William Bass – 10 Under 40 Winner

Ho-Chunk, Inc., Community Impact & Engagement Manager

Volunteer Organizations:

  • Leadership Siouxland (Vice Chair)
  • Winnebago Two-Spirit Organization
  • Winnebago Hemp Commission
  • Winnebago Tax Commission
  • Winnebago Curriculum Committee

What are you working on now?

I’m helping young people prepare for college and careers through internships for college students, apprenticeships for Winnebago high school students, and college and trade school scholarships. I’m also providing summer learning opportunities for high school and college students with business etiquette and soft skills workshops. I advocate for equal rights and representation for LGBTQ+ community members and help educate them about diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

What is your vision for the future? 

My vision for the Siouxland community is a safe place where our children and grandchildren can thrive in today’s ever-changing society and have opportunities to use their talents and passions to make the world a better place. This includes continued celebrations of diversity, creating a safe learning environment, peaceful civic engagement, increased time with family and promoting entrepreneurship and small businesses. I would like to see the community support this vision and  get involved and participate in the many opportunities Siouxland has to offer. That includes attending community events, signing up for sports leagues or theater groups, offering business to a small or family-owned business, or volunteering at the many local non-profit organizations. I would like to see continued interactions amongst the community members and families from all walks of life in a respectful and open-minded way. I believe that in doing so creates a stronger sense of community because at the end of the day we are all part of this greater family that we call Siouxland.

What would you like to see happen in Siouxland? 

I’d like to see an increase in diversity within our leadership. This will need to include people from diverse backgrounds to step up to leadership positions by volunteering for boards, councils, and committees and share their voices at the table. Siouxland is becoming more diverse and there is so much to celebrate when we come together to honor each other, learn, and embrace our differences. The world is a diverse place and Siouxland should reflect and celebrate that at all levels within our local systems.

I would also like to see more recreational activities (such as a theme or water park, more concerts, attractions), investments into the arts, and stronger support for local entrepreneurs and small business owners.

What are you doing to make that happen?

I encourage people to volunteer, speak up, serve, and take on leadership roles, especially when it involves using one’s strengths to contribute to a larger cause or greater good. I also try to lead by example by doing those very things. People from diverse backgrounds can be encouraged when they see people who look like them taking on leadership successfully.

How can people help you make that happen?

People can help make that happen by also getting involved in discussions, sharing resources, contributing their talents and networks, and stepping up to serve.

What quote or saying inspires you?

“Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.”

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