PDI Blog

The Presidential Post, May 15, 2014


Stacie Lo Van 2014

Stacie LoVan,

PDI President

It was great to see everyone at the SMART Conference and PDI Spring Event!   What a great two days with many positive messages and take-aways that we can use across all Iowa regions!

Both days started with updates from our state leaders.  During the SMART Conference, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor provided great updates on successes Iowa has seen recently and Debi Durham shared IEDA initiatives and how far Iowa has come in reaching our economic growth goals.  At the PDI event, Representative David Jacoby shared what is being done in Iowa to promote STEM education.   

It was refreshing to hear Neil Linscheid with the University of Minnesota Extension talk about the positive trends happening in rural America, rather than the doom and gloom typically associated with the changing rural demographics.  People moving to rural areas are in their prime earning years: This is Brain Gain!  How are you going to take this new perspective and use it in your community to change the story?

Congratulations to the BRE award winners!  There are some truly amazing accomplishments coming out of business retention and expansion programs across Iowa.  If you were unable to attend the breakout session on BRE Best Practices at the SMART Conference, you should take some time to visit with one of the award recipients about their program.

Thank you to our annual and conference sponsors who provide the support, expertise and guidance we need to offer these types of events and other PDI services.  I would also like to thank Smart Solutions Group and Blane-Canada Synchronist Suite for their leadership in business retention and expansion efforts across the nation and for their sponsorship of PDI’s BRE Awards. 

The winners of the Overall Program Awards were:

Ames Economic Development Commission who used Synchronist information to develop a three-pronged workforce development initiative. 

Ames BRE2014
Accepting the award is Ron Hallenbeck, Executive Vice President

Greater Dubuque Development Corporation who stepped in to help local businesses with communications issues following a construction accident.

Greater DBQ BRE 2014

Representing GDDC are Dan McDonald - Vice President of Existing Business and Mark Seckman - Vice President of National Marketing

Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce who used their Business Connections program to provide assistance to 416 requests last year and to identify an expansion opportunity for Alcoa, leading to the area’s largest business expansion in the past 10 years.

Quad Cities BRE 2014

Sharing in the award are Paul Rumler, Executive Vice President and Chief Economic Development Officer; Tom Flaherty, Vice President, Regional Development; Julie Forsythe, Project Manager, Innovation and Sharon Moore, Economic Development Assistant.

This year’s Single Project awards went to:

Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation who used their relationship with Polaris Industries to assist with an expansion of the company and occupy 560,000 square feet of recently vacated space.

Iowa Lakes BRE 2014

On behalf of the Corridor were Kathy Evert, President & CEO; Brian Dalziel, Senior Vice President; and Joanne Folloon, Economic Development Coordinator.

Midwest Partnership Economic Development Corporation who through Synchronist visits identified an expansion opportunity by Scranton Manufacturing and assisted with eliminating the barriers that were preventing the company’s growth.

Midwest Partnership BRE 2014

Present were MPEDC Board President Warren Varley; Sarah Gomez, Economic Development Coordinator; and Chad Schreck, Executive  Director


Written by Stacie LoVan
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