Kenia Calderón Cerón – One of the Latinos honored in the Business Record Forty Under 40


Kenia Calderón Cerón

Vice president, bilingual business development director 

GreenState Credit Union



Age: 27


Mentor: Jaimie Miller-Ackley, vice president at the Iowa Credit Union League


Why she’s a Forty: Kenia asks Latino millennials to participate in the political process in the United States, such as the Iowa caucuses. She has dedicated her time to volunteer as a coach and mentor to young middle schoolers. Since 2015, she has led efforts to motivate undocumented students to persue higher education. Her guidance has helped credit unions across the country to open their doors to the Latino community. 



What are your goals in your role at your company? 

My goal is to ensure our immigrant and refugee communities in Iowa have access to financial services through GreenState Credit Union. I will be implementing a strategy that will address the needs of our communities and working with my GreenState team to build trust with traditionally underserved communities in our state.


What are your goals for your community involvement? 


As part of the leadership team of the Latinx Project, I will be working with business leaders to identify the needs of the Latinx community in Central Iowa. Together, we will be drafting an action plan to improve the lives of our Latinx community. I hope to shine light.


What’s your biggest passion, and why? 

I am passionate about the well-being of the immigrant community in Iowa. Growing up as an immigrant myself, I know the obstacles many families face every day. I strive to address these challenges through my career and community involvement. 



What is it that drives you? 

I was undocumented until the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was created in 2012. My lack of legal status has been the reason why many doors have closed in my face. Nonetheless, I am where I am today because of my family and mentors who didn’t allow me to give up. I strive to be someone who can open new doors for immigrant families regarding their legal status. 


What are your future aspirations? 

In my current role at GreenState, I hope to connect immigrants with the resources they need to achieve their financial goals. There’s so much work to be done regarding financial inclusion in our state. My goal is to implement a successful statewide strategy and improve the financial lives of Iowans. 


Three hobbies: Oil painting, writing and baking. 


Fun fact: Everyone who meets Kenia is certain she will run for public office someday. Maybe governor or senator ― we will see. 



ONE word: Unapologetic.


What is your wish for the Central Iowa business community? 

I wish our Central Iowa Business community would invest and support our communities of color. Invest and support nonprofits serving immigrant and refugee communities. Work together to make sure traditionally marginalized communities gain access to the tools and resources that others count with. 


The Forty under 40 Profiles were originally published on the Business Record.

Photos by Duane Tinkey / Business Record

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