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By Brent Willett, PDI President

Brent Willett
Brent Willett
PDI President
A bright future depends upon the quality, strength and innovation of today’s leaders. And today, perhaps more than ever before, Iowa’s economic development professionals are faced with both extraordinary opportunities and profound challenges as we endeavor to better our communities. PDI knows that as an association, we serve an important role to ensure that members remain connected, informed, educated and united in pursuit of the goals given us by our local, regional, state and federal stakeholders. To those ends, PDI in 2013 will execute a program of work focused upon:

  • Member education through redoubled efforts to make critical and contemporary topical information available to members on multiple platforms
  • Enhanced member communications by way of an all-new and vastly improved and digital strategy
  • New member outreach as we seek to grow the footprint of this fine association
  • Assertive, effective legislative advocacy as we work with statewide leaders to improve the climate for job creation and enhance the proverbial practitioner’s toolbox
As 2013 PDI President, it is clear to me that the association is exceptionally well-positioned to deliver on the promises above and continue the fine work of previous PDI leaders who have helped grow this organization to be one of high value, profile and significance throughout our state. With a committed, talented board of directors and staff and engaged membership, plans are in process and goals are being finalized ahead of what’s poised to be another busy year at PDI.

Brent Willett
President, Professional Developers of Iowa


 Skilled Iowa an Important Economic Development Tool

The question of whether a community will have an adequate number of qualified workers is always a consideration for a company looking to locate in a community or expand there.

The Skilled Iowa Initiative seeks to help assure new and existing employers they can find the workers they need in a particular area of the state, making the program a key element for the growth of Iowa jobs.

More Information >>

 LOIS Acquires SiteXcellerator; Increases Users

LocationOne Information System (LOIS) continues to demonstrate its position as the market leading economic development site selection database in the U.S., with the acquisition of SiteXcellerator's business. Site Dynamics, the owner of SiteXcellerator, is merging the software application with LOIS. Site Dynamics brings a wealth of site selection expertise to LOIS that will help guide continued enhancements of LOIS to further meet the needs of companies and communities.

More Information >>

 Iowa Student Internship Program: A Resource for Small to Mid-Sized Companies

The Iowa Student Internship Program provides grants to small and medium-sized companies in the advanced manufacturing, biosciences and information technology industries to help support their internship programs with a goal of transitioning the interns to full-time employment in the state upon graduation. The Iowa Economic Development Authority will accept applications for funding through this program through April 30, 2013 or until the funds run out. Most years those funds have run out before the deadline.

More Information >>

 Midwestern Disaster Area Bonds Fully Awarded

Midwestern Disaster Area Bonds (MDA) allocated to projects in Iowa for economic development projects have now been fully awarded. Although some constituency groups around the state had been advocating for an extension beyond the January 1, 2013 bond issuance deadline, that is now unnecessary because of the active promotion by Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) and other economic development groups.

Originally created through the Heartland Disaster Tax Relief Act (HDTRA) of 2008, the MDA Bonds provided assistance to areas in the Midwest that suffered severe storms, tornadoes and flooding in the spring and summer of 2008. MDA bonds were developed as a new kind of private activity tax-exempt bond designed to facilitate the economic recovery and rebuilding of areas damaged by the severe weather.

The IEDA is excited to announce that our staff has been able to secure projects that will utilize the funding for jobs and wealth creation for Iowans.


Iowa Bankers Association


 Iowa Innovation Corp. Receives Award
Business Record Daily PM 11.12.12

The Iowa Innovation Corp. was the recipient of the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds 2012 award for best approach for technology-based economic development. The award recognizes the achievements by a technology-based economic development organization in the development of innovative best practices and effective economic development models, according to a news release.

 Research Park to Expand within the Year
By Hannah Furfaro, Staff Writer, Ames Tribune, November 1, 2012

Iowa State University’s Research Park will add a 100-acre addition within the next year, ISU President Steven Leath said recently in an interview with the Ames Tribune.

The research park, with 230 acres, houses more than 60 businesses ranging from the recently added manufacturer Vermeer Corporation to engineering and software companies, such as WebFilings.




 University of Oklahoma EDI Strategic Planning Course

Now - January 7, 2013 - Online registration available today
Registration & Information >>

 University of Oklahoma EDI Economic Development Marketing and Attraction Course

January 14, 2013 - March 11, 2013 - Online registration coming soon.

 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

 University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute

March 10-14, 2013
University Place Conference Center and Hotel
Indianapolis, Indiana
More Information & Registration >>

 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

 University of Oklahoma EDI Entrepreneurship Course

June 10, 2013 - August 5, 2013 - Online registration coming soon

 University of Oklahoma EDI Strategic Planning Course
More Information & Registration >>

 PDI Fall Conference

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

 PDI Fall Conference

SEPETMBER 24-26, 2014 (new date)
Honey Creek Resort State Park
Moravia, Iowa

 University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute

October 20-24, 2013
University Place Conference Center and Hotel
Indianapolis, Indiana
More Information & Registration >>

 University of Oklahoma EDI Economic Development Marketing and Attraction Course

November 4, 2013 - January 13, 2014 - Online registration coming soon.

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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