Winner:Xang Vang

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Winning Nomination

Here are the three reasons why I believe Xang Vang has transformed Minnesota, the US, and our world:

1. He is the first known Hmong Minnesotan to have been labeled as being a Master Gardener. He was charged with the responsibility to help the Hmong adapt to the new farming style of the modern-Minnesota world, as exemplified by "New Seeds in a New Land: Documentary on Agricultural Project for Hmong Refugees." I believe that the many successes enjoyed by the Saint Paul's Farmers Market and other farming projects later on were as a direct result of his contributions as well.

He then turned entrepreneur in investing in the Frogtown neighborhood as well as the University Avenue business corridor. Many of the old buildings there would have not been able to see its modern forms if Mr. Vang did not actively participated in investing and rehabilitating them.

2. As one of the few who could speak English in the early days of the Hmong-Minnesotan chapter of life here in Minnesota, he is one of the leading figures who were instrumental in setting up and maintaining the Hmong Mutual Associations such as Lao Family Community of Minnesota, Hmong Youth Association of Minnesota, and Hmong Lao Veteran of America, and Hmong American Mutual Assistance Association. With his involvement many of the Hmong refugees were able to access many social services and educational training.

True to his form, he and his family were again a part of another proud chapter of Minnesota history by committing and contributing $20,000.00 to the Center for Hmong Studies of Concordia University-Saint Paul.

3. His civic involvement in campaigning and endorsing local - federal politicians (parties) has also led the way for many to follow. Historically the Hmong, as dominated by colonial and imperial systems, were laid-back people and had to rely on acknowledgement from ruling officials to appoint, but Mr. Vang proved otherwise by being proactively endorsing and pledging to assist political campaigns of all levels.

With his contributions I am honored and privilege to say that Mr. Vang has transformed our state, our country, and our world greatly. As stated by Famous Dave’s LifeSkill Training Center, “Example. . .that is the definition of leadership.” Mr. Vang had done just that and more.

br /> ~Tzianeng Vang, St. Paul, MN

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