Iowa International Center Newsflash - Edition 2 2015

Join us next Wednesday!

Iowa International Center Dialogue Series March Event

Des Moines Public Library’s
Conversations & Coffee: Bringing English Learners into the Conversation

with Ashley Molzen of Forest Avenue Library
in Des Moines

Ashley conversations smaller

Wednesday, March 4 - Noon to 1 p.m.
Central Library, 1000 Grand Avenue
Downtown Des Moines

Join us to learn how the Conversations and Coffee program is making a positive impact on the lives of limited English speakers in our community. Conversations and Coffee is successfully welcoming more than 20 people each week as they help each other learn English as well as bond with one another. 

Click here for more program information


Save the Date!

Iowa International Center Dialogue Series April Event

Tapping Into the Untapped Workforce: 
How Companies and Communities Can
Work with Immigrant and
Refugee Populations for Success

With Karen Miller of Manpower Des Moines

and special guests panelists to be announced

Tuesday, April 7 - Noon to 1 p.m.
Central Library, 1000 Grand Avenue
Downtown Des Moines

Join us to learn about inclusion issues and best practices in employing diverse community members with the
safety and success of all parties in mind. 

Look for more information on our website and
Facebook page in early March!


 About the Iowa International Center Dialogue Series

The Iowa International Center Dialogue Series, sponsored by DuPont Pioneer, is a monthly forum held at the Central Library, highlighting and explaining current international issues, offering perspective on current events and providing audience members the opportunity to ask questions and learn from experts.  Dialogue Series events are free and open to the public. Guests are welcome to bring lunch to the event. We thank DuPont Pioneer, Drake University, Des Moines Public Library and the Greater Des Moines Partnership for their ongoing financial and promotional support.


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Follow us on YouTube - Iowainternationalctr

Video recordings from past Dialogue presentations include: 

- Nancy Mwirotsi, Pastor Wilondja “Willy” Msuiando and Rev. Francis Nyawello Chan: "Stories from a Diverse Continent: African Community Leaders in Iowa" 
​- Rob Dillard of Iowa Public Radio: "Being in Iowa: A Thoughtful Look at Iowa's Diverse Population" 
​- Expert Panel including Immigration Attorney Lori Chesser and Marshalltown Chief of Police Michael Tupper: “Immigrants and Drivers Licenses”
Chuck Montgomery: "Not So Distant Friends: The Importance of Personal Connections Across Borders & Cultures"


Appreciation, Introductions and Accolades:
Iowa International Center Leadership is World-Class


 jay sehgal 
The Iowa International Center sincerely thanks Jay Sehgal for his years of service on the Iowa International Center's Board of Directors, as well as for the continued and generous support from the Sehgal Foundation. Jay leaves his role on our Board due to increased commitments overseas with the Foundation. 
The Sehgal Foundation International Visitors Center at the Iowa International Center welcomes more than 130 visitors as part of the International Visitor Leadership and Community Connections Programs each year. We are pleased to welcome Ryan Clutter, Director on the Board of the Sehgal Foundation, USA and Chief Technology Officer with the Iowa Cubs, to the Board to continue respresentation for the Sehgal Foundation. 

brendan_comito headshot 2014And our Board continues to grow in number!  This month, we were extremely pleased to welcome two new Board members - Brendan Comito of Capital City Fruit, Inc. and Jeff Aden of McKesson Corporation.

Brendan Comito is Chief Operating Officer of Capital City Fruit, Inc. in Norwalk, Iowa. Brendan has been active as a business and community leader in central Iowa for many years, through service on the board of DMARC, Des Moines Public Housing Board and other key organizations. He is passionate about educating the community on the value of a diverse workforce, as well as providing a welcoming environment for new Iowans. 

Jeff Aden 2 smaller
Jeff Aden is Retail Sales Manager at McKesson Corporation, and is based out of Des Moines, Iowa. Jeff has previously served on the boards of the Court Avenue District Association, Des Moines Parks & Recreation Department and the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. He is passionate about resource development for our growing organization and holds a strong interest in helping build peace in our community and world, and how welcoming and fostering cultural diversity contribute to those ends.  

Please join us as we welcome these two outstanding individuals to our Board of Directors. 


IIC Board President Greg Johansen Named to 
Drake University Board of Trustees

Greg-Johansen-Drake Image

The Iowa International Center would like to congratulate our current Board President, Greg Johansen of GRX Holdings, on his recent appointment to the Drake University Board of Trustees.  Greg is a 1976 graduate of the Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and has enjoyed a long and successful career in pharmacy operation. Under Greg's leadership, the Iowa International Center has surpassed the $238,000 fundraising mark for the Ray Resource Initiative, a three-year campaign to raise support for programs and resources that benefit new Iowans, with Governor Ray's work welcoming new Iowans a generation ago as inspiration. 

