Friday, July 6, 2012

Corporate Insider: American Airlines

This month’s highlight focuses on American Airlines, NGLCCNY’s first-ever Gold Corporate Partner.  Over nearly two decades, American Airlines has consistently demonstrated unyielding support for the LGBT community.  We are especially proud that American was among the founding corporate partners of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).

George Carrancho, Manager of Diversity Markets, has been with American Airlines for more than 18 years and is recognized as one of the driving forces behind American Airline’s strong reputation within the LGBT community.  George is also a co-chair of NGLCCNY’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) Roundtable initiative that encourages key leaders from NGLCCNY Corporate Partners to share thought capital and best practices , including  how to connect diverse suppliers to procurement and buying decision makers.  We are happy to report that American Airlines will host the Chamber’s July ERG Roundtable. 

American’s Rainbow team was first formed in 1994, and is often considered the first LGBT strategic marketing arm launched by a Fortune 100 corporation.  American Airlines boasts  many other firsts, including the introduction six years ago of its LGBT welcoming website,  American is also among a handful of U.S. companies -- and the only airline -- that has earned 100% perfect marks on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index each year since it began in 2002.

The list of ways in which American Airlines supports the LGBT community is nearly endless.  Following is just a snapshot:

  • Exclusive airline sponsor (for more than 13 years) of New York City’s Lesbian, Gay,    Bisexual & Transgender Community Center;
  • Platinum Partner and Official Airline of the Human Rights Campaign;
  • Supreme National Sponsor of LAMBDA Legal (which recently honored American Airlines with its prestigious Liberty Award);
  • Annual sponsor of “Cyndi Lauper & Friends: Home for the Holidays” concert (which benefits Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund) held at the Beacon Theater each December;
  • Sponsor of the GLAAD Media Awards; and
  • Official Airline of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Last month, American Airlines celebrated Pride at JFK International Airport’s Terminal 8 by presenting free performances of Broadway’s Priscilla.  American Airlines, which formed its LGBT employee resource group in 1994, also publicly reaffirmed its strong support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which extends workplace protections to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans. 

Of special importance to NGLCCNY members, American’s reach to the LGBT community goes even further with its longstanding supplier diversity program, which actively recruits and supports LGBT owned businesses..  If you are the owner or a partner in an NGLCC certified business, George recommends that you take part in the airline’s supplier diversity program by registering your business on American’s website at

 As George points out, American Airlines proudly welcomes the numerous contributions from the LGBT community, whether as customers, employees, investors or executives.  NGLCCNY is inspired by American’s philosophy of inclusion and equal treatment, and we hope that the company’s pioneering example encourages other airlines and businesses to do the same.  
            NGLCCNY proudly participates in the American Airlines Business ExtrAA program. By using our Business ExtrAA number 811083 when you book flights, you can help us accrue points that can later be used to create valuable travel incentives to benefit the Chamber.

We invite youto keep up with American’s Rainbow Team  For additional information about the NGLCC Supplier Diversity Initiative and how to become an LGBT Business Enterprise, please contact David Ricciardi at

            Written by Robert F. Finkelstein, Esq., NGLCCNY Legal Correspondent; Media Communications Committee.  Rob is an attorney practicing commercial litigation, construction law, general corporate, and employment law with JohnE. Osborn P.C. 

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