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   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events Nov. 8, 2017

President's Message
Carla Eysink, PDI President

Carla Eysink
PDI President
As professional economic developers, we are often called to solve puzzles:

  • How to take a piece of farm ground and turn it into a certified industrial site
  • Cultivating leadership and skilled workforce for our existing employers
  • Analyzing how world trends impact our local economy
  • Identifying how to get missing resources into the area and grow workforce housing
  • Building a community that young professionals want to live within

Likewise for those of us that work at the community level, we are called to connect partners and develop missing pieces of resources needed within our local area for entrepreneurs, workforce recruitment, health services and exporting expertise. As we work piece by piece to solve these critical economic development “puzzles,” we rely on tools that are critical for building Iowa's overall economy. Our stories of economic impact are important and directing change that will benefit Iowa's economy are going to be critical in the months ahead.

As a professional association, PDI continues to work to be the network for sharing ideas, building partnerships and education. Economic development can be a stressful and lonely occupation, so we know the importance of being part of a professional association that can inspire and motivate members for greatness. For me, I was able to meet PDI members at conferences and doing committee work that later provided valuable guidance and ideas for how to handle issues I was facing.

I am EXCITED, to lead such a dedicated group of professional economic developers as your PDI President this year. A special thank you to Mark Reinig for his leadership as PDI President during the past year addressing how PDI can better meet the needs of our members. These efforts have positioned PDI for great success in the years to come.

A little about my background, I serve as Executive Director of the Marion County Development Commission, a department of county government. My work over the past 22 years has been primarily countywide in existing industry development, leadership, tourism, workforce and building connections for various initiatives. I am a certified FastTrack and True Colors facilitator as well as a graduate of Leadership Iowa. Outside of work, Stan and I live in Pella. We enjoy following Pella Dutch athletics, entertaining and cooking. My contact information is

This year, my focus will be on…
...Finding better ways to serve the educational and networking needs of all members
...Connecting partnerships in addressing key economic development legislative issues
...Identifying ways to connect with PDI members regionally
...Encouraging active involvement on PDI committees.

Truly one of the best ways to get value out of your PDI membership is to join one of the committees and right now is a great time to join a committee as the new year is just beginning. Your PDI board and past presidents will be gathering November 7 &8 for a planning retreat to design a course for the year ahead. We will be sharing information on the outcomes of this planning with you over the next couple of months. Together, we can accomplish great things.

 Consider Joining a PDI Committee

The following is a list of PDI Committees and their Mission Statements. To become a member or find out more information about the committee, please contact the PDI office at (515) 243-4585 or e-mail to:

Education Committee (e.g. organize/develop Spring Event, PPP Workshop, coordinate webinars with other providers; develop audio conferences on hot topics)
Steve Shupp, Co-Chair
James Hoelscher, Co-Chair
Mark Reinig

Legislative Committee (e.g. determine PDI’s annual agenda, defend economic development tools, work through lobbyist contract)
Kiley Miller, Co-Chair
Kelly Halsted, Co-Chair
Drew Kamp, Co-Chair

Membership Committee (e.g. inspire, recruit and retain members)
Shannon Landauer, Co-Chair
Kim Didier, Chair

PR/Communications (e.g. markets PDI thru website, social media and newsletter)
Alissa O’Conner, Co-Chair
Beth Balzer, Co-Chair

Conference Committee (e.g. organize agenda/topics for Fall Conference, recruit/work with speakers, sponsors and local host, develop optional activities)
Mark Nolte, Co-Chair
Tod Faris, Co-Chair
Carla Eysink, Co-Chair

Finance Committee (e.g. execute responsibilities of board, oversee the budget details, recommend investment options, and tax preparation; provide general oversight and planning for the organization’s financial considerations and sponsorship recruitment)
Kim Didier, Chair

Other Committees
Nominating Committee (e.g. organize and facilitate nominating process for new board directors)
Kelly Halsted, Chair

Executive Committee
Carla Eysink, Co-Chair
Kelly Halsted, Co-Chair
Kim Didier, Co-Chair
Mark Reinig



  PDI Legislative Showcase - SAVE THE DATE

"This is Iowa" in conjunction with the Travel Federation of Iowa
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 / 4:00-8:00 pm
Iowa State Fairgrounds, Knapp Learning Center, Des Moines, Iowa
[More information to come]




 Motion Industries Announces Deal to Buy Cedar Rapids-Based Apache Inc.
CBJ Business Daily, October 19, 2017

Industrial parts distributor Motion Industries today announced a deal to acquire Cedar Rapids-based industrial belting and hose supplier Apache Inc.

