Weekly Wrap-Up: March 29, 2019

The Weekly Wrap-Up - 3-29-19

Your MEMBER ONLY email on all things the Chamber worked on this week and that you need to know about to get the most of your membership. 

The majority of my week was focused on the Legislature and the bills that are moving, read below on important information regarding that! I am thankful to Lauren for holding down the office on several things and members being patient as it is taking some time to respond to everything. 


This Week’s New Chamber Members-

Please join us in welcome the following businesses that joined our Chamber this week:


Legislative Update- ACTION Alert

Things are moving incredibly fast at the Legislature. We need you to take action now and stay engaged in what is happening. On Monday, Senate Bill 1282/ House Bill 1369 (Natural Marriage Defense Act) by Senator Mark Pody and Rep. Jerry Sexton got a favorable recommendation from the Joint Pensions and Insurance committee. The committee only issues recommendations to the impact on the state insurance plan and the bill has not yet been scheduled for a hearing in the standing committees. Later in the week, the bill that originally started out as an Anti-Trans Bathroom bill moved forward but as amended the bill only includes locker rooms, bathrooms and dressing rooms as places where indecent exposure can take place.  All of the negative language regarding transgender individuals was removed. That bill will likely be heard on the House and Senate floors next week. See below.  SB 1304/ HB 836 the Adoption bill which allows child placement agencies to discriminate for their religious beliefs will be heard on the House Floor on Monday, April 1 and in the Senate Judiciary Committee next Tuesday. See more below.


There was also a story that came out about a group called “No Gay? No Way!” pressuring Amazon to take a stance on the anti-LGBT legislation. We want to be very clear, the Nashville LGBT Chamber was not involved or affiliated with this group nor new that this action was taking place. We have been in contact with our member, Amazon, for months around the legislation that is taking place and we appreciate their help with it and their consistent and continued stance against discrimination and for equality. We ask any outside group to work with the groups that are currently working on the ground here rather than not having complete facts and causing confusion around the issues at this important time. 


Next week there are several things up and ways to get involved- 

Monday, April 1 - HB836 (one of the adoption discrimination bills) by Rep. Rudd is on the House floor.  The House floor session begins at 5:00 p.m. The companion bill is moving in the Senate.  See notes on April 2. Please see this link to the email campaign against the bill

Tuesday, April 2 - SB1304 (the companion to HB836) is back up in the Senate Judiciary Committee at 3:00 p.m. after being deferred a week.  It is the third item on the calendar. There was already an email campaign on the bill that was heavily used last week. Please see the “Wear RED” event and the phone call/message sheet on the bill.

HB1274 (bill requiring the State to pay for anti-transgender policies of school districts) is up in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee at 3:00 p.m. It is the third item on the calendar. Please see the email campaign against the bill, the Wear RED event on the bill, and the phone call/message campaign on the bill. 


Call for Speakers at PRESS Conference-  Tuesday, April 2 is the third TEP Advancing Equality Day on the Hill.  Here is the link to that schedule

We will be part of a press conference at 11 am in the Cordell Hull Building. If you would like to attend we would like to see you in the audience. More importantly, we are still looking for businesses to speak out on on the legislation. We hope corporations will follow the lead of AllianceBernstein when they spoke out four weeks ago. If you are a small business owner, your voice matters too. 

Please contact me and we can discuss your involvement. 


What we are talking about- We have heard from many of you on what to say about this legislation or what the points are against it. We have created this information sheet to assist you or your corporation to form your response. 


HRC Equality Index Scores-

The HRC Corporate Equality Index scores came out and we want to celebrate our members who scored 100. 18 Nashville LGBT Chamber Members scored 100! 3 of them are based in TN. 


Nashville LGBT Chamber Member Scores- 

  • AllianceBernstein LP | 100

  • Amazon.com Inc. | 100

  • Aramark Corp. | 100

  • Asurion LLC | 100 - TN Based

  • Bass, Berry & Sims PLC | 100 - TN Based

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN | 100 - TN Based

  • Cummins Inc. | 100

  • Dell Technologies Inc. | 100

  • Fifth Third Bancorp | 100

  • Gannett Co. Inc. | 100

  • Lyft Inc. | 100

  • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP |100

  • Suntrust Banks Inc. | 100

  • UBS | 100

  • Viacom | 100

  • Warby Parker | 100

  • Wells Fargo & Co. | 100

  • Yelp Inc. | 100


Tennessee Rankings- 

Total of 21 TN based companies were ranked this year. 4 TN based companies scored 100%. 4 did not reply to the CEI survey but are Fortune 500 companies. Their scores are based on public information and they are marked with a *. We know that several members that had 100 last year fell 10 points due to changes to how HRC scored this year around domestic partner benefits. Several members had huge debut scores and some jumped dramatically in their scores. Take a look at the scores below. 


