Latinos of the Business Record Forty Under 40: Veronica Guevara
Director of equity and inclusion, Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Spouse: Joel Ibarra
Children: Emma, 3, Camila, 8 months
Mentor: Lindsay Pingel, director of community engagement, Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Reasons she is a Forty: Veronica is a fierce advocate and leader in our community, constantly opening doors for others and paving the way for future generations. She represents a new generation of diverse leaders who are problem solvers and effectively bring about change through innovative solutions. She is passionate and committed to supporting and advocating for marginalized communities in Iowa. She has invested time and resources to strengthen her community. She has served on various boards, committees and coalitions while also educating and engaging with new citizens and newly eligible voters in the political process for more than a decade. She is a current board member for Iowans for Immigrant Freedom, serves on the Marshalltown School District’s Equity Committee and is developing a BIPOC-centered anti-violence parenting initiative for ICADV and its network of 22 statewide victim service programs.
What are your goals in your role at your company? My goals are to continue pursuing partnerships and the development of innovative responses to violence that do not create more violence and harm; roll out ICADV’s BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color)-centered violence prevention parenting initiative; partner with local artists to create public art that embodies and addresses holistic healing and violence prevention.
What are your goals for your community involvement? Outside of my formal job, my husband and I run a real estate business, Monarca Properties. We have been investing in real estate for the last several years. We have learned a lot along the way and would love to invest time and resources in sharing that knowledge within BIPOC communities and spaces. We would love to see a strong network of investors from underrepresented communities in Central Iowa.
What’s your biggest passion, and why? My commitment and approach to my work stems from being a first-generation daughter of immigrants, and from so many of my lived experiences. I joined the anti-violence movement to be actively involved in the fight against interpersonal and institutional violence against all people, but specifically communities that have been historically targeted and have been underserved, underrepresented and inadequately served. My lived experiences have really fueled my passion and commitment to advocacy. I believe that if you have the resources and the capacity to help, you must do so.
What is it that drives you? My hometown experienced an immigration raid when I was in high school and I saw firsthand the devastating effects of our deteriorated immigration system. My family was directly affected and people I love were and continue to be deeply affected. I was a teen and told myself that I do what was within my reach so that others in similar situations wouldn’t feel alone. I committed to do what was within my power to teach my community about their rights and advocate for themselves.
What are your future aspirations? To continue pursuing and creating opportunities in Iowa.
Three hobbies: Home design and DIY home renovation projects, reading, and watching Korean dramas.
Fun fact: Veronica is a pen and journal enthusiast.
One word to describe you: Relentless.
What is your wish for the Central Iowa business community? My wish for the Central Iowa business community is to truly invest in eliminating barriers to success for BIPOC communities. I would love to see both short- and long-term investments and commitments.
What’s one piece of advice that you would give to a young professional? Invest in yourself, take care of your mental and physical health. Be moderately scheduled and well rested.
What is one issue you would like to see Central Iowa leaders address? I would love to see Central Iowa leaders invest and support historically targeted, underserved, underrepresented and inadequately served communities. I would love to see Central Iowa leaders invest in both financial literacy education as well as wealth-building education and strategies.
Profile originally published in the Business Record