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2006 Chinese Association of Iowa Award

Person of the Year Award
Helen Lee
Helen Lee (West Des Moines) has contributed tremendous time and effort toward the promotion of Chinese culture and the development of our community. Helen established the Association’s Chinese School, the first in Iowa, and has appeared at numerous cultural events over the years as both teacher and featured speaker. Helen has brought Iowa business and the Chinese community together, and successfully secured funding from local businesses for the Chinese Association of Iowa’s community events. Additionally, Helen has expanded her work into housing by becoming a real estate sales specialist with Iowa Realty and specializes in working with Chinese clients. In doing this, Helen has been able to combine her legal background and her love of working with clients with another passion, helping others find homes. Helen is the author of articles featured in China Today, The Greater Detroit Times, and The USA Chinese School Association Newsletter. She lives with her husband, David, in West Des Moines.

Outstanding Contributor Award
Gov. Thomas Vilsack

During his eight years of service as Governor of Iowa, Thomas Vilsack demonstrated strong leadership in promoting diversity. Under his administration, the Division on the Status of Iowans of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage was established to promote Asian community involvement and provide services to the Asian community. Gov. Vilsack has supported economic and cultural exchange programs with Asian countries/regions,
including China and Taiwan, and has promoted minority business and workforce development in Iowa.

Corporate Leadership of the Year Award
Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo has demonstrated remarkable support and commitment to the Chinese community, and their team members are outstanding volunteers at Chinese community events. Wells Fargo leadership is committed to diversity and as a result has recruited many Chinese Association members to their winning team. Wells Fargo leaders coach these Asian/Chinese team members to be more successful within the company. Wells Fargo’s continued support of the Asian/Chinese community includes their support of the Chinese Association of Iowa and its Chinese New Year Celebration, Mid-Autumn Festival, Iowa Chinese Library, Iowa Chinese Career Forum, Iowa Chinese Cultural Classes, and the Community Cultural Center (CCC).

Educational Agency of the Year Award
Ankeny Community School District

The staff of the Ankeny Community School District serves not only as educators, but as cultural ambassadors. The district advocates learning about different cultures, promotes respect among different ethic groups, and broadens the experiences and views of its students and adults through events, school decorations, and classroom learning. The district usanized a committee called the Ankeny Diversity Task Force, which assists the schools and the City of Ankeny in usanizing culturally enriching events and brings fun-filled experiences with diversity to their K-12 classrooms. The Ankeny Community School District will co-host the 2007 Iowa Chinese New Year Celebration on Feb 17, 2007 at North View Middle School and Ankeny High School to celebrate the Year of the Pig.

Non-profit Usanization of the Year Award
Gift of Love International Adoptions, Inc.

Gift of Love (GOL) International Adoptions, Inc. offers a variety of international adoption programs to find parents and homes for orphans from China, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and Vietnam. Each year, GOL brings about 40 children to Iowa , and most of them are from China . GOL has been working in China since 1994 and has been the only Iowa-based agency directly registered with the China Center of Adoption Affairs in Beijing since 1996.

Government Agency of the Year Award

Iowa Finance Authority

The Iowa Finance Authority (IFA), a self-supporting public agency, was established in 1975 to undertake programs to assist in the attainment of housing for low and moderate income Iowans. For more than 30 years, IFA has provided Iowans with funds for affordable housing and, since the late 1980s, provided communities with funds for water infrastructure projects. IFA has been a strong supporter of the minority community, including the Chinese community. IFA supported and participated in the 2005 and 2007 Iowa Chinese New Year Celebration and in the 2004 and 2005 Iowa Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. With the commitment and efforts of its employees and board members, IFA is well positioned to maintain and strengthen its efforts on behalf of Iowa’s communities and citizens.

Community Business of the Year Award
Community CPA and Associates Inc.

Community CPA is a professional CPA firm located in downtown Des Moines. The firm understands the challenges of being a new immigrant and particularly the challenges of being a new immigrant entrepreneur. Community CPA is devoted to serving individuals and businesses with care, attention, and respect. The firm treats everyone equally regardless of their English proficiency and physical appearance. This CPA firm frequently makes donations to support minority community events and good causes related to cultural learning. This CPA firm also provides excellent development and career opportunities for Chinese and Asian community members.

Goodwill Ambassador of the Year Award
Gil Caldwell III

Gil Caldwell III./Gao GeBo (Monroe) is an attorney in general practice in Caldwell, Caldwell, & Caldwell P.L.C law firm. Gil has been an excellent ambassador for the Association. He has participated in almost all of the Association’s events and brought many new members to the Association. Gil has assisted the Association and its members in numerous legal matters, including a presentation seminar on "Preventative Law" to help members understand some basic legal issues that may assist them in avoiding future major legal problems. Gil lives with his wife Jeanne, an orchestra director in the West Des Monies School District.

Family of the Year Award
The Ye Family

The three members of the Ye family, Tianxiang Ye, Jingwen Ming, and Annie Ye (West Des Moines) have volunteered their time, talents, and efforts for all CAI events including the Chinese New Year Celebration (2005 and 2006), Asian Festival (2005 and 2006), and Mid-Autumn Fest (2004, 2005 and 2006).


Youth of the Year Award

Kimi Nelson (West Des Moines): Kimi usanized a team of 8 students that helped at the Mid-Autumn Festival (2006) and edited CAI documents.





Jean Xie (Ankeny): Jean helped usanize the July 4th parade (2004 and 2005), Asian Festival (2005), and Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (2005 and 2006).



Kevin Zhou (West Des Moines): Kevin helped at the Mid-Autumn Festival (2005 and 2006) and Asian Festival (2004, 2005, and 2006).





Peige Zhou (West Des Moines): Peige helped at the Mid-Autumn Festival (2004, 2005 and 2006) and Asian Festival (2004, 2005, and 2006).


Senior Citizen of the Year Award

Frank Affannato (Des Moines): Frank has contributed years of service to the community and has been a long-time CAI volunteer.




Fuyi Qiao (West Des Moines): Fuyi has provided transportation for CAI volunteers and has been a CAI volunteer since 2004.




William Wei (Urbandale): William has contributed years of service to the community and has been a CAI volunteer since 2005.





Volunteer of the Year Award

Jian Gong (Ames): A graduate student at Iowa State University, Jian helped coordinate the 2007 Year of the Dog Poster Contest and usanized the 2006 poster exhibit in Ames.




Shannon Haus (Ankeny): A teacher at Hoyt Middle School, Shannon coordinated the Chinese language class and Chinese art exhibit at his school in Spring 2006, helped with the Chinese Culture Class, maintained CAI property, and hosted a Chinese community event.



Yong Huang (Des Moines): A medical student at Des Moines University, Yong wrote grants and secured funds for the Mid-Autumn Festival (2005 and 2006).


Binfang Li (Des Moines): A visiting professor at Drake University, Bingfang has helped with numerous CAI events since he came to Des Moines in Summer 2006.



Na Li (Ames): A graduate student at Iowa State University, Na helped coordinate the 2006 Year of the Dog Poster Contest.



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Last Modified: January 31, 2012