Skip to content

THRIVE Small Business Summit & Matchmaker

Wednesday, January 31, 2024 (8:00 AM - 5:00 PM) (CST)


January 31, 2024  |  8AM – 5PM
Hilton Garden Inn / Home 2 Suites  |  6840 Almeda Road Houston

Are you ready for your small business to THRIVE? Are you eager to unlock new opportunities, expand your network, and elevate your business game? Join the Chamber for the inaugural THRIVE Small Business Summit & Matchmaker. The one-day event will equip small business owners with helpful knowledge and connections to thrive in an ever-changing business environment.

THRIVE is designed to provide the resources, tools, and inspiration to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and connect with Chamber Impact Partners and other members through the B2C, B2B and B2E Matchmaker. 

Lunch and Breakfast will be provided.


Summit Sessions include:

  • Morning Session - Thriving - Best Practices for Small Business Success
  • Mid-Morning Session - Your Business Pitch (Elevator, Value Proposition & First Impression)
  • Lunch Session - Understanding Your WHY to Help Your Business THRIVE

Plus the Matchmaker Sessions!  

Be sure and attend for the full day to learn, connect and network.  We'll have Resource Partners on hand as well to support your biz!

8:00 - 9:00 AMCheck In & Breakfast
9:00 - 9:10 AMWelcome Remarks
9:10 - 9:15 AMSponsor Remarks
9:15 - 10:15 AMOpening Session: Thriving - Best Practices for Small Business Success

Kevin Rankin, Wells Fargo
Lianne Lami, Bocci Engineering & Construction
Miguel Ruiz, SBA
Moderator - Linda Toyota, LiftFund

10:15 - 10:30 AMBREAK
10:30 - 11:45 AMYour Business Pitch (Elevator, Value Proposition & First Impression)

Julie Hartman & Susan Repka, B2G Victory
11:45 AM - 12:00 PMBREAK
12:00 - 12:10 PMWelcome Remarks
12:10 - 12:15 PMSponsor Remarks
12:15 - 1:45 PMLunch Session: Understanding Your WHY to Help Your Business THRIVE

Tracy Upton, Shell USA
James Harris, H-E-B
Dr. Roy Rivera, Jr., Elation PT
Moderator - Alicia Greene, NGLCC

1:45 - 2:00 PMBREAK
2:00 - 4:00 PMMatchmaker - B2C, B2B, B2E
4:00 - 5:00 PMNetworking


Small businesses are invited to participate in the Summit to hear from experts and panelists sharing their knowledge to help small businesses grow.

All certification-eligible or certified businesses such as LGBTBE® Certified/LGBTQ+ owned, minority, women-owned, minority-owned, disabled-owned and/or Veteran-owned are invited to participate in the Matchmaker.  All businesses with diverse business certifications are welcome to participate in this connection opportunity.


Participate in one-on-one matchmaking connecting Chamber small businesses to Impact Partners, including supplier diversity and LGBTQ+ employee resource group leaders, through rounds of speed meetings.


Brings together certified suppliers with local Chamber Impact Partners for procurement opportunities.

Brings together certified suppliers with other suppliers to learn about opportunities to work and partner together, perhaps on tiered contract opportunities or other types of partnerships.

Connects small business members with Chamber Impact Partner LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) leaders. This is an opportunity for LGBTQ+-owned businesses to share their products or services that support ERG Pride Month activities (and throughout the year!).

Certified members are invited to participate in either B-2-C or B-2-ERG
Certified and non-certified members can participate in the B-2-ERG

Businesses wishing to participate in the Matchmaker must complete the Supplier Form. 
Upon registration, the form link will be emailed to you.


Community Connections
Connect with fellow community members, industry leaders,employee resource groups, and potential partners who are all invested in seeing your business succeed.

New Market Knowledge
Discover untapped markets and gain insights into emerging opportunities. This event is your gateway to expanding your reach and connecting with prospects.

Business Growth
Explore potential partnerships potentially boosting your business’ bottom line.

Opportunity to meet multiple prospects in one location, saving you time and resources.

Brand Elevation
Showcase your products or services to a captive audience and solidify your brand.

Long-lasting Relationships
The connections you make at this event will extend beyond the day. Build long-term partnerships and collaborations that will continue to benefit your business.

Participating in Matchmaker is an investment in your business’ success. We can't wait to see you there forging connections that support YOUR biz!

Check out the confirmed Panelists, Buyers and Resource Partners with more being added all the time. Check back soon for more great additions to the Summit line-up!


Alicia Greene (she/her)
Senior Director, Programs and Stakeholder Engagement
National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)

James Harris (he/him)
Senior Director, Diversity & Inclusion and Supplier Diversity

Julie Irvin Hartman, EMBA, CF, APMP (she/her)
B2G Victory
Lianne Lami, PE, CEM, CEA (she/her)
CEO & President
Bocci Engineering & Construction

Kevin Rankin (he/him)
VP, Small Business Financial Health & Branch Tools Leader Small Business Growth & Execution
Wells Fargo

Susan Repka (she/her)
B2G Victory

Dr. Roy Rivera (he/him)
Elation Physical Therapy

Miguel Ruiz (he/him)
Team Leader, Senior Subject Matter Expert and Senior Staff Mentor
U.S. Small Business Administration - Houston District

Linda C. Toyota (she/her)
Market Executive

Tracy Y. Upton (she/her)
Supply Chain Advisor | US Supplier Diversity
Shell USA, Inc.








Presenting Sponsor

Matchmaker Sponsor

Host Sponsor

Leader Sponsor

Supporting Sponsors



By registering and/or attending a Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce program or event, you agree to the Chamber's Terms of Use & Policies available online at


Complimentary to Chamber members & Impact Partners.

$150 for guests.

Hilton Garden Inn/Home 2 Suites
6840 Almeda Road
Houston, TX 77030 United States

Complimentary parking is located in the garage behind the hotel

Wednesday, January 31, 2024 (8:00 AM - 5:00 PM) (CST)
Powered By GrowthZone