Governor Tom Vilsack will be in Washington, D.C. today (Wednesday) and tomorrow in an effort to lure businesses to Iowa and show off the state’s new economic development initiative. Iowa Department of Economic Development director Michael Blouin says Vilsack will be touting the 500-million dollar state economic development fund that will be invested in biotech, life science and financial services companies.Blouin says the state of Iowa is just starting to tell the nation and the world about the program Vilsack signed into law last week. About 15-thousand people will attend the BIO-2003 Conference in D.C. and Blouin says Vilsack’s appearance there is a crucial kick-off. Blouin says it’ll get the Governor in front of thousands of leading life science folks from all around the world. Vilsack will speak at a breakfast this (Wednesday) morning at 8 a.m. (central). Vilsack will attend the closing reception of the conference on tonight, and on Thursday night, Vilsack will host a reception for former Iowans who live in the D-C area. Blouin says Vilsack will be going on more “sales calls” now that the state has that huge new state economic development fund. Blouin says the presence of the Governor in a corporate boardroom makes a world of difference. Blouin says the most important way to sell the state is through face-to-face contact. Blouin says marketing the state takes “door-knocking and grunt work.” He says face-to-face appearances generate articles in business trade publications, which land in the hands of corporate real estate people — the folks who make site selection decisions.