Wednesday, May 13, 2015

ROAR! Annual Pride Party at the Central Park Zoo

Callen-Lorde Community Health Center is proud to present its 15th annual NYC Pride kickoff celebration, ROAR! held at the beautiful Central Park Zoo. The event draws around 1,000 supporters each year. One of the largest and most anticipated family-friendly Pride events, supporters will enjoy an evening of food, drink and fun, including face painting by Agostino Arts sponsored by Spirit’s Promise Equine Rescue; a special performance by Cheer New York, live music by De Tierra Caliente, and an exclusive adults-only Martini Bar sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

Callen-Lorde Community Health Center provides sensitive, quality health care and related services targeted to New York’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities — in all their diversity — regardless of ability to pay. To further this mission, Callen-Lorde promotes health education and wellness and advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender health issues.
Callen-Lorde’s grassroots heritage dates back over 40 years to the St. Mark’s Community Clinic and the Gay Men’s Health Project, two volunteer-based clinics that provided screening and treatment for sexually-transmitted diseases. These clinics merged in 1983 to form Community Health Project, a mostly volunteer-staffed, episodic care program housing the nation’s first community-based HIV clinic.

We hope that you will attend this year. Your support goes directly to helping the clients of Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. Tickets are $85 per person and sponsorship opportunities begin at $150. As always, children under the age of 18 are permitted free with accompanying adult. For tickets and more information please contact Sunil Persaud at 212-271-7263 or click here

posted by Sean Franklin,
Senior Associate, Media Communications Committee, NGLCCNY
Director of Client Services, L7zGroup

Interested in being featured? Please contact me at

Leslie Lohman Museum Hosts Its Third Annual Founders' Day Celebration

The Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art will host it's Third Annual Founders' Day Celebration on Thursday, June 4, 2015 from 6:30PM - 9:00PM.  The event will be at 26 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10013.

Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art was found by Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohman over 30 years ago.  They began showing and collecting art in their SoHo loft in 1969 to provide an outlet for gay artists. With an attendance of over 200 people at their first weekend exhibition, they quickly realized there was a need for this type of venue in the community.  The Museum today is accredited by the New York State Board of Regents, the Leslie Lohman Museum embraces the rich creative history of the LGBTQ art community by educating, informing, inspiring, entertaining and challenging all who enter its doors. The Museum brings a new perspective providing viewers with a personal context and insight into artists as individuals as never seen before.

Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohman
Founded the Leslie Lohman Gay Art Foundation
Over 30 Years Ago

The Founders' Day Celebration promises to be a great night of fun and excitement with foods, drinks, merriment and live and silent auctions.  The Museum will be launching "The Art of Living", a new biography by Kevin Clarke of Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohman (published by Bruno Gmünder). Scheduled performances are Steven Blier, New York Festival of Song, Jesse Blumberg, baritone and Scott Murphree, tenor.   To receive tickets or to RSVP simply click here,  or download the reply card by clicking here

posted by Sean Franklin,
Senior Associate, Media Communications Committee, NGLCCNY
Director of Client Services, L7zGroup

Interested in being featured? Please contact me at

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Other Black Card

Do you have a credit or debit card? Would you enjoy getting deals with your travel, entertainment, and dining experiences…on top of the ones you may already get from your credit or debit card? If you answered yes to the above questions, and you have two minutes to fill out an application, you could be the perfect candidate to be the next chosen member of SELECT.

“It transforms any preexisting credit or debit card into a black card, and it gives you access to exclusive events savings and perks at thousands of locations across the globe,” according to Carlo Cisco, Founder and CEO of SELECT. “It works as an extension of your existing card.” It looks pretty cool too.

Carlo Cisco, Founder & CEO

SELECT started this past July with 300 members at inception. There are now more than 5,000 members with access to insider pricing and perks on everything from travel and entertainment to dining and nightlife; plus, the “other black card” only costs users 150 dollars a year. Carlo describes SELECT’s members as emerging urban professionals: “There is a level of exclusivity, and we're consistently amazed by the quality of applicants we're seeing,” he said.

