First impression when driving into Sioux City - it’s a town under construction. Past flooding accelerated the need and number of road reconstruction and resurfacing projects, and they are reshaping the way the community will look for decades to come. CAPI Commissioner Peggy La is also doing her part to reshape the way the city and the local Asian communities are perceived as she looks for ways to integrate members of her community into the broader landscape and share their contributions to the state and local economy.
In 2016, Peggy was asked to and accepted the duties that came with representing an estimated 3,178 people who identified as Asian or Pacific Islanders in Woodbury County and the outlying areas. Peggy is one of seven CAPI commissioners who are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Iowa legislature to serve as a voice in state government for their respective communities across Iowa.
Not only is Peggy an up-and-coming API community leader in “Siouxland,” she is an entrepreneur and runs, operates the family business serving as the President of Hong Kong Supermarket. Peggy also oversees a family farming operation, HKS Sprouts, which grows alfalfa and bean sprouts. In 2020, Peggy and her mother were awarded the Immigrant Spirit Award by the Iowa Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit.
After graduation from AIB College of Business (2004) and Graceland University (2006), Peggy moved back to Sioux City to take the helm of her family businesses. But while in Des Moines pursuing her higher education, Peggy volunteered for the Iowa Asian Alliance’s CelebrAsian Festival which left an indelible mark on her. She felt the call to bring something similar back to her hometown - an event to encourage the diverse API groups in the Siouxland area to come together and be encouraged to share their rich culture and traditions with others.
Now into its sixth year, the Siouxland Asian Fest is going strong and growing in API participants and overall crowd size. Aptly themed, the festival’s “The Cultural Bridge” is more than a logo for Peggy; it truly is a bridge being built between new & old; foreign & native; and leads to a place where diversity and inclusion is promoted and celebrated.
Sioux City, IA