Click here to view this email in your browser.

   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events Jan. 31 2018

Carla Eysink, PDI President

Carla Eysink
PDI President

The cold weather outside can only mean one thing in Iowa... the legislative session has begun at the capitol. The Professional Developers of Iowa Legislative Team has been working hard to provide members the tools needed to make our voice heard on issues of economic development. Earlier this month, you should have received:

1. The 2018 Legislative Agenda brochure which includes the annual legislative priorities
2. Talking points around PDI’s legislative priorities
3. Six weeks of roll-out Emails sent to our legislators inviting them to the Legislative Showcase on January 30.

As you look over the legislative priorities, I am sure you will find key issues that touch your community. Like many of you, I have been compiling my 2017 existing industry data into an annual report for my businesses. It is quite clear from our data that workforce recruitment/retention, workforce housing and business climate are key for not only my employers, but also employers around the state. Iowa’s economy cannot afford to have our existing industry leaving the state to expand because they cannot find workforce.

Legislative Showcase vs. Grow Iowa Day

In the past, we have brought our displays & issues to the capitol for a pizza lunch. Over the years, our time with legislators has decreased because during the middle of the day they are busy with votes and committee meetings...and perhaps avoid protestors in the rotunda. We were very excited about the new opportunity this year to co-host an evening reception.

The Professional Developers of Iowa collaborated with the tourism industry for the, "This Is Iowa" Legislative Event on January 30 to provide members a new type of enhanced opportunity to discuss issues with their senators and representatives. The reception type format featuring displays from around the state, vintage décor, unique local foods/beverages and over 60 PDI members on hand to meet with legislators. We also had great participation from the Iowa Representatives & Senators who attended our event and visited with PDI members about economic development issues.

L to R: Shannon Landauer, Kelly Swenson Kim Didier, Kelly Halsted, Terry Vorbrich

L to R: Tod Faris & Steve Shupp

L to R: Drew Kamp & Randy Pilkington

Thank you to our PDI Members who sponsored, exhibited, shared promotional items and brought food/snacks to share:

Ames Chamber of Commerce
City of Sioux City
Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce
Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber
Hamilton Co. Ec. Dev.
Iowa Area Development Group
Iowa City/Coralville Area CVB
Johnston Econ. Dev. Corp.
MidAmerican Energy Co.
Northwest IA Development
Marshall Economic Development
Professional Developers of Iowa
UNI- Business & Community Services
Iowa Area Development Group

Special appreciation to the Travel Federation of Iowa for allowing PDI to partner with them on this event.

PDI Members, you need to tell your unique story of why these issues matter to your local community. It is only through sharing our data and stories that legislators will understand the critical nature of their decision on Iowa’s economy. Your efforts are an investment in seeing the change we want in Iowa.

Together, we can accomplish great things.

Carla Eysink

 PDI's 2018 Fall Conference - A Sneak Peak

This year's 2018 PDI Fall Conference is set to take place in Iowa City on September 26-28, 2018. The Fall Conference Planning Committee has been selected and they are already busy preparing for next Fall.

PDI has already secured the venue where the Fall Conference will take place and that is the new Graduate Iowa City (formerly the Sheraton Iowa City Hotel) on S. Dubuque Street, located right in the heart of downtown Iowa City. The Graduate Iowa City is going through extensive renovations right now on all their common areas, sleeping rooms, etc. with plans to be finished this summer. PDI does not have the registration link for this newly named property but will have it by May. To view the various Graduate Hotels across the country, please reference our corporate website at


 Economic Development Board Approves Awards to Support over $87 Million in Capital Investment in Iowa

January 19, 2018 - the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to four companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 186 jobs, retention of 21 jobs and will result in over $87 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding for four startups.

 Business Retention & Expansion Awards

The PDI Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Awards Program recognizes the contribution of BRE to the success of local and regional economic development initiatives.

Awards Presentation: The PDI BRE Awards will be presented on May 2, 2018 during the luncheon of the Iowa SMART Economic Development Conference, at the location is the Embassy Suites on the River, Des Moines, IA.

Purpose of Award: To increase the focus on BRE in economic development organizations by identifying programs and projects that have significant impact on Iowa communities.

Eligibility: All PDI members are eligible to receive the award. Eligible programs/projects are those in which the nominated entity plays a coordinating role or in which BRE activities play an integral role in the success of an economic development strategy. The programs/projects nominated may include those serving local or regional areas. Ongoing BRE programs or projects within the last 24 months are eligible.




