From Snapshot

Erick Catherine McAuley Center Snapshot

The Rwandan genocide was a hundred-day killing spree that left somewhere between 500,000 to 1 million people dead. Ten-year old Erick survived, with machete scars on his neck to remind him of all the family and friends he lost. He walked seven days with other refugees until he reached a protective camp across the border in Tanzania. He lived in the camp until he was 22 years old. Then he came to the U.S., and eventually Cedar Rapids, IA.

George Elossais – Iowa Big student EntreFEST Snapshot

“Right now I’m working on an urban farming project where we’re going to start using aquaponics to grow lettuce at New Bo. And then I’m also building an autonomous drone that visually tests for nitrogen on farm fields. And I’m also working with Shawn Cornally, the founder of Big, to develop our student information system that we call Barbeque.”

Ryan Pendell – Silicon Prairie News EntreFEST Snapshot

“Within my monastery experience, I had a deep, profound sense that I could go anywhere and do anything and everything was going to be okay. Just this really deep sense that everything’s going to be okay. And I think that, in terms of trying to search for a career, or meaning, or what am I supposed to do with my life, that was kind of the culmination of that. So, once I let go of trying to figure out what I was supposed to do with my life, that was kind of when I figured it out.”

Simeon Talley – Guns X Butter EntreFEST Preview Snapshot

“After I finished school at Iowa I thought, Oh, you have to go elsewhere, you know? I should move to Denver or Chicago or further west. Cool, creative cities where real opportunities exist. But at some point it just clicked that you don’t have to go elsewhere to do something cool. People are doing really amazing things here, and I wanted to be one of them.”

Winston Jimenez – Community Financial Access EntreFEST Preview Snapshot

“Independent of nationality, socio-economic status or religious preference, most of us seem to share a fundamental understanding that we are part of a bigger story. Most of us understand that we are but a single piece of a 7 billion pieces puzzle. But we are a very important piece, as without any one of us the puzzle will not be completed. To the puzzle maker, each piece is important and each piece matters.”

Doctor Terry Wahls EntreFEST Preview

“The first time I sent my grants off to the M.S. Society, the critique came back and said, basically, ‘Wahls is full of shit. She clearly does not understand the pathophysiology of M.S.’ And that’s because my explanations are so radical: that we create an inflamed, disease-prone body by our diet and lifestyle. But now I have the preliminary data that shows the best reduction in fatigue ever reported. Now it becomes very hard for them to say I’m full of shit. Now it’s like, ‘Well, very impressive preliminary data. Please make these changes and resubmit.’ So, in five years I’ve gone from being an idiot to maybe being an idiot savant.”

David Gott (David’s Famous Gourmet Frozen Custard) EntreFEST Preview Snapshot

“My second son was in Afghanistan. Before he went he was stationed in Savannah, Georgia, and he loved it there. We talked about when we get this thing going, he’d open a shop downtown in Savannah for the tourists and call on grocery stores in the Southeast. He called me two years ago on my birthday, and wanted to know if I’d keep his dogs because he was going to Savannah to find a place to live. He was in Fairbanks, Alaska. And four days later he died. Undiagnosed severe coronary artery disease. Twenty-six years old. So I decided I had to get this thing going. I took something I knew I would do someday and turned it into something that we’re going to do now. So that’s why we’re here.”

Kayley (and Henry)

“And when I’m stressed out or if I cry, he will seriously like get up on my chest and lick my tears. It’s so precious. He is just the most loving little thing, and he is so funny. He does the weirdest stuff. It’s never a dull moment with this one.”

Mike and Cindy

What were some of the things you saw when you were traveling the world, Mike?

“Hookers! No, mainly I went to the orient because I was always afraid. I wanted to learn to fight.”


“I had a friend of mine, an acquaintance, you know. Somebody we’d just hang out with, sit around the bonfire. Yeah, it was about two years ago, and his son came in, and said, ‘This is for _____ ,’ and to this day we’ll run into each other at my other job, and he goes, ‘You probably don’t remember me,’ and I’m like, ‘No, I remember you. I don’t usually remember everybody, but I remember you.’ And I got to connect with his family that way, which wasn’t very much fun, but at least I got to meet his family then.”

Emily Carlson – Peplum & Paisley Sponsored Snapshot

“Fashion has always been my passion. Even growing up, when I was a little girl, the paper dolls with the little tabs that you punched out, I loved doing those. I was always drawing little dresses. Of course, growing up in the eighties all the sleeves were very poofy, so I was always drawing dresses with these poofy sleeves and things like that!”


“I’ve played two parts that had to do with clowns. One was for children’s theater, Dodo the Clown. The other was Feste, the court jester in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.”


“I’m in a band, Live Broadcast. The album we’re working on right now  is called Misfits. It’s kind of a story concept album that originated five years ago, and over the course of writing it, refining it, it’s developed a lot. Now it’s kind of in the final stages of getting the orchestral elements put in and getting it mixed. We’re talking to an artist from Ohio right now to do the cover art. All the final things are coming together. We hope to release it this summer.”


“My five year just told told me the other day, ‘Mom, I think I’m the smartest kid in my school.’ I said, ‘You’re in kindergarten. You’re not smarter than the fifth-graders.’ And he goes, ‘Well, I’m at least the smartest kindergartner.'”


“I just got to do the Glass Menagerie at the Giving Tree Theater, and that was a dream role for me, and also a very lovely…sometimes it comes down to the people in it more so than the show, because they make such a difference.”


“I grew up in Manila, Philippines. Lived there the first twenty-two years of my life and then moved to the U.S. I moved to Los Angeles and stayed there for fifteen years and then moved to Cedar Rapids, IA.”

“Why on earth did you move to Cedar Rapids, IA?”

“I don’t know! [Laughter] I was persuaded. Let’s put it that way.”

Bo and Savannah

“When I helped out the homeless, I didn’t feel so homeless, you know what I mean? Because once you’re helping people out, you don’t think about yourself so much. You know? You think about other people and how do they feel. That made me happy inside.”


“How many grandchildren do you have?

“Five grandchildren and four greats. About to be five greats.”

“Do any of them live here in town?”

“No, don’t I wish. They’re all a long ways away.”


“For some time, I wanted to play with comedy, and I don’t know the venue on how I would like to do it. I’ve never tried to write comedy, so I don’t see it as that direction. I don’t know. I’d like to do life’s lessons in comedy form, the golden nuggets of life in comedy form.”


At that time, it was just me in a cell and Jesus Christ. He was asking me to do things his way. And I was hearing him, couldn’t see him, but I heard him.”

“Like, you really felt like you could hear him?”

“Exactly. I really felt I could hear him. And it was so uplifting that I could feel my pains being uplifted. I could feel the pain going away from all the regret and bitterness that I was carrying around that caused me to do the alcohol and marijuana.”


“She wanted to dye someone’s hair. I just wanted it, like, bleached. And then she’s like ‘Let me put some color in it.’ I’m like, ‘I don’t really want it.’ But she kept on bugging me. And we had all this colored dye that came with the color and the bleach. So we had all this extra dye that we didn’t know what to do with, so I’m like, ‘Okay.’ It was supposed to be right down the center, but as you can tell, it’s not. And it’s supposed to be red, but it turned out pink.”


“I’m still real limber, even though my spine is deteriorating.”

“What’s going on with your spine?”

“I got sick from the flood, and it caused an infection in my body. It traveled to my spine. My lumbar 2 is totally gone. My lumbar 3 is deteriorating. It’s almost gone. And my lumbar 4 is deteriorating. They say they don’t even know how I’m still walking.”