GoodyGuru Shines as Example of Diverse Business Owner Collaboration; Just in time for NBIC Unity Week

| By Kaela Roeder

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is looking forward to the upcoming 2020 NBIC Unity Week, a vibrant celebration of diversity, opportunity, and equity. Unity Week focuses on building unprecedented success for diverse communities around the globe. Ahead of this stellar event, NGLCC interviewed two business owners who united to create change during the coronavirus pandemic.

Richard Lee, a Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®), and Wendy Verna, a Certified Women's Business Enterprise with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), brought their digital printing and unique marketing companies to create Goody Guru-- a package customization service for virtual work events. In this age of constant Zoom meetings and virtual events, Goody Guru works to boost engagement, learning and team building for all types of gatherings.

The duo have known each other for 20 years now, and have collaborated on other projects in the past. Several months ago, they brainstormed plan to support local businesses while also boosting the virtual presence of companies and nonprofits. When the pandemic hit, the two worked quickly to think outside the box, Wendy said. She added during the time, many business owners were looking inward to find ways to keep their businesses successful. But, Wendy and Richard decided to look outward.

“That's a hard thing to do for an entrepreneur because we like to live in our own little world,” she said. “But this was something that we both realized immediately.”

Services like Goody Guru bring a semblance of normal to work events, Wendy said. It also allows non-profits to still sell tickets to virtual events, she explained. Instead of a meal, attendees get a gift delivered to their door. This also helps non-profits stay successful and get to their fundraising goals.

Wendy and Richard work with local businesses, chefs, artists and others, to craft event-focused boxes for businesses to boost their virtual events. For example, the team recently crafted a virtual wine tasting event for a pharmaceutical company, which a sommelier presented to the group. Each attendee had wine, corks, and other themed items sent right to their door.

“In addition to that, the other important thing to add is that the concept of keeping people on the Zoom, keeping people engaged,” Wendy said. “A lot of these people were used to the ‘wining and dining’ to keep them Top of Mind, and delivering a experience that they remember, and that they had fun add is really important.”

According to the duo, one of the best parts of the business, was supporting local businesses that are struggling to stay afloat.

“We are extremely philanthropic. Our corporate identity is about reinvesting back into the community,” Richard said. “It's important to invest in our communities.”

Ahead of NBIC Unity Week 2020, the Goody Guru team said they are excited to attend to connect with others, celebrate the accomplishments of the year, learn from others, and serve as mentors to younger entrepreneurs.

“It's been amazing to me to see how everyone's kind of come together and united,” Wendy said. “For me, it's going to be meeting people and learning about the news about things that I don't know about.”

In addition to that, Richard said he’s looking forward to learning from others in how they are adapting their own businesses.

“I'm interested in listening to other people's stories, and seeing how they have also come together, and how they're also able to spread that to help other people,” Richard said.

Richard Lee, the founder of Media Copy, has been involved with the NGLCC since he was a founding corporate partner with the Independent Business Alliance. He had done a robust amount of work in his homebase of Philadelphia, and said he wanted to spread the message of LGBT equality and support other businesses and organizations, and said being a member of the alliance and becoming a Certified LGBTBE® with NGLCC allowed for that. He has been certified with NGLCC for 6 years.

Wendy Verna is the founder of Octo Design Group, am innovative marketing solutions company that’s research-based and focused on creating the best marketing plans for each unique organization or business. Wendy said her ultimate goal is “making others successful.” Wendy has been certified for 17 years with WBENC.

Click here to learn how to become a Certified LGBTBE® supplier!

Register for 2020 NBIC Unity Week by clicking here.