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By Sandy Ehrig, PDI President

Sandy Ehrig
Sandy Ehrig
PDI President
PDI Members:

Register Now for Audio Conference
ESOP Part 2: The Benefits from the Company’s Perspective
Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 3:00-4:00 p.m.

If you wonder:

  • Why a local company would choose an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)?
  • What Iowa companies have successfully made the transition and what are their best practices?
  • Please join us!
PDI and the Iowa Economic Development Authority will host a second conference call regarding ESOPs on October 10, from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. This call will feature two Iowa companies who have chosen an ESOP business model and are enjoying its benefits. You will hear first-hand how they made the transition and have the opportunity to ask questions about their experience. This is the CALL you’ll want to make.

More Information >>

 PDI Moving Forward

In November the PDI Board will be meeting for our Board Planning Retreat with our Past PDI Presidents, along with our staff and lobbyists. We will review what we had set out to accomplish last year and identify new action plans to layout the road map that we will continue to travel upon. Please provide any input you have to Incoming President, Brent Willett for the board to consider.

If you have not signed up for a committee, please consider contacting one of the chairs below for more information. PDI is built on member participation, and we need YOU!

Contact PDI Headquarters at or call (515) 243-4585.

 PDI 2012 – 2013 Committee Leadership

Mark Reinig (515) 231-4150
Shaun Arneson (712) 264-3474

Steve Dust (319) 232-1156
Greg Theis (563) 333-8917

Stacie LoVan (515) 286-4971
Sandy Ehrig (515) 225-5480

Wayne Pantini (641) 782-2003
Jeff Rossate (319) 730-1425
Kathryn Kunert (515) 281-2287

Tami Petsche (563) 659-8508
Patty Manual (319) 462-3541

 Other Committees

Finance Committee:
Jason Hutcheson, Treasurer

Nominating Committee:
Stacie LoVan, Chair,

Executive Committee:
Brent Willett, Chair,
IEDA Appointee
Beth Balzer (515) 725-3111

 PDI Elects New Officers& Board Members at Annual Meeting

President - Brent Willett
Vice President - Stacie LoVan
Secretary/Treasurer - Jason Hutcheson, CEcD
Past President - Sandy Ehrig
Director Oct. 2015 - Greg Theis
Director Oct. 2015 - Jeff Rossate
Director Oct. 2015 - Patty Manual
Director Oct. 2014 - Wayne Pantini
Director Oct. 2014 - Steve Dust
Director Oct. 2014 - Mark Reinig
Director Oct. 2013 - Shaun Arneson
Director Oct. 2013 - Tami Petsche
IEDA Rep. - Appt. yearly by Director - Beth Balzer

Look for information on PDI’s newest board members in the October 15th edition!

Kathryn Kunert
Lori Holste
 Outgoing Board Members Recognized

PDI wishes to recognize Kathryn Kunert, MidAmerican Energy, for her service to the PDI Officers and Board of Directors. Her efforts have contributed to the organization’s success over the past six years. Also recognition goes out to Lori Holste, Western Iowa Development Association, who has served on the board for three years. We truly appreciate all these folks have done for the Association as a whole and economic development in Iowa!

Sandy Ehrig
President, Professional Developers of Iowa


 IWD’s Skilled Iowa Initiative

Iowa Workforce Development was pleased to be a part of the recent Professional Developers of Iowa’s Fall Conference as we continue to spread the word about the Skilled Iowa Initiative.

The Skilled Iowa Initiative is working to match up Iowa workers with unfilled positions across the state. Currently, Iowa’s problem is not necessarily a lack of available jobs, but linking up workers with essential skills to employers with open positions.

More Information >>

 IEDA Update

At PDI’s Fall Conference in late September, Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham, shared some important information about the latest happenings in economic development.

Click for Full Presentation >>

 International Trade Office Update

The Iowa Economic Development Authority, International Trade Office’s International Update newsletter, September/ October issue, is now available.

Read IEDA Newsletter >>

 Iowa Innovation Corporation Update

The Iowa Innovation Corporation’s latest newsletter is now available.

Read IICorp Newsletter >>

 National Governors Association Policy Academy in Iowa

Iowa is one of four states selected to work with the National Governors Association (NGA) in an effort to improve industrial use of combined heat and power and enhance economic development.

More Information >>

 Iowa Economic Gardening Network

UNI is leading a new initiative beginning in the fall of 2012 to serve existing mid-sized Iowa businesses with customized technical assistance through an approach called Economic Gardening. Economic Gardening
Economic Gardening (EG) is a highly customized set of technical assistance services delivered in part, by a specialty research team, offering in-depth secondary market research, business intelligence, social media marketing assistance and growth strategy options to employer firms with 9-99 employees. First developed in Littleton, Colorado, Economic Gardening was adopted and scaled by the Edward Lowe Foundation in 2010 and a National Center for Economic Gardening established. Economic Gardening programs are currently running, or are being piloted, in 17 regions nationwide including statewide programs in Florida, Michigan and Missouri.

More Information >>

 International Marketing Financial Assistance Available to Iowa Companies!

Export Trade Assistance Program (ETAP) – STEP 2011-12 is extended!

The International Trade Office will continue to receive ETAP applications for events taking place through September 30, 2013. This program may reimburse a qualified Iowa company a percentage of expenses related to exhibiting at an eligible international trade show or trade mission taking place outside the United States, up to $4,000 per grant. Funds are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis until funds are exhausted, so apply early!

