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   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events Feb. 28, 2018

 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 $280 Million in Capital Investment in Iowa and Makes Final Award to Reinvestment District Program to Mason City

Today, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to two companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 168 jobs, retention of 42 jobs and will result in over $280 million in new capital investment for the state. The board approved assistance for planned or proposed projects located in Clinton and Norwalk.

 Renewable Chemicals Production Tax Credit

The application filing window is now open for the Iowa Renewable Chemicals Production Tax Credit. Applications will be accepted (online only) from February 15 to March 15, 2018, for chemicals produced in 2017.

 Gov. Reynolds, Lt. Gov. Gregg Announce Applications Now Being Accepted for Opportunity Zones - Deadline March 19, 2018

Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, along with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, announced an invitation for cities, counties and communities in eligible areas to apply to be considered for designation as Opportunity Zones. The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 contains new tax incentives for investments in low-income census tracts with the designation. Opportunity Zones is a new economic development program established to encourage long-term investments in low-income communities. The program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is designed to provide tax incentives for qualified investors to reinvest unrealized capital gains in low-income communities.

"We need to take advantage of all the tools and resources we have at our disposal to spur economic growth," Gov. Reynolds said. "I am optimistic that Iowa's participation in the Opportunity Zones Program will serve as a catalyst for investment and job creation and result in prosperity for Iowa communities statewide."

 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 February 18 2018 edition of Policy Perspectives
Read Policy Perspectives >>




 Fraise Receives Certified Economic Developer Designation

Lee County EDG Cheif Operating Officer Dennis Fraise has earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a national recognition that denotes a mastery of skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth.

 With Time Purchase Complete, Meredith Becomes The Nation's Top Magazine Publisher, Lacy Says
Kevin Hardy, Des Moines Register, January 31, 2018

Meredith Corporation on Wednesday announced it had closed on its $2.8 billion purchase of publishing powerhouse Time Inc. The acquisition puts Meredith at the front of the nation's publishing pack with a combined audience of some 200 million consumers. Its digital audience of 170 million unique visitors now rivals the nation's top media companies, putting it behind only Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon sites.

 Iowa Finance Authority Awards City of Newton $450,000 Workforce Housing Loan for Historic Hotel Maytag Renovation
City of Newton to Benefit from Workforce Housing Loan Program

The Iowa Finance Authority Board of Directors today approved a $450,000 low-interest loan to the City of Newton for the development of new workforce rental housing as a part of the renovation of the historic Hotel Maytag. The award was made through the Workforce Housing Loan program, which provides financial assistance in the form of low-cost repayable loans to cities and counties.

 Iowa Finance Authority and Iowa Department of Natural Resources Announce $128.1 Million in Water Quality Loans to 30 Communities
State Revolving Fund Assists Communities with Water Quality Projects

The Iowa Finance Authority and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources recently announced that 30 Iowa communities have received low-interest water quality loans totaling more than $128.1 million through the State Revolving Fund.

 MidAmerican Completes Two New Wind Farms in Iowa
Iowa currently generates more than one-third of electricity from wind
Mitchell Schmidt, The Gazette, February 13, 2018

On its quest for 100 percent renewable energy, MidAmerican Energy has announced the completion of its two latest wind farms, which add to the state's growing wind energy generation. The Beaver Creek wind farm in Boone and Greene counties and Prairie wind farm in Mahaska County have begun operation, according to a Monday news release. The two farms, which amount to 169 wind turbines, add 338 megawatts of wind generation capacity to MidAmerican Energy's grid.

 Bridging The Gap between Campus and Workplace
Joe Gardyasz, Senior Staff Writer, Business Record, February 16, 2018

An emerging nonprofit program is giving Iowa State University graphic design and communication students experience with real-world projects for Central Iowa employers, while also providing organizations with a reservoir of fresh ideas and a pool of future workers.


 Give Back Iowa Challenge

Volunteerism at its core, has an enormous impact on the health and well-being of communities in our state. Last year, over 50 organizations, both nonprofit and for-profit, took part in the Give Back Iowa Challenge organized by Volunteer Iowa. The Give Back Iowa Challenge is an eight-week statewide employer-supported volunteer initiative, which serves as a competitive way to encourage organizations and businesses alike to participate in community volunteering. The Challenge runs from April 1st through May 31st. It's simple; register your organization, track the hours of your employees, record those hours on our system, and celebrate your employees!

