Young African-American
Businessmen Making Their Mark

John Wilder While the state of Iowa is experiencing a crisis of losing bright young college graduates to other states, some talented African-Americans are opting to stay .
“It didn’t make sense for me to go anywhere else when I already have so many contacts here,” says John Wilder, 23, a financial representative for New England Financial in Des Moines. A native of Sioux City, Wilder received his business degree from The University of Iowa, where he was also a member of the football team and Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society.

Wilder believes that while it is nice to be near his family, staying in Iowa has also helped him professionally. “My goal is to bring awareness about the necessity of taking control of your financial future to the African-American community throughout Iowa.” He meets with individuals and families and helps them to identify their needs and make wise decisions to improve their financial situation. He recently presented information at the 1999 African-American Women’s Conference in Sioux City.

Derek Holmes After receiving his degree in math and computer science from Loras College and an MBA from Drake, Derek Holmes, 29, also decided to make Iowa his home. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Holmes would like to inspire African-Americans to take more leadership roles in computer technology & management. His Des Moines-based consulting firm, TEC-LINK, brings together technology-business strategists and computer consultants, who assist companies with implementing technology-business solutions. TEC-LINK will offer African-Americans and other minorities career opportunities (including internships) that expose them to computer technology.
Holmes agrees with Wilder’s philosophy on community involvement and plans to become a more faithful giver to his church and local community centers. He strongly believes that youth is our future and said, “We need to provide them with alternative measures and opportunities."

This page was last updated on Thursday, 14-Mar-2002 15:22:38 CST.

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