Happy 3rd Anniversary to the Chamber!
By Tammi Wallace, Co-Founder & Board Chair
You know that saying…time flies? That saying certainly resonates at the Chamber as we have reached our 3rd anniversary. In 2016, we launched as part of the LGBT Business Builder Program with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration. The vision that Gary Wood and I shared was to launch an organization that truly moves the bar for the LGBTQ and Allied business community. We wanted an organization that moves beyond networking and creates connection around business and helps our members thrive. And, an organization that would fill a gap and open up the possibilities to connect our vibrant LGBTQ-Allied business community.
Fast forward three years later and we are almost 150 members strong with an array of corporate partners and strategic partners. And growing! We have created strategic partnerships with the U.S. Small Business Administration, HCC and our sister LGBT Chambers across the state to share a few examples. The number of LGBTBE businesses has grown tremendously since our launch. We rolled out our first joint legislative agenda with the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce and held our first advocacy day. We shared a legislative agenda that goes beyond LGBTQ social justice issues with a focus on legislation that impacts our member businesses.
The best stories we hear are that our members are doing business together because of a connection through the Chamber. Or where one of our members has connected with one of our corporate partners or strategic partners and found valuable resources to run their businesses. We hear these powerful stories each month and comments from members that their membership has resulted in tremendous value and opportunity.
We launched the Chamber to be a leading economic voice in the greater Houston region. With this vision, one of our prime goals is to make sure that the LGBTQ business community is represented in every facet of economic development in the region. The LGBTQ business community is a key part of the economic fabric in our great city and the region and that means we must have a seat at the table to make sure our community is represented.
To our members, corporate partners, strategic partners and Chamber sponsors – Thank You! To our board and volunteers for your generosity of time and dedication - Thank You! Thank you for your continued support and investment in the Chamber. We have much work to do in the years ahead and your support and engagement are crucial to a successful and thriving chamber. We are just getting started! Here’s to the next three years and beyond!