HALED: HERE Conference speakers provide range of helpful perspectives

EAU CLAIRE, WIS. [July 12, 2022]— What do a federal rural housing administrator, a second-generation family business owner, and an Iron Chef challenger all have in common? They are all featured speakers at the 2022 HMong Economic Advancement, Research, and Equity (HERE) Conference and Summit organized by the HMong American Leadership and Economic Development (HALED) organization of Eau Claire.

“I am thrilled to have speakers with such a diverse set of experiences and strengths for the inaugural HERE Conference,” said Mai Xiong, HERE Conference chair and founder, president and CEO of HALED. “We want to spark a broader conversation about what it will take for HMong and ethnic entrepreneurs to build generational wealth, and that requires understanding individual-level resources and national trends. Improving ethnic entrepreneurs’ access to resources is a local, state, and federal issue, and these experts speak to each part of that equation.”

Expert speakers and thought leaders are featured throughout the HERE Conference and will explore strategies to build wealth equity for HMong and other ethnic entrepreneurs. You can learn more about the speakers here, and further information about each will be featured on the HERE Conference’s Facebook page leading up to the Sept. 14-16, 2022 event in Eau Claire.

Sept. 14-15—HERE Conference Days Keynote Speakers

• Representative Francesca Hong (WI-76), mother, chef, entrepreneur, and first Asian American elected to the Wisconsin Assembly

• Issac Kou Lee, Wausau-based owner of a second-generation family business with a passion for assisting minority business owners

Sept. 14—HERE Banquet Chef and Keynote Speaker

• Chef Yia Vang, proprietor of Twin Cities restaurant Union Hmong Kitchen and recent challenger on Netflix’s ‘Iron Chef: Quest For An Iron Legend’

Sept. 16—HERE Summit Panalists

• Missy Hughes, CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)

• Joaquin Altoro, Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service

• Blong Xiong, State Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency in California

• May Yer Thao, President and CEO of the Hmong American Partnership, the largest HMong –  founded and HMong-led nonprofit in the country

“Whether you choose to attend in person or register to participate virtually, this conference will help you pursue your personal and professional goals while growing your network,” Xiong said.

Registration for each part of the HERE Conference is available now, with in-person and virtual options available. Registrations for the conference, summit, and/or banquet include meals.