A leader and entrepreneur, Tsom Tooj Moua was born on December 31, 1965 in Xieng Khouang, Laos. He later moved to America with his family and started a small family grocery store. However, he gave it up to spend time with his children and further his education to get his GED. He saw many great opportunities in the business world and quickly became the chairman of his company and began promoting Hmong festivals. He took risks to host Hmong sports festivals and helped them become more popular and successful. He was not only a thriving entrepreneur, but also a profitable real estate investor. He owned many properties in the Fond du Lac, WI area and was given the title to lead his community. Tsom Tooj Moua is a great Hmong leader who is also a great teacher, instructing students who are training to be a Mej Koob.
Tsom Tooj Moua’s parents Wang Neng Muas and You Thao died during an early age of his life, leaving him and his brother Chia Kao under relatives’ care. Tsom Tooj grew up helping his uncle at the farm and realized that farming was not the road to prevail over poverty. Growing up without parents, Tsom Tooj was not able to enjoy life as the typical kid. He had to work twice as hard to become educated while working on the family farm.
When he turned twenty-two, TsomTooj was relocated to a refugee camp in Cheng Kham ,Thailand. During his stay, he volunteered to help tutor other students in his class. It was in the camp that Tsom Tooj Muas caught sight of his future wife while passing by her garden on his way to school. He married Mai Vang and a year later, they had their first child.
In 1986,Tooj met a French missionary and persuaded him to build a bigger school for the camp. Tooj was recognized for his good work and became the school supervisor. His duties were tutoring, passing out awards during graduation, and teaching English. Tooj wanted to give back to his own community as much as possible.
In the beginning of a new year in 1988, Tsom Tooj and his family had the opportunity to move to the United States. They were sponsored by his brother-in-law Wang Neng Lee. Tooj and his family arrived in Denver, Colorado for two months, and moved to the small city of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin. During May of 1988, Tooj went to Marian Area Technical College and had got his GED and certificate in Machine Operation. He worked as a Molting Machine Operator then transferred to Quad Graphics as a machine repair technician. He worked very hard and received many awards for his contribution to Quad Graphics. Tooj is a great father and role model to his seven children.
Tsom Tooj faced many obstacles, but he never gave up on his family, community, tradition and lastly, education. Today, Tooj has been actively involved with school and the community. He helps the Fond du Lac Hmong Community in weddings, funeral homes, and teaching the young adults Hmong tradition. Tooj has four certificates from his community in Mej Koob, Taw Kev, Kav Xwm, and Txiv Xaiv. As a great and brilliant man, he has the heart to help his fellow community members and is very active in bettering the Hmong community. He puts many of his certificates to use in many of the WI cities, including Oshkosh, Milwaukee, Appleton, Sheboygan, and Fond Du Lac.
The journey has been an arduous one, but it is what makes him who he is today. He has been an advocate for the Hmong community and a proud member of the Fond Du Lac New Year and Festival committee. He has accomplished many of his goals, and is still seeking to improve the future of his community. He is someone who, through diligence and determination, surmounted the distress of poverty and prospered in achieving his lifelong goals. He is truly an example of achieving the American Dream that we strive to reach.
1987 Cheng Kham ,Thailand : Building process of an ESF Hmong
1987 Cheng Kham ,Thailand : School finished
1987 Cheng Kham ,Thailand : Tsom Tooj Moua handing out certificates to students on Graduation Day along with the French missionary.
2011 : Tsom Tooj Moua Fond Du Lac, WI Hmong leader.
By : Silver Moua