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Custodian award

Christine Bragg receives the Employee of the Year award from the Building Service Contractors Association International from Bill Powell of Hillyard Corp., the award sponsor. Bragg is a custodian at Taylor Ridge Elementary School.

School custodian Christine Bragg is having a banner year. 

Her job might not sound glamorous — cleaning up the hallways and classrooms of her beloved Taylor Ridge Elementary School. But the 25-year custodian said she is rewarded in hugs and smiles everyday.

A few weeks ago, the Edgington, Illinois, woman was honored more formally with the Employee of the Year Award, an industry honor, from the Building Service Contractors Association International. The award came months after she was named Employee of the Year by FBG Service Corp., which handles Rockridge School district's cleaning services. 

"Christine's principal, teachers, students and co-workers just love her," said Scott Hess, director of FBG's Quad-Cities District. "She considers Taylor Ridge Elementary a part of her life, not just a place where she works."

Mrs. Bragg, as the kids call her, had more than 20 years with the district when her job was outsourced to FBG, which rehired her about four years ago. "I like my job. I like cleaning. I want to make school a home for them," said Bragg, 59, who attended the school herself as a child.

But Bragg was overwhelmed when she won the national honor while on an all-expenses paid trip in September to the Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas. Escorted by her friend and co-worker Sue Beiri, they even had a chance to join their company's executives to tackle one of Bragg's bucket list items — zip lining. 

The elementary students celebrated her first win in style with a Mrs. Bragg Day, where she said "They dressed up like me." Sporting jeans, tennis shoes and FBG stickers on maroon shirts, she said some even had sets of keys jingling from their belt loops. "I love the kids and the staff. It's like a home here."

Watermark wins Forbes Main Street award

And the winner is (dramatic pause here) WaterMark Corners.

The Moline gift shop won of the first-ever Forbes Main Street Awards. It won in the category for Best Social Media Promotion — an award selected by Forbes editors. 

"The five companies who won the Forbes Main Street Awards are driving positive change for their businesses and the communities they serve," Forbes Small Business Editor Loren Feldman said.

WaterMark, part of the Trimble family's Trimble Pointe Cos., is operated by the mother-daughter duo of Barbara and Amy Trimble.

"To be selected as one of the top five Main Street businesses in the country is a huge honor," Amy Trimble said. "As a small business, we are always working to develop new and unique social media promotions. To have a company like Forbes choose our weekly giveaway promotion as the best small business social media promotion in the country proves we're doing something right."  

WaterMark, located at 1500 River Drive, will be featured in the Dec. 12 Forbes magazine. It also will receive an engraved award and a Canon printer.

ENT Clinic of Iowa opens in Milan

The ENT Clinic of Iowa has put down roots in Illinois with a new office at 1931 10th Ave. E., Milan.

The clinic is owned and operated by Dr. Douglas Hoisington, who specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of ear, nose and throat disorders. It is the second location for the West Des Moines-based clinic.

The clinic's services include allergy testing and treatment, nasal/sinus care, balloon sinuplasty, chemical cautery and head and neck care. The clinic employs a staff of three and is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

In practice more than 20 years, Hoisington earned his doctorate of osteopathic medicine from Des Moines University. He also was a resident at University of Chicago and a fellow with the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy.

The Milan clinic can be reached at 309-558-0992. For more information, visit


Honkamp Krueger: CPA firm Honkamp Krueger & Co., or HK, will host an open house Tuesday to show off its renovated offices at 908 W. 35th St., Davenport.

"This renovation and expansion will provide more room for our growing team and represents our dedication to expanding our presence in the Quad-Cities," said Nick Naumann, HK partner. 

The event will include tours and refreshments from 4:40-6:30 p.m. Guests are asked to RSVP to Christina at 563-386-2727, or

Headquartered in Dubuque, HK is the state's largest Iowa-based CPA firm with additional locations in Cedar Rapids and Geneseo as well as Madison and Platteville, Wisconsin.

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