EICC wins national award for technology program

Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, or EICC, has been selected for a prestigious 2016 Manufacturing Leadership Award from Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council.


The college district was among 73 organizations to win an award in the 12th annual leadership awards. EICC won in the Next Generation Leadership category for its innovative practices in training Engineering Technology students.


It joins companies such as Dow Chemical, IBM, Honeywell, Lexmark, Owens Corning and others in receiving the award. The council is a global business leadership network of senior manufacturing executives. Winners will be honored at a gala celebration June 8 at the Manufacturing Leadership Summit in Carlsbad, Calif.

Read the entire story at: http://qctimes.com/business/eicc-wins-national-award-for-technology-program/article_033c5491-45d2-50c6-ad35-51c3601660a5.html



New Iowa startup investment fund on the horizon

, mpatane@dmreg.com 1:57 p.m. CST February 24, 2016 Des Moines Register

Matt BusickMatt Busick (Photo: Special to the Register)

A new fund that would invest in Iowa startups is in the works after receiving certification from the state.

River Glen Venture Partners aims to raise a pool of $25 million it would invest in early-stage companies, fund founder Matt Busick said.

“We think that’s the right number to build a portfolio over four to five years of 10 (startups) of between $2 and $2.5 million each” in investment, Busick told the Register.

Busick is also managing director of River Glen Private Capital, a West Des Moines-based investment firm and manager.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority certified River Glen Venture Partners as an “innovation fund” on Friday. The certification means investors in the fund can receive tax credits based on the amount they invest in Iowa startups.

River Glen Venture Partners is still in its infancy, and Busick said it has yet to raise the $25 million. Before doing so, he said River Glen wanted to ensure the fund would be certified to receive state tax credits.

Read the entire story at: www.http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/tech/2016/02/23/new-iowa-startup-investment-fund-horizon/80577506/


BirdDogHR Finalist for Two Technology Association of Iowa Prometheus Awards

Both BirdDogHR and CEO Todd Skokan named finalists for the top company growth and CEO of the year for 2016

February 25, 2016 09:45 AM Eastern Standard Time

DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BirdDogHR™, the leader in talent management solutions for the construction, engineering and skilled trades industries, has been selected as a finalist for two 2016 Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) Prometheus awards. CEO and President of BirdDogHR, Todd Skokan, is a finalist for CEO of the Year, while BirdDogHR is a finalist for Top Growth Company. This is the company’s third consecutive year of being recognized by TAI. In 2015 the company was named Technology Company of the Year and Top Growth award finalists. In 2014 the company was named a Break Out award finalist.

@BirdDogHR recognized by TAI for outstanding company growth and CEO leadership.

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TAI evaluated 124 nominations across 14 award categories and selected finalists based on growth, success and sustainability. Award winners will be announced at a ceremony held on Thursday, April 14.

BirdDogHR is one of six company finalists selected for Top Growth Company of the Year and was selected because of the strong business impact, tremendous business growth and top management team. In 2015 BirdDogHR was also named to the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list based on revenue momentum.

Skokan is one of five selected as a TAI CEO of the Year finalist. Skokan’s strong track record for leading double and triple digit company growth in his 22 years of experience in the human capital management industry has made him a strong candidate. In the last year, Skokan led BirdDogHR in an amazing period of revenue growth and transformation to a complete talent management solution provider.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for our growth by the Technology Association of Iowa for the third year in a row,” said Skokan. “This year BirdDogHR underwent historic product advancements. As we transformed from a recruitment and applicant tracking system provider into a provider of complete talent management solutions, the team responded by adding hundreds of new customers and enhancing customer retention. I am very proud of the innovations that the BirdDogHR team made in 2015 and I look forward to what the future holds.”

“Todd Skokan is a strong company leader, there is no doubt,” says David Hain, managing partner of the Gotham Growth Group. “But to have the accelerated growth, customer retention and product expansion that BirdDogHR has had requires more than leadership. Todd’s vision, commitment to employees, zest to achieve amazing results and dedication to customer success is what makes the difference. Todd exemplifies those passions and the result is an excellent work environment and continued company momentum.”

