The Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce Announces Finalists for the
2016 Excellence in Business Awards
For the fourth consecutive year, CURB Records makes it possible for the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce to present the 2016 Excellence in Business Awards on Wednesday, April 13 from 11:00am to 1:00pm at the DoubleTree by Hilton Nashville Downtown. This year, HCA/Tri-Star Health has joined as a Platinum Sponsor of the event.
Over 300 business and community leaders, allies, and LGBT-friendly businesses will convene at this high-profile lunch event, to celebrate and recognize the finalists who were selected for their contributions to Nashville's inclusive business and nonprofit communities. Winners in seven categories will be announced.
Tickets and sponsorships are available at the Excellence in Business Awards webpage on the Nashville LGBT Chamber's website.
Over 80 nominations were received by the Nashville LGBT Chamber. Over 60 of those nominees completed questionnaires describing their accomplishments over the last twelve months. Questionnaires were scored by an awards committee made up of a diverse group of LGBT Chamber members and former award winners. Every LGBT Chamber member can vote for one finalist in each category to add to the current score of each finalist. Winners will be announced at the event on April 13.
Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Lisa Howe, said, “I continue to be amazed and inspired by the talent, passion, and success of our finalists. Not only do the nominees help empower the LGBT community, they also significantly contribute to the Nashville economy. The Excellence in Business Awards is a unique, professional, daytime event like no other in the LGBT and ally community. I look forward to honoring and recognizing the economic and social impact made by the finalists and award winners. I thank the sponsors and teams of volunteers who make this event possible and successful.”
Award categories and 2016 finalists include:
The Corporate Diversity Award goes to a company who has policies and practices that protect and engage their LGBT employees, customers, and suppliers. Finalists actively contribute to LGBT non-profit organizations and causes.
2015 Winner - Fifth Third Bank
Small Business Diversity
The Small Business Diversity Award goes to a company who has reasonable policies and practices that protect and engage their LGBT employees. Finalists actively contribute to LGBT non-profit organizations and causes.
2015 Winner - Emma
Maria M Salas Entrepreneur of the Year
The Entrepreneur of the Year is presented to a business owner who identifies as LGBT. The candidate has increased outcomes over the last twelve months.
Phil Cobucci, BAM! Social Business
Jack Davis, JD Events and Festivals
John Dyke, The Turnip Truck
Dale Levitski, Sinema and The Hook
2015 Winner - Bruce Pittman, Bruce Pittman, Inc.
Samuel L Felker Business Leader of the Year
The Business Leader of the Year is someone who identifies as LGBT and has an employer. The candidate should show measured business success over the last year.
William Bullens, Associate Director of Sales/Director of Entertainment Sales, Sheraton Nashville Downtown
Steve Smotherman, Management Training and Development, Cracker Barrel
Hon. Nancy VanReece, COO, Parachute Media Co.
Paul Vasterling, Artistic Director and CEO, Nashville Ballet
2015 Winner - David Brzozowski, Dollar General
The Ally Award is presented to someone who does not identify as LGBT and has shown a commitment to helping the LGBT community, whether it be through donations of money, time, leadership, and other types of support
Claudia Huskey, Senior Advisor, Office of Mayor Megan Barry
Patrick Luther, Chief Program Office, Nashville CARES
Amy Parker, Background Investigation Specialist, Deloitte Services, LP
Erica Rains, CEO, The Chef and I
2015 Winner - Mayor Megan Barry
Mark Lee Taylor Community Service Award
The Community Service Award is given to an individual who identifies as LGBT or an organization which caters specifically to the LGBT community.
Jeffery Humble, HRC Federal Club Co-Chair
Mac, Mac Productions/L.A. Security Inc.
Scott Ridgway, Executive Director, Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network
Jim Schmidt, President, Schmidt Government Solutions, LLC
2015 Winner - Marisa Richmond, Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition
Leadership in the Arts Award
The Leadership in the Arts Award is given to an individual who identifies as LGBT or an organization who, over the past year, has demonstrated a commitment to LGBT equality in their performance topics, performers, staff, audiences, policies, and more.
Nashville Opera Association
OZ Arts Nashville
2015 Winner - Nashville Opera Association
For more information about our finalists, please visit the Excellence in Business Awards webpage on the Nashville Chamber's website.
About the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce
The 18-year-old Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce advances common business interests, economic growth, and equality in the workplace for its 250 LGBT members, businesses, and allies by providing educational, networking, and community building opportunities. The Nashville LGBT Chamber empowers the LGBT community by making a positive impact on the Nashville economy.