New Leadership Delivering Results for Our Community
Entreprenuer - Community Leader - Longtime Resident
Maiyoua and her family love the Appleton area, planting deep roots in this community perfect for raising a family. At the age of 17, Maiyoua Thao first moved to Appleton and graduated from Appleton East. Not far from home, she earned her Master's Degree of Professional Counseling at UW-Oshkosh. Aside from raising her family in Appleton (husband, Chungyia Thao), Maiyoua has found her passion in being a business leader here, as well.
Though Maiyoua is now the President & CEO of Thao Enterprises, owner of Long Cheng Marketplace and Tongxeng Personal Homecare (which employs over 300 people!), that is certainly not where she started! She had a vision of creating businesses that serve the community, give opportunities to employees, and connect communities of people that can share in an experience. What better experience to share in other than food? With a passion for crafting and cooking, Maiyoua made her vision of Long Cheng Marketplace a reality, perhaps in the most unlikely of places. In an area of Appleton struggling to maintain a business presence, Maiyoua found her opportunity in a long-vacated hardware store property in serious need of "tender loving care". As Maiyoua put it,
"The cost to repair and update the building was far greater than the cost to purchase it!" She is glad she brought that old building back to life!
Now, Long Cheng Marketplace (located at 1804 S Lawe Street) is a wonderful place to eat and shop. However, to many people, it is so much more than that. To 12 small business owners, it is their commerce incubator, giving them a space to operate their entity and grow their businesses until they will someday need more space. And to the community, Long Cheng Marketplace is a venue to socialize, host events in the banquet hall, and enjoy a home away from home.
With all of Maiyoua's efforts and successes in business (and her constant volunteering in the community), she is thankful to have won several awards, including the 2007 Good Citizen Award, the 2008 and 2017 Business of the Year Award, the 2010 Successful Hmong
Entrepreneur Award, and the 2011 Most Charitable Business of the Year Award. She was also a two-time nominee for the Jane LaChapella McCarthy Unity in Diversity Award.
Beyond her business, Maiyoua volunteers in community initiatives in the Appleton area to improve the economy and quality of life for Appleton residents. Maiyoua and Chungyia have six children: two in college, two in high school, and two in elementary school. The Thao Family enjoys many activities, but near the top of the list is going to the YMCA together. They are happy to call Appleton their home and a community to grow
By Kory Krauss