Who We Are

The Welcome Center serves the city of Austin as the community's multicultural center, building community by welcoming newcomers, supporting residents in transition and creating access and opportunity.

The Welcome Center is a non-profit organization based in Austin, Minnesota. Our agency works with all members of the community to promote the successful integration of newcomers. Community education projects serve to familiarize current residents with the characteristics of the newcomer populations and to promote acceptance. Other programs promote self-sufficiency and help newcomers make a successful transition to their new environment. We have a Board of Directors who jointly oversee the activities of the organization and professional staff members who facilitate the work of the organization.

Director Title Affiliation
Judy Callahan Board Chair Hormel Foods
Vacancy Vice Chair Vacancy
Robert Maus Treasurer Baudler, Maus, & Forman LLP
Vacancy Secretary Vacancy
John Ujwok Hormel Institute
Dewey Schara Austin Public Schools
Nygare Gilo Our Saviors Lutheran Church
Sara Karki Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota
Staff Title Email
Jake Vela Executive Director director@austinwelcomecenter.org
Dora Martinez Advocacy & Client Services welcome.center.dora@gmail.com
K'Pru Paw Gold Social Services Coordinator kpru@austinwelcomecenter.org
Kathy Htun RES Employment Counselor kathy@austinwelcomecenter.org

Welcome Center Accreditation

The Welcome Center of Austin announces that it has been certified in accountability and awarded the Charities Review Council “Meets All Standards” Seal. The Certification and Seal indicate that the Welcome Center meets all twenty-seven of the Council’s Accountability Standards. More

Core Values

  • Diversity: We celebrate diverse cultures, backgrounds and languages and the contributions all people make to our community.
  • Service: We believe that service begins with commitment to and compassion for all people with whom we come in contact.
  • Opportunity: We believe that, with access to the right resources, all people have the capacity to thrive socially, economically and physically.
  • Respect: We respect and honor all people with whom we come in contact with regardless of class, race, gender and sexual orientation.

Download docs

Our Annual Report(s) are listed below