NGLCC Celebrates 15 Years at 2017 National Dinner Gala

November 20, 2017
Washington, DC – NGLCC, the business voice of the LGBT community, marked fifteen years of creating LGBT business success and opportunity at the 2017 NGLCC National Dinner, held in Washington, D.C. on Friday, November 17, 2017.  Bristol-Myers Squibb and IBM were the presenting sponsors of the gala, which was hosted at the National Building Museum.
“The NGLCC National Dinner is a thrilling moment for us to reflect on the tremendous growth we see year after year in the LGBT business community because of the opportunities, partnerships, and advocacy victories championed by the NGLCC and our partners,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and President Justin Nelson. “Our fifteenth anniversary affords us the special opporuntity to look back at our journey, as well as launch ourselves forward into the next chapter of success for our communities. Our 2017 honorees exemplify the very best in our fifteen year mission to grow the economic vitality of LGBT businesses across the United States and throughout the world.  We will harness the excitement of a year that produced a record-breaking number of Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) companies, powerful public policy wins, many new corporate and government partnerships, and our largest International Business & Leadership Conference yet as we continue to lead boldly.”
The 2017 National Dinner brought together over 800 of the most successful and inspiring LGBT business owners, corporate diversity leaders, elected officials, celebrities, and representatives from NGLCC Global international affiliates from around the world.  The National Dinner will also mark the culmination of the second annual NGLCC Global LGBTI Business Week (presented by Accenture), a summit focused on global LGBT economic development and human rights, highlighting international supplier diversity and business creation opportunities.
The 2017 NGLCC National Dinner Award honorees were:
NGLCC/American Airlines ExtrAA Mile Award: Dennis & Judy Shepard | The Matthew Shepard Foundation
Recognizes an LGBT or allied person, persons or organization that have gone the extra mile to support LGBT equality
Corporation of the Year: AT&T
Given to a corporation for their outstanding support and dedication to ensuring fairness and equal opportunity for LGBT suppliers, customers, and employees.
Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year: Melissa Poli | Northrop Grumman  
Given to a leader who has demonstrated commitment to outreach and inclusion of LGBT suppliers in the diverse supply chain at his or her company.
LGBT Supplier of the Year: American Meetings, Inc.
Recognizes an exemplary certified LGBT Business Enterprise (Certified LGBTBE®) for their outstanding contributions to the growth and development of LGBT supplier diversity.


Additionally, three NGLCC Legacy Awards were presented to leaders in the community who were instrumental in the growth of NGLCC and the overall success of the LGBT business community.  “Something special about an anniversary year is the chance to take a look back with the same exhilaration and gratitude that we feel as we look to the future. We would not be the NGLCC we are today without several leaders in our community who have relentlessly championed opportunity, inclusion, and visibility at every level of business and society,” said NGLCC Board Chair, Carol Attak, at the presentation of the Legacy Awards in Washington.   

2017 NGLCC Legacy Award winners were:

Dawn Ackerman | NGLCC affliate chamber leader & ACC regional chair, NGLCC LGBT Supplier of the Year winner with Certified LGBTBE® OutSmart Office Solutions, and tireless advocate for the NGLCC mission of LGBT business opporunity and inclusion

Michael K. Robinson | Program Director, Global Supplier Diversity at IBM, who encouraged IBM to be the first LGBT-inclusive supply chain and NGLCC’s first corporate partner

Bob Witeck | Groundbreaking LGBT economic researcher credited with creating the “business case” for LGBT inclusion; supported creation of NGLCC’s America’s LGBT Economy report; Witeck Communications is the oldest continually active Certified LGBTBE® in the NGLCC network

“NGLCC is more committed than ever to strengthening the LGBT business community. And we are not alone in that essential mission, as our sold-out 15th Anniversary National Dinner proves once again,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and CEO Chance Mitchell. “Over the last year, we have exceeded 1,000 suppliers and added over 40 new corporate partners as committed to empowering the economic futures of the LGBT community as we are. Through their supplier diversity programs at home and around the world, these new partners join nearly one-third of the Fortune 500, multiple state governments, and an ever-growing number of government agencies in giving LGBT business owners an equitable seat at the table.“

Check and NGLCC’s social media feeds for photos and video from the 2017 National Dinner in the weeks ahead.


Jonathan D. Lovitz
Senior Vice President, NGLCC

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT-owned businesses.


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