Outstanding Immigrant Business Award Recipient: GRAND CONSULTING
From the former Yugloslavia, Igor Dobrosavljevic represents the best attributes of an immigrant entrepreneur. He makes the most of every opportunity and rises to every challenge on his way to his American dream of a loving family, thriving IT services business and trusted friends, partners and employees. Smart, earnest and enthusiastic, he is determined to pay forward the blessings in his life. Recognizing that individuals from underserved communities face unequal barriers to access and success in the IT field, Igor is dedicated to have his business, Grand Consulting serve as an example of how to lift others along with him as he prospers and his business flourishes. Married to Suzana, they have two children, Kalina and Kosta as well as a close-knit extended family and a diverse network of friends.
Karen L. Evans Immigrant Champion Award Recipient: JOHN ZEITLER
John Zeitler’s deprecating humor, kind eyes and generous spirit have been a lifeline to the countless immigrants and refugees he has helped over the last forty five years. As a result of Governor Robert D. Ray’s decision to welcome thousands of refugees from Southeast Asia, John became a part of a multi-faceted faith community spread across Iowa who led efforts to secure housing, furnishings, clothing, transportation, sponsors, food, ELL teachers and jobs for these new Iowans thus enriching the state of Iowa in one of its proudest moments. Keenly aware of the privileges he enjoys that others lack, John pours both and resources to help level the playing field. More than helping them with basic necessities, John listens, understands and walks with them through challenges and celebrations.
Immigrant Spirit Award Recipient: KIU LY CHIENG AND PEGGY LA
Kiu Ly Chieng’s resiliency is apparent as she met every challenge thrust upon her. She spent two years in transition after fleeing the country with her parents and siblings following the Vietnam war before arriving in California in 1980 and then moved to Sioux City, Iowa by herself two years to work at IBP. Kiu did not want to be an entrepreneur but supported Paul’s decision to start a grocery business right after the birth of their third child. When he walked away from his family and left the business in her hands, her daughter Peggy had just finished college in Des Moines and moved back to Sioux City help her run the store. Together, they ushered in a new era for Hong Kong Supermarket as it evolved into a hub for community connections and resource sharing. Determined to reinvest in the Siouxland community that has supported their family’s passionate embrace of the American dream, they are especially committed to giving time, talent and treasure to organizations and projects that help immigrants and refugees adapt to life in Sioux City including the Mary Treglia Community House and the Siouxland Asian Festival.