The inherently ambitious Carlo Cisco has a firm grasp on what is takes to create and run a successful business. SELECT is his second LGBT certified technology start up and third spearheaded business venture.

 “I take calculated risks and I’m ready to get aggressive, especially once I see potential,” he stated.  

The risks have been well worth the rewards. Carlo’s resume includes running a successful events planning and promotions business as a college freshman at the University of Miami; working at a New York City hedge fund after graduating; living in Japan and working for Groupon in it’s early years; and starting a company called Foodfan: the startup that inspired SELECT.  

SELECT became LGBT certified when the company launched last July. Carlo said he knew the benefits that would breed from the overall exposure as an NGLCCNY member: “When you are a start-up, especially when you are first rolling out, it’s great to have advocates, especially in a focused community.”

Appropriately so, Carlo co-chairs the Startup/Tech industry Council at the NGLCCNY: “We want to have more collaborative relationships that start to build stronger synergies between startups and larger organizations.” Carlo said whether that is through events or mentoring programs, the NGLCCNY has an excellent network of successful business people: “I am someone who can benefit from having a mentor, and mentor someone else, and there are other companies in the network like that.” He said the council is working to grow and generate added awareness in the community about available resources.

SELECT has a broad range of benefits that reflect Carlo’s personal passions and pastimes like travel and indulgence in the New York City restaurant scene. As for SELECT’s future: “I think it’s absolutely just the beginning. I think this could be something really big and something really special,” Carlo said.

To apply for SELECT membership, go to

Be sure not to forget to follow our NGLCCNY Blog in order to not miss a post.  You can do so by "clicking" to follow on the top right sections of this blog - look forward to reconnecting!

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



In August of 2013, co-founders Jimmy Lyons and Jeff Tompkins created advisorCONNECT: a much-needed sales intelligence tool that matches financial advisors and insurance representatives with qualified, compatible prospects.

“Advisors, especially new ones, spend most of their time prospecting for new clients” according to the company’s CEO, Jimmy Lyons.  “What we’ve done with advisorCONNECT is to provide advisors with a virtual marketing assistant to help take the grunt work out of prospecting so that they can spend more time doing what they love.”

Jimmy Lyons, CEO & Co-Founder

To do this, the company looks across dozens of data sources to create a 360-degree view of an individual to help advisors better understand a prospective client’s likely financial planning needs. In using advisorCONNECT, financial advisors are able to decrease the time they spend searching for prospective clients by 90 percent.

“It is truly that the sum is greater than the parts. What we found is that there is a whole universe of public information online, almost like a universal white pages, on each individual; and you can learn a lot more about a person by looking across what is known as a federated identity, Jeff stated. “We see ourselves not only helping financial advisors better understand their clients, but also providing a more cost efficient way to get new customers, and a more scalable way of serving individuals using digital media.”

Jeff Tompkins, CMO & Co-Founder

advisorCONNECT is working with three large enterprise clients who pay a monthly subscription fee based on their number of users; Jimmy and Jeff license their data sets; and the company is currently in talks with three of the top ten broker dealers in New York City. advisorCONNECT is also about to launch an application that will be accessible for individual reps who want to join.

“What has taken advisorCONNECT to the next level is really the tech talent that we have on the team,” Jimmy proudly stated in reference to Lauren Talbot, advisorCONNECT’s chief data officer, and James Johnson, their CTO. “It is a very difficult problem to solve when you are looking across massive data sets on the ever-changing public web. It’s hard to bring it all together, and we have the team now that’s doing it.”

