A familiar QC face has been chosen to be the next leader River Bend Food Bank (RBFB).

The Davenport-based RBFB announced Monday that Nancy Renkes, of Eau Claire, Wis., will be the new President and CEO effective Oct. 1, 2022. Renkes formerly worked at the Food Bank as the Chief Partnership Officer.

“In Nancy’s time as Chief Partnership Officer (CPO) for the Food Bank, she was a respected member of the leadership team not only internally by staff and the board but externally in the community and region,” RBFB board chair Janet Mathis said in a Monday release.

A rendering of the expanded River Bend Food Bank, at 4010 Kimmel Drive in west Davenport.

“When the board began the search for a new CEO and learned that she was moving back to the Quad Cities for personal reasons, it seemed to be kismet,” Mathis said. “After considering qualifications and completing a full interview and background check process, the board unanimously voted to offer Nancy the position. We’re excited she accepted and look forward to working with her and the rest of the Food Bank’s dedicated staff and volunteers to provide food to anyone who is food insecure.”

River Bend Food Bank and former CEO Mike Miller mutually agreed to separate effective June 1, and the board named Marie Ziegler as interim CEO while they conducted the search.

Renkes (former co-founder and co-owner of The Grape Life in Davenport) worked for the Food Bank in the CPO position from 2015 to 2020. Since 2020, she has led the Feed My People Food Bank in Eau Claire, Wis., as its executive director, increasing distribution and creating new community partnerships during the challenging COVID pandemic.

Prior to working at River Bend Food Bank, Renkes held leadership and fund development positions at the Quad Cities Women’s Connection and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. She and her husband, Jim, are the former owners of the Grape Life Wine Store and Lounge.

The River Bend Food Bank is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year with a capital campaign to expand its facility in west Davenport.

“For 40 years. River Bend Food Bank and its partner agencies have worked side by side to provide food for hungry people in a 23-county service area,” Nancy said in Monday’s release. “With inflation and the cost of living continuing to impact our most at risk guests, the mission of River Bend is even more critical to the health of the communities we serve.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to rejoin the team and continue this important work,” she said.

Since June 1, Food Bank Board Vice Chair and former Deere & Company Treasurer, Marie Ziegler, has been the interim CEO and President. She will continue in that role until Renkes assumes the responsibilities in October. Mathis said, “The Food Bank has been in excellent hands with Marie at its helm. She is a proven leader who is respected in the community and has prioritized RBFB’s mission and its team during her tenure.

“On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I want to thank her for her work. She has been essential in this time of transition,” Mathis said.

The Food Bank works with 400+ partner agencies in 23 counties to ensure people facing hunger have reliable access to healthy food. Leading the community-wide effort to eliminate hunger in eastern Iowa and western Illinois, in 2021, the Food Bank distributed more than 22 million meals to children, adults, and seniors through food pantries, schools, senior residences, and community organizations.

For more information, visit its website.