The Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative (CSNI), on behalf of all 8,000 neighbors, congratulates fellow neighbors and 2016 Women of Influence Ms. Tyna Rule and Ms. Chris Her-Xiong as announced by the Milwaukee Business Journal. Both women, along with the other honorees will be celebrated on Friday during the Business Journal’s luncheon.
Rule is the President of the Board of Directors of the Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative (CSNI) and also chairs the neighborhood’s Project 10 (Health & Wellness) initiative. She was highly involved with the development of the Clarke Square Neighborhood’s Quality of Life Plan and was the creator of the Plan’s tenth strategy area, health and wellness. Rule and Clarke Square frame health and wellness uniquely and holistically to include economic prosperity, physical health, emotional health and wellbeing, and spiritual wellness.
Rule also provides dedicated service to other nonprofit boards, planning committees and community initiatives. For example, Rule served for five years on the US Department of Justice’s local Weed and Seed collaboration along with local law enforcement. In addition to her extensive volunteer service, Rule still finds time to manage her own real estate and home health care endeavors. She has lived in Clarke Square, on S. 26th Street for two decades with her husband. She is also the mother of an adult son.
Clarke Square neighbor Dr. Lori Gramling admires that Tyna is committed to inclusion. “The thing that I most esteem is Tyna’s value that everyone is invited and involved and that no one is left out of our neighborhood activities and events big and small,” she commented.
Her-Xiong is the founder and Executive Director of the Hmong American Peace Academy (HAPA), a nonprofit organization founded in 2004. HAPA is a college preparatory K4-12th grade charter school that provides students with rigorous academics, character development, and Hmong cultural values, preparing them to excel in colleges, universities and careers.
In addition to a long career in education and business, Her-Xiong is also author of The Hmong: The People and Their History (1995) and recipient of the 2009 Hmong Woman of the Year award. She has received numerous awards and served on State- level and local boards, taskforces and committees over her career. She was the first bilingual Hmong teacher and also the first Hmong Principal in Milwaukee. Her-Xiong has lived in the Clarke Square neighborhood for 26 years with her husband. She is the mother of three adult sons.
In speaking about Her-Xiong, Clarke Square faith leader, Pastor Jon Jacobs offered, “from her quick, strategic thinking to her empathy for those around her, Chris has been unyielding in her desire to achieve her goals as Director of the Academy and her quest to earn her Ph.D. She is a trendsetter, a pioneer and a life changer.”
Clarke Square neighbor Valeria Cerda commented that, “recognizing women of color for their excellent leadership is important for the inspiration and for the example it provides to the many diverse women in Clarke Square – and throughout Milwaukee – to also aspire to and to act as leaders in their communities.”
The entire Clarke Square Neighborhood is proud to call these two outstanding leaders our neighbors. Congratulations!