Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Member Spotlight: JDR Consulting

“JDR is an operational business consulting firm who can fulfill your operational needs across the board and across the country.”

John Rivers is the founder, president and CEO of JDR Consulting, LLC. JDR has been a leading national management consulting firm for the past 13 years, specializing in integrated business and technology solutions. “JDR provides services in support of an organization’s accounting and technology suite, such as the implementation of an accounting infrastructure or customization of an out-of-the box technology.” 

John Rivers
President & CEO, JDR Consulting, LLC.

 JDR supports clients in real estate, investment management, and property management and most recently in government as well as healthcare. “My goal has always been to broaden the spectrum at JDR,” John stated. In 2015 JDR expanded their offering to include the government and healthcare sectors. “We are currently applying for our HUBZone and various other certifications. In addition, JDR was recently selected for an RFI for HUD.” Over the past 6 months, JDR has been working on the marketing strategy for their Healthcare Solutions division. “JDR is continually creating partnerships, which will roll into future work opportunities for the company,” John said. 

JDR Consulting has been a certified LGBTBE member of the NGLCCNY for a year and a half. John said that being a member has given JDR entry into new organizations, brought new customers, and helped build new relationships. “I enjoy the camaraderie about the organization, about what they stand for, and how they are pushing for diversity,” John stated. “Opportunities like Matchmakers at the national conference are ones that you would not get in any other situation.” John attended the national conference in 2015 and will attend this year’s conference in Palm Springs as well.

John attending and participating at the
2015 NGLCC International Leadership & Business Conference

John is originally from Ohio, but has been a New Yorker for more than 20 years. “I had visited New York a few times and fell in love with the city. I said to myself, ‘I’m moving to New York, I don’t care how, but I’m going!’” So at 22 years old, John got on a plane and has been here ever since. He and his husband currently live on the Upper West Side. John is always looking for ways to help others. He works in soup kitchens throughout the city; he is a Human’s Rights Activist and has served on the Board of Governors; and he helped the New York Steering Committee raise several million dollars. 

In his spare time, John and his husband like to take day trips around the tri-state and tour turn of the century homes in the area. 

To learn more about JDR, go to here

Written by Ashley Bellman,
Corporate Journalist, Media Communications Committee.

If you'd like to be featured in one of our upcoming communications, please contact me at

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Non-Profit Spotlight: SAGEWorks

SAGEWorks exists to help the LGBT community thrive in later years. SAGEWorks is a national employment support program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people age 40 and older that expands participants’ job hunting skills and career options, and connects employers to diverse high-caliber candidates. Recognizing the importance of remaining employed and fulfilled in today's competitive job market, SAGEWorks provides hands-on workshops, technology training and personal coaching at various sites nationwide.

SAGEWorks operates in five cities:
Ft. Lauderdale
Palm Springs, California

SAGEWorks is a program of Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) which is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources for LGBT older adults and their caregivers, advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people, and provides training for aging providers and LGBT organizations, largely through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. With offices in New York City, Washington, DC and Chicago, SAGE coordinates a growing network of 28 local SAGE affiliates in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

Michele D’Amato, Program Manager at SAGEWorks was kind enough to take time to share what’s new at SAGEWorks and how we can all get more involved.

Michele D'Amato
Program Manager, SAGEWorks

How have things changed since you first started at SAGEWorks? 
When we started in 2010 we offered an a la carte menu of services, (workshops, technology classes, 1:1 job coaching), but as of 2014 we added a two-week intensive employment “boot camp” program.  This required jobseekers to complete an online application allowing staff to assess employment readiness, motivation and core competencies.

See boot camp video here.

What areas have you seen more need for the Elders at SAGEWorks?
In addition to improving individual lives SAGEWorks is helping to build visibility around LGBT aging employment issues on the local and national level.  SAGEWorks builds relationships with local employers in an effort to create a more LGBT-and age-affirming employment market pipelines for SAGEWorks participants. 

Tell us about 2 key activities/projects SAGEWorks is currently working on. 
We are always seeking collaborative partners, specifically engaging corporate partners to offer pro bono services either through 1:1 assistance with SAGEWorks program participants, presenting on panels and facilitating skills-building workshops.  We are also seeking additional funding for the program so we can continue providing the services free of charge. 

Where do you see opportunities for the nglccNY community to engage SAGEWorks?
Access to companies/organizations that are hiring.  Networking opportunities, volunteer career coaches, HR and employment experts to facilitate workshops or participate on a panel.  In kind donations for special SAGEWorks networking events.

How can members of the chamber hiring connect with SAGEWorks looking for Internships/employment?
They can go to our website to learn more and apply for either “basic” a la carte services or the employment boot camp.

