NASHVILLE, TENN. – The Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce is marking its 20th year as a leading business advocacy organization dedicated to economic growth and equality in the workplace. Founded in 1998 as the Nashville Association of Professional Persons, today the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce comprises more than 300 members, and will be honored on March 17, 2018 with the Community Leadership Award at the Human Rights Campaign’s Annual Equality Dinner in Nashville.
“The LGBT Chamber has evolved steadily and significantly from the days when founding members like Mark Lee Taylor, Sam Felker and John Mays started a group focused on business networking opportunities,” said Chamber CEO Lisa Howe. “Today our members benefit from traditional programs like Brewing Up Business, Power Lunches, TASTE and our Excellence in Business Awards. We’re also planning expanded offerings for small business owners in 2018, and our 20-Year Celebration Event promises to be a momentous and memorable evening.”
The LGBT Chamber is led by Ms. Howe and a 17-member Board of Directors. In December, LGBT Chamber members elected its 2018 Board of Directors at its most well-attended holiday party that took place at the Thompson Nashville. The outgoing Board members, including two-term President, Joe Woolley, were honored and new Board members blended in well with returning Board members.
Returning Board members include:
Ron Snitker, President, Waller
Donna Drehmann, Vice President, Postmates
Clayton Klutts, Treasurer, Small Business Consultant
Taylor Wirth, Secretary, Bass Berry & Sims
Jack Davis, Events Committee Chair, Good Neighbor Festivals
Amy Parker, Programs Committee Chair, Special Olympics Tennessee
Kanitha Pope, Inclusion Committee Chair, TriStar Health
Terry Vo, Development Committee Chair, Comcast
Rhonda Weatherford, Membership Committee Chair, Because Home Matters
New Board members are:
Jennifer Austin, Pareto Realty
Steve Burress, Old Town Trolley Tours
Diane Hatley, Nissan
Courtney Lawrence, MediCopy
Christopher Lester, Marketing Committee Chair, C4Ward Strategies
Jim Schmidt, Advocacy Committee Chair, Schmidt Government Solutions
Linzie Treadway, Vanderbilt University
”I’m pleased to carry on the work of past presidents in leading the most diverse board the LGBT Chamber has had in both demographics characteristics and in thought,” said Ron Snitker, Board President. For more Board member biographical information, visit the Board Member page on the LGBT Chamber website.
The Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce is also beginning the year with a new Membership & Events Coordinator, Anna Claire Bowen.
Anna Claire comes to the LGBT Chamber after serving as Clinical Director at Tennessee Voices for Children for five years. Anna Claire has a wealth of experience in the nonprofit world including grant writing, compliance, Board service, managing staff, and strategic planning and budgeting.
She is a graduate of the Young Leaders Council and is currently participating in the Leadership Nashville class. Anna Claire is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is a graduate of Belmont University and earned her Master’s from Trevecca Nazarene University. See Anna Claire’s biography on the website.
Lisa Howe, CEO said, “We got to know Anna Claire last year, while she was volunteering with the Chamber, and we are very fortunate to have her join us on staff. Anna Claire has the skill set to make sure we are engaged with our members. She understands the mission of the LGBT Chamber, and she is focused on building our capacity to serve that mission and our members.”
“It has been a pleasure to learn about the organization this past year,” said Anna Clair, “and I am eager to engage more intentionally with our current members and share with new members how our organization can add value to their businesses and professional lives,” says new Membership & Events Coordinator, Anna Claire Bowen. “It is exciting to join the organization in its 20th year and play a role in bringing more equality into the workplace and advancing the initiatives of the LGBT business community.”
“This board outlined an ambitious two-year strategic plan at our day-long retreat in January, which, we believe, reflects the Chamber’s mission and the needs of Middle Tennessee’s business community. We have the pieces in place to accomplish all of our objectives in the coming years,” said Ron Snitker. “We invite the business community to join the region’s fast-growing affinity chamber and do business with our members whose doors are open to everyone.” (Click here to see membership directory.)
About the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce
The Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce is a business membership association with over 300 members. The LGBT Chamber advances common business interests, economic growth, and equality in the workplace.
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