More Information >>



Our thanks to the legislative panel who spoke to PDI members at the Fall Conference: Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, Representative Mark Brandenburg, Representative Mary Ann Hanusa and Representative Greg Forristall. Special thanks to Kelly O’Brien, Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce for moderating the session.


Iowa Bankers Association


 Partnership Gets Multicounty Foreign Trade Zone
By Joe Gardyasz, Senior Staff Writer, Business Record, 9/25/12

The Greater Des Moines Partnership has received approval for a new type of foreign trade zone (FTZ) that development officials say will provide a more flexible tool for Central Iowa companies seeking to expand international trade.


 Iowa Partners in Efficiency Award

The Lean Government Collaborative and the Iowa Business Council (IBC) announce the creation of the “Iowa Partners In Efficiency Award”. Presented for the first time in January 2010, this annual honor recognizes the employee(s) or work unit in any political subdivision of local, county, or state government that, through the use of Lean tools and techniques, significantly and measurably increase productivity and promote innovation resulting in the improvement of delivery of public services to the benefit of the citizens of Iowa and the private sector.




 Job Postings:

Executive Director, Business & Community Education, Hawkeye Community College, Waterloo
Group President, Iowa City Area Development Group, Iowa City
Business and Community Development Analyst-MidAmerican Energy Company, Des Moines

More on Job Opportunities >>

 New Members:

Mark Bergethon, Convergent Nonprofit Solutions
Michael Geerdes, Member Service/Economic Development, Grundy County REC
Deb Loftus, Interim Executive Director Chamber/Dev. Council, Crawford County
Pamela Wright, Business Development Manager, Hawkeye Community College

 Member Transfers:

Joey Beech, Executive Director, Ankeny Economic Development Corporation
Charles Allen, Executive Director, Jasper Co. Economic Development Corp.

 PDI Member-to-Member Program

Goal: Provide a resource bank in which members with certain areas of economic development expertise (Resource Coaches) can provide assistance to other members with specific needs and questions in those areas on an as-needed basis.

Purpose: Allow all members to have immediate resources available when they have specific questions or need advisement in certain areas of economic development.

  • To reduce members’ time in finding information/resources that will help them succeed in their positions.
  • Build relationships with members who have a wealth of knowledge to share.
Member-to-Member Coaching Responsibilities: All PDI members will have an opportunity to sign up as a Resource Coach. A Resource Coach will identify their areas of expertise and be willing to share that expertise with other members of the organization. All new members will be made aware that the existing membership is willing to share their expertise in whatever area of economic development that they may have questions and/or need feedback.

More Information >>



Thank you to everyone who attended the PDI Conference in Council Bluffs, Iowa. As a participant, your input is extremely important for us to consider as we plan future PDI conferences. To access the survey, you can either click on the link below or cut and paste the link into your browser. The survey will be accessible twenty four hours a day through Wednesday, October 10, 2012. This short survey should take less than ten minutes. As an incentive, survey completers will be eligible for a drawing for a *free registration to the 2013 Spring Conference* in Des Moines). Please note that survey responses will be confidential - we only need a name to enter you in the drawing. Click here: -

 University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute

November 11-15, 2012
University Place Conference Center and Hotel
Indianapolis, Indiana.
More Information & Registration >>

 PDI Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Iowa State Capitol Complex, Des Moines, Iowa

 Heartland Economic Development Course

April 21-25, 2013
Blue Springs, MO
[PDI Scholarships are available thru 3/31/13] - (800) 782-9520

 PDI Spring Event

– in conjunction with the SMART Conference
May 1-3, 2013
Renaissance Savery Hotel, Des Moines, IA

 PDI Fall Conference

September 25-27, 2013
Park Place Event Centre
Wingate by Wyndham and AmericInn Hotel
Cedar Falls, Iowa

 PDI Fall Conference

October 1-3, 2014
Honey Creek Resort State Park
Moravia, Iowa

For more information, contact Lynn Harkin, PDI Headquarters at (515) 243-4585 or Email


PDI Thanks the 2012 Sponsors



Alliant Energy

Renew Rural Iowa
Council Bluffs Regional Economic Development Commission

Council Bluffs Convention & Visitors Bureau

Triple Event Sponsors
ITC Midwest
Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corp.
Iowa Economic Development Authority

Conference Supporting Sponsors
Black Hills Energy
Iowa Workforce Development

Conference Exhibit Sponsors - Fall & Spring
Ady Voltedge
Convergent Non Profit Fundraising
Iowa Business Growth
Iowa State University CIRAS
JEO Consulting Group Inc.
North Iowa Corridor Development Corp.
Peoples Company
Spring Only
Viebicher Associates Inc.

Fall Only
Iowa City Area Development Group Inc.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Iowa Small Business Development Centers
Iowa Telecommunications Association

BREI Award
Smart Solutions Group
& Blane Canada

Contributing Sponsors - Fall & Spring
Iowa Association of Business & Industry
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative

Contributing Sponsors - Spring Only
Iowa Utility Association

Contributing Sponsors - Fall Only
Access Energy Cooperative
Buchanan County Economic Development
Guthrie County Rural Electric Cooperative Association
Midland Power Cooperative


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