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   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events March 23, 2018
Carla Eysink, PDI President

Carla Eysink
PDI President
Now that your NCAA bracket is is time to register for the PDI Spring Event with Mid-America EDC & SMART Conference, May 1, 2 & 3!

This year the PDI education planning committee has been working with Mid-America EDC and the SMART Conference to pull together 3-days of intensive learning featuring best practices and thought provoking keynotes. The PDI/Mid-America EDC will hold the BEST PRACTICES CONFERENCE sandwiched around the SMART Conference. Weather your community is looking for marketing strategies, struggling with redevelopment or workforce housing or perhaps searching for ways to make a multigenerational workforce productive, you will be able to hear what other communities are doing to tackle these issues.

It is also a great opportunity to network with other economic development professionals from Mid-America EDC. Mid-America EDC is a multi-state association, comprised of 10 states, dedicated to being the leading resource for education, making connections and sharing best practices for economic development professionals.

In rural areas such as most of Iowa, 86% of all new jobs are created by expanding existing industry. Please consider nominating your region, your organization or another EDO for the PDI Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Awards program, which recognizes the outstanding efforts of local, and regional economic development initiatives in supporting growth and expansion of existing Iowa companies. The BRE Awards focus recognition on BRE programs and projects that have made a significant impact on Iowa communities. Learn more about the BRE Awards here. Deadline for submission is Tuesday, April 3, 2018.

One thing is for sure this year, Virginia and North Carolina are not going to win an NCAA Basketball championship, but together professional developers in Iowa can score strategies for their community by attend the 3-point(day) Best Practices Conference.

Carla Eysink

 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.


 Please Attend Future Ready Iowa Summit

Please consider attending the Governor's 2018 Future Ready Iowa Summit, which will be held on Tuesday, April 3, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. The purpose of this all-day event is to amplify the public conversation about transforming education and the workforce, including expanding work-based learning and computer science instruction.

The Governor's STEM Advisory Council, which is hosting the summit, hopes to attract an audience of 1,000 leaders from business and industry preK-12 and postsecondary education, nonprofits, parents, students, elected officials and others, who will take information from the summit back to their communities to build upon existing initiatives.

Speakers include Mary Andringa, chair of the board of Vermeer; Brandon Busteed, Gallup's executive director of education and workforce development; Hadi Partovi, CEO of; Jeff Weld, senior policy advisor for STEM education at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Jemar Lee, a College Community School District senior and co-founder of EdRevision; Nicole Smith, chief economist at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce; and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a computer science education pioneer. The agenda also features a showcase of work-based learning exhibits and breakout sessions.

Registration opens Thursday, Feb. 1, with a $50 fee for adults and no charge for students.

More Information & Registration >>




 Legislative Perspectives

Click here for the March 18 edition of 2018 for Policy Perspectives
Read Policy Perspectives >>




 Back by Popular Demand - Roger Brooks!

That's right – you asked us to bring him back, so we are on April 25th & 26th. This time Roger will concentrate his message on your whole community – how to work together to be successful in the future. This is a training you won't want to miss and be sure to bring others from your community. It helps to have a team return to your community, ready to make a difference. Both The flyer & registration form is attached.

Roger's enthusiasm inspires and empowers audiences to achieve their highest aspirations. He is extraordinarily dynamic and also very funny, combining humorous video clips and fascinating real-life stories, while providing steps, rules and ingredients — bottom line solutions — that every audience member can implement today to make a positive difference tomorrow.
Flyer >>
Registration Form >>

 $3.1 Million Awarded to Iowa Communities for Infrastructure Projects

Awards totaling $3.1 million were announced today for nine 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.




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. THERE IS CURRENTLY A WAITING LIST TO GET INTO HEDC.

Download the Application >>



 Did You Know?

The PDI Board would like to thank all of those members who renewed their membership for 2018. We truly appreciate your commitment and support of ‘growing the economic base in Iowa.