About Technology Association of Iowa

The Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) is the premier professional organization accelerating the success of Iowa’s technology industry and tech-based economy. Today, as the Technology Association of Iowa, the organization strives to strengthen Iowa’s technology ecosystem and enhance the state’s reputation as a technically advanced place where world-class technology firms and organizations thrive. https://www.technologyiowa.org/

About BirdDogHR

BirdDogHR™ offers comprehensive talent management software and managed services — everything you need to guide the entire employee lifecycle. The cloud-based talent management system is straightforward and easy to use, so you can safely focus on implementing strategy — not learning new software or worrying it won’t keep up with changing regulations. Managed services operate as an extension of your HR department and deliver the expertise and focus you need. Organizations can see ROI in effective growth management, bottom line results and compliance peace of mind. BirdDogHR specializes in high-consequence and government contracting industries because they have unique needs. Companies from other industries can use the BirdDogHR talent management solution — and they do — but the solution is built with the most rigorous compliance needs in mind. Visit us online atwww.birddoghr.com.

Fortune Magazine puts Deere in top 50 of most admired companies

Deere & Company is named one of the world’s Top 50 Most Admired Companies in a magazine survey. Fortune Magazine’s annual ranking, a report card on corporate reputations includes research of 1,500 companies’ performance on nine criteria, including innovation, management and finances.

The Moline, Illinois-based Deere & Company ranked 46th on the list. The top 5 companies for 2016 were Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and Walt Disney. Deere is Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer.

From Radio Iowa, Phil Roberts Reporting. Read more at: http://www.radioiowa.com/2016/02/22/fortune-magazine-puts-deere-in-top-50-of-most-admired-companies/

Elevate offers scholarships for manufacturing training

Elevate Advanced Manufacturing, a nonprofit initiative encouraging careers in manufacturing, is offering 15 scholarships of $500 each to Iowa high school seniors. The students must be  interested in studying a manufacturing-related career at one of Iowa’s 15 community colleges. One award will be made per college region. Careers could include welding, machining, automation and robotics. Online applications at www.elevateiowa.com are due April 1.

Read the full news release.


DuPont to retain 500 jobs and spend $500,000 in return for $17.2 million in aid

BY PERRY BEEMAN | Senior Staff Writer | @PerrybeemanBR www.BusinessRecord.com

DuPont agreed to retain between 250 and 500 jobs at the DuPont Pioneer complex in Johnston and to spend at least $500,000 on capital improvements in return for $17.2 million in aid from state and local governments.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board on Friday approved a $2 million forgivable loan and $14 million in supplemental research activities tax credits. The package also includes a $238,000 forgivable loan from Polk County and a $1 million tax break from Johnston.

The aid comes as DuPont pursues a merger with Dow Chemical Co. The firm announced Friday that DowDuPont’s agriculture company would be based in Wilmington, Del. Iowa officials had lobbied hard and offered undisclosed incentives to bring that development to Johnston. Wilmington is DuPont’s long-time headquarters.

IEDA reported DuPont Pioneer employed 2,634 in Johnston at the end of January. The campus will have to keep 500 of the positions to get the full benefits package. The company agreed to retain at least 250 research and development jobs. The contract covers seven years.

DuPont Pioneer did not promise to create jobs as part of the contract.

The retained jobs must have a wage of at least $22.27 an hour, with that figure hitting $26.72 per hour before the end of the contract.

IEDA reported that because DuPont’s merger with Dow Chemical Co. is still under review, the employment benchmarks will be set again when the two firms establish their planned agriculture company. Those details are expected to be finalized in 2017 or 2018.

DuPont’s application also included plans for $500 million in research and development spending over the seven years.

DuPont Pioneer currently makes up 39.7 percent of taxable commercial valuation and nine percent of overall taxable valuation in Johnston.