What events are coming up?
We have two workshops coming up in July: Career Transition: How to Enjoy and Be Empowered by The Process of Changing Jobs” and Strategies to Overcome Barriers to Employment Success (TBD).  We also have an employment boot camp starting on July 25th.

If members want to volunteer, what is the best way to connect? 
Anyone that wants to volunteer at SAGE must go through a volunteer orientation.  These are held once a month and facilitated by Bertis Shankle-Reyes, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator at

To learn more about SAGE and SAGEWorks you may chat up Michele D’Amato at our next M3 or

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Written by Ingrid Galvez,
Chair, Diversity & Inclusion, NGLCCNY
Organizational Development Consultant, Strategic Remedy Group

Intersted in being featured? Please contact me at

NGLCCNY Corporate Spotlight: Guggenheim Partners

Kate Kleyman, Supplier Diversity Manager for the Guggenheim Partners, divulges the latest about the firm's entrepreneurial spirit, its thriving Supplier Diversity Program, and it's relationship with the NGLCCNY.

Kate Kleyman
Supplier Diversity Manager, Guggenheim Partners

Tell me about Guggenheim Partners.
Guggenheim Partners is a global investment and advisory firm with more than $240 billion in assets under management (across a platform of managed accounts and funds) and a track record of delivering results through innovative solutions. Our commitment is to advance the strategic interests of our clients and to deliver long-term results with excellence and integrity. We help governments, institutions, and individuals address complex financial challenges, identify opportunity, and achieve their long-term objectives. We have 2,500 professionals in more than 25 offices in eight countries.

We deliver value through three primary businesses:
  1. ​Investments
    • Premier asset manager and investment advisor with expertise in: fixed income, equities, alternatives, and advisory solutions
  2. Securities
    • Full-service investment banking and capital markets capabilities including: advisory, financing, sales and trading, and research
  3. Insurance Services
    • Comprehensive advice for insurance companies on: asset liability management, capital and expense management, and transactions and products
What sets your firm apart?
Guggenheim Partners is an innovative firm with an entrepreneurial spirit. Our firm’s culture is defined by our six core values. They are the key to our storied legacy and the guide to our daily business decisions.

  • Innovation
    • We strive to create opportunities with new approaches and resources.
  • Integrity
    • We do the right thing, for the right reasons.
  • Excellence
    • We pride ourselves on the quality of our work and seek to exceed expectations.
  • Talent
    • We believe that employing and partnering with the best and brightest people build great organizations.
  • Entrepreneurship
    • We believe in fostering individual creativity and a sense of ownership.
  • Stewardship
    • We are dedicated to safeguarding the capital and trust of our clients, and advancing their best interests.

Our firm is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive and performance-oriented culture that encourages our employees to reach their fullest potential. In an increasingly complex, evolving, multi-faceted global environment, having an inclusive mindset, and integrating smart diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategies that incorporate multiple perspectives and innovative approaches are critical to our firm’s success.

Our firm’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), with the steadfast commitment and engagement from our senior leadership, proactively implements diversity and inclusive practices through a variety of efforts, internally and externally, to include talent acquisition and pipeline development, employee networks, benefits equity, and vendor diversity. Our firm’s D&I strategy is designed to harness the thought leadership from our diverse employees as well as to identify client, talent and vendor pipeline opportunities through expanding networks, and sponsorship of, and collaboration with, other corporate peers and external organizations. Our people play an integral role as connectors to bring new voices that enrich our awareness and create new opportunities for engagement and collaboration.

In addition, the office of Diversity and Inclusion collaborates with several of the firm’s key stakeholders, including the Human Capital Committee, Corporate Social Responsibility Committee, as well as the Strategic Sourcing and Expense Management team on a broad range of initiatives.

Diversity and inclusion transforms our firm’s culture and the communities in which we operate – it enables our firm to outperform the competition and continue to deliver value for our clients.

Tell me about your role as Supplier Diversity Manager with Guggenheim Partners.
Guggenheim launched its Supplier Diversity program in 2014. In collaboration with Guggenheim’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Strategic Sourcing and Expense Management and as the Manager of Supplier Diversity, we were able to develop and launch the Firm’s first Supplier Diversity program. As the Supplier Diversity Manager for the Firm, our Office of Diversity and Inclusion partners with our Strategic Sourcing team to ensure that diverse suppliers are included in the sourcing process. The role is to ensure that all RFPs include language that supports Supplier Diversity and the use of diverse vendors. We added language to encourage suppliers that are not diverse to utilize diverse vendors in subcontracting opportunities. Through our Inclusive Vendor Process, we raised firm-wide awareness of Supplier Diversity by meeting with leaders across the firm and by developing a marketing strategy, which raises awareness of Supplier Diversity for all employees. As the Manager for Supplier Diversity, advocating for diverse vendors that are provided opportunities to work with Guggenheim as well as diverse vendors that would like to work with Guggenheim is integral.