The top 10 reasons for belonging to the Professional Developers of Iowa:

  1. PDI educational programs prepare the economic developer with the tools needed to do their jobs.
  2. PDI publishes an informative professional newsletter and maintains a website along with various social media methods for up-to-date information.
  3. PDI conducts surveys focusing on salary/benefits; legislative issues, economic impact and other topics throughout the year.
  4. PDI fosters cooperation and mutual support among the members and state agencies.
  5. PDI is for everyone – county and regional developers, community developers, utilities, legal and financial firms, universities, community colleges, engineering and construction firms, and railroads/transportation.
  6. PDI's Conferences held in May/September are the premier educational/networking events for economic developers in Iowa.
  7. PDI has a mentor program to match expertise and experience to the needs of members.
  8. PDI award thousands of dollars in scholarships annually to members.
  9. PDI is your voice at the State Capitol!
  10. You believe in PDI's mission: Professional Developers of Iowa, Inc., is a voluntary group of professional economic development personnel affiliated for the purpose of furthering the development of the economic base of the State of Iowa. – Together we are PDI!

Thank YOU for belonging! Ask a colleague to join you at PDI today.

 Why I PDI

"I am actively involved in PDI for many reasons because as a rural economic development organization I can be involved in more through PDI than I can alone as a rural county. From legislative advocacy to updates on current trends and programs PDI offers resources and opportunities that are invaluable to the work we do in economic development. In addition, networking, sharing best practices and educational opportunities are all benefits of our partnership with PDI...and that's Why I PDI"

Alissa O'Connor
Humboldt County Development Association

 New Members

Tracie Gibler, Iowa Utility Association, Des Moines, IA

 Job Postings:

Business Development Coordinator, City of West Des Moines, West Des Moines, IA
Economic Development Director, Jones County, IA
International Marketing Manager, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Des Moines, IA

More Information on Jobs >>

 PDI Best Practices Conference Registration - Sign Up Today!


We are bringing in Kim Lear, Co-Founder and Content Developer of Inlay Insights based out of Minneapolis, MN. Kim is a corporate speaker, writer, researcher and trend spotter focused on the future of the workforce and marketplace.

Kim will be presenting The Age of the Multigenerational Workforce. She will take a deep dive into each generation. By looking past stereotypes and digging into the data and demographics, we'll uncover what it takes to build the workforce of the future.

REGISTER TODAY! All registrations go through (PDI members need to register with code PDI2018 to receive membership rates)

THE SMART CONFERENCE will be held on May 2nd at the Embassy Suites Des Moines. Register for all 3 days!

CLICK HERE – TO SECURE YOUR LODGING at the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel


The Professional Developers of Iowa is a vibrant organization dedicated to improving and expanding the economic base in Iowa. Accomplishing that mission requires dozens of strong partnerships and we are grateful for all the PDI members who lend their time/money for all the PDI events. Whether you have been a valued financial partner in the past or are new to the PDI family, please consider this opportunity to expose your organization to the 320+ economic development professionals that belong to PDI.

Participate in it all! PDI's Best Practices Conference (Spring Event), Educational Events and the Fall Conference - join as a member - advertise in the newsletter and/or website - this kit covers everything. See the benefits of being a partner with PDI.
2018 Marketing Kit >>




PDI's Fall Conference
September 26-28, 2018
The Graduate (FKA The Sheraton)
Iowa City, IA

More information available May 2018

Iowa City


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


PDI Thanks the 2017 Sponsors







Triple Event Sponsors
Iowa Economic Development Authority
ITC Midwest

Conference Exhibitor Sponsors
Via Rail Engineering

Conference Contributing Sponsors - Spring & Fall
America's SBDC - Iowa
Greater Des Moines Partnership
Kossuth & Palo Alto County Economic Development Corp.
Midland Power Cooperative

BRE Awards
Blane Canada
Smart Solutions Group


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