To Read More Visit http://www.BusinessRecord.com

You are invited: innovationIOWA Magazine Launch Party April 5th 2016

You are invited!
innovationIOWA Magazine LAUNCH PARTY 2016
The Ultimate Gathering of Iowa Visionaires & Leaders of the New Economy
Join the Business Record’s innovationIOWA Magazine in the third annual LAUNCH PARTY. Network with leaders, hear visionairies reflect on the area’s achievements, meet the next generation of leaders and more! Learn who this year’s DuPont Pioneer innovationLEADER of the Year Award is. 
Presented by: Iowa State University Economic Development and Industry Relations
When: April 5th, 2016
Where: Workiva 2900 University Blvd, Ames IA in the Iowa State University Research Park
Time: 5:00 – 7:00pm & Comments at 6:00pm
Details: Enjoy light food, wine & beer
RSVP: Is not required
Join Local Leaders:
Kirk Bjorland – Iowa Innovation Corporation
Matt Busick – RiverGlen Private Capital
Jay Byers – Greater Des Moines Partnership
Mike Crum – Iowa State University
Dan Culhane – Ames Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development
Debi Durham – Iowa Economic Development Authority
Katherine Harrington – Business Record
Joe Hrdlicka – Iowa Biotechnology Association
Craig Ibsen – NextLevel Ventures
Kathryn Kunert – MidAmerican Energy
Stephen Leath – Iowa State University
Anthony Paustian – DMACC
Mark Petri – Iowa Energy Center
Bob Riley – Feed Energy
Paul Schickler – DuPont Pioneer
David Spalding – Iowa State University
Steve Sukup – Sukup Manufacturing
Brian Waller – Technology Association of Iowa
Jeff Weld – Governor’s STEM Advisory Council
Brent Willett – Cultivation Corridor
Tim Zarley – Zarley Law…and more!
“We are proud to be the presenter of the innovationLEADER of the Year Award. DuPont Pioneer has a stake in helping to solve some of our most important challenges, such as ensuring food and energy security in an environment of resource scarcity. We are using our global science and worldwide network to develop innovative local solutions for the world’s farmers.” Paul Schickler –President DuPont Pioneer
For more information contact Katherine Harrington 515-689-4447 / katherineharrington@bpcdm.com or visit: http://www.BusinessRecord.com/innovationIOWA

MidAmerican Energy completes two major wind projects

MidAmerican Energy

ADAMS COUNTY – With the completion of the Highland wind farm in O’Brien County and the Adams wind farm in Adams County, MidAmerican Energy Co. has wrapped up work on two major projects adding more than 1,200 megawatts of wind generation capacity. The Highland wind farm, which was placed in service on Dec. 3, is the fifth and final piece of MidAmerican Energy’s Wind VIII project — the company’s largest wind project to date, and one of the largest economic development projects in Iowa history. On Jan. 30, MidAmerican Energy completed its Wind IX project when the Adams wind farm was placed in service.

Storm Lake Pilot Tribune

Agribusiness Association Showcase & Conference Feb 9 & 10

You Are Invited!
“On behalf of the AAI leadership, I invite your attendance to the AAI Showcase & Conference to be held February 9 & 10 at the Varied Industries Building / Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines.
This is the 7th year of the conference at this location, and I’m pleased to report a record number of exhibitors and a sold out trade show.
I particularly want to encourage your attendance to our Senior Leadership Forum and the AAI All Members Meeting that will be held on Tuesday, February 9th, including the events that follow. We are still taking reservations for the Leadership Forum and would welcome your attendance to this great line up of speakers! Please feel free to call the AAI office at 515-262-8323 for questions.”
Joel Brinkmeyer
Leadership Keynote Speaker
Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds
Kim Reynolds, a former state senator and county treasurer, serves as Iowa’s 45th Lieutenant Governor. She was elected Iowa’s Lieutenant Governor on November 2, 2010.

About the Lt. Governor

2016 Agenda
10:30 a.m. Keynote, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds
11:00 a.m. Philip Brasher, Sr. Editor, AgriPulse Communications
“The Rural Route to the White House”
Noon Lunch
12:45 p.m. Employment Panel
“Becoming an Employer of Choice”
Elliot Smith, Executive Director, Iowa Business Council
“IBS Survey Overview and Recap of Iowa’s Current & Future Employment Outlook, Accomplishments, Needs, and Expectations”
Lynette Campbell, VP Organizational Development and Learning, Farm Credit Services of America
“Creating an Intentional Culture”
Alan Hagie, Owner, Hagie Manufacturing (invited)
“Employment Opportunities in Rural Iowa”
2:00 p.m. Dan Kowalski, Director of Industry Research, CoBank

“Macro Economic and Agricultural Outlook”
2:45 p.m. Adjourn
3:00 p.m. AAI Annual Meeting Begins
Speakers include:
Doug Gross, AAI Corporate Council, BrownWinick Law Firm
“Update on the Des Moines Water Works Law Suit”
4:00 p.m. All Industry Reception