How can certified LGBTBEs engage and do business with Guggenheim Partners and the supplier industries that you are currently sourcing for?
We are in the process of developing an external website where diverse suppliers would be able to register with Guggenheim for supplier opportunities. In the meantime, certified LGBTBEs may email me at

What Supplier Diversity initiatives do you have planned for both the immediate and long-term future?
We have several key Supplier Diversity initiatives in the pipeline designed to enhance the vendor diversity ecosystem. We are partnering with our top law firms to promote Supplier Diversity by assisting them in developing their own programs. We are also targeting other financial services firms that are similar to our size to develop Supplier Diversity programs as well. We believe that this type of initiative will expand opportunities for diverse suppliers.

We are also hosting a Financial Services Symposium where we are partnering with other financial services firms to discuss Supplier Diversity within our industry.

How long have you been part of the NGLCCNY?
We have been a member of the NGLCCNY since the start of 2015.

How has the NGLCCNY been beneficial to Guggenheim Partners?
NGLCCNY has been extremely beneficial to Guggenheim by connecting our firm to excellent suppliers as well to wonderful colleagues in the Supplier Diversity space.

Tell me a little bit about you personally. What led you to your current position?
After attending Brandeis, I had the opportunity to begin my professional career with a few amazing nonprofits. Through this rich experience, I was fortunate to learn more about the global challenges and collaborative efforts to address the inequities in health care, education and relief efforts to violent nation conflicts. I learned about the role that corporations often play in developing solutions to the difficult problems in our nation and the world.

I am very passionate about community growth and economic empowerment and the role corporations play in advancing innovative solutions to complex challenges.

That is one of the reasons that I love working at this firm, if you are passionate, work hard and develop innovative strategies -- you are able to establish a great career path.

Kate Kleyman, Guggenheim Partners, Office of Diversity & Inclusion

Written by Ashley Bellman,
Corporate Journalist, Media Communications Committee.

If you'd like to be featured in one of our upcoming communications, please contact me at

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Meet Kevin Uhrin and William Self: Chamber Champions & LGBT Activists

Kevin Uhrin and William Self are a fine example of two LGBT activist in NYC. Never did they imagine that a chance meeting at Saks Fifth Avenue would turn into a love story of a life time. They have since filled their lives with many first, ups and downs and live a life full of adventure. One inspiring action about this couple is the readiness of lending a hand and helping out the community. Kevin attributes their success as a couple to the 50/50 split on communication. He believes they have struck the right balance of complimenting each other at every turn.

Since first arriving in NYC in 1980 they have been fully engaged in the LGBT Community. The level of commitment to each other is only rivaled by their commitment to the betterment of the community. Their motto is “If you want something done; you HAVE to get involved.”

Upon moving to New York, Kevin knew he found where he was supposed to be and could give back. As a certified nurse’s aide he joined GMHC as a screener, testing patients for STDs. That was an eye opening experience as he met people from all walks of life with varying perspectives on their circumstances. The biggest eye opening experience of the importance of being involved was the first time this young man from Olyphant, Pennsylvania met an I.V. drug user. The I.V. drug user went on to share that he thought he was HIV positive, he didn’t know who infected him and he did not care whom, he would infect. It was at that moment Kevin realized the importance in getting involved to help educate the community and prevent this disease. He sits on the Health Department and Police Department Boards and is very proud that he has no affiliation to either organization as this keeps him objective about the missions at hand.

Bill arrived from Corpus Christi, TX in 1980 and quickly joined the Medical Library Center of New York as a library Assistant. He never imagined returning a cologne to Saks Fifth Avenue would be the best decision he ever made. Together over the last 28 years Bill and Kevin have supported grassroots organizations such as Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Anti-violence Project, Callen-Lorde, God’s Love We Deliver, HRC, Tyler Clementi Foundation, Toys for Tots, Stonewall Democrats, Queens Pride, NYC Pride, Live Out Loud and I’m From Driftwood. To name a few.

Kevin and Bill were kind enough to chat about their journey in NYC leading up to finding the nglccNY. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed learning about these fine gentlemen.

What does community mean to you?
Bill: The complete organisms that we are. From our family to our friends and all the sub circle of friends. You just have everybody worldwide. We have our LGBT community and we certainly focus on our LGBT community. It is certainly the broader community of man.

