Thursday, August 18, 2016

LGBT Open House

Saturday, September 24, 2016
11AM - 3PM
Maritime Parc | Jersey City, NJ


• Programming dedicated to shedding light on topics affecting the LGBT community

• Panel and dedicated speaker sessions focused on Health, Wellness, Real Talk for Teens and Trending LGBT topics
• Interactive storytelling session with “I’m From Driftwood” creator, Nathan Manse
• Social and professional networking with businesses, educators and youth resources
• Complimentary farm-to-table dishes and beverages from Maritime Parc.


Youth Pass
 Free with required pre-registration at
 Limited quantity available
 Must be 17 years of age or younger

Single Adult Admission
• $15 online, $25 at the door
• 18 years of age or older



For information regarding sponsorship opportunities, please email

Posted by 
Sean Franklin,
Senior Associate, Media Communications Committee, NGLCCNY
Experience Producer, Socio

Interested in being featured? 
Please contact me at

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

CMYK Presents The Artist Room

CMYK presents a (very) intimate performance with Martha Graham Cracker for The Artist Room at Washington Square Hotel

What happens when there is nothing between you and an artist? No stage, no giant theater, no screens. Just audience and performer. To find out, Brooklyn-based creative agency CMYK created The Artist Room, a residency program at Washington Square Hotel that connects artists and audiences in unexpected and transformational ways.

Martha Graham Cracker – famously known as “the tallest drag queen in the world” - is the latest artist-in-residence for the program. She’ll take up residency for a week in September culminating in a series of performances on September 7th and 10th which feature both intimate in-room experiences and a lively show-stopper cabaret.

For the in-room performance, small groups will enter a transformed hotel room for unparalleled access to Martha’s work and creative world. Each in-room experience will be different and tailored to the people in the room and feature performance from Martha, live music from violinist Erica Miller and accordionist Matt Aument, and immersive elements. After the in-room performances, Martha will bring her celebrated, delightful and hilarious cabaret performance to the hotel lounge for a full performance. Expect music inspired by the illustrious previous tenants of the hotel and costumes that double as works of art from designer Machine Dazzle.

Martha Graham Cracker has performed regularly at a wide variety of venues including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Joe’s Pub in New York, and The Afterglow Festival in Provincetow.  Her alter ego, Dito van Reigersberg, is a co-founder of the acclaimed and OBIE winning physical-theater company, Pig Iron Theater.

Washington Square Hotel is a Greenwich Village treasure with a storied past of being a haven for artists and writers. From Hemingway to Chuck Berry to Dylan to the Ramones  - artists have always called Washington Square Hotel their home away from home. The Artist Room continues this tradition with a new generation of artists, writers, musicians and performers.

Event Details:

The Artist Room with Martha Graham Cracker

Wednesday, September 7
Early Show
7PM In-room performances
8:30PM Cabaret

Late Show
9PM In-room performances
10:45PM Cabaret

Saturday, September 10
Early Show
7PM In-room performances
8:30PM Cabaret

Late Show
9PM In-room performances
10:45PM Cabaret

$35 - In-room performance and cabaret
$15 – cabaret ONLY

Tickets are available to purchase here.

Posted by 
Sean Franklin,
Senior Associate, Media Communications Committee, NGLCCNY
Experience Producer, Socio

Interested in being featured? 
Please contact me at

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Penn Mutual and The American College Provide Full Scholarships for Veterans and Their Spouses

Transitioning from military to civilian life is inevitable. 
Position yourself successfully for a new career in the 
Financial Services Industry. Scholarships are awarded 
for design and degree programs offered by 

"In an effort to support our armed forces’ veterans, The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company partnered with The American College to provide military scholarships for veterans looking to pursue an education in financial services. The Center has awarded 172 full scholarships to veterans and their spouses seeking graduate degrees and certifications in financial planning, retirement, insurance, wealth transfer, leadership and management, and banking at The American College of Financial Services." To read more about this great initiative, please visit here

OUR MISSION: To provide educational support 
and career opportunities to eligible men, women 
and their spouses who have served in the armed
 services of the United States.

