Thursday, August 2, 2018

Women Spotlight: The Weekend Soiree

As the next generation of female entrepreneurs is emerging, they are doing so by disrupting the tired notion that women nest and don’t socialize. The Weekend Soiree is here and in full effect to demonstrate what women really want: a social, travel organization catering to professional and multicultural, queer womxn.

The Weekend Soiree (TWS) was founded out of a great desire for professional and multicultural queer womxn to meet their peers from around the country. In conversations with co-founders Imani (“Grant”) and Mary ("MDot") Fuller they shared their story and their passion to bring The Weekend Soiree to life as well as how they plan to elevate an underserved market.

Co-Founders Imani (“Grant”) and Mary ("MDot") Fuller
How Did You Conceptualize TWS?

After attending several conferences and LGBT event weekends, we felt that there was a daytime element missing to those weekends.  Many of them seemed to focus on the parties, missing tons of opportunities for daytime experiences.  We spent several months tossing around ideas about how to bring professional and multicultural queer womxn together for a 360-degree upscale weekend experience, we launched TWS in early 2018. 

How did you get to “The Weekend Soiree”?

The Weekend Soiree is necessary because it fills the void in the event space for professional, multicultural, queer womxn who want more than just a party weekend.  The Weekend Soiree is here to enable community-building, laughter, and fun through our annual event.  

Where will the inaugural event be held?

While TWS is based in Atlanta; Denver, CO will host The Weekend Soiree for our Rocky Mountain Rollout (September 13th - 16th, 2018).

What can a “Weekender” expect to experience?

The Weekend Soiree is a 4-day getaway for queer professional womxn filled with professionals from our hometown host to the wonderous speakers who will facilitate The Weekend's workshops. Including fitness experts leading boot camps, yoga classes and our wicked DJs who keep the parties jumping throughout The Weekend.

What are your goals for your business? Where do you hope to see your business in one, five, ten years? 

We see this growing into multiple events throughout the year that focus on different dimensions of success. We want the Weekenders to become a group of dynamic women who are making waves in their respective industries and consider The Weekend Soiree their must attend event of the year (and throughout the year)

How did you find your way to NGLCC? 

Imani is in the Food industry with her company, Infinite Ag, and attended a holiday culinary event hosted by the Atlanta GLCC. Mary was very active with the Detroit GLCC.

How has being a member of the NGLCC community impacted your business, if at all? 

In the short time we've been members, we've had the opportunity to access some great resources in the hospitality space. 

How can the membership benefit from working with you? 

They can send attendees to the event, become partners and get exposure to a demographic that would be interested in LGBT-owned business products.

What do you hope to impress upon the membership about your industry/business?

We are inclusive and we always looking for great partnerships. 

What advice would you give to an LGBT person starting a business?

It's hard work, leverage every resource available to you.

What inspiring message do you have for the community?

All our dimensions should be celebrated and respected as often as possible. Our individualities make us powerful.  

Connect The Weekend Soiree on social!
Written by Ingrid GalvezChair, Diversity & Inclusion, nglccNY

Organizational Development Consultant, 
Strategic Remedy Group

Strategic Remedy Group is a certified LGBTBE focused on cultivating collaborative communities to propel business success.

Non-Profit Spotlight: SAGE

Since 1978, SAGE has been at the forefront of LGBTQ elder care and rights. In the last 40 years, SAGE has led the national conversation on aging in the LGBTQ community. SAGE started out like many grassroots organizations, a couple of forward-thinking individuals and coffee. Pondering what will become of the aging LGBTQ population and the right to age with dignity. Kind and compassionate individuals worked tirelessly to create the first ever LGBTQ Senior safe space. In 1983 SAGE was recognized and was declared a national prototype of supportive services for LGBTQ elders. With every passing year SAGE continues to expand its service offerings to the community across the country. In 1992 SAGE launched a national network of affiliates. This opened the possibility for elders to receive supportive services.

Statistically speaking 1 million Americans turn 65 every day. Using the 10% marker, that equates to 100,000 LGBTQ folks turning 65 each day. Today there are 28 locations across the country addressing the very real, everyday needs of the LGBTQ Elder community. Sage boasts centers In the Bronx, Brooklyn, Mid-town Manhattan, Harlem and Staten Island. In 2016 it announced NYC first-ever LGBTQ Elder housing, scheduled to open in 2019.

In a recent chat with Sterling Cruz-Herr, Chief Engagement Officer, SAGE, Sterling helped to paint the picture of the past, present and future of SAGE. They also shared the way in which they are leading intergenerational connectedness through a special annual event called Sage Table, a phenomenal way of sharing in-person LGBTQ history and finding meaningful ways to connect with those paved the way for us.

From left to right: Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Leonardis with Sterling Cruz-Herr, Chief Engagement Officer, SAGE

What can you tell us about SAGE?

SAGE, is celebrating its fortieth anniversary and it is the nation’s oldest and largest organization working with and for LGBT elders.  We have affiliates offering services in 28 locations around the country. We have trained almost 38,000 staffers at companies serving older people throughout the country, such as senior centers and assisted living facilities, to ensure that our elders are welcome there.  We have certified 297 of those companies for their efforts to advance cultural competence through a program called SAGECare. Specifically, in New York City, we’ve got five LGBT senior centers and we have recently broken ground on LGBT-friendly elder housing in the Bronx and in Ft. Green.  In addition, we are aggressively pushing back against policies being advanced by the Trump Administration to erase our elders.  This includes a national campaign SAGE mounted against its efforts to remove LGBT elders from a federal survey of aging services.  We got them to keep the LGB but not the T.  We will continue to fight until all our elders are counted.