So let’s pretend for a moment that you are a financial advisor and Jimmy and Jeff are both prospective clients. With the help of advisorCONNECT, you would easily learn the following information:

Jimmy graduated from University of Wisconsin Madison in 2008, where he and Jeff guest lectured a class on wealth management this past fall. Jimmy gained ample experience and knowledge about the culture of wealth while working on a yacht and sailing around the world for a year, before becoming a trust and estate planner for BNY Mellon in New York City. From there, Jimmy tried his hand at selling yachts to a global portfolio: “It was all about affinity’s and forming the right relationships,” he said. So to create those relationships, he would research his potential buyers and create profiles for them based on what he found online: his idea for advisorCONNECT was born.

Jeff paid his way through Cornell by building websites out of his dorm room. He won a scholarship to attend Oxford for graduate school, where he began an educational startup for schools in the United Kingdom. Jeff’s resume also includes helping build an online presence for Oxford Analytica; growing business analytics at The Advisory Board; and working in the White House on the first White House website. When Jeff met Jimmy, he was working for a social hiring startup called Choozer: “When I met Jimmy, it was like a match made in heaven. He was someone with a financial services background, understood the culture of wealth, who was also looking to take a stab at starting a company,” Jeff said

Jeff and Jimmy have shared interests in rowing, sailing, and Parma-Jéan: a Jack Russell/beagle mix who often frequents the advisorCONNECT offices.

Jeff and Jimmy joined NGLCCNY three months ago through an organization called StartOut, where Jeff has been actively involved for the past four years: “Its very dynamic, and I’m excited to be a part of it,” Jimmy stated.

Jimmy and Jeff say that since advisorCONNECT has become LGBTBE certified, there have been amazing networking and mentoring opportunities: “We are telling our clients and advisors to really get to know their clients, so I think we try and live that same culture in our company as well by being very open and by mentoring active members of the start up community in New York,” Jeff stated. Jeff and Jimmy recently participated in the roundtable with Nationwide Insurance and attended the April M3.

The two are also involved with an organization called High Water Women, a group of wealth and hedge fund managers who bring financial literacy to low-income students in the New York City and Tri-State area.

“There is a much bigger opportunity here than the way the wealth management industry is currently structured. There is a large segment of the population that is underserved, and I think the Internet and digital media can really bring a higher level of service, tools, and resources to that population.” Jeff said. “What we get very excited about is the larger opportunity: to bring financial literacy and financial planning to the average American. Not just those who can pay for high-level financial advice.”

Jeff and Jimmy are extremely proud of being a startup in New York City, and are committed to putting the city on the tech map more than it is today. Jimmy even organized a startup social club of sorts called the “Illumnaughatï.” Members include entrepreneurs, operators, and founders who get together bi-monthly in a relaxed environment, outside of the high stakes situations where they normally find each other: “We feel that we are part of a community that has to look out for each other,” Jimmy said.

To learn more about advisorCONNECT, head to their website:

Be sure not to forget to follow our NGLCCNY Blog in order to not miss a post.  You can do so by "clicking" to follow on the top right sections of this blog - look forward to reconnecting!

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

Citywide Pride Event: Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP hosts "Marry Me a Little"

You are cordially invited to attend a presentation of "Marry Me a Little - A short history and exciting future of marriage equality" hosted by Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP.  The live CLE (continuing legal education) event will be hosted in-person in Chicago, New York and San Francisco and available nationwide via audio simulcast.  Speakers from the ACLU, Lambda Legal and NCLR will participate.  Here are the event details.

Thursday, May 14

San Francisco - 2:30pm (PT)
Chicago - 4:30pm (CT)
New York - 5:30pm (ET)

2:30pm PT / 3:30pm MT / 4:30pm CT / 5:30pm ET

The event is targeted and appropriate for LGBT professionals, their allies and those in the legal profession.

You may learn more about the event and locations and register by clicking here

[Note: 1.5 hours of CLE is pending for the states of California, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey and New York.]

