City
Robert Berens, ProSource Technologies, LLC, Minneapolis, MN
Julaine Bidleman, Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge
Katie Hernandez, City of West Des Moines Community Development, West Des Moines
Eric Pitcher, BNSF Railway, Chicago, IL

 Job Postings:

Director of Economic and Community Development, Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muscatine
Executive Director, Clinton Regional Development Corporation, Clinton

More Information >>



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 >>

Heartland Economic Development Course, Inc.
April 22-26, 2018
Adam's Pointe Conference Center
Blue Springs, MO

PDI/MAEDC 2017 Best Practices
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
12:00 am – 5:00 pm
Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel
401 Locust Street
Des Moines, IA

SMART Conference
Thursday, May 3, 2018
8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Embassy Suites by Hilton Des Moines Downtown
101 E. Locust Street
Des Moines, IA

PDI/MAEDC 2017 Best Practices
Friday, May 4, 2018
8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel
401 Locust Street
Des Moines, IA

PPP Course – The Partners, the Profession and the Process

PDI’s Fall Conference
September 26-28, 2018
Sheraton Iowa City Hotel
210 S Dubuque Street
Iowa City, IA 52240
(319) 337-4058

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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