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Latina Business Excellence Summit to Empower and Connect Latina Entrepreneurs

Des Moines, IA – Latinas are a powerful force in the business world, and the Inaugural Latina Business Excellence Summit aims to celebrate and empower Latina entrepreneurs. This exciting event will take place on Thursday, May 9th, 2024, from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM CT at the River Center at 340 SW 3rd St in Des Moines.

This ground-breaking event aims to magnify Latina business owners by increasing access to opportunities, representation, and resources to help them realize their full potential and inspire other Latinas to follow their entrepreneurial dreams. “Latina-owned businesses are one of the fastest growing segments of entrepreneurship, but they often face unique challenges like limited access to networks and professional development,” said Erika Macias, publisher and co-founder of the summit. “This event will provide Latina business owners with the tools, connections, and inspiration to take their ventures to new heights.” 

Co-founders of the event include Claudia Schabel, president, and CEO of Schabel Solutions, a full-service strategic DEI consulting firm; Rocio Hermosillo Tarin, co-founder and Team Leader for ELLLA Real Estate Team; Blanca Plasencia, co-owner of El Fogon Restaurants and the upcoming restaurant El Guacamole Patio and Cantina in Waukee; Perlla Deluca, CEO of Southeast Constructors and co-founder of the Iowa School of Construction; and Erika Macias owner of Hola Iowa / Hola America News a media company that covers the states of Iowa, Illinois, and Nebraska. Each co-founder is a successful Latina business owner with a passion for helping others thrive. 

“It’s exciting to do something to encourage and inspire others to fulfill their own visions. That’s what really drives me. This is for Latinas by Latinas. There are a lot of things done by others for us that don’t always fulfill our needs or inspire us the way we can inspire each other.” Schabel said.

The event offers a dynamic format, including:
  • Expo: Connect with and support a diverse group of Latina-owned businesses and vital resource organizations.
  • Panel Discussion: Learn from Latina business leaders through a captivating discussion.
  • Keynote Speaker: Gain valuable insights and inspiration from a prominent Latina business leader.
  • JEFAS – Latinas in Business Magazine Unveiling: Be among the first to witness the exciting unveiling of this new magazine created by Latinas to showcase Latina entrepreneurs.
  • Networking Reception: Build connections and forge lasting relationships with fellow attendees.
Claudia Schabel, president, and CEO of Schabel Solutions

“Whether you’re just starting out or a veteran entrepreneur, this summit will equip you with ideas and contacts to position your business for growth,” said Macias. “We want every Latina who attends to leave feeling empowered, connected and inspired about the boundless potential of their businesses.”

Our purpose is to empower Latina business owners by increasing their access to opportunities, representation, and resources so they can realize their full potential and inspire other Latinas to do the same.

The founding sponsors for the Latina Business Excellence Summit are: 
  • Law Offices of Sonia Parras PLLC
  • Hola Iowa / Hola America News
  • Iowa School of Construction 
  • Schabel Solutions 

Tickets for the Inaugural Latina Business Excellence Summit are now available here. Space is limited, so don’t miss out on this powerful and impactful event!

For more updates follow Hola America News on Facebook

The Latina Business Excellence Summit is committed to fostering a vibrant and supportive environment for Latinas in business. We believe in the power of collaboration, education and community building to achieve their full potential. By increasing access to opportunities and resources, the summit enables Latina business owners to break through barriers and achieve sustainable growth.

For more information or interview opportunities, please contact Tar Macias at [email protected] 

Mexico will strengthen consular assistance and protection of its community in Iowa in the face of implementation of state legislation “Senate File 2340”

The Government of Mexico, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), expresses its concern about the recent approval of the bill called Senate File 2340 in the state of Iowa, which will come into force on July 1.

Said legislation will classify as a serious crime undocumented reentry or remaining in the state after the denial of immigration relief. The law seeks the criminalization of the migrant population, as it will allow law enforcement officials at the local and state level to arrest immigrants for undocumented stay, and enables state judges to order deportations.