Be sure not to forget to follow our NGLCCNY Blog in order to not miss a post.  You can do so by "clicking" to follow on the top right sections of this blog - look forward to reconnecting!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Singer/Songwriter Laura Lee Bishop Stands Up

Laura Lee Bishop is a talented singer/songwriter from East Texas with an NYU education and a passionately profound opinion she is not afraid to voice.

The strength of her voice is undeniable. Whether watching her perform live or listening to one of her empowering pop/rock songs like Real Man, (or my personal favorite, Those Girls) she sings with a conviction that is inspiring. But last week, her strength was voiced in a different way.

"What inspires me is truth. I know the truth. And when you know something, when it is written on your heart, flowing through your veins, when it is a part of you, it cannot be denied. I know my truth. Every human being on this planet deserves to be treated with respect. No one should ever have to be treated the way the members of the LGBT and black communities have been treated in this country. That is truth. Thats what inspires me," Laura Lee stated.

A local paper in Laura Lees hometown, The Gilmer Mirror, published a letter written by a man named Elliott Dean titled Must Get It Out. In the letter, Dean expresses his issues with homosexuals, his confusion about hate crimes, and his qualms with a progressive society: “Now look, I dont care if you want to sleep with your dog or mule,” Dean wrote, addressing a gay and lesbian audience. “I don’t care it’s none of my business; the trouble is you keep making my business,” he said. "When I read that letter, I was shocked, sickened, and enraged. I was angry at the paper that published it, mad at the people supporting it, and mad someone hadnt ripped him a new one already," Laura Lee said.

Laura Lee immediately posted a passionate reply on the The Gilmer Mirror,'s website that spread like wildfire and was applauded by Dallas Voice, a popular LGBT publication in Dallas.

This was just the beginning. Being the ally she is to the LGBT community, Laura Lee Bishop had much more to say: "Obviously his homophobic, racist delusions were enough for anyone to go off, but I think the thing that really got my blood pressure up was his insistence that all that hate came from a place of love. One thing I cant stand is a liar. He says he loves everyone, and in the same breath says, 'but get out of my face.' Its the perfect example of how he, and people like him, just lie, lie, lie. They act as though simply saying they love all Gods children makes it so. Im not buying it. They are manipulative, insidious, little liars, and they have hate in their hearts."

So Laura Lee published "Must Get It Out: The Sequel” on her personal blog. In The Sequel, a satirical piece, Laura Lee dissects and edits Elliotts letter, while interjecting her opinion with the visual aid of hilariously appropriate memes.

Ashley: "You are not afraid to voice your opinion and stick to your guns. How did you become the strong person you are today?"

Laura Lee: "Ive been in this fight my entire life. There was a time when Id come home, shut the door, and break down crying. People can be cruel, especially when you challenge them and the way they think. As a kid, I spent a lot of time confused. I was confused by some of the hateful things people would say or do, but I was even more confused by the people who watched it happen and did nothing.”

Ashley: "You mention in your blog that despite the initial backlash and bullying regarding your comments on Elliott Deans Letter, there was a positive reaction from people in your hometown and on social media. What has the overall reaction been like both since you posted Must Get Out: THE SEQUEL?

Laura Lee: The response has been overwhelmingly positive. People are sharing it and posting all over the place with enthusiasm and support. Ive received messages, texts, emails, and phone calls expressing how happy they are that finally someone said what needed to be said and stood up to Elliott Dean. People are asking how they can help. Its beautiful, exciting, and humbling.

However, there is a flip side to the coin. In my town, your last name determines your position on the food chain. The Dean family is somewhat wealthy, so they are towards the top. My last name carries a bit of weight too, and when you are in one of these families there is pressure to make sure you dont do anything to tarnish your good name. Its dead serious, 'You have brought shame to your family,' stuff. So, as I was getting ready to publish this response to Elliott Dean’s letter, I was getting phone calls urging me to bite my tongue. People began to distance themselves from me. Ive being unfriended on Facebook; there are passive aggressive likes of negative status updates about me; and posts saying things like, NOBODY speaks for my family! It gets to a point where you are no longer allowed to be an individual because you are tethered to this reputation, that if shattered will have serious repercussions. Granted, no one can ever articulate to me what exactly those repercussions are, but Im just to know they are ominous and scary. When faced with the choice of whether or not to publish my opinions, I got to thinking: If speaking my mind is all it takes for someone to turn their back on me, then so be it. I lost my father many years ago, but he gave me my last name, and he raised me to stand up for what is right. I have his reputation to uphold too, and that carries a hell of a lot more weight in my book.

