Two governors among Tri-State Summit speakers

Posted: Apr. 2, 2014 8:49 pm Updated: Apr. 23, 2014 9:33 pm
HANNIBAL, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will be among the speakers at the Tri-State Development Summit in Hannibal on May 7.

Both governors will express support for inland waterways and related economic development as part of the 10th Summit.

“Our theme this year is ‘Water: Waterways, Transportation & Regionalism,’ and our speakers reflect this,” said Tom Boland, of Hannibal, a Summit Steering Committee member. “The caliber of individuals and the array of topics they will cover will make for an action-packed session.”

Dan Wiedemeier, a Steering Committee member from Burlington, Iowa, said in a news release that the economic strength of the region and the nation is dependant on inland waterways and transportation systems.

“Modernizing and strengthening our nation’s inland waterways transportation system, including the lock and dam infrastructure, is critical. It will create American jobs, increase exports and keep our nation competitive in world markets,” Wiedemeier said.

Shawn Rana, president of the Iowa Fertilizer Company, a subsidiary of Egypt-based Orascom Construction Industries, will offer a construction and hiring update of the Iowa Fertilizer Company plant in Wever. The plant will be one of the top five nitrogen-based fertilizer plants in the world when it begins production in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The Lee County plant is one of the largest capital projects in Iowa’s history.

The Wever area was selected because of easy access to natural gas and water, as well as proximity to river, rail and highway transportation. Fertilizer produced at the Wever plant will be sold globally.

Jeffrey Finkle, president and CEO of the International Economic Development Council, will focus more on regionalism.

The IEDC is the world’s largest economic development membership organization and is known for its leadership in professionalizing and diversifying the field of economic development. Finkle will give a presentation titled, “The Three R’s: Resiliency, Recovery & Regionalism,” in a nod to the Tri-State Summit’s history of being founded as a result of flooding in 1993.

The mission of the Tri-State Summit is to bring together leaders in Southeast Iowa, Northeast Missouri and Western Illinois to define common issues, to develop an on-going dialogue to effectively address those issues, and to improve the quality of life of the region through economic development activities.

The 2014 Summit will take place in the Roland Fine Arts Center on the campus of Hannibal-LaGrange University.

Additional speakers and a full agenda will be announced.

The Summit, now in its 18th year, consists of 35 counties.

More information about the Tri-State Development Summit is available online at