"At NGLCC, all of of our LGBTBE legislation is inclusive of Veterans - when we all do better, we all do better." -Jonathan Lovitz, VP of External Affairs & NGLCCNY Director

To learn more about the Center and scholarship opportunities please visit here

Posted by 
Sean Franklin,
Senior Associate, Media Communications Committee, NGLCCNY
Experience Producer, Socio

Interested in being featured? 
Please contact me at

Monday, August 8, 2016

Non-Profit Spotlight: The LGBT Center

The Center. Two small words that have inspired many to stand up, stand out and live proud. The greatest thing The Center ever did was open its doors and welcome everybody. The mission is simple, empower LGBT people; build a strong community.

The Center has been an LGBT Activist incubator since 1983. The Center has fostered the LGBTQI community when no one else would and definitely before it was “cool." The Center is a hero and a shining example of what it means to be a community leader. In the early days it was home to HMI, GMHC, GLAAD and The Anti-Violence Project to name a few of the great organizations that have found their way to the mainstream and push for access to healthcare, proper visibility, education, safety and protection for all in the LGBTQI community.

Their early existence and cultivation would not have been possible without The Center. They are a small sample of the equality warriors The Center has been inspiring and fostering since 1983.

Today The Center welcomes more than 300,000 visitors each year not to mention the innumerable folks that reach out to the center on a daily basis to connect with either the programs at The Center or connect with one of the hundreds of resource partners across the country.

Over the years The Center has become the go-to expert for resources both personal and professional. On the personal side whether you are a local member of the community or visiting from afar and want to support local LGBT or LGBT friendly businesses. The Center can provide with a list to get you started.

Professionally speaking The Center offers Professional Development Programs. Most recent additions to their roster of offerings include The Transgender Economic Empowerment Program and The Women’s Economic Empowerment Program. Both offer specific support and resources to these underserved demographics in the community. Many find it hard to believe with all the progress being made there are folks that are way behind in terms of access to opportunities and that is exactly where The Center has always stepped in. The Center has been the platform by which we light the corners of oppression and inequality for all members of the community and then do something about it. If there is a need, they are strategic in planning and lay the foundation for scalability in programming. They have demonstrated this by the ways in which the core services at The Center have come to fruition. Offering a clean, safe space was certainly a place to start. As the community has found its personal and collective voice, The Center has heard us. Whether it is connecting us to shelter and self-care the Resource Center helps anyone find their way to the appropriate services.

As the community needs evolved so have the services provided. A fine example is the Family & Youth Programs; the offerings support a young person’s journey from self-acceptance to planning for their future while navigating the world in these uncertain times. The family component offers relationship and family support as well as parenthood and family resources.

Understanding that each individual is on their personal journey and is forging their own path. The Center offers Recovery & Wellness Programs, to those who are in need of additional support regarding their Health, Wellness, as well as offering a comprehensive substance abuse treatment for both the youth and adults in the community.

The most recently enhanced program is the Arts & Culture Programming. Here is where The Center gives us even more of which we can all be proud. The Center, by archiving our history, creating a library that offers access to LGBT Literature and research LGBTQI history, provides us with a glimpse of all the challenges, battles -won and lost, and overall contributions of the LGBTQI community. The Arts & Culture Programs also includes the Bureau of General Services – Queer Division. The Bureau is the City’s only LGBT bookstore and it doubles as an event space and cultural center. 

Glennda Testone
Executive Director, The Center

I was honored to speak with Glennda Testone, Executive Director of The Center and learn from her about the extraordinary ways The Center is taking it to the next level. Her vision of a fully engaged community is clear as she warmly shared the key focus for The Center and how we at the nglccNY can participate. I hope you enjoy reading the interview as much as I enjoyed learning about this incredible new addition to the nglccNY family. 

As the second ED in the history of The Center, you’ve been at the helm the last seven years, would you share how much things have changed since you first came on board?

In some ways things have changed a lot in a positive direction. We have seen public opinion and federal law shift dramatically to support Marriage Equality for our community. So that’s been incredibly positive. We’ve also seen an increase in visibility and conversations around the transgender Community. With people like Laverne Cox and Orange is the New Black and Janet Mock. As well as the success of the pentagon ending the transgender military ban. These events are really hopeful. President Obama has been particularly supportive of our community. For example, making Stonewall a National Monument has been a big win.