This beef with Elliott Dean is between him and me, not anyone else in Gilmer, and not anyone in my family. My letter is for all the people who live in fear, who are treated like dirt, and who deserve so much better. That matters more than what people think of me or some superficial reputation.”

Ashley: I know you personally, and I know this isnt the first time you acted to stand up for or protect others; I know it probably wont be the last time. However, I also know you to be a sensitive person. How do you deal with the hurtful comments?

Laura Lee: "I put a lot of it into my music. I use it. I harness the anger, direct it onto the page, and let it take life. I try to turn that negativity into something productive.

In Elliott Deans drama-queen mess, I try to remember most people talking about me, most people who hate me, are people I never want to associate with anyway. They are the kind of people I dont want listening to my music or telling people they know me. The kind of people they are is not the kind of person I am. They have a tendency to make assumptions about my personal religious beliefs when they know nothing about me.

The most bizarre thing is that as ‘Christian’ as they are, not one of them, not one, has ever tried to convert me; they only condemn me. They assume I have no faith, but instead of trying to help me ‘see the light’ or treat me with kindness, they basically tell me to go to hell. Its the perfect example of their complete and utter hypocrisy. They have no interest in anyones salvation. They have no interest in helping anyone. Their only interest is in themselves. I deal with their hate by seeing them for what they really are: vultures, looking for someone to pick apart and devour.

The Gilmer Mirror has since posted a link to Laura's response with a publishers note stating: The newspaper doesn't agree or disagree with the viewpoints of letter writers. It just prints the letters. The Mirror, as always, wishes the talented Laura Lee Bishop much success in her career and life.

If you want to hear more from my friend Laura Lee Bishop, take a look at her website, follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and of course, check out her music...just like her, it rocks!

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

Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 Conference Matchmaker Registration is Open

Connecting certified LGBTBE and NGLCC Corporate Partners

The NGLCC is excited to announce the launch of the 2015 Conference Matchmakers portal. If you are a certified LGBTBE you can begin the process of scheduling your one-on-one meetings with representatives from over 150 corporations looking to do business with you! Not certified yet? Learn more about how NGLCC certification opens the doors to corporate contracting opportunities and educational offerings to help grow your business by visiting

The 2015 International Business & Leadership Conference promises to build on the success of last year's conference and again provide one of the most powerful business opportunities available to LGBTBEs. Last year over 400 matchmaker meetings occurred, and we are confident that 2015 will see the most effective matches for our LGBTBEs and corporate partners. 

Jennifer Brown, Founder and CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting meeting with William Kapfer, Vice President of Supplier Diversity at JPMorgan Chase & Co. during the 2014 Matchmakers.

Conference Matchmaker sessions are prescheduled, 15-minute meetings between certified LGBTBEs and corporate procurement professionals. These meetings are a unique opportunity for LGBTBEs to get one-on-one advice on how their business can gain access to procurement opportunities with NGLCC Corporate Partners. Because these meetings are based on upcoming opportunities with participating buyers, LGBTBEs and corporate procurement professionals can delve into the specifics of each business and the individual programming our corporate partners have to help our LGBTBEs grow.

More information about Matchmakers can be found on, but in order to access the My Business Matches 2015 NGLCC Matchmakers portal, you must be registered for conference. Conference registration, along with agenda and hotel and travel information, can be found at

To see more about the conference and this original article, click here.