Kelly's Irish Pub shamrock

St. Patrick's Day would not be complete without the shamrock in the road in front of Kelly's Irish Pub.

 R.I.A. Federal Credit Union's involvement in QCommunity Hunger Drive Corporate Challenge not only collected food to help feed the hungry, but also encouraged hundreds of customers to save ''some bread" with its Savings Pledge. 

Jake Ward, R.I.A.'s marketing vice president, said the Bettendorf-based credit union swept the challenge's division C (51-150 employees) with 8,724.47 pounds of food donations for the campaign. The donation provided 7,270 meals, or 88.13 pounds per employee.

"We took donations all month, plus we pledged to donate a dollar for everyone who took the Savings Pledge," he said. Held in coordination with America Saves Week, the savings pledges added another $326 to R.I.A.'s donation for the 326 savings pledges made.

Ward said the pledge asked participants to indicate what they were saving for and by when they need the money. Now that they've taken the pledge, America Saves Week will send them regular text reminders "asking did you save your $25 this week?" he said. 

In all, the campaign involved 34 Quad-City businesses, representing 7,000 employees, who collected a record 319,283 meals during the month of February.

People news

James von Maur, president of Von Maur Inc., has joined the board of directors of Quad-City Bank & Trust.

The fourth generation involved in the family-owned department store chain, von Maur began his career in 1993 selling shoes at the Davenport store. After several management positions at various stores, he moved to the Davenport headquarters in 1996 as vice president of stores and operations. He was named executive vice president in 1999, and president in 2001.

"James is a perfect addition to our board as he shares in our belief of the value of strong client relationships and exceptional customer service," said John Anderson, Quad-City Bank's president and CEO.


FOUR QUAD-CITY engineers are among 130 women who will receive the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award from The Manufacturing Institute.

The awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of manufacturing. The local recipients include one Honoree and three Emerging Leaders. They are: Honoree Kristi Thoman, senior manufacturing engineer, John Deere, East Moline; and Emerging Leaders: Beth Takemoto, supervisor, John Deere Harvester Works; Megan Benadum, commercial aerospace & defense product engineer, Alcoa Davenport Works; and Danielle Berndt, mechanical engineer/lead reliability engineer, Alcoa Davenport Works.

The STEP Ahead Awards will be presented at a reception April 21 in Washington, D.C.  

Luck of the Irish

With all the advance preparation required for Kelly's Irish Pub & Eatery to get ready to host more than 30,000 people for a week-long St. Patrick's Day Festival, the painting of the shamrocks on Davenport's 53rd Street was a definite must.

It is now a tradition for owner Dan Kelly's establishment, which Saturday alone was to host 20,000 people for what they claim is Iowa's largest St. Patrick's Day celebration. The fun continues through next Saturday at the 2222 E. 53rd St. bar. 

But back to the shamrock. Painting the lucky symbol on the city street actually began back at Kelly's Circle Tap, the Locust Street bar once owned by Dan's late father, Jerry. 

This year, the Kelly clan arrived on Tuesday to paint the lucky symbol — right in a lane on bustling 53rd. All was going well until rain threatened to wash away their work. But Dan says the gang ingeniously thought to get the leaf blower and blow the paint dry. An hour and a half later, it rained, but all was saved.

Lucky, or just darn clever — as a leprechaun. 

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