Through the Mexican Consulate in Omaha, prevention and information measures have been implemented so that Mexican people in the state know their rights, and what consular assistance and legal advice tools they can resort to. They will redouble their meetings with allied authorities and civil rights groups to strengthen their presence in the state, they will provide free legal advice through the lawyers of the External Legal Advisory Program (PALE) and they will carry out, with the support of local allies, free immigration diagnostic days. Likewise, our community can contact the Information and Assistance Center for Mexican Persons (CIAM) 24 hours a day, where they will find official, safe and reliable information about this legislation and the consular services and actions that we make available to them.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its consular representation in Iowa, will be attentive to respond to any violation and, as it has done in response to similar initiatives, will explore legal resources that contribute to the defense of the rights of Mexican people in the state.

Mexico reiterates its priority to the protection of the rights of its community abroad.


Gov. Kim Reynolds signs law making illegal immigration a state crime in Iowa

By Robin Opsahl, Iowa Capital Dispatch

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a series of bills Wednesday, including a measure making illegal immigration a state crime in Iowa based on a Texas law currently being challenged in court.

Senate File 2340 gives Iowa law enforcement officers the ability to charge people with an aggravated misdemeanor if they have been denied admission, deported or otherwise removed from the U.S., or if they currently have an order to leave the country.

State judges courts will be allowed to order the deportation of undocumented immigrants, and state agencies and law enforcement will have the ability to transport migrants to U.S. ports of entry to ensure they exit the country, with felony charges possible for not complying with an order to leave.

Reynolds said in a statement Wednesday the law is needed due to President Joe Biden’s lack of action on illegal immigration.

“The Biden Administration has failed to enforce our nation’s immigration laws, putting the protection and safety of Iowans at risk,” Reynolds said. “Those who come into our country illegally have broken the law, yet Biden refuses to deport them. This bill gives Iowa law enforcement the power to do what he is unwilling to do: enforce immigration laws already on the books.”

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on March 3 that the agency has returned or removed more individuals since May 2023 than in any year since 2015. Deportations nearly doubled in fiscal 2023 from the year before, the Washington Post reported.

The law is set to go into effect July 1. However, the measure could be challenged in court: The legislation was modeled after a Texas law passed in 2023 allowing state-level enforcement of federal immigration laws, which is currently being challenged by the U.S. Justice Department and civil rights organizations in a federal court of appeals on constitutional grounds.

In late March, Reynolds announced that she plans to deploy 115 Iowa National Guard troops and 10 Iowa Department of Public Safety officers to Texas to support the state’s law enforcement efforts along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice, an immigrant rights’ organization, called the law a “ridiculous political stunt” in a news release Wednesday, saying Reynolds is hurting both Iowa immigrants by signing the bill.

“Welcoming immigrants and refugees is the definition of what ‘Iowa Nice’ should be,” the organization said in a statement. “… Iowa politicians moved this ridiculous stunt forward in an election year in order to perpetuate partisan campaign rhetoric, drive fear in immigrant communities and mobilize voters using fear and anti-immigrant sentiment. Immigrants’ rights organizations are ready to fight back and work to block this unconstitutional law from going into effect. We know that we all belong here, Iowa is home, and we will stand together as workers, families and allies to defend each other.”

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird released a statement praising Reynolds for signing the law, claiming that “not only has Biden left our border wide open, he has secretly flown illegal immigrants into our state in the dead of night.”

“There is no doubt that in Biden’s America, every state is a border state,” Bird said in a statement. “Iowa is sending a clear message that illegal reentry will not be tolerated. I applaud Governor Reynolds for taking action to protect Iowans while Biden refuses.”

Our Lady of Grace will cease operations at the conclusion of the 2023-2024 school year.

Dear Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy Community

It’s with a heavy heart that I must inform you that Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy will cease operations at the conclusion of the 2023-2024 academic year. The Diocese will work with the Catholic school administrators in the Rock Island Vicariate to help families transition to nearby Catholic schools in Moline and Rock Island and assist teachers and staff in applying for any open positions in area schools.

As you know., Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy was scheduled to close at the conclusion of the 2021-2022 school year. In reversing that decision, the Diocese developed a timeline for the school to

achieve several critical benchmarks to determine the school’s ongoing sustainability. Among the targets established at that time was reaching an enrollment of 135 students by the 2024-2025 school year.

