Weekly Wrap-Up: March 1, 2019



Please take a look at this week’s Wrap-Up:


ACTION ALERT- Legislative Update-

The LGBT community is under attack at the state legislature. We had two discriminatory bills move out of sub-committees this week. Thanks to our friends at the Tennessee Equality Project for showing up to oppose them this week. We need everyone to join in pushing back against these discriminatory and hateful bills next week. 

TEP has declared a “State of Emergency” for three bills up for a vote next week. Take action here. 

Join TEP on Tuesday for their Day on Hill. Wear red and visit with legislators. We will be there and can give Chamber members talking points on the economic impact that these bills will have on Tennessee. There will be a press conference at 11am. You can find a full schedule here

*March 5 at 9am in House Hearing Room 4 on one of the adoption discrimination bills (HB1152)
*March 5 at 11:15 Press Conference in Cordell Hull Building
*March 5 at 1:30 pm in House Hearing Room 3 on the Business License to Discriminate bill (HB563)
*March 6 at 3:30 pm in House Hearing Room 2 on the anti-transgender locker room bill (HB1151)

We are calling on corporate and small businesses to contact their representatives and make sure that they understand the impact these bills have economically on your business and they are doing all they can to make these bills go away quickly. Contact me with any additional questions or if your business would like to speak to your legislator. 


AllianceBernstein Support-

Yesterday the Chamber sent a letter to Metro Council members asking them to honor a commitment they made to one of our members in the processes of them moving to Nashville. We support legislation that approves an incentive package of $500 per job cash grant for each new job created over a seven-year period by AllianceBernstein (AB). AB is committed to creating meaningful jobs in Nashville but they are also focused on issues impacting the broader Nashville community, specifically, the communities that have not benefited from Nashville’s growth. AB brought the Chamber into the processes of their relocating and then advancing diversity and inclusion across the city from the very beginning. They have already, in a short time, supported numerous LGBT related events and groups. 

We detail all of this in the letter we sent and I hope you will read it. I am also asking members to contact their council person and ask them to support this legislation. 

New York City Follows Nashville’s Lead-



It's not often when Nashville sets the trend that New York City follows. Earlier this week, New York City Council introduced a new bill that includes LGBT certified businesses in contracting and procurement opportunities throughout New York City. While Nashville was the first city in this south with this distinction, New York is now the largest municipality in the United States to intentionally include LGBT-owned businesses. NGLCC posted coverage of this event. Congrats to the Big Apples LGBTBEs from Music Cities LGBTBEs! 


Atlanta Following Nashville Too-


News of Nashville’s latest efforts towards LGBT inclusion and equality following Mayor Briley’s historic executive order signing spread far and fast! The Atlanta Gay Chamber was surprised that they were not leading the way in LGBT rights in the South and are moving quickly to follow. I will be traveling to Atlanta this month to help our friends strategize and talk about what we did in Nashville. 


Brewing Up Business- Record Crowd-



Wow! We hit the stars with our numbers and our attendance last night! We had over 100 attendees at our February Brewing Up Business. We had over 30 first time attendees that got to experience the great networking, businesses development, and community building that take place at our monthly networking event. You can find video of our February announcements here. We hope to see you at the next one! 

Thank you again to the Adventure Science Center for hosting this event. They were nice enough to raffle off a ticket to Mad Bash. Their fourth annual Mad Bash fundraiser returns on March 30th from 7 – 11 pm. Get your tickets today for an extravagant evening of exploration and surprises with engaging experiences, exquisite local food, and enticing local crafts and brews. 


Become an ASC member and enjoy a whole year of science and fun. Use code LGBT19 at checkout to receive $10 off any membership level. Join now!

Pride in Business-


On Tuesday, our corporate LGBT ERG (employee resource group) leaders met at Postmates for our quarterly meeting of Pride In Business. We discussed involvement with the Nashville PRIDE festival and parade, what the Chamber has been working on, and shared what each organization is doing to support its LGBT employees. If you are a part of an ERG and want to be included in future meetings, please email Lauren Bland.


Excellence in Business Awards-



We had our planning meeting with JW Marriot this week. We saw the space for our Business Awards and it is beautiful. Attendees are really in for a treat. 


You still have ONE MORE WEEK to nominate a company, small business, friend, co-worker, boss, spouse, peer, mentor, mentee or yourself for an award from the LGBT Chamber. We will accept nominations through next Friday, March 8th. All finalists will be announced at our Brewing Up Business networking program on March 21st.  Use this form to send us as many deserving nominees as you want in the following categories:

  • Corporate Diversity

  • Small Business Diversity

  • Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Ally Award

  • Business Leader of the Year

  • Community Service Award

  • Leadership in the Arts


You do not want to miss this event! Ticket information and sponsorship opportunities can be found on our website. Reach out to Lauren Bland if you have questions!


All Chambers Meeting-



On Thursday, we joined representatives from the Nashville Black Chamber, Nashville Area Chamber, The Madison-Rivergate Area Chamber, Bellevue Harpeth Chamber, and Bordeaux-North Nashville Chamber to share ideas for best practices. This type of collaboration makes each one of these Chambers, including ours, stronger for business in Nashville. 

Second Annual Southern LGBTQ Health Symposium- 

The Vanderbilt Program for LGBTQ Health is hosting its Second Annual Southern LGBTQ Health Symposium on Saturday, March 2, 2019. The program will engage providers, students, and community members throughout the region on a variety of topics to better serve sexual and gender minority patients and families. To register and to see the event schedule, visit this link.


As a member or friend of the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, you are welcome to register using the “free” student ticket. If you have any questions about the event, email lgbtq.health@vumc.org.


Cocktails & Conversations-



Our member, Waller, has been hosting a pre-event cocktail reception and community dialogue a month in advance of the MTSU LGBT+ College Conference (April 4-6) for several years now. This year's event is on Tuesday, March 5th and is free to the public. 


This year's conference topic is "All Identities-Building Support". There will be a diverse group of panelists who will be moderated by Meg Garner, a reporter for the NBJ. Panelists include Jarod Forsythe of Nissan, Meg Harris of AllianceBernstein, Officer Catie Poole of the Metro Nashville Police Department, Marisa Richmond of MTSU, and myself representing the Nashville LGBT Chamber. More information can be found here, including a link to RSVP to the event. I hope you can join us. 


- Joe and Lauren


Joe Woolley



Lauren Bland

Membership Manager

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