The Excellence in Business Awards is the Nashville LGBT Chamber's premier business event. This high-energy lunch is best known for its diversity of attendees, powerful presentations, and inspirational acceptance speeches.
Click here to submit a nomination for 2018 Excellent in Business Awards.
Click here for a historical list of nominees and winners.
The LGBT Chamber presents seven awards (see award names and descriptions below):
The Megan Barry Ally Award is presented to someone who does not identify as LGBT and has shown a commitment to helping the LGBT community. Donations include monetary, time, policies, budgeting, treatment, support, engagement, etc. An ally uses their resources and centers of influence to provide opportunities for and empower their LGBT peers, employees, organizations, or the community.
The Leadership in the Arts Award is given to an individual who identifies as LGBT or an organization (which does not) who, over the past year, has demonstrated a commitment to equality, especially LGBT equality. Considerations should be given to performance topics, performers, staff, audience, policies, and more.
The Samuel L. Felker Business Leader of the Year is presented to someone who identifies as LGBT and has an employer. First, the candidate should show strong business results over the last 12 months, including increased revenue, attendance, programs, clients, promotion, or whatever is relevant to their field. The better candidate will be involved in the LGBT community or give back to LGBT organizations. The best candidate will be able to tie their increased outcomes to the LGBT Chamber.
The Mark Lee Taylor Community Service Award is given to an individual who identifies as LGBT or an organization which caters specifically to the LGBT community (like Pride or GLSEN). The better candidate will be involved in the local LGBT community. The best candidate will have a consistent relationship with the LGBT Chamber. The least qualified candidate will one who get paid for the work they do to serve the community.
The Corporate Diversity Award and Small Business Diversity Award are given to the company who has the most policies and practices that protect and engage their LGBT employees, customers, and suppliers. The better candidate will be involved in the local LGBT community. The best candidate will have a consistent relationship with the LGBT Chamber. The least qualified candidate will be one who intentionally markets to the LGBT community but does not protect and engage their own LGBT employees to the best of their ability.
The Maria M Salas Entrepreneur of the Year is presented to an entrepreneur or small business owner who identifies as LGBT. The candidate should be able to show increased outcomes over the last 12 months. The better candidate will give back to the LGBT community and the best candidate will have a consistent relationship with the LGBT Chamber.
Corporate Diversity Award
2016 Baker Donelson
2015 Fifth Third Bank
2013 Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Small Business Diversity Award
2017 The Turnip Truck
Samuel Felker Business Leader of the Year
2017 Paul Vasterling, Nashville Ballet
2016 Steve Smotherman, Cracker Barrel
2015 David Bzrozoski, Dollar General
2014 Bradley Pinson, Fifth Third Bank
2013 Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Mayor Megan Barry Ally Award
2017 Sean Henry, Nashville Predators
2016 Amy Parker, Deloitte
2015 Megan Barry
2014 Christopher Robinette, Mass Mutual (Capital Financial Group)
2013 Don Abel, Jr., Fifth Third Bank
Maria M Salas Entrepreneur of the Year
2017 John Dyke, The Turnip Truck
2016 Jack Davis, J.D. Events & Festivals
2015 Bruce Pittman, Bruce Pittman, Inc.
2014 Joey Amato, Unite Magazine
2013 Amos Gott, AmosEvents
Mark Lee Taylor Community Service Award
2017 Launch Pad Volunteers
2016 Jim Schmidt, Schmidt Government Solutions
2015 Marisa Richmond, Middle Tennessee State University
2014 Abby Rubenfeld, Rubenfeld Law Office
2013 Nashville CARES
Leadership in the Arts Award
2017 Oz Arts Nashville
2016 Nashville Ballet
2015 Nashville Opera
2014 Jim Robert, ALIAS Chamber Ensemble
2013 Nashville in Harmony