Florida Crime Scene Clean-Up Business Wins National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Biz Pitch Competition

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Aug. 8, 2014—A team of judges, including CNBC star Marcus Lemonis, selected Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® Spaulding Decon as the winner of its biz pitch competition and awarded owner Laura Spaulding the $15,000 prize money and $20,000 in a branding and marketing services from BRANDING FOR THE PEOPLE
Spaulding, who started and operates the crime scene clean-up firm, faced two other competitors who stood before the judges to explain their businesses and plans for growth during the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s National Business and Leadership Conference. 
It was attended by 700 LGBT business owners, from across the U.S. and countries as far away as Argentina, who connected with Fortune 100 companies and learned about federal government contracting opportunities.
NGLCC has already designated Spaulding’s business as a Certified LGBT Business Enterprise®, which allows Spaulding Decon to gain exposure within government and corporate procurement processes either as a contractor or a subcontractor.
“The panel liked that we had 64 percent growth last year and that we’ve doubled sales every year,” says Spaulding, who began her company in Tampa. “It’s especially gratifying to win because I feel I have faced so much discrimination as an out lesbian.
Spaulding says she was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1994 under the policy then known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” She says, in her case, the policy was used to justify a witch hunt against her and other lesbians. Spaulding then served as an undercover narcotics officer, where she first experienced encounters with meth labs. 
Meth lab abatement, using a proprietary chemical, now makes up a lot of her business as does hoarding clean-up and other difficult jobs. 
The biz pitch competition, presented by Wells Fargo and hosted by NGLCC co-founder and president Justin Nelson, was judged by Leomins, host of CNBC’s “The Profit,” as well as Judy Dlugacz, founder and president, Olivia; Chance Mitchell, co-founder and CEO, NGLCC; and Gene Falk, CEO, StartOut. 
“I’m going to use the prize money to expand into other markets, such as Miami. We also have a number of national contracts and would like to develop a franchise model to handle those,” she says. “Most of all, I am grateful to NGLCC for the opportunities they have given me to be myself, excel at business and understand how to grow my company in a successful way. They have really helped me make a difference and I highly recommend LGBT business certification because of the doors it opens.” 
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global not-for-profit advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT owned businesses. 
Adam Shapiro
[email protected] 202-427-3603



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