In other ways we have also seen an amplified picture of violence against members of our community, economic struggles for many members of our community and people just, still, trying to live their lives and build their families and not getting the support and resources that they need.

For the Center we’ve gone through a lot of changes as well. We’ve gone through a big renovation to make the building more welcoming and really reflect the home we want to provide for our community. Making sure people can do a lot of different things in all the rooms and making sure we can accommodate that, as The Center is home so to speak.

You mentioned 3 specific things since taking the helm. Starting with Transgender needs; what have you seen become more of the needs in the Transgender Community?

We have been servicing the Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Community for 25 years. I would say that this is a part of our community that is incredibly resilient and incredibly inspiring and faces some tremendous challenges. We have been running a Gender Identity Project that helps Trans and Gender Non-Conforming people really solidify their identity, exist in the world, and build social support and have a community.

Last year we launched a Transgender Empowerment Program and that program seeks to address the economic inequalities that the Trans community faces. Transgender individuals are up to 4 times more likely to live in poverty. One third of Trans People of Color have incomes of less than $10,000 annually. There is really a tremendous amount of challenge there. Both around social challenges, economic challenges, health challenges. Our program really speaks to empower Trans folks to get to the economic stability they want and need. When it comes to getting a job and being able to advance their career. What I have seen is there is more visibility of this community and there still need to be a lot of support, programs and resources. That is still lagging behind the level of visibility.

I heard of a program called “House of Code” would you share a bit about that?

That is a workshop we do for the Trans Economic Empowerment Program I just mentioned. We’ve done sessions with folks who want to learn. Trans folks in particular who want to learn how to become web developers. So that is one area where we know that people, if they can get in to this industry, can create a livelihood for themselves.

The other key topic you mentioned was the violence against the community?

When something like Orlando happens, and our community is targeted in such a horrific way, both the LGBT community and the LatinX communities still have more work to do. We have to do what we can to ensure that people can’t be lawfully discriminated against, targeted, harassed, or denied their rights. That is something that needs to be true regardless the city or state you happen to reside in this country. We work really hard at The Center to make sure we’re open as much as possible and that there are always people here 7 days a week, 9am – 10pm.

We can connect folks with resources and support. Whether it’s us and a program we provide or somewhere else in the city. We often serve as a referral network. We’re the first stop for a lot of the LGBTQ folks who are looking for resources.

Understanding that youth are seemingly coming out at much younger ages and the Youth Enrichment Services (Y.E.S.) has been a staple for as long as I can recall. Have you seen the needs of the youth participating in Y.E.S. program change?

I would say yes, certainly, the folks participating in the Youth Program I would say 2 things. Number one, we have certainly seen a lot of young people who not only want to be supported as individual LGBTQ people and find a community. Number two, they are also, trying to figure out how to build a life and support themselves. While we have been addressing the social and community needs for over 25 years, a few years ago, we started providing Leadership and Opportunities Services. This enables us to help young people figure out what do they want to do when they grow up, and how do they make sure they are taking steps now, to be able to do that. The Center offers planning and college prep, workforce readiness, internships.

The other thing we have, sadly seen over the years is that there are tremendously high rates of substance abuse among LGBT Youth and we currently run the City’s only LGBT Adult Out-Patient Treatment Program. About 2 years ago we started developing a program that would specifically help LGBT Youth around addiction and recovery. We got private funding from foundations and now have gotten some funding from the City and the State to be able to launch a youth substance abuse recovery and treatment program. That is something that is sad, that we are dealing with and something that is important we focus resources on so we make sure the young folks in our community really have a chance to grow up and lead healthy and successful lives.

We at the Chamber have some licensed Mental Health Professionals. Is there an opportunity for them to assist by volunteering their expertise with the Center around this endeavor?

Sure! We are always looking for volunteers and people who can help connect on these programs. The workshop you mentioned around web development. That was started by a volunteer, who is a professional web developer who volunteered his time to teach Trans folks to code. The easiest way to connect is just to email us at We have various opportunities and we can really create something because people have different skills and availability. We like to have a look to see where people fit and find the right match.