Motion Industries is a subsidiary of Genuine Parts Co., a publicly-traded parts supplier based in Atlanta, with annual revenues of $15.3 billion in fiscal 2016. Terms of the sale, expected to close on Nov. 1, were not immediately disclosed. Genuine Parts also announced plans to buy New York-based Monroe Motor Products, a regional auto parts distributor.

 Pella Buys Bonelli Windows and Doors for Undisclosed Amount
Business Record, October 13, 2017

Pella Corp. on Friday announced it had purchased 50-year-old San Francisco high-end custom shop Bonelli Windows and Doors. Terms weren't disclosed because both companies are privately held. "Bonelli is an exceptional business that has built a highly reputable name in the luxury market, a market in which Pella has been focused on building its presence," Cole Adrian, vice president of the Pella Luxury Division, said in a statement.

 Cargill to Acquire Diamond V
Diamond V's headquarters to remain in Cedar Rapids

Matthew Patane, The Gazette, October 24, 2017

Another Cedar Rapids-based company will be acquired. Cargill announced Tuesday that it plans to acquire animal nutrition company Diamond V for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is expected to close in January 2018, subject to regulatory approvals.

 Wright Expands Operations to Canada
Kent Darr, Senior Staff Writer, Business Record, October 25, 2017

Wright Service Corp. has taken its vegetation management business international, picking up a majority stake in Canada-based Spectrum Resource Group. Wright, which has its headquarters in West Des Moines, currently has operations in 46 U.S. states. The investment in Spectrum will extend its reach to western Canada, according to a release.

 Dubuque Site Recognized as an Iowa Certified Site

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced that a "development-ready" site near Dubuque's Industrial Center West is the latest industrial site to achieve certification through the Iowa Certified Sites Program. It joins 18 other sites in the state that have been designated as project-ready.




Heartland Economic Development Course

 Heartland Economic Development Course, Inc.

April 22-26, 2018
Adam's Pointe Conference Center
Blue Springs, MO

PDI has scholarships available.

Download the Application >>



 PDI Shining Star

PDI Looking for Shining Star Newsletter Features

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 contact PDI at: If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact PR-Communications Committee Chair Alissa O'Connor at:

 Did You Know?

You can Submit News or Blog Article

Our goal is to provide timely industry and professional information to PDI members and others interested in economic development through a variety of communication tools. PDI Post, our association newsletter, is published electronically the 15th of each month by the PDI Communications Committee. Article submission deadlines are two working days prior to the 15th.

Newsletter Categories:

  • Development Update
  • Updates on IPEP and Other Agencies
  • In Session - Legislative News
  • PDI Pride - Share your community's/organizations success stories
  • PDI's Who's Who - New Members, Member Updates
  • Upcoming Events & Education - Get your event out to other PDI Members
PDI Has a Member Forum

PDI's Member Forums, (blog and social media sites) are a member service designed to facilitate the sharing of expertise and experience among members.

(See PDI's Policies on the newsletter/member forums submissions.)

Complete the form to submit an article or other information in an upcoming newsletter or post an item on one of the PDI Member Forums. The PDI Communications Committee and the Executive Director will review and approve the content before it goes live on the website or newsletter. PDI retains the right to refuse any content/comments that is deemed inappropriate.

If you have questions, contact: or call (515) 243-4585.

  What is your go-to strategy to attract families to your rural communities?

A student-led project group from the University of Iowa is seeking an answer to that question.

As the executive director of Southeast Iowa Regional Planning, and PDI member, I thought I would have my own great solutions to this question. There are answers, but the question is what has worked?

Now, we’re asking ask you the same question: What is your go-to strategy to attract families to your rural communities? Surely we have all heard the same question from our board members and community boosters. We all know the story: growth in the Iowa metro areas, stagnation and population loss in rural areas.

We also know there is no textbook with answers. Different strategies are tried and plied, depending on circumstances, money and personal preferences.

Please reach deep into your memory bank and contact me by email with your best strategies to attract families to your rural communities. Send your strategies even if you think they are not 100 percent relevant.

All responses will be compiled and shared with PDI members. Let’s share and improve together.

Mike Norris can be contacted at, or 319-753-4310.

 New Members

Stacey Post, Student, Simpson College, (515) 724-2851,, 1800 Watrous Ave, #13B, Des Moines

 Job Postings:

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

More Information >>



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

PDI/MAEDC 2017 Best Practices
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
12:00 am – 5:00 pm
Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel
401 Locust Street
Des Moines, IA

SMART Conference
Wednesday, May 2, 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
Thursday, May 3, 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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