Kevin: Community means all in one, inclusive, all together, not separated. Gay life should be a fun life! I wanted to be part of my community. When I got here I found I could be gay here, embrace who I was and nobody cared.

What non-profit are you currently working with the closest?
Kevin: I think Live Out Loud, because it is all about education. Getting the young generation to do things within their schools is where we have to start. With the younger generations, in the schools, we can educate them and from there they can start doing things on their own and taking it to the next level, which is why I love Live Out Loud. It really does start in the schools. You get these kids who think they have nothing in the world but through determination they end up creating programs and changing the curriculum in their schools. Then getting a scholarship to do bigger and better things. It is great to follow the kids that have gone through the program and see what they have been able to accomplish once they graduate from college.

I think education is a very powerful thing in the world. Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to get it. It’s sad to see, especially minorities, not getting the schooling they should be getting or to have someone there to say “no, you really need to stay in school.”

That is why I’m so focused on the Trans-empowerment and equality. The trans community has the right to be who they were meant to be. Their struggle has always resonated with me. As I have struggled with my gender identity. My point would be that those in the Black and Latino Trans community, many of whom are poor, are being harassed in schools for who they are and they drop out.

Two of my friends who are Trans shared with me that they knew who they wanted to be and the main focus was to get educated... Because, once they got educated they could be anybody they wanted to be in this world. At that point, they started to look at their transitioning. I want to teach these kids that there is a place for them and it begins with education.

How do you feel about the use of the word lifestyle?
Kevin: Life is life and style is what you wear.

How do you like to inspire others?
Bill: I don’t think that I do, I just go out and do. I’m just myself. You live your life and find a cause, or things you like doing, to be helpful to others. You just go through life and, you end up doing things that mean something to you.

How did you find your way to the nglccNY?
Bill: We were introduced by a chamber member. Coming into the group we just met so many great people and it was very comfortable. Meeting so many people from Texas it was very warm and welcoming group of people. We were welcomed with open arms even though we did not have our own business. It was unlike what we had experienced in other organizations.

How do you reconcile being members of the nglccNY when you are not business owners and are not the traditional LGBT professionals working at one of our corporate partners?
Bill: We like being links to encourage others to participate. Just as we encourage others to participate in other charities or other things that go on. As a Librarian, I’m very comfortable giving information.

At Lenox Hill Hospital, As the Director of the Library, I am responsible for managing the health science knowledge based information that is being made available to the medical and clinical staff at the hospital. I work to provide support in the continuing education and I give them access to the information they need.

Kevin: I like to support our own community and that is what I like about the nglccNY – it's all inclusive. It is not just LGBT, it is also the straight community. It is everyone coming to together to help one another.

Sounds as if you have always been in a position to share information, is that a fair statement?
Bill: Yes, that’s what I like to do. After 30 some years of running around you accumulate quite a reference library of where to go for specific things, or at least you know where to find something out. I think it’s important to be a resource of information to others. 

What is it about nglccNY that inspires you to recommend it to your business owning friends?
Kevin: I was just impressed at how well put together the events were. I thought it was a great idea that you had all these LGBT business owners to learn from one another. I think if people learn about what the nglccNY is all about is that – It’s an open door to everything! There is nothing that you cannot learn or do by becoming part of it and of course I believe we should take care of each other.

Bill: It is a great resource for business and social growth. We are meeting so many people who have their own businesses and it offers us an opportunity to recommend an organization that they can connect with the community.

What has been the biggest benefit of joining the nglccNY?
Kevin: I like the idea that I can help to educate the community that this organization is more than just gay men. It truly is the entire community. When I believe in something I go wholeheartedly into something. It is a great organization and I really do like it. It is one I can truly say I can I stand behind 100% and that is why I recommend people to it. 

Bill: I hate to keep saying the same answer but it is having this new community that I’m part of. It’s the theme going through the chamber; it’s a fraternity of business people with varied businesses, that can get together and share information and resources. Being able to make these connections that bind you as a group. You get out of it what you bring to it. There is always something businesswise going on. The first time we attended a mixer we were surprised that people were readily introducing themselves to us and were very inviting. All of a sudden you realize you have 500 new friends.

What is your message to the universe?
Kevin: We all bleed the same color therefore we are all the same.

Bill: I always fall back on the old Rocky Horror thing of “Don’t dream it; be it”. Go out and do and be the best person you can be. You can do that by connecting with other people and by doing good. Always bring a hostess gift, always hand write a thank you note.

Written by Ingrid Galvez,
Chair, Diversity & Inclusion, NGLCCNY
Organizational Development Consultant, Strategic Remedy Group

Intersted in being featured? Please contact me at