Tennessee Company | 2019 Score-

  • Asurion | 100 - First-time applicant.  

  • Bass, Berry & Sims PLC | 100

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN | 100

  • Unum Group | 100

  • Nissan | 90

  • Genesco Inc | 90

  • Fed Ex | 90

  • Eastman Chemical | 90

  • Dollar General | 90

  • Bridgestone | 90 - Increase of 35 points. 

  • Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC | 90

  • Cracker Barrel | 80 - Increase of 20 points. 

  • First Horizon Nat'l Corp | 75

  • HCA | 70

  • Regal Entertainment Group | 60

  • Autozone | 40

  • *Community Health Systems | 20

  • International Paper | 20

  • *Delek US Holdings | 20

  • *Tractor Supply Company | 20

  • *LifePoint Health | 10


We will continue to work with all our members to increase their scores in the years ahead. We will also work with them to take full advantage and leverage those scores in multiple areas at the national and local levels. Congrats again. 


Nashville Hispanic Chamber Annual Meeting-

We attended the Nashville Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 20th Annual Membership Meeting this week. The agenda included great conversation lead by Hispanic business leaders and industry experts on the business and challenges of getting certified as a minority entrepreneur in our city. Mayor Briley spoke about the Equal Business Opportunity Program in Metro Government. Congrats to our partner and friends and here is to 20 more years!


Events Meeting and Excellence in Business Awards Planning-

Our Events Committee met this week to talk about details for our Excellence in Business Awards. There are a lot of volunteers working together to bring you the best Awards yet. All attendees are truly in for a treat.


We have some amazing sponsors this year. HCA, Curb Records, Asurion, AllianceBernstein, and Waller are joining us for the Excellence in Business Awards as sponsors. Sponsors receive benefits such as logo and link shared on Chamber Master and social media,  If you are interested in sponsoring this high-profile, premier business event, please reach out to Lauren.


Make sure you buy your tickets early!


Voting Starts Next Week-

Be on the lookout for the 2019 Excellence in Business Awards voting form to be sent to all members next week. Each member can vote one time starting next week and ending on April 14th. You will be able to read brief bios of the finalists both on our website and on the ballot. We add the membership votes to judges’ scores to get a winner in each category. Those winners are announced at the Business Awards live on stage, May 3rd. 


Attention LGBT Chamber Restaurants-

Nashville LGBT Chamber Restaurants: How can you give back to the Nashville community AND get new customers? Why not participate in Dining Out For Life?

Join our member Nashville CARES for Dining Out For Life on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, as a Participating Restaurant. This city-wide event involves more than 20,000 diners, 80 volunteers and over 60 Nashville area restaurants all to help end HIV in Middle Tennessee. Over the past 17 years, Nashville’s restaurant community has raised more than $1.2 million for Nashville CARES and saved the lives of thousands.

 Email DOFL@nashvillecares.org to sign up or for more information. You can visit https://www.diningoutforlife.com/city/nashville/ to see a list of participating restaurants.

Join Nashville CARES in the fight to End the HIV Epidemic in Middle Tennessee by participating in Dining Out For Life?


Dining Out For Life Lunch at the Mockingbird-

The LGBT Chamber is excited to support Nashville CARES and host lunch at The Mockingbird Nashville for Dining Out For Life - Nashville 2019.  Come eat lunch and talk to other Chamber members that will gather to support this great cause. 

Please RSVP to this event by registering and join us for lunch on Tuesday, April 16th!


Pride in the Arts- Nashville Opera-

The Nashville Opera would like to invite you to their production of The Tales of Hoffmann, Directed by John Hoomes. Be sure to check out the trailer link below. Follow the ticketing link for the special offer of $5.00 off tickets (promo code OLGBT5)


Thursday, April 4 | 7 pm

Saturday, April 6  | 8 pm

Andrew Jackson Hall, TPAC

A living doll, a dying diva, and a glamorous courtesan are all part of a poet’s journey to find his muse. Join Nashville Opera for a night of must-see theatre. Set in the time of The Great Gatsby, this fantastical thrill-ride glitters with sensuality, emotion and the glorious agony of the creative process. Starring Noah Stewart in the title role.


Trailer link:



Special $5.00 Off for Nashville LGBT Chamber:




Enjoy your weekend and get engaged next week! 


Joe Woolley



Lauren Bland

Membership Manager

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