2014 Honorees

Immigrant Entrepreneur Leadership Award Recipient: Dr. Carlos Alarcon-Schroder of Mercy West Clinics in Des Moines, Iowa.

His full-time job as a physician with Mercy West Clinics in Des Moines, Iowa has not tampered with Dr. Alarcon’s passion to provide health care to those in need. He continues to work with cultural and socioeconomically diverse populations, and volunteers his time to provide free physicals and appropriate vaccinations to refugees, the Latino community and other immigrants.

His passion goes beyond his duty to care for people, leading him to obtain his Master of Public Health Degree, where he applies his knowledge to better serve vulnerable populations.

Immigrant Spirit Award Recipient: Dimitri Papageorgio or Dimitri Wine and Spirits in Davenport, Iowa

Dimitri Papageorgio learned all about wine making from his father in his native, Greece. In 1984, he turned this knowledge and passion for wine into a business. Due to his outstanding leadership and work ethic, Dimitri Wine and Spirits is thriving in the Quad Cities today. Throughout his 25 years as proprietor of Dimitri Wine and Spirits, Papgeorgio has expressed his love of wine while supporting local organizations by serving on boards, donating wine and beer for tastings, and creating and sponsoring fundraisers that feature wine and spirits. His philanthropic spirit has touched more than 40 organizations in the Quad City area. Papageorgio is one of the founders of St. Ambrose University’s Wine Festival, which attracts more than 800 people each year. Under his leadership, the festival has grown to raise more than $100,000 each year.

Outstanding Immigrant Business Award Recipient: Advanced Renewable Technology International Inc. (ARTI)

ARTI is a innovative green enterprise created through the implementation of renewable thermochemical technologies. Founded in May 2013 by a team of Engineering students and alumni from Iowa State University, its mission is to overcome the challenges associated with the continued consumption of dwindling natural resources while simultaneously reducing organic waste and harmful emissions to the environment. ARTI strives to provide cost-effective and reliable engineering services to address waste collection and purification of oil, biodiesel production, and the processing of organic material into value-added products. One of ARTI’s most recent product development efforts is “ARTIchar,” a unique carbon-based material that can replace coal in the production of electricity and can also be utilized as an agricultural amendment to retain water and nutrients, improve crop production, and reduce fertilization needs while providing additional power for external applications.


Karen L. Evans Award (Immigrant Champion Award) Recipient: Chad Simmons – Executive Director Diversity Focus (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Chad Simmons believes that diversity is the crucial link to economic, cultural, academic and technological success. Diversity Focus has given him an avenue with which he has connected Cedar Rapids with its new communities. As its Executive Director, Simmons has led the promotion of diversity and cultural awareness in the Cedar Rapids area. Diversity Focus’ vision is to be the model of inclusion. The organization supports immigrant groups by working with them to determine the programs and services needed to ensure that they can participate fully in the economic, social and cultural life of the area. Prior to his position with Diversity Focus, Simmons spent many years as a Human Resources professional where he worked to recruit and place candidates from all walks of life to positions consistent with their skills and aspirations. Simmons graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Iowa.