Small business owners have taken a major lead as sponsors for Shining Stars 2012, New York’s premier LGBT business gathering.
Stakeholders, as NGLCCNY terms the sponsors, are traditionally Corporate Partners. In 2012, a new wave of small business owners has taken leadership in the future of New York’s LGBT business community.
“Stakeholders take ownership of the whole day of events,” said Chamber President Richard Oceguera. “Small businesses are stepping up to the plate, making a powerful statement about who is responsible for the future of LGBT-owned commerce."
While conversations for potential Stakeholders are ongoing, to date the 2012 Shining Stars Stakeholders are:
- Silver Business Member Insignia National Title, participating at the $10,000 Super Star level
- Gold Corporate Partner American Airlines, at the $2,500 Lucky Star level
- Gold Business Member The Flatiron Hotel, at the Lucky Star level
- Copper Corporate Partner Kaye Scholer, at the Lucky Star level
- Copper Business Member GSF Technologies, at the Lucky Star level
- Platinum Business Member Liberty & Church Communication Design, at the Lucky Star level
- Copper Corporate Partner Diageo, at the Lucky Star level.
“I understand the struggles of an LGBT small business owner,” said Craig de Thomas, founder of Insignia National Title Agency, LLC. “As a Shining Stars Stakeholder, I proudly stand with large businesses and corporations that are committed to the success and prosperity of the entire community.”
Gold Corporate Partner American Airlines also agreed early on to be a Stakeholder.
“We’re proud of our longstanding commitment to the LGBT community,” said George Carrancho, Manager of Diversity Markets for American Airlines. “Being a Stakeholder for Shining Stars is a chance to engage with the LGBT business community and deliver a great experience of our brand.”
Copper Corporate Partner and NGLCC Visionary Legal Partner Kaye Scholer LLP was eager to participate.
“Kaye Scholer is committed to fostering diversity in a positive and supportive work environment,” said Bari Zhan, an attorney at Kaye Scholer. “I am proud to work at a law firm where LGBT diversity initiatives are valued and viewed as enhancing our ability to attract and retain talented individuals and to serve our clients. As a global law firm in a diverse world, it is natural for us to participate as Stakeholders in Shining Stars.”
The latest Shining Stars Stakeholder, New York businessman John Reynolds, is a new member of the Chamber – twice. First, Reynolds purchased a Gold Business Membership through Smart Apartments, a short-term vacation rentals company where he is Chief Operating Officer. A week later, he did the same through Flatiron Hotel. Soon after, Flatiron Hotel signed on as a Shining Stars Stakeholder.
“It is important to contribute to the community,” said Mr. Reynolds. “In today’s climate it is easy to look the other way or refuse to be involved, but nothing moves forward that way. As a Stakeholder in Shining Stars I get to acknowledge what we have accomplished while investing in the future of LGBT owned businesses.”