 Legislative Perspectives

Click here for the first edition of 2018 for Policy Perspectives
Read Policy Perspectives >>

 This is Iowa Legislative Showcase Big Success

The Travel Federation of Iowa and Professional Developers of Iowa spent the evening of January 30 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines Iowa showcasing "This is Iowa."

Special thanks to the Iowa tourism and economic development industry members who showcased the positive impact we make on the State of Iowa, and shared their stories with State Legislators.

Steve Shupp, PDI Board Member, Drew Kamp, PDI Legislative Co-Chair and Craig Patterson, PDI Lobbyist review the hot topics and PDI's positions in preparation for the Legislative Showcase.

PDI Members listen for up-to-date information about PDI's 2018 Legislative Agenda before meeting with legislators.

 TIF Video and Intro

The Professional Developers of Iowa have long been ardent supporters of the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for local economic development projects throughout the state. It is a critical economic and community development tool that has proven time and again to benefit local communities and has improved the quality of life and community vitality throughout the state. TIF needs to continue to be protected from legislative proposals that seek to strip it of its strength, flexibility, and overall impact. Each of our communities has a story that positively highlights the importance and power of tax increment financing, and we need to ensure we these stories are being heard throughout the Capitol as Legislators consider the fate of tax increment financing. To this end, Nick Glew, President of the Marion Economic Development Corporation, has created a video illustrating the positive impact and community benefits of TIF, which is very helpful to any economic developer needing assistance in understanding and advocating for this critical economic development tool.
Watch Nick's Video >>

 Backfill Coalition

With the Iowa budget in such dire straits recently, one of the questions that keeps getting raised is whether or not the Legislature will attempt to end or phase-out the Property Tax Backfill. This was an agreement made during the passage of the 2013 property tax reduction bill to make cities, counties and schools districts partially whole for any reduction they experienced as a result of the bill. The backfill was capped at $150 million; in FY2018, $53.6 million goes to cities, $29.2 million to counties, $59.3 million goes to schools, $339k goes to townships, and $9.7 million goes to other taxing bodies such as cemeteries, fire districts or extension offices.

Former Governor Branstad was a stalwart defender of the backfill since he pushed hard for the passage of the 2013 bill. When Governor Reynolds took the reins, there was some uncertainty about whether she would hold the same opinion of the backfill. Those questions were largely answered when she submitted her budget proposal - Governor Reynolds' budget fully funds the backfill in FY2019 and makes no mention of a phase-out, studying a phase-out, etc. Some legislators have indicated they may look into the future of the backfill, but we have not seen any formal legislation to do so.

As you may know, PDI is on record as supporting the continuation of the backfill. What can you do?

  1. Please take some time to reach out to your legislators to indicate your support for maintaining the backfill. You can find your State Legislators here.
  2. Consider whether or not your organization individually wants to sign on publicly as a supporter of the backfill. The Iowa League of Cities is keeping a list of organizations that wish to be "on record" as supporting the continuation of the backfill. If you wish to join the list, send an email to the League's Director of Government Affairs Robert Palmer at

If you need background information about the backfill, please contact PDI’s Lobbyist Craig Patterson at, or PDI Legislative Committee Co-Chairs Drew Kamp at, Kiley Miller at, or Kelly Halsted at




 Six-story Hotel Proposed in Downtown Cedar Falls
Pat Kinney, The Courier, December 26, 2017

A major hotel project is being proposed for a prominent intersection of downtown Cedar Falls. City officials have received building plans for an approximately 120- to 130-room Hampton Inn hotel at the northwest corner of West First and Main streets, on the site of the old Cedar Falls Chamber of Commerce building and now-demolished Broom Factory Restaurant. The land is owned by Western Home Communities.

 City of Waterloo, Iowa to be Honored by Federal Agency for Grand Crossing Project

Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart today announced that the City will receive the 2018 Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award from the National Community Development Association (NCDA) for its innovative use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding on the Grand Crossing development project. The award will be presented during the NCDA’s Winter Conference Friday Jan. 26 in Washington. Mayor Hart and Rudy D. Jones, Director of Waterloo Community Development, will be in Washington to receive the award.

