PDI Blog

Presidential Post - October 1, 2013

Brent And Stacie

Brent Willett and

Stacie LoVan

Farewell messages tend to drift toward the self-indulgent, and so I'll do my best to avoid that trap and say only that is has been an absolute pleasure, and I have more people to thank than I could have imagined when I assumed the role of PDI President last November. That my term ends following a well-packaged, well-attended — all the way through lunch on Friday(!) — and superbly-executed annual conference is the greatest treasure a president can leave with. Enormous thanks and appreciation to every member of the Conference Committee, chaired by Steve Dust and Greg Theis, for their efforts.

Judge the year on its merits, and assign any thoughts of appreciation to one of the hardest-working leadership groups I've ever had the pleasure of being a part of in the 2013 PDI Board of Directors: Stacie LoVan, Jason Hutcheson, Sandy Ehrig, Shaun Arneson, Beth Balzer, Steve Dust, Patty Manuel, Kiley Miller, Wayne Pantini, Tami Petsche, Mark Reinig and Greg Theis.

The superb staff work of Executive Director Lynn Harkin and advocacy work of Craig Patterson deserve special recognition. As leaders in our own organizations, each one of us can appreciate that well-executed programming and effective legislative advocacy do not happen by accident. This association is no different. 

It was a distinct pleasure to help pilot the vessel during the year PDI celebrated 40 years of economic development advocacy in our state. We all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the hundreds of PDI leaders who came before us who positioned this association as an effective and sought-after voice for economic development in Iowa. We've worked this year to make investments in technology to create new capabilities, build coalitions to augment the association's political potency and establish new programmatic partnerships to improve member experience, and it is only as a result of the 39 years of superb stewardship that PDI leaders before us demonstrated which allowed us to focus on these sorts of growth-focused goals in 2013. 

Most of us endeavor to leave that which we are given the opportunity to lead in a better state than we found it, and a four-decade long run of PDI leaders set just such a standard before me and for the rest of us to try and meet. Thank you so very much for a turn at the wheel. I am thrilled on the behalf of PDI to turn the gavel over to Stacie LoVan, who is more qualified and much more patient than her predecessor. We are in truly great hands.

Brent Willett
President, Professional Developers of Iowa

Written by Brent Willett
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