2011 Honorees

gov branstadCongratulations to 2011 IES Award Honorees: Carlos Rios, Lori Chesser, Lily Hou, and Wilondja Msiando.

All together we attracted 468 attendees and conducted 15 educational seminars with class size average of 38 attendees at each session. The Olmstead Center was filled with IES exhibitors and visitors, businessmen and women, from all over the state and surrounding states throughout the day.

To the sponsors and supporters, we are grateful and want to thank you for your generous support. Your support has supercharged the growth of immigrant owned businesses.  Since last IES, there were 125 new businesses formed by attendees from IES and 175 new jobs were created state wide. Governor Branstad personally signed all the Congratulation Certificates for those businesses and personally delivered his opening speech at the 2011 IES Opening Ceremony.  On behalf of the planning team members, we thank you again for making business growth in our state a priority!

To IES participants, we thank you for your confidence in the IES program.  We want you to know that the planning team put in over 2000 hours of volunteer work to bring the 2011 IES program to you. There were more than 14 group meetings and we generated more than 4000 email communications for this event.

This doesn’t count the endless miles the planning team members drove to deliver the program to each and every ethnic group location. The hard work was paid off with all of your economic successes in your personal business ventures and your encouraging words and your enthusiastic outlook for the future of IES.

To our volunteers, we thank each and every one of you for being the helping angels for all of us, before, at the event, and after. Without you we would not be able to move the crowd so orderly. The event went very smoothly because of your efforts and many people thought you were full time employees running events for a living. IES has the greatest volunteers in the world.  The planning team members appreciate you!  We invite you to help us again in 2012.

2012 IES planning work has already started.  On November 19, 2011, the planning team met and laid out a long list of things to improve and things to continue. The IES planning team members are restless.

Just like an immigrant business owner’s American Dream, IES has its own American Dream too, to see each businessman and woman to be successful in business to their hearts fullest desire!

We look forward to seeing you at the 2012 Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit with your persistent support.

The planning committee obtained the following data from the service providers and IES sponsors, showing the impact of IES since 2010:

  • As of October 1, 2011 there were over 125 new companies formed in Iowa by IES attendees. Governor Branstad personally signed the Congratulations Certificates to each of these companies at the 2011 IES.
  • As of November 1, 2011, out of the 125 new companies, 175 jobs were created by these new companies. This number includes business owners.
  • Out of the 125 new companies, bank accounts were established using the IES bank sponsors. Over 50 companies obtained professional services from companies that sponsored or were seminar presenters at IES.
  • At the 2011 IES there were 468 participants.  IES was attended by 425 people in 2010, 350 people in 2009 and 300 people in 2008. Since the first IES in 2008, collectively the Summit has been attended by over 1,500 business owners who originated from 52 countries.


Along those lines, THANK YOU for spreading the word about the Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit Saturday that was held at Drake. It was a very powerful, colorful day of learning, like the man whose family floated out of Singapore on a homemade boat when he was 3 months old and, thank God, was picked up at sea 3 days later and he’s now a businessman here in Iowa. We’ll be going again next year. Also found out it’s the only event of its kind in the country. CONGRATS to Ying Sa, Community CPA and her board for an outstanding event! it’s November 10 next year and we’ll be back and hope to take two of our children who are launching their careers and can benefit from this exposure to people who have overcome tremendous odds seeking hope in our country.

– Kimberlee Spillers, Global  Horizons, L.L.C.

What an outstanding conference – in every respect!

It was such a thrill to be a part of it. The participation makes a huge statement about immigration and economic development, precisely the kind of statement which needs to be made. Obviously the Governor has understood the message, and he has, in large part, because of your work.

Your efforts have done more than any other single thing to enhance and clarify the need Iowa has to be able to attract immigrants to our state.

Thank you for your excellent work. I am eager to learn from you!

– Dr. Judith A. Conlin

breakout session IES 2011