 Meredith Will Complete Time Inc. Purchase in the Next 30 Days
Kevin Hardy, Des Moines Register, January 12, 2018

Meredith Corp. this week cleared a regulatory hurdle, which allows it to move forward with its $2.8 billion purchase of Time Inc. The Des Moines publisher announced Friday afternoon that the transaction had received approval from the Federal Trade Commission. A mandated waiting period was set to expire late Friday, but the agency offered an early termination after hearing no anti-trust objections to the deal.




 OU Economic Development Institute
Fort Worth, Texas - April 28 - May 3, 2018

Location - Historic Downtown Ft Worth Hilton, an elegant landmark, the scene of President John F. Kennedy's final address the morning of November 22, 1963. The Hilton is part of the highly walkable brick street Sundance Square, popular restaurants, entertainment, and shopping. The Fort Worth Cultural District is minutes away.

About OU EDI - Considered the premiere Economic Development training program in the U.S., with more than 5,000 completing our certificate over the past fifty-five years. Each Institute features in-depth, interactive training, mentoring, and networking with fellow economic development professionals from around the world. Our instructors and mentors are leading practitioners.

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 the program to your needs.

Advising - we'd love to talk to you about your unique situation and help you meet your career goals.
Registration >>


Over the years, many OU EDI grads have asked "I've loved the certificate program and interacting with my peers. Now that I've graduated, do you have anything else to offer?"

Key Features
Dialog-centered — PLUS will take the certificate program a step further - recognizing that you and your fellow participants are highly experienced, sessions are designed to focus increasingly on dialog rather than presentation.

Topics crowdsourced — past graduates tell us via survey what they need to know more about, then we find topic moderators who can lead these discussions regarding current trends and best practices.

Focus on experienced professionals — fellow participants will be experienced peers -- primarily graduates of OU EDI certification process, though non-recipient professionals with requisite experience can participate as well.

Continue networking OU EDI is known for — one of the distinguishing features of OU EDI is the level of interaction with instructors and peers from across the country. PLUS continues the quality collaboration and networking that occurs at OU EDI.

OU EDI PLUS Session Spring 2018 Fort Worth, Texas | April 30 - May 1, 2018
More Information & Registration >>

Heartland Economic Development Course

 Heartland Economic Development Course, Inc.

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

Scholarships are made available to PDI members to provide educational opportunities and promote professionalism. The maximum amount of scholarship funds to any one person is $1000. In addition to PDI Scholarships, many of Iowa's utility companies offer scholarships for continuing education. We encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to further your professional development whenever possible.

Download the Application >>



 Why I PDI

This new communications feature will share insights from current PDI members on what benefits their PDI membership brings to them. From legislative advocacy to best practices and networking events we want know... why do you PDI? "Why I PDI" will become a regular segment in the PDI Post Newsletter and on PDI's social media. In addition, "Why I PDI" video segments will be developed and shared throughout PDI events and conferences. We'd like to hear from you - Why do you PDI? Please share your thoughts, to be included in PDI communication efforts, by contacting PDI at: If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact PR-Communications Committee Co-Chairs Alissa O’Connor at or Beth Balzer at

"I'm a member of Professional Developers of Iowa, PDI because it keeps me informed on the economic development conditions and opportunities across the state. This dedicated group of professional economic developers gather to seek partnerships and find ways to foster the economic growth of Iowa. It's a privilege to be a part of this great organization."

Jackie Haley
Vice President, Services & Strategic Partnerships
Community Bankers of Iowa

 New Members

Jim Collins, City Administrator/ED Dir., City of Hull, Hull
Niki Ferguson, Project Management Coordinator, Advance Southwest Iowa Corp., Council Bluffs
Matt Rebro, Vice President, Russell, Davenport
Jamie Toledo, Business Services Strategist, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, Cedar Rapids

 Scholarship Recipient

Craig Armstrong, City of Newton, Newton, IA, Heartland ED Course, Inc.
David Gleiser, Woodbury County Economic Development, Sioux City, IA, OU-EDI

 Job Postings:

Business Development Coordinator, City of West Des Moines, West Des Moines
Economic Development Director, Wright County, Clarion
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

More Information on Jobs >>



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

Destination Development Summit
April 25-26, 2018
Manning Heritage Hausbarn Conference Center
Manning, IA
Registration & Information >>

OU Economic Development Institute
April 28-May 3, 2018
Downtown Fort Worth Hilton
Fort Worth, TX
Registration >>

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
Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 9:00 – noon
Farm Bureau Board Room
5400 University Ave., West Des Moines, IA

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

Twitter     Facebook     LinkedIn

Published by WinM@il