Chamber set to recognize business leaders with Diamond Gala

By : Staff Report
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Clearwater – On Jan. 17, the Tampa Bay Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce will hold its first-ever Diamond Award Ceremony. There, the organization—formerly known as the Tampa Bay Business Guild—will honor Tampa Bay community and business leaders with an awards ceremony at the Holiday Inn on Ulmerton Road.

“These awards highlight the impact by community and business leaders and celebrate the achievements of the best of the best in Tampa Bay,” explains TBGLCC Vice President Ashley Brundage.

Those considered for the award have shown specific interest in working with the LGBT community by expanding economic opportunities or supporting equality in a direct way. There are four categories.

In the Non-Profit Business of the Year category, CASA, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Love the Golden Rule Inc., Metro Wellness and the Suncoast Softball League are all up for the award.

Business of the Year nominees include Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, Georgie’s Alibi, PNC Bank, The Hotchkiss Group of Keller Williams and Watermark Media Inc.

There are also five nominees for the title of Community Champion of the Year. That category includes Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Mark Bias and Carrie West of Tampa Pride and the GaYbor Coalition, and Joy Winheim, the executive director of the Francis House.

The final category for a diamond award is the LGBT Business Person of the Year. in that category, nominees are Watermark editor Steve Blanchard, HI Development general manager Kim Cason, Brandon Family Law managing attorney Mary Greenwood, Carlton Fields Jorden Burt COO Annie Hoitis and PNC Bank senior vice president Dianne Jacob.

Reservations for the Awards dinner are required. Tickets are $50 for chamber members and $75 for non-members. Tickets may be purchased at TBGLCC.org.

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