Laura "Divot" Ekizian Named to Quad Cities Regional Business Journal's Women of Influence List

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Laura “Divot” Ekizian’s circle of influence as a local business and community leader has touched the lives of many people in the Quad Cities region.

Here is a sampling of what her friends and colleagues recently had to say about Ms. Ekizian, who is the president and chief relationship officer at Quad City Bank & Trust:

  • She is not just a leader on paper, but a compassionate advocate for the well-being of her team and clients.
  • Building relationships is at the core of her leadership philosophy.
  • She understands that a strong and vibrant community benefits everyone. She leads by example in volunteering and serving others.
  • She approaches every interaction with genuine care and a listening ear, fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and heard.

Those comments – and many others – were made by those who nominated her for the QCBJ’s inaugural Women of Influence awards.

When she learned she was selected, Ms. Ekizian joked that she “was horrified.” “I like to be behind the scenes. … I prefer to quietly do my stuff, but it’s very flattering,” she added.

And that “stuff” is incredibly extensive. In addition to working for Quad City Bank & Trust for the past 24 years, Ms. Ekizian has been a strong  advocate for the community. She serves on the board of directors for the Quad City Arts, Girls Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, Quad City Health Initiative and the Davenport Country Club. Also, she is a past board member of the John Deere Classic and served as the JDC volunteer chair in 2014.

“Divot’s collaborative spirit is evident in the way she engages with various community organizations and partners. She believes in the power of collective effort and has worked tirelessly to establish partnerships that leverage resources for the greater good,” wrote Amy Novak, the president of St. Ambrose University, in her nomination letter.

The job of creating partnerships is a big part of Ms. Ekizian’s work. In fact, when asked about the favorite part of her job, she stated: “By a mile, it’s working with people and the client. It’s a cool thing.”

But one of the big challenges in the banking world is the slow disappearance of that one-on-one working relationship with people. Those relationships are getting harder to foster because many customers prefer to do their banking online, instead of in a traditional brick-and-mortar bank building. Ms. Ekizian said that while online banking has many advantages, many customers will find they need a one-on-one relationship with their banker during challenging times.

Ms. Ekizian’s quest in building relationships in her work and volunteerism in the Quad Cities began in 1988 when she arrived in Davenport from the suburbs of Chicago to attend St. Ambrose University. 

She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1992 and a master’s degree in business administration in 1997. She served as the head coach for the St. Ambrose women’s golf team for 10 years and was the university’s director of alumni and parent relations before joining the locally-owned bank in 2000.

Even though she was raised in the Chicago suburbs, she has called Davenport home for more than 30 years. Ms. Ekizian is single. (Her family members include her mother and four nieces and nephews.)

Ms. Ekizian said she decided to stay in Davenport because she immediately felt at home in the community. When considering what college to attend after high school, she remembers being dropped off on the SAU campus for a tour. At the beginning of that tour, someone was walking several yards in front of her and going into a building on campus. When that person realized the young student was headed for the same building, they waited and held the door open for her. That friendly gesture made a big impression on her.

“Strangers on campus said ‘hello’ to me all day,” she added.

Those strangers – and eventual classmates – at St. Ambrose also gave Ms. Ekizian her nickname – “divot,” which is a golf term. At first, she hated the nickname, but the name stuck.

“I had someone at St. Ambrose ask me ‘Why do you hate it (the nickname)? Your last name is awful,’” she laughed.

Today, she adds, her nickname is used by a lot more people than her proper first name. “I’ve become very comfortable with it,” she said.

Many of her friends and colleagues have been quick to say that one of the qualities they admire most about Ms. Ekizian is her ability to make all people around her comfortable.

“Her approachability, empathetic nature and genuine interest in the personal and professional development of those around her makes her a true inspiration,” wrote Caitlin Russell, president of Russell, Davenport. 

– Jennifer DeWitt, QCBJ editor 

Our 2024 Women of Influence are: 

2024 Emerging Woman of Influence: 

Read this story and more at the Quad Cities Regional Business Journal: Bank executive a ‘true inspiration’ to the community (

QCBJ honors Women of Influence with new awards (

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