Business person of the year

While she is a real estate powerhouse today, Renee Lossia Acho has not always been involved in this industry. In fact, Acho’s first career was in education. The lifelong Michigan resident graduated from Mercy High School and earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. It was from there that Acho started her career in the Farmington School District, all the while working on her Master’s degree in education.

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Fighting for families

Congressman Sander Levin and his family have had a long-standing relationship with many members of the Chaldean community that spans decades. “In the late 1960s, my late-wife Vickie and I with our kids went on vacation with a Chaldean family and had an unbelievable time,” he recalled. “That same family insisted we have dinner with them. I have never had such warm reception which is more important than the food but the food was amazing; I wasn’t able to eat for a couple days. We became very close to the community. I have photos with various clergy that date back 50 years.”

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Helping Yazidis

A 2015 Chaldean Chamber of Commerce humanitarian award recipient, Rafed Yaldo has spent years helping Christians and other minorities, especially those who suffered as a result of ISIS. Since his first trip to Iraq in November of 2014, when he witnessed firsthand the conditions of the displaced, he has worked diligently with the St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Diocese to provide them with various types of assistance. Along the way he learned from his fellow volunteers in Iraq about a group he wasn’t previously acquainted with – the Yazidis.

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Chaldeans in Michigan

It’s been about 10 years since the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce first conducted a study of Chaldeans in Metropolitan Detroit. They have since wanted to examine changes in the Chaldean community so, along with the Chaldean Community Foundation, the chamber worked with the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Kurt R. Metzger and Associates to conduct a new survey. 

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