If we can switch gears a bit, I’d to talk about women. How are young LBT women being engaged to participate in Y.E.S or other programs at the Center?
A year ago, we made the decision to really focus on engaging with women in our community and offering something exclusively for women. For a long time, we have had a high number of women participate in the youth program, the wellness and health programs, the family programs, and the Lesbian Cancer Initiative. We realized that it wasn’t enough, we wanted to do more and we created a Women’s Economic Empowerment Program.

The goal here is to address the wage gap for our community. We all know the fact that women make less than men; actually LBT women make even less than their straight counter-parts. We wanted to offer a program that would offer individual career counseling, trainings, workshops, networking events, and during the Annual Career Fair we want to have a track or focus on Women. Connecting women to each other, help them break into industries of interest to them and move up, if that’s what they want once they get there. We are very excited to launch that program and offer something that any women in the community could take advantage of.

What are 2 or 3 key items that the Center is working on?

I would say, we have mentioned all of them. I would say definitely the Transgender Economic Empowerment Program. Really helping folks in our Trans and Gender Non-conforming community get the economic and legal footing that they need to be able to build a life. The Women’s Economic Empowerment Program and the Youth Substance Abuse and Recovery Treatment Program.

I would like to add the Arts & Culture. We have hired a Director of Cultural Engagement, who is working very hard to provide unique cultural experiences for folks in our community. I think that would be great for the members of nglccNY. Members of nglccNY are welcomed to attend, participate and certainly if people have connections or idea that would be great.

Also, we offer training to help workforce and education service providers to create a safe and affirming spaces for the trans and gender non-conforming communities. For example, we partner with the NYC Human Right Commission to train many of the NYC agencies improve around issues of Trans inclusion and creating spaces that safe for Trans folks. That is just something to think about, if there are any members who want to delve into this area more and enhance what they are already doing for Trans and gender non-conforming folks.

What would you say are your greatest accomplishments since stepping into to your position?

I’m really proud of the Economic Empowerment Program for Women. It is something that just doesn’t happen. It is something that doesn’t exist very often in our community, it feels really great! I think the work that we are doing for the Trans Community. To really try to even the playing field a little bit is really important. Lastly the renovation that we’ve done has enabled us to increase visitors, increase room rentals, and more people coming here and loving the space and coming back. That’s something I’m really proud of.

Are you finding that folks are wanting to rent out the spaces more?
Yes, that’s always been the case, and I would say there’s been an increase in demand since the renovations. It’s challenging to juggle the increased requests.

Anything that I haven’t asked that you would like to share with the membership?

I would say, there is such a nice synergy between what the nglcc and what the LGBT Center do. So I think there are great opportunities to partner and support each other. I think nglccNY members can do that by volunteering, especially around events where there is good synergy, such as the Career Fair, The Women’s and the Trans Economic Empowerment Programing.

For folks who are a little more adventurous, signing up to ride or crew in our annual bike ride called Cycle for the Cause. We are in the 22nd year, we go from Boston to NY and raise money for HIV/AIDS programs here at the Center. Even if you don’t want to get on a bike or volunteer, we always accept and appreciate donations, people are welcomed and encouraged to become members of the organization and can have access to the community and the events we do here. We are always happy to have them join us that way.

What is your message to the universe?

“Help each other and be kind. Do what you can to make the world a better place.”

This just begins to scratch the surface of what The Center does on a daily basis. The existence and contribution of The Center is simply priceless. We may never know just how many people The Center truly reaches and how far the ripple effects of their nurturing environment extends. To that end this is The Center of LGBTQI life in NYC and we are its stewards and should consider giving back a bit of what it has given us all. Four easy ways to support The Center, become a Member, Donate, Attend or Volunteer.

To connect with The Center, Stop by at 208 West 13th Street or Like or Follow on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and Flickr.

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

Intersted in being featured? Please contact me at

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Member Spotlight: Matt Monath Photography

Matt Monath is a celebrity portraiture, beauty, fashion, lifestyle, still-life and travel photographer based out of NYC. Matt's work often involves his signature colorful aesthetic, consistently delivering bold, impactful imagery for advertising and editorial clients. Matt recently became a Certified LGBTBE with the Chamber. I was fortunate enough to find some time with Matt and got to know more about him and his business.

Tell me a bit about Matt and how photography came to play in your life.

