Monday, May 6, 2013

Executive Director: Derrick Brown

I can’t tell you what an incredible honor it is to be appointed as the Executive Director of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce NY.  I step into this role with a great deal of humility as well as excitement about the opportunity we have to write the next chapter of this Chamber’s incredible history.

Outstanding leaders have guided this organization for many years, so I have the privilege of building on a strong existing foundation.  That said, I have always been a believer in continuous improvement and pushing the envelope, so my goal is to add new pillars to our foundation that will elevate the NGLCCNY to an even higher level.

Over the coming months, I am committed to pursuing several key initiatives.  At the top of my list is adding more business members, community partners and corporate allies.  These are the lifeblood of any Chamber, and we should always be seeking every opportunity to expand our membership ranks and influence in the business community.

Of course, in order to grow, we must ensure that we are providing a great return on our member’s investment in the Chamber and fulfilling our mission to the best of our ability.  With that in mind, I will work with the Chamber staff and our member volunteers on several specific objectives, including:
  • Enhancing and expanding our member benefits;
  • Providing exceptional services to every member;
  • Increasing the number of LGBT Certified Businesses;
  • Maintaining and retaining these businesses in our supplier diversity pipeline; and,
  • Improving our collaboration with community and business partners alike.
I believe that if we achieve these goals, we are assured not only of the Chamber’s growth, but we will collectively increase the economic and social influence we wield across the state.  Having a greater voice will enable us to advance our cause and make further strides throughout the LGBT and Ally business movement. 

In short, I want the NGLCCNY to set the standard for Gay and Lesbian Chambers across the nation, pursuing best practices and providing a model that our sister organizations will seek to emulate.

My experience serving on the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for seven years – three of them in the Chairman’s role – has prepared me well for this challenge.  I have seen firsthand how an active and engaged membership can make a profound difference in the business community, and I am eager to apply the lessons I learned in North Texas to my new role in New York.

I am also proud to have spent the past 8 years serving as the Executive Director of the Kraddick Foundation in Dallas, where I managed a $3.8 million annual budget and was accountable for virtually every aspect of the organization’s operations, administration, marketing and events.  The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization founded by Kidd Kraddick, award-winning radio personality and host of Kidd Kraddick in the Morning, the most-listened-to contemporary morning program in the nation.  The Foundation was created to make a difference in the lives of children with special medical needs.  Over the past 21 years, its Kidd’s Kids program has treated thousands of terminally/chronically ill and physically challenged children and their family members to a once-in-a-lifetime Walt Disney World vacation.  It is not only a life-changing experience for them, but for each of us involved as well.

Now I take on an equally exciting and worthy challenge, and I genuinely relish the opportunity. 

I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can in the weeks, months and years ahead; and I invite you to contact me at any time to offer your suggestions, share your constructive criticisms or simply to say hello.

Best regards,

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