By Danielle Dodder
If you’ve ever thought the phrase, ‘no free lunch’ applies well to your bank, you should have visited Iberia on March 29. As a gesture to their customers and the community at large, Keith Dameron, bank vice president, and his staff threw a cookout in the parking lot.
The staff stocked up on 300 hot dogs and 100 bratwursts, rolled up the sleeves on their dress shirts, and hit the grill at 11 am. By noon, Sean Friend, manager of the Airport Road branch, said that guests had already made a dent. “This is fun, it’s much different from the usual day at the office.”
Dameron explained that his mission for the Iberia branch under his charge is different from banking business as usual. “We have access to lots of important information [as a bank], and we do no good unless we share what we know. Our mission is to reach out, educate and inform the community, whether they are our customers or not.” That philosophy drives Dameron to pay forward Iberia’s success to the community through projects like his informational series, ‘In the Round,’ soon to be underway again.
Local artist Malenda Trick donated an original still life, ‘Roses en Splendor,’ and another local artist Claire Keery volunteered her time at the registration booth. Keery is both a bank client and one of Iberia’s featured artists. “I called Keith because I wanted to help. After all, my art is on the walls here.”
Sandi Riedeman, executive director of the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce was the excited winner of Trick’s painting. Her husband, Monte Lazarus, praised Dameron’s efforts saying, “Keith really contributes to the culture of the island.”
Iberia tellers Michelle Rodriguez, Marianne Riordan and Tracy Barnett manned the drive-through in aprons and chef hats, and a sense of humor. “They laugh, most customers kid around,” said Rodriguez.
According to Dameron, over 300 people turned up throughout the day to join in the grill-out. “If you look around you, you can see how well islanders respond to any organization that has their focus on the citizens.”