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

President's Message
Carla Eysink, PDI President

Carla Eysink
PDI President
'Twas the days before new year's and all through the state, every economic developer was stirring about the senate and house. The marketing was hung on social media with care, in hopes that new residents would soon be here. Then what to my wondering eyes should appear, but my PDI Annual Membership reminder for an organization I hold so dear.

Career and technical education have never been more critical to building the economies of the 21st century as now. As a professional economic developer or business leader, connecting to Professional Developers of Iowa provides you the networking, advocacy, resources and training you need to stay on top of your game. Renew your membership for 2018 today!

As you recall, the PDI Membership Committee conducted a membership survey in May 2017 with over 100 members participating. In addition to the survey, the committee analyzed the current membership to identify opportunities for improvement. Within the survey, members indicated the committee and PDI board should focus on enhancing services provided to members.

The three new membership policy changes for this year are listed below:

1. Individuals employed in a county with less than 9,000 population, by an economic development group organized to serve a city or a county can join the Professional Developers of Iowa at a reduced rate of $100 less than the current regular membership rate. This does not apply to regional or multi-county organizations. The county population will be based on either the Census Bureau's Decennial Census count for the county or the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program (PEP) estimate for the county, whichever is the newest release.
Rational: Rural economic developers have very limited resources. This consideration is made, to make it financially possible for them to connect to the PDI network and statewide economic development efforts.

2. PDI members in good standing will be able to register guests who are elected local officials: City Mayors, County Board of Supervisors, City Council Members and/or economic development board members to the PDI spring event and/or fall conference at the member rate, as long as guests are not employed as an economic development professional.
Rational: The purpose is to enhance understanding of economic development with key local decision makers who are not employed in the profession and provide a benefit to members to extend quality training to key local decision makers at the member rate.

3. If an organization has four (4) or more current PDI members, each of the current PDI members can register one additional staff member at the member rate to attend the spring event and/or fall conference.
Rational: Many large organizations have staff that could benefit from training at educational events, but may not be full-time working directly in economic development or function in an administrative role. Currently, only 11 groups have more than 4 members. This threshold was set to not cannibalize membership revenue but address the needs of members from larger organizations.

A special thank you to all the board members and past presidents that attended the planning retreat in November. During the retreat, enhanced membership engagement became a theme running through the work plans of each committee. We invite you to not only renew your membership, but also join a committee and take an active role in leading efforts to grow Iowa's economy. Hats off to Opportunity2 and Mid-Iowa Growth Partnership for working with PDI to host regional legislative round table meetings. If your region is interested is hosting an event to discuss TIF, tax credits and other important economic legislative issues contact the PDI office.

Only by working together can we transform issues into opportunities. Together, we can accomplish great things.

Carla Eysink

Opportunity2 Board & Legislators

Group Photo from the November 16th Opportunity2 Legislative Roundtable.
Pictured is Opportunity2 board and legislators.

 The PDI Offices will be closed:
Friday, December 22, Monday, December 25 and Tuesday, December 26 for the Christmas Holiday and Monday, January 1, 2018 for New Years Day. Seasons Greetings and stay safe!


  Economic Impact Study Available

The full 2016 Economic Impact of Travel on Iowa Counties is now available in the Industry Partners section of (A summary of the report is also available.) Tourism-related expenditures in Iowa totaled $8.23 billion for 2016, an increase of 2 percent over 2015.

Thank you to these investors: Iowa Tourism Office ($10,000), Travel Federation of Iowa ($9,750), Iowa Destination Marketing Alliance ($9,750), Iowa Group Travel Association ($2,000), Central Iowa Tourism Region ($2,000), Eastern Iowa Tourism Association ($2,000), and Western Iowa Tourism Region ($2,000).

In other research, according to the Report on International Travelers from Tourism Economics, Iowa had 164,000 international visitors in 2016.





 PDI Legislative Agenda Completed

The Legislative Committee drafted the 2018 PDI Legislative Agenda and it was submitted to the PDI Board of Directors for its review and ratification at its November 9 Board meeting. The Agenda is the product each year of member input, other legislative engagements like the like-minded coalition groups committed to building the economic base in Iowa and Legislative Committee work. The agenda again focuses on core issues critical to economic development in our state, including:

Priority Issues to be addressed in this session

  • Economic Development Environment
  • Workforce Recruitment & Retention
  • Water Quality

Further actions in pursuit of job creation & wealth:

  • Corporate Income Tax
  • Federal Deductibility
  • State Economic Development Resources
  • Tax Increment Financing
  • Workforce Housing Tax Credit
  • Workforce Training
  • Brownfield & Grayfield
  • Enhance Iowa
  • School Funding
  • Small Business & Entrepreneurship Support

An electronic copy can be found here. Hard copies will be distributed to each member of the Iowa Legislature, in many cases by hand during targeted legislator meetings conducted by committee members and our lobbyists, Amy Campbell and Craig Patterson.

