Chamber to induct three into Business Hall of Fame, honor Diversity & Inclusion Excellence

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Three distinguished community leaders will be honored at the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting and Business Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 16, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Oakley Lindsay Center. In addition, the inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Excellence Award winner will be honored at the event.

The Class of 2019 will include the late Henry B. Geise of Maid Rite; and the late Cecil “Sprout” and Evelyn McClean, McClean Family Restaurants. John Wood Community College will receive the D&I Excellence Award.

Henry Geise

Henry B. Geise acquired the exclusive Maid Rite franchise for Adams County in 1928. The Maid Rite restaurant is named for its signature loose meat sandwich. The original Maid Rite organization, headquartered in Des Moines, now has dozens of franchises throughout Iowa, and in other parts of the Midwest. Geise died May 4, 2002, and the restaurant is now owned by grandchildren Henry B. Geise and his sister, Deborah Steeples, who are the third-generation owners of the business.

Cecil “Sprout” and Evelyn McClean

In 1940, Cecil “Sprout” McClean and his wife, Evelyn, opened Sprout’s Tavern at 1029 Broadway in Quincy. While Cecil served in World War II, Evelyn handled the day to day operations, but after the war, they grew the business and moved it to a new location at 2814 N. 12th Street in 1948. Here, Sprout’s Inn had curbside service and became popular for home cooking and homemade pies. Today, the second and third generation of the McClean Family now owns and operates five restaurants: Sprouts Inn, Kelly’s Restaurant, Tower of Pizza, Gem City Pizzeria and Mexican, and The Abbey. Together, the restaurants employ more than 150 full- and part-time employees.

John Wood Community College

John Wood Community College demonstrates their commitment to D& I in various areas. One area is their College for Life Program. This program is intended for students with intellectual/developmental disabilities or similar learning challenges. JWCC support services provides a wide range of inclusive support to their students which includes cultural activities, gay straight alliance, and more. |

JWCC partners with other organizations, serving the community, and continuing to provide education to staff and faculty in the area of diversity and inclusion.  President Michael Elbe has established a diversity & inclusion committee, whose primary responsibility is to lead and continue to create a culture of inclusion. “Our faculty and staff work every day to attract, retain and educate students and professionals of all ages so the people in the communities we serve can have fulfilling careers and a good quality of life,” Elbe said.

The Business Hall of Fame was started in 2006 to celebrate the rich history and accomplishments of the Quincy area business community. The D&I Excellence Award was established in 2019 to recognize and celebrate organizations for their commitment to diversity and inclusion initiatives. The event is open to the public, and is made possible by sponsors Adams Fiber, Blessing Health System, County Market, Dale Koontz Builder, Enbridge, Gardner Denver, Hollister-Whitney Elevator Corp., KHQA, Kohl Wholesale, Kunes Country Auto Group, Peoples Prosperity Bank, Rokusek, Schmiedeskamp Robertson Neu & Mitchell LLP; and Titan International. Cost is $25 per person or $200 for a table of eight, and includes lunch. Reservations are required by Jan. 11. ******SOLD OUT******