United Way/SSAB

From left, Mike Cooke, SSAB technical services director, and SSAB General Manager Tom Toner present the company's pledge to United Way of Muscatine executive director Shane Orr and Donovan DiLorenzo, the agency's resource development manager.


Natural Grocers is making plans for an April 19 opening in Davenport. 

The new store, at 3805 E. 53rd St., occupies the site of the former Ruby Tuesday's restaurant along the bustling corridor.

The Lakewood, Colorado-based chain specializes in organic and natural groceries, body care and dietary supplements.

Natural Grocers prides itself on selling only 100 percent organic produce and has a full listing on its website of the products it will not sell including those that contain artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, and monosodium glutamate, among many others. The company also has set standards for meat, eggs and other dairy products.

Founded in Colorado, the rapidly growing chain has 3,000 employees and operates 134 stores in 19 states.

Ploehn earns Drake's Weaver Medal of Honor

The highest honor bestowed by Drake University's College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will go to Lisa Ploehn, owner and manager of Main at Locust Pharmacy and Medical Supplies, Davenport.

Ploehn will receive the 2017 Lawrence C. and Delores M. Weaver Medal of Honor on April 26 at the Des Moines university. She also will present a lecture on making a difference.

"Lisa Ploehn’s contributions to Drake, the profession of pharmacy, and patient care are numerous," said Renae Chesnut, the pharmacy college's dean. "She has served as a leader, preceptor, and role model, as well as establishing funds within the college and the state to develop the next generation of pharmacy leaders."

The award, which recognizes an individual’s dedication to the profession of pharmacy and the advancement of human health, is made possible by a generous gift of alum Lawrence Weaver, PH ’49, and his wife, Delores.

Ploehn, who followed her father, Drake alumnus Bill Burke, Class of 1951, into the pharmacy business, received her doctor of pharmacy degree in 1980 from the University of Nebraska. After moving to Iowa, she joined the family business and worked for her father before his death in 1987.

"By continuing to carry his dream forward, it has allowed us to be able to help others in need," Ploehn said.

In his honor, she and her sister, Ann Cypher, established the Bill Burke Student Professional Travel Fund Endowment and an endowment that supports an annual leadership conference for students pursuing pharmacy education in Iowa.

Ploehn also owns Main Healthcare Extended Care Pharmacy, Freedom Pharmacy, and Main Compounding Pharmacy.

SSAB Iowa supports United Way of Muscatine

SSAB Iowa, with operations in Montpelier, and its 500 employees have pledged a donation of $80,000 for 2017 to support United Way of Muscatine.

The pledge brings the steel mill's total donation over the past five years to nearly a half million dollars.

"Year after year, our employees continue to demonstrate great generosity and an unwavering commitment to our community," said Tom Toner, the plant's general manager. "We are proud to know that we are helping improve lives of people in the Quad-Cities region through the United Way of Muscatine."

He presented a check for SSAB Iowa's pledge last month to United Way's executive leaders.

Shane Orr, United Way's executive director, said SSAB Iowa is one of the agency's top corporate partners. "The generosity of SSAB Iowa and its employees will go a long way to making sure our community has the resources it needs to be a great place to live, work and raise a family."

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