Visitors from Republic of Korea To
Explore the U.S. Elections Process in Des Moines


Republic of Korea FlagThis Friday, the Iowa International Center and Sehgal Foundation International Visitors Center will welcome four visitors from the Republic of Korea to Des Moines for meetings and conversations with local business and state leaders, as they actively learn about the U.S. Elections Process. This visit is part of the Iowa International Center's work with the International Visitor Leadership Program, in partnership with Global Ties U.S. and the U.S. Department of State. The visiting group, comprised of academic and political party leaders from the Republic of Korea, will include Mr. Moon Soo Kim (also presented in some materials as Mr. Kim Moon Soo), who is a likely presidential candidate in the Republic of Korea in 2017.  Program participants will actively learn about U.S. political parties and party membership in the U.S., and the Iowa Caucuses, as well as strengthen ties with U.S. institutions and lawmakers. Currently, in the Republic of Korea, candidates for elections are chosen by the political parties, not through a public vote.  

Great Faces and Places: 
The International Visitor Leadership Program

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We always enjoy sharing images that show the impact of our International Visitor Leadership Program on our Iowa community and our nation! 

From Top to Bottom:
In early February, our Sehgal Foundation International Visitors Center welcomed four emerging leaders from Turkmenistan, as they studied insurance systems in Iowa. Visitors had the opportunity to meet with Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart and his staff for an engaging conversation on insurance regulations and constituent outreach programs. 
These visitors also met with faculty in the Actuarial Sciences Department at Drake University, to learn about the educational process necessary to become a professional actuary. 
In January, representatives from both the Iowa International Center and CIVIC (Center for International Visitors to Iowa Cities, in Iowa City) met with members of Iowa's congressional delegation in Washington D.C. while attending the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting.  Both Senator Grassley and Senator Ernst took time from their busy schedules to meet with our staff on the importance of supporting citizen diplomacy and international exchange as a smart investment in U.S. diplomatic efforts worldwide.


Why Is a Gift to the Iowa International Center
an effective investment in our community?

African Dialogue 2015

- We facilitate hundreds of professional and personal interactions between Iowans and emerging leaders from around the world annually –
promoting ongoing partnerships and trade

- We provide educational and hospitality opportunities to hundreds of Iowans to
meet and break bread with emerging leaders from around the world

- We serve central Iowa with a network of more than 100 interpreters in 60 different languages and dialects for service to businesses, human service agencies, health clinics, nonprofits and individuals and those they care for every day

 - We host the only free statewide 24/7 Emergency Interpretation Hotline for the benefit of limited English speakers and those assisting them in a crisis, in 220 languages
- We offer an online clearinghouse of information in 80 languages that includes critical information on employment, housing, transportation, ESL classes, finances and more to help new Iowans make the best life possible in our community
- We honor the rich cultural diversity of Iowa and the immigrants and refugees who make significant contributions to our communities through our annual
Passport to Prosperity Awards Celebration

- We engage our community in crucial conversations during the
Iowa International Center Dialogue Series, a free monthly public forum
to build cultural understanding in the community


Key Community Resources Around the State

Computer Image 3The Iowa International Center's primary online resource for new Iowans - - provides links to critical information to help new Iowans thrive in 80 languages.  

We are proud to provide this resource to assist refugees, immigrants and the many dedicated agencies and service providers who connect them to the resources they need. 


The Iowa International Center is Hiring!

The Iowa International Center is currently seeking a Program Associate for our International Language Program.  Please click her for more details. 

Key Dates To Remember!
Upcoming Visitor Programs, Celebrations and Cultural Holidays


March 4 - IIC Dialogue Series, Noon at Central Library
     (note: March Dialogue Program will be held on a Wednesday)

March 10 - International Women's Day Program, hosted by    
     Oxfam America at The World Food Prize

April 1 - Nominations for Passport to Prosperity 2015 Open
April 7 - IIC Dialogue Series, Noon at Central Library
May 5 -  IIC Dialogue Series, Noon at Central Library
Sept. 26 - Passport to Prosperity 2015

Visit the Iowa International Center's online event calendar at for upcoming events, global and regional holiday observances and community cultural events. 

Contact Amy at 515-282-8269, ext. 15 or to share your event today!


Please visit
for a complete listing of resources for
new Iowans in 80 languages and dialects. 

Email information about free,
relevant cultural events to,
and we'll post it on our calendar!


319 7th St. | Suite 200
Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone 515.282.8269
Fax 515.282.0454

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Iowa International Center
319 7th Street
Suite 200
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

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