From the President: Strength and Grit

“Strength & Grit.” That was the title given to Hudda Ibrahim’s presentation earlier this month at the Forum of Executive Women’s monthly membership gathering. I can’t think of a more fitting title.

Hudda Ibrahim is president and founder of Filsan Consultant, LLC.  The company was founded in 2016 on the principles of cultural integration. She’s a faculty member at St. Cloud Technical and Community College and a member of the inaugural Initiators Fellowship with the Initiative Foundation. AND, she authored her first book, From Somalia to Snow: How Central Minnesota Became Home to Somalis.

As a refugee from Somalia, Hudda arrived in the US in 2007. Six months after arriving, she enrolled in the nursing program at St. Cloud Technical and Community College. Her passion for politics and writing led to a transfer to the College of St. Benedict where she completed her undergraduate degree with a double major in English and Peace Studies. Hudda then landed a spot in the competitive international peace studies master’s program at the University of Notre Dame. She completed an internship in Washington DC with a nonprofit organization that promotes dialogue between Palestinian and Jewish women. Ultimately, she returned to St. Cloud where she felt the growing Somali community needed her. And anyone who’s met Hudda knows that our entire community needs her.

I met Hudda Ibrahim and Sangeeta Jha at the Create CommUNITY Conversation on Race event in 2015. The 15 minutes we spent together in a roundtable discussion at that event served as the catalyst for what has become a cherished friendship, on both a personal and professional level. Our monthly lunch outings have now expanded to also include Sangeeta’s daughter, Vatsaala, and my daughter, Lacey. And, Hudda has been generous in sharing her time and expertise with the GSDC as we’ve endeavored to assist in meeting the workforce needs of our business community and to assist new immigrants in their business development efforts. I’ve also had the privilege of sharing words of encouragement, inspiration, caution, and overall advocacy as she contemplated her own business enterprise aspirations.

  Recognizing the value of engaging Hudda and Filsan Consultant in the business development work of the GSDC and the constrained finances of a business start-up, Hudda has been able to join the GSDC corporate investor group through generous sponsorships provided by GSDC corporate investors, Brad Goskowicz/Microbiologics and Jon Hall/Kensington Bank. Filsan Consultant LLC was formally recognized and welcomed into the GSDC Investor group at our annual meeting held on May 4th at the River’s Edge Convention Center.

“From Somalia to Snow” Book Signing Reception:

We’re delighted to be co-hosting a book signing reception for Hudda on Wednesday, July 12th, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. at St. Cloud Technical and Community College Library. There will be a brief program at 4 p.m. with snacks and beverages catered by Short Stop Custom Catering and the Somali Café. Visit to learn more and to register (Free).

Filsan Consultant, LLC will be Featured Business at August 3rd GSDC Meeting of All Investors and Partners (Board of Advisors)

And, for GSDC investors and stakeholders, you’ll want to make sure you attend the August 3rd Board of Advisors meeting being held at the Kelly Inn Grand Ballroom from 7 – 9:30 a.m. As the featured business, Hudda/Filsan Consultant LLC will provide an overview of her company and the services she offers to area employers in integrating our immigrant neighbors into the workforce. GSDC investor members will receive meeting particulars via email in mid-July.

As business leaders we are fortunate to have Hudda among us as we navigate the inevitable changes in our workforce and greater community.  I hope to see you at one or both of the upcoming events featuring Hudda.

Patti Gartland

GSDC President  

Posted on June 27, 2017 .