Kuol Malou, a change leader in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, embodies the essence of a true community advocate. His journey, originating amidst the civil unrest of South Sudan, led him to seek refuge in the United States in 1998. This experience fortified his resolve, fueling his lifelong dedication to fostering relationships and empowering individuals within his community.
Throughout his transformative journey across the United States, Kuol discovered his calling in the Midwest. Here, he honed his knack for relationship-building and began his venture into the business world. Pursuing further studies at Western Iowa Tech, Kuol sharpened his skills and found a profound passion for service, leading him to an unwavering commitment to his community.
Kuol's unrelenting service is visible through his numerous roles. He has been recognized by esteemed entities such as the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, YPN (Young Professional Network), and Think 3D Solutions. His impressive involvement includes stints as a South Dakota Voices for Peace board member, an Ambassador of the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, Co-Chair of the Community Division for Forward Sioux Falls, and the current Board President of REACH Literacy. In 2020, he took a significant stride toward nurturing the next generation, co-founding ACE Academy and serving as its Director of Community Engagement.
Today, Kuol channels his experience and passion into The HUB SD, an initiative co-founded by Julian Beaudion. The HUB is more than a space—a community where refugees, immigrants, and individuals of color converge to form relationships that inspire professional and personal growth. Kuol's leadership at The HUB as Co-Founder/Executive Director enables him to continue his advocacy work, inspiring future BIPOC leaders through the HUB's three crucial pillars: financial literacy, business leadership development, and business networking skills.
These pillars resonate deeply with Kuol, reflecting his refugee challenges and the resilience he built as an advocate for change. They encapsulate his belief in equipping individuals with the knowledge and skills to secure their financial future, the leadership acumen to navigate the business world, and the networking expertise to forge transformative relationships.
Kuol's journey from a refugee to a respected community leader is a testament to his resilience and unwavering belief in the power of community. His work with The HUB SD and his passionate advocacy for diversity, inclusion, and equitable action cements his place as an inspiration for change. For Kuol, every classroom visit, every community event, and every mentoring opportunity is a chance to spark hope, inspire change, and empower the next generation of leaders.
Julian Beaudion (Bo-Da-Won)
Meet Julian Beaudion (Bo-Da-Won), a man with a heart for public service and a deep commitment to his community. Originally from Alexandria, LA, Julian has spent much of his life observing the issues that afflict many citizens of Sioux Falls today.
Growing up in a family of public servants, Julian witnessed firsthand the positive changes that can be brought about through simple acts of service to communities. But he also saw how addiction, poverty, and lack of education can hold people back from achieving their full potential, both in his own family and in his city.
After graduating from high school, Julian went on to study Biology at Louisiana Tech University. In 2006, he made the move to Sioux Falls and quickly fell in love with the city. He married Del’Inkka Beaudion in August 2008 and together they have three beautiful daughters - Jamiah, Jalayah, and Jalysse.
But Julian's commitment to his community didn't stop there. He became a Law Enforcement Officer for the State of South Dakota over 12 years ago and has since taken on a number of other important roles. He is currently the Director of the SD African American History Museum, located at the Washington Pavilion, and serves on the Board of Directors for several organizations including the South Dakota Highway Patrol Troopers Association, Sioux Falls Multi-Cultural Center, Promising Futures, and Face It Together Sioux Falls. He is also the Board Chair for Juneteenth Sioux Falls and VP of Establishing Sustainable Connection. Additionally, he serves on the Advisory Board for the Midwest Innocence Project.
Julian and his family have dedicated themselves to public safety and public service, and his integrity, commitment to community, and enthusiasm for unity and diversity are paralleled by few. He is a pillar in the Sioux Falls community and a premier leader in South Dakota, and his many contributions have helped to make the city a better place for all its citizens.
Danae Verba (she/her) Meet Danae Verba, a proud Black woman, and mother who was born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Danae has spent years working with youth and youth-serving organizations, including as a coach, health educator, and teacher. Despite growing up in a large multi-racial and blended family, Danae often felt isolated due to the lack of diversity in her community and the lack of representation of BIPOC in Sioux Falls media, schools, and sports.
Driven to experience other cultures and continue her educational career, Danae left South Dakota to pursue a BS in Biology at UNLV. During her time on the West Coast, she found many opportunities to shape her growth as an educated Black woman.
As a parent to a young child, Danae is passionate about making Sioux Falls a better and safer place for all children, especially those from BIPOC communities. She joined ACE Academy of Sioux Falls as an Educational Innovator, STEM teacher, and more for middle-school-aged students. Danae strives to provide a well-rounded education that encourages a child's passion for learning through culture-based curriculum, opportunity, access, and worldly exposure. In addition to her work with ACE, Danae is also an active member of the Sioux Falls community, volunteering with organizations that promote the arts, animal rights, and wellness. She is currently a board member for Juneteenth Sioux Falls and the Transformation Project SD.
For Danae, The HUB is an essential component in helping Sioux Falls evolve into a more diverse and inclusive community. She believes that by providing a safe space for BIPOC youth and their families to learn and grow, Sioux Falls can become a place where everyone feels seen, included, respected, and heard.
Through her work with The HUB SD, Danae is committed to creating a community where all young people can feel safe and supported, regardless of their background or identity. She understands the unique challenges faced by BIPOC youth in Sioux Falls and is determined to provide them with the resources and tools they need to thrive.
Melissa Chaplin (she/her)
Melissa is a seasoned ICF Master Certified Coach and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach who is passionate about the transformative power of coaching. With over 17 years of experience, Melissa has had the honor of helping countless individuals, couples, and teams overcome obstacles, find their purpose, and live fulfilling lives.
Melissa firmly believes that everyone has a unique contribution to make, and she is dedicated to helping her clients uncover their strengths and leverage them to make a positive impact on the world. She understands that change can be difficult, but with her support, her clients are able to overcome any roadblock that stands in the way of their personal and professional growth.
Whether it's navigating a difficult transition, building thriving relationships, or pursuing a more purposeful life, Melissa is committed to partnering with her clients every step of the way. She believes in the power of coaching to create lasting change and is honored to play a role in helping her clients achieve their goals.
For Melissa, coaching is more than just a profession – it's a calling. She takes great pride in her work and feels privileged to be able to help her clients discover their full potential and make a meaningful impact in their communities.
Meet Jesús González, originally from the beautiful state of Jalisco, Mexico, who migrated to the United States with his family during his elementary years. They first settled in Los Angeles, California, where Jesús resided until the age of twelve before moving to Storm Lake, IA, where he completed his high school education. Jesús pursued his passion for storytelling through digital media at the University of South Dakota in Vermilion, SD, where he graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication. He then began his career path with KELOLAND News in Sioux Falls, where he has been residing since 2006.
Growing up, Jesús had to move around frequently, which made him crave connection and community. He desired a stable place where he could establish roots and build a sense of belonging for his family. He partnered with local organizations in Sioux Falls to give back to the community and make it more welcoming. Jesús believes that a community thrives when its people are acknowledged, heard, and empowered to make a positive impact on their hometown. He co-founded the non-profit organization, ¿Que Pasa? Sioux Falls Latinos, to provide resources and fill the information gaps for the Spanish-speaking population in the area.
Today, Jesús is a successful small business owner with 20 years of experience as a videographer and photographer. He owns a multimedia company called A Moment Forever. Jesús joined The HUB SD as the Community Relations Director to assist youth and diverse business owners in building relationships and professional growth. He strongly believes that everyone has a role to play in creating and improving their community, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Everybody can be great because everybody can serve."