PDI Blog

The PDI Post - November 8, 2017

President's Message
Carla Eysink, PDI President

Carla Eysink
PDI President

As professional economic developers, we are often called to solve puzzles:

  • How to take a piece of farm ground and turn it into a certified industrial site
  • Cultivating leadership and skilled workforce for our existing employers
  • Analyzing how world trends impact our local economy
  • Identifying how to get missing resources into the area and grow workforce housing
  • Building a community that young professionals want to live within

Likewise for those of us that work at the community level, we are called to connect partners and develop missing pieces of resources needed within our local area for entrepreneurs, workforce recruitment, health services and exporting expertise. As we work piece by piece to solve these critical economic development “puzzles,” we rely on tools that are critical for building Iowa's overall economy. Our stories of economic impact are important and directing change that will benefit Iowa's economy are going to be critical in the months ahead. 

As a professional association, PDI continues to work to be the network for sharing ideas, building partnerships and education. Economic development can be a stressful and lonely occupation, so we know the importance of being part of a professional association that can inspire and motivate members for greatness. For me, I was able to meet PDI members at conferences and doing committee work that later provided valuable guidance and ideas for how to handle issues I was facing.

I am EXCITED, to lead such a dedicated group of professional economic developers as your PDI President this year. A special thank you to Mark Reinig for his leadership as PDI President during the past year addressing how PDI can better meet the needs of our members. These efforts have positioned PDI for great success in the years to come.

A little about my background, I serve as Executive Director of the Marion County Development Commission, a department of county government. My work over the past 22 years has been primarily countywide in existing industry development, leadership, tourism, workforce and building connections for various initiatives. I am a certified FastTrack and True Colors facilitator as well as a graduate of Leadership Iowa. Outside of work, Stan and I live in Pella. We enjoy following Pella Dutch athletics, entertaining and cooking. My contact information is carla@redrockarea.com

This year, my focus will be on… 
...Finding better ways to serve the educational and networking needs of all members
...Connecting partnerships in addressing key economic development legislative issues
...Identifying ways to connect with PDI members regionally
...Encouraging active involvement on PDI committees. 

Truly one of the best ways to get value out of your PDI membership is to join one of the committees and right now is a great time to join a committee as the new year is just beginning. Your PDI board and past presidents will be gathering November 7 &8 for a planning retreat to design a course for the year ahead. We will be sharing information on the outcomes of this planning with you over the next couple of months. Together, we can accomplish great things.

 Consider Joining a PDI Committee

The following is a list of PDI Committees and their Mission Statements. To become a member or find out more information about the committee, please contact the PDI office at (515) 243-4585 or e-mail to: director@pdiowa.com.

Education Committee (e.g. organize/develop Spring Event, PPP Workshop, coordinate webinars with other providers; develop audio conferences on hot topics)
Steve Shupp, Co-Chair stevenshupp@alliantenergy.com
James Hoelscher, Co-Chair james.hoelscher@uni.edu
Mark Reinig mreinig@iastate.edu

Legislative Committee (e.g. determine PDI’s annual agenda, defend economic development tools, work through lobbyist contract)
Kiley Miller, Co-Chair kmiller@lakescorridor.com 
Kelly Halsted, Co-Chair kelly@greaterfortdodge.com
Drew Kamp, Co-Chair drew@ameschamber.com

Membership Committee (e.g. inspire, recruit and retain members)
Shannon Landauer, Co-Chair s.landauer@carrolliowa.com
Kim Didier, Chair kmdidier@dmacc.edu

PR/Communications (e.g. markets PDI thru website, social media and newsletter)
Alissa O’Conner, Co-Chair alissa@humboldtcountyiowa.com
Beth Balzer, Co-Chair beth.balzer@iowa.gov

Conference Committee (e.g. organize agenda/topics for Fall Conference, recruit/work with speakers, sponsors and local host, develop optional activities)
Mark Nolte, Co-Chair mnolte@icadgroup.com
Tod Faris, Co-Chair tfaris@cvrec.com
Carla Eysink, Co-Chair ceysink@co.marion.ia.us

Finance Committee (e.g. execute responsibilities of board, oversee the budget details, recommend investment options, and tax preparation; provide general oversight and planning for the organization’s financial considerations and sponsorship recruitment)
Kim Didier, Chair kmdidier@dmacc.edu

Other Committees
Nominating Committee (e.g. organize and facilitate nominating process for new board directors)
Kelly Halsted, Chair kelly@greaterfortdodge.com

Executive Committee 
Carla Eysink, Co-Chair ceysink@co.marion.ia.us
Kelly Halsted, Co-Chair kelly@greaterfortdodge.com
Kim Didier, Co-Chair kmdidier@dmacc.edu
Mark Reinig mreinig@iastate.edu


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