Author: Chelsey See Xiong

Conversations with Entrepreneur Koua Jacklyn Franz: Building a social capital venture

Photo credit to Sinap Nguyen, courtesy of Koua Franz For Koua Jacklyn Franz, building and leading communities toward sustainable futures has almost always been at the heart of her work. After working in the nonprofit sector for several years for both Hmong groups and otherwise, Franz co-founded John Gooder LLC with her husband in 2014. Together, they provide pointed consultation, professional and organizational guidance and event management services to clients. But Franz says she wants to be known as more than just a Hmong entrepreneur. Read on to find out who Franz is in her entirety, how journeys can translate into success and her thoughts on the future of the Hmong community. Let’s let our readers know about you. How would you describe yourself as a person and an entrepreneur? I am a mother of three beautiful young ladies, I am a wife, I am a daughter and I am a sister to 11 wonderful siblings. I consider myself as Hmong American. I came to the United States when I was two as a Hmong …

Cultivating an L.A. Hmong Community

There is a common understanding that when a Hmong person journeys into the diaspora, they will find Hmong community if they seek it, and the community will welcome them with hospitality as if they were immediate family. I found this hospitality every time I left the comfort of my family’s home in Fresno, California, to the Twin Cities in Minnesota, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York City. This past weekend, I drove down to Los Angeles to meet its Hmong community. Like many large cities outside of the large Hmong enclaves, such as the central valley in California and the Twin Cities of Minnesota, Los Angeles’ Hmong community is a young and vibrant one. I grew up in Fresno where we are some 30,000 Hmong strong. I do not know how many live in the City of Angels but the Hmong have an early history in southern California. The earliest Hmong migration to California was in Santa Ana, then to the rest of the central and northern regions. During my trip, I took part in …