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
Lori Henry Board Chair Austin Public Schools
Nel Zellar Vice Chair Riverland Community College
Clara Sifuentes Treasurer Workforce Center
Nancy Clark Secretary Adult Basic Education
Carolina Salazar Community Learning Center
John Mick Catholic Charities
Serge Atohoun International Casing Group
Bob Maus Baudler, Maus, Forman, Kritzer & Wagner, LLP
Staff Title Email
Jake Vela Executive Director wcjake@gmail.com
Dora Martinez Advocacy & Client Services welcome.center.dora@gmail.com
K'Pru Paw Gold Social Services Coordinator kpru@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