I’ve always considered myself an artistic person. I picked up some photo classes in college in upstate New York, and fell in love with it, in particular in-studio portraiture, fashion, and beauty. Straight out of college, I jumped into three internships at once, each to hone in on different aspects of photography, as I found my place in the industry. Through that time, my work transformed — I began to photograph actual models and celebrities, and graduated from photographing my friends. That’s when I really started to feel like a professional. I had found my aesthetic — a vivid and saturated approach to portraiture, fashion, and beauty, with a blast of color. 

Matt Monath, Photographer
Matt Monath Photography

You market yourself as a “Celebrity Portraiture, fashion, and beauty photographer”. For the less savvy, what does that mean?

The goal of a celebrity photoshoot is to capture an image that really represents who the subject is. It’s always fun with a celebrity because they come to the table with something — they already have a personality that so many people are familiar with, which I can choose to tap into. Or sometimes, the fun of it comes from showing that this person is really just like you and me, especially in the few minutes we spend together during a session, whether you’re seeing these images in a magazine, on a billboard, or on social media.

As for fashion, I’m hired by a brand or publication, and the goal is to bring a mood to the fashion being photographed. It’s about the person wearing the photos, where they’re going, what they’re doing in the clothes, and the story that the clothing tells.

As for beauty, it’s all about the face — featuring beautiful faces in stunning makeup.

You reside and do business in one of the photography capitals of the world, why do prospecting clients choose you; why do existing clients come back?

My aesthetic has helped define me as a photographer, and makes my work stand out of the crowd. The bold and colorful look of my portraiture, fashion, and beauty work, is usually what clients are seeking. This mood in my work helps marry all of these various genres of photography found within my work.

Aside from portraiture, fashion, and beauty, my work also consists of food, still-life, travel, and lifestyle imagery, so clients see that my work caters to various asks.

Your bio at lists many great brands and celebrities. Name one celebrity experience that was most memorable to you and why?

Whenever I photograph a musician, I’m so careful about having the perfect soundtrack, to the point of looking up their influences and favorite artists, but making sure I don’t play any of their music. There was one day that I was photographing Rita Ora, for iHeartRadio, and I had my perfect playlist all queued up. I’m not sure how it happened, but one of her hit songs ended up on that playlist, and came on during our shoot. I was horrified, because I tried to keep my love for this song a secret. Turns out it was serendipitous, and I got the perfect shot during our sing-along dance party. 

Being in business with great success for so many years, why the need or interest in recently becoming LGBTBE certified?

I’m proud to be part of the LGBT community, and I want that to translate into my professional business as well. Being LGBTBE certified gives me the opportunity meet likeminded people, and align my work with that of those that I share this community with. Being gay in the photography industry has honestly only helped me along the way, and it’s exciting to meet others who can say the same for their business, especially now with the NGLCC connecting us.

At NGLCC/NGGLCNY, we believe in creating a sustainable supply chain of certified suppliers. How could other certified LGBTBEs, perhaps another photographer or non-photographer, partner with you?

In the photography industry, it’s largely about who you know. Photographers are always supporting each other — passing along jobs, and referring each other to clients, etc. I’m also always looking within the LGBT community for creatives to collaborate with to make some great imagery for clients, or looking for clients themselves that I can lend my services to. 

OK, lets get personal – How does Matt Monath, “Celebrity Portraiture, Fashion, and Beauty photographer” pass his down time?

My down time is spent traveling, cuddling with my rescue pup Mason, binge watching TV shows, and going on adventures in the sunshine with my fiancé Matt. Matt and I will be getting married in June 2017. I can't wait! #TheMatts

After all, this is a B2B forum – Provide some examples of how/why would a potential corporate partner source for your services.

A potential partner would be interested in exciting content created for their business. Whether it's a fashion shot for their clothing brand, a portrait of a celebrity for their publication, lifestyle shots for their website, beauty shots for their portfolio, food shots for their restaurant’s Instagram, head shots for their team, or product shots for a campaign, we can collaborate to make some impactful imagery. 

Portfolios can be found on my website at, as well as a client list. 

Potential clients can also see some of my work at @MattMonathPhoto on Instagram.

Interview by 
Gonzo Araya,
Executive Chair, Media Communications Committee, NGLCCNY
Partner, Socio

Interested in being featured? 
Please contact me at

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