That’s a lot!  But I’m also excited about work SAGE is doing to build connections between generations in the LGBT community.

That part of our work is something that many other folks excited about, too, Ingrid.   Because connections between generations in the LGBT community are something that don’t happen naturally.  So, what does that mean as we age?  Who will care for us given the fact that so many LGBT elders are estranged from our bio families? That we are four times less likely to have kids?  It means we’ve got to get to connect in meaningful ways. That’s why SAGE is so committed to building ties across generations.

So how are you doing that? 

SAGE Table!  It’s an exciting initiative we launched last year which invites LGBT people and our allies to gather intentionally, across generations, by sharing a meal and conversation about these issues.  The launch event was held May 18, 2017, when more than 3,500 people gathered across 232 events nationwide.  We were blown away by the response including participation from celebs such as Whoopi Goldberg who is a huge champion of LGBT elders.

One of the reasons it resonated so powerfully, I think, is because it is a “friendraiser,” not a fundraiser. Our goal in producing this event, and enlisting others to do so, is purely and simply to build connections between LGBT people across generations. 

What’s happening this year with SAGE Table?

Everyone should mark their calendars right now for Thursday, November 8.  On that day, I hope NGLCC members will join the thousands of folks across the country who will be attending SAGE Tables.  Your members are particularly well suited to host these events.   They can be a breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert.  All hosts need is a bit of food to nosh and a place where people can discuss the problems of loneliness facing our community and the power of connection to fight that loneliness.  Our website will enable hosts to list their events if they want them to be public.  We will provide a host toolkit with questions and weekly webinars, starting in September, to answer any questions hosts might have about participating.  Of the 232 events on May 18, half were hosted by individuals and half were organizations and companies.  It was beautiful to see the variety from Citibank employees in their offices across the country to a horse farm in Viroqua, Wisconsin!

What happens after November 8?  How does this work continue?

What we have found over the past year is that many people have continued their SAGE Table gatherings.   This year, we are more explicitly promoting that idea.  To that end, we will be offering materials to facilitate SAGE Table events beyond November 8 as well as ideas for how people can volunteer to benefit LGBT elders in their communities.    

These events are powerful because of the connections people make.  For hosts, the process leading up to them can be just as powerful.  That’s because it requires them to reach beyond their comfort zones to connect with LGBT people who are older and younger, to ensure that their table includes a variety of perspectives.  We are in each other’s orbit, we just need an excuse to connect.  SAGE Table on November 8 provides the opportunity to do that.

How can our members participate in or support this event?
Your members can go to to sign up now for updates.

Anyone who is interested in SAGE Table sponsorship can contact Elise Colomer-Cheadle.

Connect with SAGE on Social!

Written by Ingrid GalvezChair, Diversity & Inclusion, nglccNY

Organizational Development Consultant, 
Strategic Remedy Group

Strategic Remedy Group is a certified LGBTBE focused on cultivating collaborative communities to propel business success.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

August & Upcoming Events

Featuring local, state and national events for NGLCC, nglccNY, our Membership and Community Partners.

See you at our next event!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Congratulations June Biz Pitch Winner: The Mitch Lippman Group

From left to right: Florence C. Werner of EY, Andrea M. Regina of EY, Mitch Lippman of The Mitch Lippman Group, Inc. and Rosemary D. Mitchell-Weppler of EY. Photo by Robin Dillard.

nglccNY congratulates The Mitch Lippman Group, Inc. for winning the second round of our Biz Pitch competition sponsored by EY! We also congratulate GS New York and the Mexican Chocolate Company for being selected to participate. The EY panel of judges admittedly had a difficult choice to make upon the conclusion of all three pitches, and they join us in congratulating all three companies. 

This was the second round of the three rounds of competition. The third round of this Biz Pitch competition will take place on September 25, 2018. (The application period will open in August.) The Mitch Lippman Group, Inc. will join the winner of our first Biz Pitch held in January, Hootolgy, and the September winner in the final competition on Monday, December 10, 2018, where they will each be awarded with and compete for one of the following three prizes:
  • Best pitch: Full scholarship to the Supplier Diversity Professional Excellence, Tuck Executive Education at Dartmouth for 2019 (approximate value: $5,000)
  • Runner-up: nglccNY 2019 National Dinner Registration for one attendee (approximate value: $750)
  • Second Runner-up: nglccNY 2019 Conference Registration for one attendee (approximate value: $600)

*SAVE THE DATE* -- The finale of our Biz Pitch competition on December 10, 2018, will be immediately followed by our December M3 where the Biz Pitch winners will be announced!

At each Biz Pitch, selected suppliers are allotted 10 minutes to present their pitch which is followed by helpful, constructive feedback from EY’s professionals. Feedback includes a critique of style, content, presentation skills and communication. Participation in Biz Pitch is also a tremendous opportunity to make memorable impressions upon key decision makers at an NGLCC Corporate Partner that is deeply committed to assisting in the success of all LGBTBEs. 

Congratulations again to The Mitch Lippman Group, Inc., the winner of our second Biz Pitch!