Registration is now open! Register your company before March 21st to be included in all pre-event media. Complete information and resources on how to participate and find volunteer opportunities are provided in the Give Back Iowa Challenge toolkit available at




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

Download the Application >>



 Did You Know? PDI’s Code of Ethics Contains Principles for Iowa’s Economic Developers

This Code of Ethics is intended to provide guidance to PDI members in “enhancing…professionalism” as found in Article II e) of the Bylaws. When someone joins PDI, they are asked to sign off to "fully adhere to the PDI mission & Code of Ethics."

The following principles constitute the PDI Code of Ethics:

  1. Members will establish and maintain standards of conduct that go beyond the requirements of law.
  2. Members will carry out all activities in a manner becoming of and bringing honor to the good reputation of the profession, PDI, the entity they represent, and the State of Iowa.

  3. Members will be honest and straightforward in all agreements, transactions, promises services, and delivery of services.

  4. Members pledge to maintain confidentiality, with particular attention to proprietary information received during the provision of services.

  5. Members pledge to maintain the spirit of fairness in competition and to help eradicate any deceptions or comments that violate the spirit.

  6. Members have a duty to avoid conflict of interest and all appearances of conflict.

  7. Members agree to cooperate with fellow PDI members in informal exchanges of information and ideas reflecting practices, procedures, trends, and policy pertaining to economic development not withstanding the maintenance of confidentiality with proprietary information.

  8. Members pledge to consider long-term economic issues, environmental issues, and impact on natural and human resources in dealing with specific projects, policies, or procedures.

  9. Members will not initiate recruiting of a company located in another Iowa community.

  10. Members will promote community/organization or the area being represented, first. In the event a company’s needs cannot be met, members will try to meet the needs somewhere in the state.

  11. Members shall not engage in any use of PDI identity in lobbying on any issue without prior authority of the Legislative Committee.

  12. Members shall be objective in dealing with prospects and shall not make derogatory remarks about another member, community, or entity, nor shall a member tell another member, community, or entity what they can or cannot offer a prospect.

 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 enjoy membership to PDI for many reasons. One key benefit is the opportunity to network with economic development professionals across the state. From participating in various PDI educational/networking events to serving on the board, I stay connected with our partners and keep abreast of the state's economic development concerns and priorities."

Beth Balzar
Manager, Business Development
Iowa Economic Development Authority

 Congratulations to Fraise on Earning the CEcD Certification

Dennis Fraise COO of the Lee County Economic Development Group, Keokuk, Iowa recently achieved is his Certified Economic Developers (CEcD) designation through IEDC.

The CEcD is the leading industry designation and represents demonstrated competency in economic development with a high-level of knowledge and practical experience in the field. The first CEcD exam of 2018 was held in Las Vegas, NV on January 27-28 By passing the two-day rigorous exam, the new CEcDs proved their comprehensive knowledge of the field and ability to increase productivity by effectively tackling the challenges that come in the way of economic development. PDI congratulates Dennis on this achievement!

 Member: 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 >>

 New Members

Sandee, Buysee, We Lead, West Liberty, IA
Dan Dutcher, City of Waukee, Waukee, IA
Angela Shipley, Louisa Development Group, Wapello, IA
Chrissi Wiersma, City of Hudson, Hudson, IA
Darrick Young, City of Emmetsburg, Emmetsburg, IA

 Scholarship Recipient

Chrissi Wiersma, City of Hudson, Hudson, IA, Heartland ED Course, Inc.
Jennifer Andrade, Mitchell County Economic Development Commission, Osage, IA, Heartland ED Course
Sandee, Buysee, We Lead, West Liberty, IA, Heartland ED Course, Inc.

 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 Now Open!


PDI & Mid-America EDC are teaming up to present the 2018 Best Practices Conference, schedule May 1st and May 3rd at the newly renovated Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel. The Best Practices Conference packs an agenda with high impact sessions, networking opportunities and a unique ambiance that only downtown Des Moines can provide. Come join us May 1st and May 3rd and be sure to attend the SMART Conference too on May 2nd at the Embassy Suites by Hilton. More information is available here.

  • CHECK OUT the 2018 Best Practices Conference brochure including full agenda and registration information (PDI members need to register with code to receive membership rates)
  • REGISTER TODAY! All registrations go through
  • 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




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

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