Monday, December 9, 2013

Our Time. Our Growth. And 2014.

NGLCCNY Executive Team

It is hard to imagine that only 8 short months ago, I stood in front of our members during the April M3 at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and had my “Coming Out party” as the new Executive Director for the NGLCCNY.  During that speech, I talked about building on our existing foundation with pillars that would elevate the Chamber to the next level.  Those pillars included:

    • Enhancing benefits for our members
    • Providing exceptional customer service to every member, every day
    • Increasing the number of certified businesses and retaining them within the supplier diversity pipeline
    •  And for us to be leaders in collaborating with our community and business partners alike.

It has been a time of personal growth and organizational evolution, and I am excited to say that we have accomplished more in 8 months than I ever thought possible.  These pillars have not only been erected, but are solidly set in place. 

I am proud to report our accomplishments in 2013, the Chamber: 

    • Added over 70 new members (3 of which were corporate partners) ending the year at 290 members & 23 corporate partners, a 32% & 13% increase respectively
    • Almost doubled the attendance at our monthly M3s along with the quality of networking and business connections to over 100+ members/guests at each event
    • Created a Diversity & Inclusion Committee and increased our relationships and partnerships with nonprofits and community stakeholders
    • Continued to provide quality programming for our ERG groups and LGBT certified businesses, while still growing the number of participants involved.

I have asked each Executive Committee Chair to provide a quick recap of their committee’s accomplishments this year in helping to broaden our outreach, services, and economic impact provided to our members:

Ø  Supplier Diversity Committee Chair, David Ricciardi – The NGLCCNY Supplier Diversity committee is proud to have wrapped up another successful year of programming for the LGBTBE community.   We launched two new initiatives: the semi-monthly “Certified Supplier Roundtable”, a peer group of LGBTBEs to share experiences and information, and our Supplier Diversity Bulletin, a new monthly bulletin with information on upcoming events and opportunities for the LGBTBE.  We also continued our award-winning Certified Superstar program, hosted by the likes of Avon, New York Life, MetLife, and Marsh & McClennan, which puts LGBTBEs in front of supplier diversity and procurement who can help educate them on how to best present to a major corporation.  Last but not least, we held ten Webinar Wednesday events, which bring skilled speakers in the fields of sales, marketing, legal, and supplier diversity, to deliver important business content to LGBTBEs.  We will continue to work hard for you in 2014!

Ø  Media Communications Committee Chair, Gonzo ArayaAs the Chamber voice for our members via multiple channels, the NGLCCNY Media Communications Committee is constantly communicating, monitoring and creating.  We are a strong and highly committed team of 9 who are feverishly working to always remain connected pre, during and post to all events.  Our award wining newsletter is the main channel, which aside of our social channels, we broadcast about 36 -40 annual communications.  If you’re not receiving, you’re simply not connected – text “Excelsior” to “83071” now to receive.  We are very excited and happy to finally be able to bring you a new, intuitive and more engaging web experience in 2014.

Ø  Ambassador Committee Chair, Michael Hudson – In 2013, the NGLCCNY Ambassadors committee was reinvigorated by tripling the number of committee members that brought fresh ideas on hospitality, membership recruitment and retention at not only Chamber events but also in the LGBT community at large.  We developed of a committee mission statement that will better support the primary mission statement of the Chamber and have positioned our work to better support the objectives of all other Executive and Steering committees.  In 2014, we plan to continue to build on what we started as well reincorporate New Member Orientations on a quarterly basis.

Ø  Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair, Ingrid Galvez – The NGLCCNY Diversity & Inclusion committee has focused on cultivating relationships within the community and promoting the Chamber as a community partner and resource.  Some accomplishments have been partnering with non-profits organizations, providing additional networking opportunities for women, actively marketing NGLCCNY to underserved/untapped markets within the community. 
Ø  Events Committee Chair, Glenn ReimerThe NGLCCNY Events committee has identified new and exciting ways to create a sense of camaraderie and partnership among the various membership groups within the Chamber.  Ideas that will be implemented include an all non-profit focus at a future M3, a recruiting contest that will culminate with an exclusive recognition reception for the winners in each membership group, and an annual Industry Cluster M3 so that similar enterprises can share best practices and support overall business growth within that commodity.

Ø  Membership Manager, Curt WilliamsonThe NGLCCNY has seen continued growth in 2013 with new memberships, especially with referrals; and when combined with the impressive rate of renewals, it has spoken volumes to the Chamber’s mission to its members.  Nevertheless, 2013 could not have been successful, with just the work of the NGLCCNY Executive Committee and staff alone, without the impassioned connectivity of its members to one another.

Collectively, we have increased our economic and social influence and will continue to make amazing strides in moving the LGBT & Ally business movement forward.  Although our journey has just begun, I am truly excited about our accomplishments, and the opportunity to overcome the challenges ahead, as we continue to grow and diversify our business family in 2014.

And speaking of 2014, we have so much in store for our members:

    • Rebranding our signature event, which will be unveiled early next year with activation planned for May
    • Increased collaboration as we reach out and work with all of you to revamp our event in order to provide quality programming and activities that meet your specific business needs – providing more opportunity for economic growth and business collaborations
    • Enhance programming to our different commodity segments as well as add new programming, to meet the diverse needs of the ever changing business landscape
    • Creation and implementation of a new membership database management system (that is currently in the works) for a new more interactive and robust website that will launch early next year as well.

These along with a host of other innovative and cutting edge tools will serve as a resource in helping you do business better!

With that, I want to personally thank each and every one of you for all that you do in supporting us in this effort!  I also want to again publicly thank my talented Executive Leadership committee and our Industry Council Chairs for their dedicated support, energy, and tireless efforts in helping to strengthen and further our organization.  We are truly grateful for your partnership.  Again, thank you for your continued support of NGLCCNY and we are looking forward to another amazing and successful year ahead.

From our business family to yours, we wish you the Happiest of Holidays this Season!  Looking forward to seeing you at our January 2014 M3 on Wednesday 1/15 from 6pm – 8:30pm at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis Center(GMHC), for more information and to RSVP, please visit us at

Derrick M. Brown
Executive Director, NGLCCNY

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