Davenport-based Per Mar Security Services has been selected as a recipient of the 2017 Honeywell Community Service Award for its staff's efforts in supporting Hand-in-Hand.

The award recognizes Honeywell dealers who are committed to community service and supporting their local communities. Hand-in-Hand provides life skills, social development, child care and memories for special needs children and young adults.

Per Mar employees, led by Ronda Meyer, Susan Richards and Lori Ryden, raised money for the Hand-in-Hand Chili Cook-Off by hosting potlucks, bingo, taco bars, jeans days, bake sales and raffles. The Per Mar Charity Fund matched the money raised dollar for dollar.

Employees also donated their time preparing chili for Hand-in-Hand's largest fundraiser and helped work the event. At the fundraiser, Per Mar employees won both the People's Choice for Best Individual Chili and the first place Spirit Award by raising the most money.

Ronda Meyer, Per Mar's vice president and controller, has a sister and niece with disabilities, so she knows firsthand the importance of Hand-in-Hand. "It is definitely a great feeling watching your co-workers come together to do something amazing for the community," she said.

Per Mar, which traces its roots to 1953, has grown into the largest family-owned, full-service security company in the Midwest. It employs more than 2,400 teams members operating in 23 branch locations and 18 satellite locations.

Northwest rolls out annual furnace contest

Northwest Plumbing, Heating & AC picked the right week to announce its  annual "I Hate My Furnace" Contest.

As this past week's arctic temperatures put the Quad-Cities in the deep freeze, the Davenport company launched its seventh annual contest. The contest invites homeowners in Scott and Rock Island counties to vie for the chance to win a new, high-efficiency furnace and installation valued at $3,600.

Entrants must submit a short story about why they "hate" their furnace and a photograph of their existing furnace. Entry forms are at www.callnw.com. The contest runs through Feb. 4.

The winner will be announced Feb. 5 during the Quad-Cities Home Show at the QCCA Expo Center, Rock Island. All participants receive a $100 certificate toward a new furnace installation.

Deere economist to address Corridor event

Luke Chandler, Deere & Co.'s chief economist, will headline the Corridor Business Journal's 2018 Economic Forecast Luncheon on Jan. 17 in Cedar Rapids.

Chandler, who was promoted in May from deputy chief economist, provides guidance, counsel and insight on global macro-economic policy and trade developments. He is responsible for the economic, agricultural, construction and forestry forecasts and outlooks.  

The Corridor luncheon will be at 11:30 a.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex. It also will include a panel of business experts discussing challenges and opportunities in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids corridor. 

For more information or to register, visit www.corridorbusiness.com/events or call Corridor Business Journal Event Marketing Coordinator Ashley Levitt at 319-665-6397 ext. 311. Registration closes Wednesday. Tickets are $55 per person or $550 for table of 10.

Hy-Vee effort raises $290K for military, vets

Hy-Vee and its customers showed their dedication to military this past year by raising more than $290,000 in the grocery chain's Round Up for the Homefront initiative. 

The effort, which supports active-duty military members and veterans, collected donations from customers at all of Hy-Vee's 246 stores. Through a Round Up program, customers were allowed to round up their total purchase to the next dollar, or a desired amount.

Hy-Vee matched the donations up to $100,000 to bring the total donation to $290,068.85.

In the past five years, the effort has raised more than $1.4 million, said Brad Waller, Hy-Vee's assistant vice president of community relations. "Hy-Vee customers continue to be grateful for the service our veterans and active military members provide this country, and they showed it through their generosity at the checkout."

Proceeds from Round Up benefit Hope for the Warriors, Operation First Response, American Red Cross and Puppy Jake Foundation.

Hy-Vee's Homefront initiative supports other veterans programs, including its complimentary Veterans Day breakfasts, Honor Flights and recruitment efforts. Hy-Vee now employs nearly 2,300 employees who are veterans, including more than 225 hired in the past year

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