Local Leaders Focus on International Welcoming Efforts and Get Recognition from The Governor
Iowa City – On November 21st, 2015 Kate Moreland from the Iowa City Area Development Group and Nancy Bird from the Iowa City Downtown District received the Karen Evans Immigrant Champion award from Governor Terry Branstad at the Immigrant Entrepreneur Summit in Ankeny Iowa. This award recognizes a non-immigrant who is dedicated to making a positive impact on the immigrant community. The award was presented for their collaborative work to make our Iowa City area more welcoming place to the international population. The Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit’s is an annual event and the mission is to bring businesses of diverse backgrounds together to share, learn, and celebrate the immigrant entrepreneurship experience and contribution to the overall community.
ICAD Group and the Downtown District are part of a larger task force working together to make the Iowa City area welcoming. As part of that effort, downtown banners that represent local residents from all over the world were used this fall to welcome new residents. Additionally, with the support of numerous partners ICAD Group has launched a welcoming website that pulls together numerous resources in the community for residents new to the area and allows the site to be translated into multiple languages. Kate Moreland, ICAD Group’s Director of Community Relations states, “We are very excited to make it easier for our international community to connect to our community at large. As a result of several focus groups with international residents, the site brings together numerous resources including education, transportation, entrepreneur and business, ELL, City and County resources among others. The website can be found at http://welcomeicarea.org
Iowa City became a welcoming city in February of 2014 through Welcoming America initiative http://www.welcomingamerica.org/programs/our-network#municipalities. Partners in the local task force include the City of Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, Diversity Focus, Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, Pearson, CVB, Iowa City Downtown District, University of Iowa, Kirkwood, ICAD Group, and Johnson County.
Nancy Bird stated, “As the Downtown District, we were very honored to Partner with ICAD on this and to be in such great company as the other award-winners. The Immigrant Entrepreneurial Summit is supporting the establishment of some very robust companies in Iowa that are driven by extremely hard working and bright people. We need to foster the tap roots of these endeavors to ensure we continue to grow local business and employment opportunities all over the state.”
A mini Iowa City Immigrant Entrepreneur Summit will be held on January 19th from 9am-12pm at the Johnson County ISU Extension and Outreach on 3109 Old Highway 218 S. For more information go to http://www.iesusa.org or http://www.communitycpa.com/immigrant.
Please contact Kate Moreland, Director of Collaboration and Community Relations at (319) 354-3939 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Nancy Bird at: (319) 354-0863