A Remarkable Leader

As the Founding Executive Director of ADC, Hussein Samatar placed the same amount of pride and dedication to this organization that parents do to their children. Everywhere he went, he was eager to discuss the work we were doing to help the growing community of African immigrants and refugees to start and sustain successful businesses, build wealth, and promote the growth and prosperity of these underserved communities throughout the state.

Hussein had a vision of empowerment and civic engagement – through the building of financial sustainability for the members of this community. Hussein often spoke of ADC as a “comprehensive” community economic development organization. He wanted us to be the go-to organization for the African community to become financially and civically engaged with the larger, regional activities of the state. And we created our programs and projects to do just that.

Through education, counseling, and small business loans, Hussein’s ADC has created hundreds of jobs, assisted hundreds of families in purchasing their first home, helped hundreds of community members fix their personal financial woes and attain goals previously unimagined, and injected thousands of dollars back into Minnesota’s economy.

An entrepreneur at heart, Hussein wasn’t afraid to take risks. Perhaps no one saw that more than we did at ADC. He was not afraid to start a number of social ventures, projects, and events, that many of us were not sure would be successful – but he never doubted, and many of these are what makes ADC so impressive.

He often told us to never be afraid of making mistakes – as long as we learned from them and kept working toward our mission.

And to honor Hussein’s legacy, that is precisely what ADC will do – keep working toward our mission, and his vision. He told us many times that the African Development Center will be his legacy, and we will do all we can to ensure that it is.

We at ADC were blessed to spend time with such an inspired, energetic, and optimistic leader. While he was driven to help the community, he was always there to greet you with a warm hug, kind words, and an open ear about any personal issues you may have been going through. He saw the big picture, but never overlooked the small details.

Thank you, Hussein. We will do our best to continue your legacy.