However, this year’s enrollment is 102 students, and a recent survey conducted by the school administration projected that OLGCA would lose at least ten more students next year. Over the past four years, enrollment has fallen from 158 students to 102, a loss of 35 percent.

In addition to low and steadily declining enrollment, other factors that have led to the difficult decision to close the school include:

  • The cost of maintaining the school’s four aging buildings
  • The frequent turnover of school administrators
  • The ongoing teacher shortage in the community and the difficulty in hiring and retaining teachers for less pay than the area’s public schools
  • The loss of the State of Illinois’ Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship Program

The decision to close Our Lady of Grace is a painful one for the students, families, and staff. When the benchmarks were established for OLGCA back in 2022, we were optimistic that the school would be able to reach them. Unfortunately, despite the heroic efforts of families and parishioners to save the school,

factors beyond anyone’s control have led to the difficult determination that the school is no longer viable.

Because of this decision, many people will be angry, bitter, or sad. Some will blame themselves or others for the closure or regret that they did not do more to save the school.While we have every right to

experience these emotions, I hope that in the weeks to come, we can direct our thoughts and prayers upon the great gift that Our Lady of Grace and its predecessors, St. Anne School and St. Mary School, have been to the community. Over the years, the Catholic school community in East Moline has

bestowed the gift of faith and knowledge on thousands of students, including two of my own children.

While the school may be closing, I am grateful that the outstanding Catholic education it has provided will live on in the hearts and minds of its graduates for decades to come!

I want to express my gratitude to the students, families, faculty & staff, and benefactors who have supported Our Lady of Grace. Your hard work and sacrifices in support of the school are much appreciated. 

Please know of my prayers for you.

In Christ,

Jerry Sanderson

Interim Superintendent of Schools

Hawkeyes will be celebrated at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday

By Ryan M. Jaster, OurQuadCities.com

If you want to celebrate with the Iowa women’s basketball team after another second place finish in the nation — and why wouldn’t you? — the University of Iowa Athletics Department has just the place for you to do it.

You are cordially invited to Carver-Hawkeye Arena at 6 p.m. Wednesday, but the Athletics Department requests that fans not gather when the team gets back to Iowa City later today.

Iowa coach Lisa Bluder and seniors Caitlin Clark, Molly Davis, Sharon Goodman, Kate Martin and Gabbie Marshall are scheduled to speak at the event. The team’s trophies will be there, as well as the Iowa Spirit Squad, Herky and the Iowa Pep Band.

Parking will be available in lots surrounding Carver-Hawkeye Arena beginning at 4:30 p.m. ADA parking will be located in Lot 40.

The Hawkeyes advanced to a second consecutive Final Four, finished as the national runners-up, won their third straight Big Ten Tournament title and won 34 games — a school record and tied for the most in a season in Big Ten history.

Gabriel Iglesias is coming to the Quad Cities this summer!

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias will visit the Event Center at Rhythm City Casino in Davenport, Iowa, on Sunday, July 7 at 8 PM! Tickets will be available online at rhythmcitycasino.com or at The Market at Rhythm City for $60, $70, $80, $90 and $100 plus applicable online/phone ticketing fee. A presale will occur on Thursday, April 11 at 10 AM and tickets will be available for purchase on Friday, April 12 at 10 AM.

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias is one of the world’s most successful stand-up comedians. He recently became the second highest-grossing touring comedian and is one of the most watched comedians on YouTube, with over 1.1 billion views and over 25 million fans on social media. Iglesias has been included in The Hollywood Reporter’s “Top 40 Comedy Players” issue alongside comedy giants Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and Lorne Michaels. The comedian has had the distinct honor of being one of the few to headline and sell-out Madison Square Garden in New York, Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles and The Sydney Opera House in Australia. Feature film credits include co-starring roles in Magic Mike, Magic Mike XXL and A Haunted House 2.

𝘗𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘦, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘱𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘵𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴, 𝘸𝘦 𝘥𝘰 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘳𝘥 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘢𝘭𝘦 𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘦. 𝘉𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘸𝘦𝘣𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘰𝘳 𝘱𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘵 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘵.