Pat Puente's longtime Mexican restaurant was well on its way to already having the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the Quad-Cities when he decided to add a 5K race to the festivities.

Now in its fifth year, the Ganzo's Cinco de Mayo 5K filled two goals, said Puente, the owner of Ganzo's Mexican Restaurant in northwest Davenport. Now a key part of the two-day celebration (May 5-6) at Ganzo's, the race is a fundraiser for the Autism Society of the Quad-Cities and offered the running crowd a way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo that hadn't existed.  

Along the way, it also has raised awareness of Cinco de Mayo — the May 5 commemoration of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War.

Puente, the owner of the third-generation family restaurant, was inspired to help the Autism Society by his 6-year-old nephew, who has severe autism.

"Now it's become a community event. It goes up and through the neighborhood we're in," Puente said. "It's a whole new chapter (for the celebration)."

Led by a race director and a full committee and tons of volunteers, the race drew 850 runners and walkers last year. Previously known as the Nacho Ordinary 5K, it has grown to be the largest Cinco de Mayo race in Iowa — and hopes to break the 1,000-runner mark this year.

Ganzo's restaurant, founded by his grandfather in 1964, began observing Cinco de Mayo with a few food specials 15 years ago at the 3923 N. Marquette St. location. Ever since "the tents just keep getting bigger and bigger," he said. 

The celebration begins on May 5 with bands under the Big Tent. Then the May 6 race kicks off with a Sombrero Shuttle at 8:30 a.m. and the Ganzo's 5K at 9 a.m.  Afterward, the restaurant hosts a full day of bands and entertainment such as the Ballet Folklorico Kids Dance Club and a jalapeno eating contest.

To register for the race, visit www.Ganzos5k.com.

Duffy earns NCISS award

Brad Duffy of the Davenport-based Per Mar Security Services has received the 2017 Wayne J. Wunder Memorial Award from the National Council of Investigation & Security Services.

The award, voted on by council members, is presented to recognize a member's exceptional contributions to the council.

Duffy, of Des Moines, is president of Per Mar's Security Officer Division. He received the award at the council's Hit the Hill conference in Washington, D.C. The council's purpose is to monitor and direct federal legislation impacting the security and investigation industry.

"The Wunder Award is named after a family who has been devoted to the mission of NCISS for decades," Duffy said. "It represents integrity and dedication to the industry and it is an honor to receive the award."

Duffy, a member of the organization for five years and its second vice president, was elected the council's first vice president for 2017/2018.

The Davenport native and Assumption High School grad follows in the footsteps of his father, Per Mar CEO Michael Duffy, who won the same award in 2000.

Per Mar, founded in 1953, is the Midwest's largest, family-owned, full-service security company with more than 2,400 employees at 23 locations across Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska.

In other company news, Per Mar recently updated its website (permarsecurity.com) with a more visual look for easy navigation.

"We are really trying to leverage technology in all aspects of our business, and providing a mobile-friendly platform is now a necessity," said Brian Duffy, president of the Electronic Security Division. He and Brad are brothers.

RSM ranked No. 5 of Top 100 Firms

RSM US LLP, with an office in Davenport, has been ranked as the nation's fifth largest accounting, tax and consulting services firm by Accounting Today. 

The 2017 list marked the 11th consecutive year for the No. 5 ranking.

Steve Schoenauer, RSM's Eastern Iowa market managing partner, said "We take great pride in our approach to serving our middle market clients by seeking first to truly understand their needs, and by then bringing innovative and customized solutions to help them achieve their unique business goals and objectives." 

Headquartered in Chicago, RSM employs 280 at its two downtown Davenport facilities.

In 2016, RSM marked several milestones including the firm's 90th anniversary, the launch of RSM US Middle Market Business Index and a merging in of San Antonio's Padgett Strateman. It opened new offices in Detroit, Tampa, Florida and New Jersey.

Biz Bytes is a weekly column by Quad-City Times reporter Jennifer DeWitt. Contact her at 563-383-2318 or jdewitt@qctimes.com

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