2015 Honorees

Immigrant Entrepreneur Leadership Award Recipient: SYLIVIA CHELIMO

Sylivia Chelimo, originally from Uganda, is the founder and director of Kapumba Sports Inspiration Inc. Sylivia was an NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association)national champion at the height of her athletics career. During that time, she displayed and developed distinctive character traits which enabled her to win the national title.

Immigrant Spirit Award Recipient: SUKU RADIA

Suku Radia is the president and CEO of Bankers Trust Company, the largest privately held financial institution in Iowa. As a young child growing up in Uganda, he observed his parent’s dedication to the community translate to success in business. As a result, Suku learned a valuable lesson–give more than you take. Suku came to the United States in 1971 to pursue his education at Iowa State University. At that time, his parents owned a successful business in Uganda but a year into his studies there was a regime change in Uganda and his parents were forced to flee to Britain without any of their savings or wealth. This left nineteen-year-old Suku without any financial support or a country to call home.

Outstanding Immigrant Business Award Recipient: NORTH CONSTRUCTION AND GUADALAJARA RESTAURANT

Ramiro and Lupe Vazquez, Co-Owners

Ramiro and Lupe Vazquez are first generation immigrants from Mexico and are co-owners of two businesses–North Construction and Guadalajara Restaurant. Much like most immigrants, Ramiro and Lupe are hard workers who are persistent in their pursuit of the “American Dream”. As a result of their successful business endeavors, Ramiro and Lupe have changed the lives of countless other immigrants by employingabout 30 individuals in their businesses. They care about their employees and support them in their work and personal life.


The Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD) was formed in 1984 and serves the communities of Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, Kalona, Solon, Tiffin, Tipton, the Amana Colonies, West Branch, West Liberty and Johnson County. The Iowa City Area Development Group is committed to enhancing the economic vitality of these areas. The organization works to strengthen the local communities by fostering a strong business climate and promoting employment opportunities.