Weekly Wrap-Up: August 16, 2019

The Weekly Wrap-Up - 8-16-19

Your MEMBER ONLY email on all things the Chamber worked on this week and that you need to know about, to get the most out of your membership. Thank you for being a member. 


Our Week in Tampa

Hello members. I am writing this Weekly from a rainy Tampa, FL where we just wrapped a week-long conference at the NGLCC: National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, International  Leadership Convention. It was a week of collaboration, connecting, and community. We met with the other 52 LGBT Chambers across the country and learned so many things they are doing that we can bring back and implement here in Nashville. We shared all our success stories and the hard work we have been doing so others might implement some of those things. It is always great to get to talk with other organizations doing the same work you are. We also were able to talk about supplier diversity and continue to build the connections to more corporate members for our LGBTBEs. It is great to be able to meet with companies face-to-face and talk to them about the work we are doing for our BEs and we will be announcing several new corporate members and opportunities soon from our time here. 

We made a lot of new connections and had a lot of fun. I was joined by Lauren who was able to connect and meet fellow chamber staff and talk to them about how they manage members and do events. Nashville was very well represented as we were also joined by Board President Ron Snitker repping the Chamber and our member Waller Law Firm, board member and LGBTBE Christopher Lester, former board member and LGBTBE Jim Schmidt, and former board president and current corporate member for Fifth Third Bank, Brad Pinson. 

I would say the highlight of the conference was when Tampa Mayor Jane Castor surprised the crowd and issued an executive order recognizing LGBT Business Enterprises in the city’s diversity spend. Tampa became the third city in the South with this action, of course Mayor Briley’s executive order in February made Nashville the first. Congrats to our sister chamber, the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber, for all the hard work on this advocacy initiative. 


CEO One-Year Anniversary 

On Tuesday I celebrated my one-year anniversary as CEO of the Chamber. Our Board President, Ron Snitker, posted the following statement: Today marks the one-year anniversary of Joe Woolley becoming our CEO. Since taking the helm, Joe has been relentless in the pursuit of excellence for the Nashville LGBT Chamber leveraging our members, community partners, Membership Manager Lauren Bland and board of directors. Under Joe’s leadership, the Chamber membership has grown 32% to 458 members. We garnered national recognition for our advocacy of our members at a local and state level, and we finalized LGBT Business Enterprise recognition by Metro Nashville (thank you, Mayor David Briley). Additionally, we received two years of metro appropriations to lessen the disparity of LGBT-owned businesses gaining contracts, and ensuring member representation during the NFL Draft. Joe’s dedication to the organization began long before becoming CEO serving four years on the board of directors including two years as President. We are excited about the future of the Nashville LGBT Chamber, our members, and our reach.


What a year it has been! I have never worked harder than I have this year, but I have never felt more fulfilled by the work I am privileged to get to do for all of you, the members that make this organization happen. It’s not about recognition or awards, it’s about moving the needle on equality and helping the community. I can’t wait to get to work on more things this year and see what we have accomplished together by next year!! 


Diskin Divas Drag Brunch

Get ready for another stellar drag brunch this weekend! You have 2 opportunities to watch the Diskin Divas, enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet, and support the Nashville LGBT Chamber Foundation on Sunday! The first showing starts at 1 pm and the second showing starts at 4 pm. Make sure to grab a Daydream Prickly Pear Rosé Cider while you are there. A portion of these proceeds go to the Nashville LGBT Chamber Foundation to support efforts to educate, inspire, and empower LGBT business professionals. Don’t forget you can also stop by any of the locations on this map and buy Daydream. Get your reservations for Diskin’s Drag Brunch now at info@diskincider.com!


August Brewing Up Business-

Our August Brewing Up Business is next week on Thursday, August 22nd from 5:30 pm - 7:30pm at Thistle Farms. They have such an amazing story and mission, come hear more about it and network. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to connect with fellow members and the unique community Thistle Farms is growing! Register today. Our member Inspired Concepts and Events is co hosting  and will be providing drinks for everyone. Learn more about Thistle Farms and Inspired Concepts and Events. Thank you to both organizations!


Mark your calendars for upcoming Brewing Up Business events:  

Thursday, August 22nd, Thistle Farms / Inspired Concepts and Events, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Thursday, September 19th, Downtown Sporting Club / Fifth Third Bank, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Thursday, October 17th, TBD, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Thursday, December 19th, Nashville Children’s Theatre, 5:30 - 7:30 pm


Small Business LGBT-Community Visioning Project Conversation-

Calling all Small Business people: Join us at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center on this coming Tuesday, August 20 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm for a discussion about the future of LGBTQ+ Nashville. This free event and conversation is sponsored by, Nashville Pride, the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. If you are a small business owner, this will be a great opportunity for you to network while helping our community determine what it means to thrive! Come and join the discussion around how we can all work together to define and develop a future for our community that we can all be proud of. Register for this event here and check out the Facebook event.

If you can’t join this conversation, please take part in the Community Visioning Project Survey, which is open to everyone. If you would be interested in hosting a conversation with your business, social group or organization -- please email phil@nashvillepride.org.  The prospectus on the project can be found here


Podcast from Nashville Startup Shindig

Nashville Entrepreneur Center hosted Nashville Startup Shindig two weeks ago. More than 300 people assembled to listen to leaders of Nashville’s minority chambers speak about what we are doing. You can check out the live podcast which is followed up by the associated blog post. There is also a write-up from the event in the Nashville Post which includes great pictures from the night. 


EC’s InFlight Program

Applications are now open for year two of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s InFlight program! InFlight is designed to help startups in the critical stage between “I have an idea” and “I have six figures in revenue” with monthly programming and ongoing support. Program resources include industry-leading curriculum, access to and learnings from successful EC alumni and Nashville business leaders, unlimited advisor meetings, and more. Applications will close on September 27th. If you’re a launch level founder in Middle Tennessee looking to significantly grow your business, InFlight is for you! Learn more and apply now: https://www.ec.co/inflight


Joe Woolley



Lauren Bland

Membership Manager


Nashville LGBT Chamber


41 Peabody Street

Nashville, TN 37210

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