Showing posts from May, 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

Corporate Partner: American Airlines

You may recall from the July 2012 Excelsior! all of the tremendous ways that American Airlines supports the LGBT community, including the Chamber.  American Airlines' commitment to diversity and inclusiveness continues to grow while the airline undergoes advancements, including a rebranding and merger announcement with US Airways.   I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Timothy J. Ahern, American Airlines' Vice President, New York and International, who explained the basis for American Airlines' commitment to diversity and inclusiveness:   "Our commitment to diversity is not grounded in some sort of financial bottom line.  It is simply the right thing to do. Drawing on the backgrounds of each of our employees helps us better accommodate travelers from every community."   Mr. Ahern joined American Airlines 35 years ago as a Reservations Agent.  Having held various positions, including as a Reservations Manager and a Flight Service

10 Questions with David Ricciardi of Proximo Consulting Services

Subject: David Ricciardi,  President Proximo Consulting Services Company:   Proximo Consulting Services Helping Fortune 1000 Companies Since: 1997 Location: 2500 Plaza Five,  Jersey City, NJ 07311 | 1. What services does Proximo provide? We are a data services company. We are in the information business. We help customers with everything from collecting, processing, analyzing, and in the end, reporting on data so they can gain actionable insights that directly contribute to the bottom line. 2. What's an example of this? We helped a global cosmetics company recently. They had no tracking process in place for tracking labor expenses for consultants. So we created a tracking system for them to streamline this process and we discovered they were losing a million dollars a year! Through our services we helped them put a million dollars back into their bottom line. 3. How about an analytics example? Take a health insurer. We worked with an NYC area H

6 Tips to Attract Investors and Raise Capital

1. Get Noticed: Tell your story to every appropriate writer and producer, and if they bite, you will know that you have the makings of a winner. If your idea hasn't been covered by major media outlets, it isn't appealing and isn't worth investing in, no matter how great you think it is. What gets noticed? Big, bold ideas with big returns: if you can dream it, you can do it. 2. A picture is worth a thousand words and video has about 60 pictures per second. Do the math and get your message into video in a compelling, charismatic format that tells your story, and then get that video in front of anyone with eyes and an interest! Kickstarter.Com is a great outlet for this, with the added bonus of raising capital WITHOUT selling equity. Look toward if Kickstarter is too conservative for your project. 3. Only take money from people you TRUST! A greedy investor can ruin the party for everyone, and it happens every day in business. An investor once told m

amfAR Inspiration Gala New York

On June 13, NGLCCNY Non-Profit Community Partner amfAR , The Foundation for AIDS Research, will honor iconic fashion designer Valentino at its fourth annual Inspiration New York Gala. Founder of the Valentino SpA brand and company, Valentino has been a significant figure in the fashion world since his breakthrough in 1962, when his couture collection was shown at the Pitti Palace to much critical acclaim. His final show, held during 2008 fashion week in Paris, received a standing ovation and included models Eva Herzigova, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Nadja Auermann, and Karolina Kurkova. amfAR will present Valentino with the Award of Inspiration in recognition of his contributions to the fight against AIDS. This year’s Gala will take place at The Plaza, and is sure to be a star-studded affair. Performers at past events have included Grace Jones, Jennifer Hudson, Liza Minnelli, Sinéad O’Connor, Debbie Harry, Courtney Love, Dita Von Teese, Cyndi Lauper, Kelly Rowland, Sciss

What Does LGBT Certification Actually Mean

I would venture a guess that few people reading this are aware of a national program to certify LGBT businesses. Before we explore what this means for a business, it would be better to explain what it is. Simply put, it means that a business so certified is at least 51 percent owned and operated by lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgendered individuals. Behind this certification must be an organization with a process that is accepted as valid by those seeking to be certified or to utilize certified businesses as suppliers. Certifications go beyond LGBT status and are not uncommon in corporate America. The concept is rooted in supplier diversity. Hundreds of corporations have such a business process in place and many consider it a strategic one. Each company will have its own reasons for having implemented it, but often it is because the company seeks to purchase goods and services from a diverse base of suppliers, just as they seek to sell their goods and services to a diverse ba