NGLCC Sip & Pitch Fridays: September 25, 2020

On September 25, 2020, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and Johnson & Johnson were proud to present another installment of the popular Sip & Pitch Fridays program. Sip & Pitch brings business leaders together for a chance to informally present their business to a panel of experts and their fellow business owners for positive feedback and new ideas.

Moderated by NGLCC Senior Vice President Jonathan Lovitz, the event featured a number of impressive presentations from LGBT business owners, as well as constructive advice from supplier diversity professionals. This week’s judges included Claire Goode, Supplier Diversity & Catapult Program Manager at Capital One, Paul Saltiel, NA Procurement Consumer Category Lead at Johnson & Johnson, and Priscilla Wallace, Senior Manager of Supplier Diversity at Compass Group and Foodbuy.

Milo Shapiro, President of ImproVentures and Public Dynamics, kicked off the first round with a dynamic presentation. Through his business, he places an emphasis on teambuilding, motivational speaking, speech coaching, and “Adult Simon Says” to help his clients navigate through workplace conflict. The judges discussed his use of visuals and asked questions about service customization and his customer base during the period following his presentation.

Next up was Antoinette Merchant, owner of Prideful & Inclusive Staffing. She works to provide staffing, consulting, and managed technical services to clientele by offering work opportunities to uniquely talented individuals. Antoinette seeks to redevelop the relationship between firms and talent by creating an inclusive culture through an emphasis on diversity in staffing. Following her presentation, the judges praised her use of simple, clear, and striking visuals in her slides and logo, and asked questions about her business’ niche and story.

Olivier Jamin Changeart, owner of OJC Artisan of Sound, closed out the first round by discussing his sonic branding boutique, which works to design unique sonic identities for all kinds of brands. Essentially, Olivier crafts an audio universe for his clients, which includes everything from songs, ringtones, podcasts, and ad music. The judges commended the professional and informative nature of his presentation, noting that they learned a lot about a very niche field. They also asked follow-up questions about the actual process he used to create these sonic identities.

After a short break, Lyn Lam of Kapa Nui Nails kicked off the second round with a pitch on her fumeless, healthy, and environmentally friendly nail polish line. Springing from a desire to educate and empower women with the products that they use, she created body and climate-safe polish products to reduce the use of hazardous chemicals. The panel was impressed by Lyn’s use of visuals to convey the story of her product and business, and asked several follow-up questions about the company’s potential for scalability.

Kapa Nui Nails was followed by AllThingzAP, founded by Anthony Paradiso. At AllThingzAP, Anthony is influenced by his personal story and background as an HR professional to provide his clients with useful workshops on inclusion, unconscious bias, and diversity & inclusion, which are more relevant and necessary topics than ever. The experts noted his use of automatic captioning, which was representative of his product of diversity & inclusion, and discussed his pitch timing as well.

Dr. Steve Yacovelli, owner and principal of Top Dog Learning Group, closed out the final round with a bang. Through his business, he works to implement leadership & organizational development, conscious inclusivity, and change management and resilience strategies in his clients’ businesses. This is accomplished through the processes of coaching, custom learning solutions, webinars, keynotes, and personalized consulting. Following his pitch, the panel was impressed by his clientele list and his spin on conscious inclusion, and discussed follow up points on his current work during COVID-19.


For more tips on pitching your business, view the full program here!


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