Home Wisconsin Wisconsin’s 34 Most Influential Asian American Leaders, Part 2

Wisconsin’s 34 Most Influential Asian American Leaders, Part 2


This is the second of a five-part series. Part 1 is here.

Barbara Koldos is the Vice President, Business Development at New North Inc., the regional marketing and economic development organization for the 18 counties of Northeast Wisconsin. She has held the position since April 2021. She leads the organization’s regional site-selection process, develops and markets Opportunity Zones, directs the Gold Shovel site-certification initiative, guides Global New North efforts around Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and export activity, represents the region at trade shows and site selector events, and engages with real estate professionals to proactively identify and market sites/buildings in the New North region. Barbara has extensive experience within architecture, engineering and construction firms, in addition to a history of developing client relationships. Koldos also has held community-based positions with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin and as a business relations specialist for the Howard-Suamico School District. She has also served the community through a wide range of volunteer efforts, including participation on the Women’s Fund of Greater Green Bay Advisory Board since 2016. Koldos also is a member of the economic development committees of the Greater Green Bay Chamber and the De Pere Area Chamber. She additionally is a frequent presenter in the region on real-estate market trends. She is also a co-founder of the Northeast Wisconsin APIDA Professionals Organization.

Suzanne Wittman is director of the Women’s Empowerment Center at the YWCA of Green Bay. Suzanne has worked for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Her passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion has led her to work closely with Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the Fox Cities, Green Bay, Madison, and Milwaukee. She has a BS in Retail Merchandising and Management with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin – Stout. Her background includes marketing, graphic design, community outreach, and business development. She is a former Learn to Skate and figure skating coach for the United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA), a mom to three kids, and helps her husband flip houses on the side.

Romke de Haan of Milwaukee is a principal consultant for GuidePoint Security and is the founder of Ekmor Holdings. He is a graduate of and former creative director for Homeboyz Interactive, an organization that taps the latent talents of gang members, redirecting their energy from violent activity to website development. As a founding board member of True Skool, Romke further channeled his passion for music and youth empowerment. Later he went on to act as president for Spreenkler, a strategic planning and technology communications firm. In 2015, Romke put his talents to work on the national level as the director of business development for 18F, an office within the General Services Administration. 

Sandy Xiong is the strategic planning and engagement manager for the City of Sun Prairie, where she has worked her way up over the past three years. She began in 2018 as the communications and diversity coordinator before being promoted to assistant to the city manager in 2019 and to her current role last year. She also serves on the board of directors of the East Madison Community Center.

Awais Khaleel is a Dane County prosecutor and chair of the Wisconsin Ethics Commission, overseeing campaign finance, lobbying and other important functions of government accountability. He is a founding director of the Wisconsin Muslim Civic Alliance, the first and only Muslim American organization committed to furthering the public interests of Muslim Wisconsinites through political education and social advocacy. He is also on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Association of State Prosecutors. Awais earned his law degree from Howard University in 2013.

Tammie Xiong currently serves as the Executive Director for the Hmong American Women’s Association (HAWA), in Milwaukee, a grassroots social justice organization led by Southeast Asian women and queer fem women dedicated to ending gender-based violence against Southeast Asian women, girls, and LGBTQ folks. Tammie’s current leadership roles include serving on the WI Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse and as a Commissioner for the City of Milwaukee Commission for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in English/Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Masters of Science in Administrative Leadership with Emphasis in Adult Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Angelito Tenorio is engagement and development manager at Wisconsin Conservation Voters and a member of the West Allis City Council. He’s held a variety of positions within Democratic state politics and has co-chaired the party’s AAPI caucus and is currently running for State Treasurer.

Part 3 coming tomorrow!