Meet DSM: Sue Hudson
For Sue Hudson, it wasn’t the culture shock or the distance from family that was the hardest part of moving from Thailand to the United States.
“The hardest part was starting over, but I was doing whatever I could to achieve my dream,” says Sue.
In Thailand, she was a college professor, teaching business courses and even had her own talk show. But Sue had her eye on doing something more significant.
“I wanted my voice to be heard and to become someone and reach my potential,” says Sue, which was challenging for women in Thailand.
She set her sights on the United States, selling everything, her condo and beloved Toyota and made her way first to Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband. While pregnant with their first child and learning English, she worked at a mall kiosk, selling Christmas trinkets. She took pride in what she was doing and worked hard, seeing this as the beginning of the life she wanted to build.
Bit by bit, Sue began fulfilling her dream. Relying on her business background, she obtained her real estate license and became an assistant at an apartment complex. She also began teaching college courses again.
Sue and her husband began to consider other places in the United States. Sue saw the potential for growth in Iowa’s real estate market, but she also came across the concept of “Iowa nice” and was intrigued. She didn’t want her children to have to fight as hard and wanted a place for them to flourish, and they saw Iowa as the place to do that.
Their family has lived in Iowa for 7 years and makes their home in Ankeny.
“Ankeny is family-friendly. We have support and it’s the kind of support system that people from different countries and different parts of the United States can have,” says Sue. “As a parent, moving here was the best decision. My children are being educated. And that was the hope and dream to begin with.”
Sue’s dreams are also being fulfilled in her professional journey. She’s a real estate broker and owns a property management group. She also recently launched a new business, IV Nutrition Ankeny.
As a mother and businessowner, Sue isn’t just blazing a trail for her, she’s creating pathways for others to blaze their own trails.
“Even now, walking into a mall and seeing people working at the kiosks, I know what that’s like,” she says. “I started from scratch and was able to build a life for myself and create jobs for other people.”
Through her work in real estate, Sue is also helping people start over. She says 80% of her clients come from a different place for jobs, including from other countries, and these newcomers may need someone like Sue to show them the ropes.
Support and guidance through health and wellness is another way Sue is helping people make their own trails. She caught COVID-19 early in the pandemic and it led to numerous health challenges, including a weakened immune system. In her challenging journey back to better health, she discovered IV therapy as a solution. Sue wanted others to experience the same relief and hope and she set out to open IV Nutrition, which provides IV treatments designed to help people recover from things like dehydration and immune challenges, provide support for athletic recovery and chronic health challenges like fatigue, weight gain, and inflammation.
“I can’t cure cancer, but if I can give people one good day so they can be with their family and stand up and go to a kid’s soccer game, that’s more than I could ever ask for,” Sue says.
“I wasn’t scared to do something new. I knew if I put all my heart and passion into something, I could be successful and I knew that this was the place to do it,” Sue says. “I took a risk in starting the business, but I knew this was the place to make it happen.”
Another way Sue opens pathways for others is through her work as a CultureALL Ambassador and as president of the Thai Association of Iowa. By celebrating and elevating cultures in the community, there’s a sense of belonging, but also understanding.
“Diversity is such a beautiful thing, but when people don’t understand, that’s where conflict comes in. When people can see it, they understand it,” Sue says.
These opportunities also help her children gain understanding.
“Part of being Thai, I want my children to know who I am where and where I come form. Iowa has provided that for me through festivals and activities,” Sue says, “My kids can live here and thrive, but they can still be immersed in Thai culture.
Gathering and celebrating also provide pathways to connection. The Thai Association is part of the Iowa Asian Alliance, which presents the CelebrAsian festival every year. Festivals like this are a way to showcase cultures to the rest of the community.
“Iowa supports that and gives us the opportunity to feel like we belong,” Sue says.
(Read more of Sue’s story in the April 2023 edition of the Ankney Business Journal.)
Greater Des Moines (DSM) is a vibrant region in the heart of Iowa. DSM spans a vibrant city core, amenity-packed suburbs, cozy small towns and impressive rural expanses. DSM is where you can do something greater and build the life you want and be who you were meant to be, all in a neighborly community and at an affordable cost. Learn more and find your something greater in DSM.