Tampa recognizes LGBTQ-certified businesses by executive order

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Tampa Mayor Jane Castor presents her executive order to recognize LGBTQ-certified businesses at the 2019 NGLCC conference Aug. 14. Photo courtesy Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.

TAMPA | The city of Tampa will formally recognize LGBTQ-certified businesses in contracting and procurement opportunities, Mayor Jane Castor announced Aug. 14 during the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) International Business & Leadership Conference.

The conference, held at the Tampa Convention Center Aug. 13-16, is the largest gathering of LGBTQ business leaders and allies in the world. Castor, Tampa’s 59th and first openly LGBTQ mayor, detailed her executive order directing the city to formally recognize LGBTQ businesses during a luncheon interview with NGLCC President Justin G. Nelson.

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PHOTOS: Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber hosts NGLCC Opening Reception

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | The Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce (TBDCC) hosted the opening reception for the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) International Business & Leadership Conference at the Italian Club in Ybor Aug. 13.

The NGLCC’s 2019 conference is being held in Tampa Aug. 13-16 and is the largest gathering of LGBTQ business leaders and allies in the world. More than 1,000 of its attendees gathered for the opening reception at the historic venue, which was chosen to highlight Tampa’s Cuban and Italian heritage.

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08.08.19 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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I was young, probably around 12 or 13, but I vividly remember the first death I helped cause. They say you never forget your first.

I was in middle school and likely clad in a pair of husky jeans, the free whale necklace that came with the “Free Willy 2” VHS and a “Batman and Robin” tee beneath my Starter Jacket. Clutched against my side was the thickest Trapper Keeper a family like mine could afford, something I rarely let out of my sight during school hours because it protected two of my dearest possessions.

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08.08.19 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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As we were coming into this latest issue, I had a lot of things that I wanted to rant about on this page, and Lord knows there is plenty to rant about.

I wanted to talk about the most recent round of Democratic presidential debates, which had Twitter all abuzz in support of author and “self-help guru to the stars” Marianne Williamson.

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Tampa hosts 2019 NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: NGLCC Senior Vice President Jonathan D. Lovitz (C) is joined by business and community leaders at 2018’s Philadelphia conference. Photo courtesy NGLCC.

TAMPA | The Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce (TBDCC) will welcome the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) to Tampa Aug. 13-16 for the largest gathering of LGBTQ business leaders and allies in the world.

The 2019 International Business & Leadership Conference is an annual conference presented by the NGLCC, the nation’s only organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities for the LGBTQ business community. The TBDCC, one of the NGLCC’s 15 affiliate chambers, has served Tampa Bay for more than 35 years.

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PHOTOS: Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber welcomes Mayor Jane Castor

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Community advocates and allies gathered at the Centre Club June 6 for the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce (TBDCC)’s annual luncheon featuring keynote speaker Mayor Jane Castor.

The gathering featured the luncheon’s first marketplace expo, highlighting local LGBTQ and LGBTQ-friendly businesses as over 150 attendees networked and dined.

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NGLCC, other chambers of commerce launch new business owner initiative

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce is among the chambers of commerce that have launched a new initiative that seeks to provide additional support to business owners around the country.

The U.S. Black Chambers Inc., the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation, along with the NGLCC, are behind the Chamber Leadership Development Program.

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Orlando becomes first Florida city to recognize LGBTQ-certified businesses

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Mayor Buddy Dyer, City Commissioner Patty Sheehan and members from both the Metropolitan Business Association (MBA Orlando) and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) gathered at Se7enBites in Orlando to announce a new LGBTQ business initiative April 2.

The LGBTQ+ Business Inclusion Resolution allows the city to develop a database and registry of LGBTQ-certified businesses with the NGLCC that will track city contracts and spending with LGBTQ-owned businesses and ensure the inclusion of LGBTQ-owned businesses in Central Florida.

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Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber postpones annual gala, will host National LGBT conference

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | The Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce (TBDCC) announced Feb. 7 that it has postponed its annual awards gala to focus on hosting the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) 2019 Business & Leadership Conference Aug. 13-16.

“This world-renowned conference is the largest LGBT business event in the world and provides networking and engagement opportunities for business owners in the LGBT community,” the chamber shared. “The TBDCC in partnership with Visit Tampa Bay won the 2019 bid over all other applicants to secure the NGLCC 2019 International Business & Leadership Conference for the city of Tampa.”

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Nashville becomes first Southern city to recognize LGBT-owned businesses

By : James Wellemeyer OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Nashville on Feb. 11 became the first city in the South to recognize LGBT-owned businesses.

Nashville Mayor David Briley signed an executive order including LGBT Business Enterprises certified by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce in contracting and procurement opportunities throughout the city.

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Homo Erectus: The Evolution of Us – Like a shiny unicorn, the gay mafia does exist! (and other homo business advice)

By : Dr. Steve Yacovelli
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I have a secret to tell you: The “gay mafia” is real. I know because I met them a few weeks ago.

In early August, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) held its annual conference in Philadelphia. Targeted at both LGBTQ+ owned businesses as well as the purchasing professionals for many Fortune 500 companies, the event was a combination of educational sessions to run your business better to focusing on how to more effectively engage with minority vendors. The conference was strongly attended by many members of Central Florida’s Metropolitan Business Association (MBA), our local LBGTQ+ Chamber of Commerce (who awesomely won Chamber of the Year in 2017).

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Watermark’s Most Remarkable People 2017: Kellie Parkin, MBA Orlando’s Executive director

By : Lu Muller-Kaul, MBA Orlando President
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Lu Muller-Kaul

Kellie Parkin is a friend, supporter and the best employee I could have hoped for. In title and job description, she is responsible for running MBA’s operations, but she adds volunteer time for the One Orlando Alliance and other projects.

Kellie has also been working with founding MBA members, most importantly Debbie Simmons and Michael Thomas, to connect MBA’s past of now 25 years to a successful future, always ensuring equality through economics for our business members and the whole LGBTQ community of Central Florida.

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