For More Information Contact:
Kelly Halsted, Legislative Committee Co-Chair 515-955-8909
Drew Kamp, Legislative Committee Co-Chair 515-232-2310
Kiley Miller, Legislative Committee Co-Chair 712-264-3474
Amy Campbell, Lobbyist 515-554-5838
Craig Patterson, Lobbyist 515-554-7920


The Travel Industry of Iowa and Professional Developers of Iowa
cordially invites you to attend

This is Iowa
Legislative Showcase

Tuesday, January 30, 2018
4:30 to 7:30 pm
Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center
Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines

Join the Iowa tourism and economic development industry to showcase the positive impact we make on the State of Iowa, and share your story with State Legislators.

$75 | attendee and stand-alone banner (8'x33")
$25 | attendee (PDI Members only)

Registration is OPEN!

More Information & Registration >>

Travel Iowa Logos




 $19.7 Million in Credits Awarded to Iowa Historic Preservation Projects
Kanan Kappelman, Iowa Economic Development Authority, November 16, 2017

Awards totaling $19.7 million were announced today for 13 historic preservation projects across the state. The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has registered these projects to receive these tax credits via the Historic Preservation and Cultural Entertainment District (HPCED) tax credit program.

 Trump Administration Appoints Annette Sweeney to Serve as State Director for USDA Rural Development in Iowa

The Trump Administration recently appointed Annette Sweeney as the new State Director for USDA Rural Development in Iowa. Sweeney began her new role earlier this week. Sweeney's experiences as a teacher, parent, family farmer, business owner and church volunteer led her to the Iowa House of Representatives from 2009 to 2013 where she sponsored numerous pieces of legislation that passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan support. Her work improved opportunities for rural businesses and enhanced the quality of life for rural Iowans.

 Meredith to Acquire Time Inc. in $2.8 Billion Deal
Business Record Staff, November 27, 2017

Des Moines-based Meredith Corp. announced Sunday that it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire all the outstanding shares of Time Inc., in an all-cash deal valued at $2.8 billion. "We are creating a premier media company serving nearly 200 million American consumers across industry-leading digital, television, print, video, mobile and social platforms positioned for growth," said Meredith Chairman and CEO Stephen Lacy.

 Hawkeye Hotels Acquires, Plans to Rehab Hotel in Davenport's Downtown Riverfront Area
Business Record, November 30, 2017

Hawkeye Hotels Inc., a company active in Greater Des Moines hotel development, has bought the Radisson Quad-City Plaza in Davenport, which is connected by skywalks to the city's RiverCenter and historic Adler Theater.

 $2.6 Million Awarded to Iowa Communities for Infrastructure Projects

Awards totaling $2.6 million were announced today for seven communities across the state. The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) awarded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to support community water and sewer infrastructure projects. Grants are awarded based upon the benefit to low- and moderate-income persons, financial need, project impact and readiness, and commitment of local resources to the project. IEDA received 16 applications totaling $6.3 million in funding requests.

 Strategic Partnership Expands New Markets Tax Credit Program, Allocating $7.5 Million to Smaller Projects

Iowa Community Development (ICD), a certified Community Development Entity with New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation and First National Bank of Ames have formed a strategic partnership to expand the NMTC program to support smaller projects in the $1.5-3 million range. ICD is currently seeking interested parties with projects that fit the NMTC criteria to be considered for this expanded offering.




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 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:

 New Members

Bill Anderson, Executive Director, Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation, Cherokee
Travis Kraus, Assitant Director, IISC - U of Iowa, Iowa City
Katie Labree, Director, Parkersburg Economic Development, Parkersburg
Sheila Mahan, Executive Director, Polk City Development Corporation, Polk City
Annette Sweeney, State Director, USDA Rural Development, Des Moines
Laura Stein, COO, Iowa Innovation Corporation, Des Moines
Lindsay Henderson, City of Webster City, Websiter City

 Scholarship Recipient

Mindy Stalker, Union County Development Association, Creston, IA  Heartland Economic Development Course, April 2018

 Job Postings:

Log onto the PDI Website at to check out the following job openings:

Business Development Specialist - Iowa, First Children's Finance (FCF), Iowa
Executive Director, Clinton Regional Development Corporation, Clinton
Executive Director, Iowa' Cultivation Corridor, Des Moines & Ames
Executive Director, Louisa Development Group, Offices in Wapello at the ISU Extension & Outreach Office

How to Post a Job on PDI's Website

Did you know you can post a job opening in your organization on PDI's job board? For a fee of $125, PDI provides space to post an employment position on the PDI website and a printing of that employment listing in our monthly newsletter, The PDI Post  both for 60 days.

Process for submitting an employment opportunity:

  1. If you are a current PDI member, log into your account. If you are not a current PDI member you will need to create a job posting account.
  2. After you create your account, complete the "Add a Job Post" online form and click "Next".
  3. You will then be prompted to enter your credit card billing information. If paying by check, click on the Pay with Purchase Order box, indicate who should receive the invoice and include an e-mail address.

NOTE: The PDI job posting policy states that the employment opportunity must be for an economic development related position which represents Iowa as all or part of its duties. As an organization of professionals working to benefit Iowa, the Board feels that it would be counterproductive to the organization to do otherwise.

For assistance, please contact




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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