NGLCC Celebrates Sold Out 2019 NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference in Tampa; Sets Sights on Las Vegas for #NGLCC2020

August 22, 2019

Washington, D.C. – The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community, recently concluded a record-breaking 2019 NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference in Tampa, Florida from August 12-16, 2019. Nearly 1,400 LGBT business owners, corporate leaders, affiliate chamber leaders, policymakers, and special guests convened at the Tampa Convention Center for the largest LGBT business event on the planet. 

Click HERE to view the complete Conference photo collection online.

For the eighth consecutive year, American Airlines was a presenting sponsor, and was joined by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Dell Small Business. The Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce was the local affiliate partner in producing the Conference.  NGLCC thanks the more than 40 corporate and local partners who helped make the Conference possible through their support, and to the representatives of the over 250 NGLCC Fortune 500 Corporate Partners who attended to engage with businesses not despite their being LGBT-owned, but because of it.

“As with all NGLCC events, we are constantly shattering attendance records and delivering greater opportunities for LGBT business owners to thrive,” said Justin Nelson, NGLCC Co-Founder & President. “Central Florida is one of the premiere entrepreneurial and entertainment destinations in the world, which made it a perfect place to host a conference elevating the innovative stars of the LGBT business community. Tampa, by Executive Order of openly LGBT Mayor Jane Castor, has raised the bar for future host cities by ensuring they are now ‘open for business’ with the Certified LGBTBE® companies we celebrated at the Conference. We were honored to have such renowned corporations as American Airlines, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Dell Small Business present this sold out Conference with us.”

Among the highlights of #NGLCC19 were:

  • Tampa’s openly LGBT Mayor, Jane Castor,  in a fireside chat with NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson. The Mayor made history by announcing the City of Tampa is the latest government to accept NGLCC’s Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) certification and welcome LGBT business owners into city contracting and economic development opportunities
  • Deborah Cox, Grammy nominated performer and longtime LGBT ally, performed many of her biggest hits in celebration of the LGBT business community
  • Sally Hogshead, NY Times bestselling author and business leadership keynote speaker, astounding the attendees with her keynote about the power of connections and ‘fascinating’ our business collaborators
  • $50,000 in cash and prizes awarded at the 8th annual NGLCC LGBT Biz Pitch Competition, NGLCC’s LGBT version of Shark Tank, to Certified LGBTBE® Lumenomics
  • Our first of many Communities of Color Initiative forums and receptions 
  • A stirring performance by celebrated poet and advocate Hannah Drake to open the Conference
  • The second annual Canadian LGBT+ Trade Mission to the United States, in partnership between NGLCC and the Canadian LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce
  • Over 50 workshops, learning sessions, mentorship meetings, networking engagements, and more designed to connect LGBT business owners to life-changing contracting opportunities

“This was our biggest and best Conference yet, and it reflected just how important the work of NGLCC and its partners are in the worlds of business and advocacy right now. We have never had more business owners, more corporations, more government agencies, and more diversity organization allies in one place, and the energy of the connections being made was palpable all week long in Tampa.  In a few weeks we hope to be able to share the economic impact of this conference on our community– which, for reference, was nearly $4 Million just a few years ago when NGLCC was in Fort Lauderdale.  We put so many Certified LGBTBE® and LGBT supportive business to work in making this Conference happen, and we thank you for standing with us in making Florida– and indeed, the country, more welcoming of all of our business success,” said NGLCC Co-Founder & CEO, Chance Mitchell.

The Conference concluded with a Champagne Brunch and Awards Ceremony on Friday. The awards and honorees included:

Our Chamber Excellence Awards honor NGLCC Affiliate Chambers who have led by example in the past year and should be looked up as role models by other Affiliates by innovating and leading in the fields of campaigns and advocacy, communications, programming, community impact and more.

The winners are:
Keystone Business Alliance
Greater Seattle Business Association
Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce

The inaugural NGLCC / Wells Fargo Empowerful Award recognizes a Certified LGBTBE® that is empowering and impacting the next generation of LGBT and other certified diverse suppliers by developing their own supplier diversity program and working to better their community. The honoree will have an established supplier diversity program and a proven record of seeking certified diverse owned firms for Tier I, Tier II or strategic partnership opportunities.

The winner is:

The NGLCC / HRC Apex Award recognizes an outstanding corporation who has achieved a coveted 100 on the HRC Corporate Equality Index for outstanding company-wide support of the LGBTQ community, as well as a close relationship with the NGLCC to foster new economic opportunities for Certified LGBTBE® companies and the broader LGBT business community

The winner is:

The NGLCC Advocacy Partner Champion Award recognizes an NGLCC Corporate Partner who has worked closely with the organization both for public sector Certified LGBTBE® inclusion in dozens of cities and states, but also for fighting back against government discrimination in the workplace and markteplace that harms our community and economy. 

The winner is:

The Inaugural NGLCC Disruptor Award recognizes a corporate leader that is making serious strides in challenging the status quo on supplier diversity and/or diversity and inclusion practices to better the outcomes of customers, suppliers and/or employees.  These are people on the front lines of inclusion, and who inspire leaders at every company to raise the bar

The winner is:
Debra Quade, Kellogg’s

Affiliate Chamber Staff Member of the Year Award recognizes the commitment and dedication of a professional staff member of an Affiliate Chamber who exemplifies excellence in the Chamber industry and has a proven track record in growing the national and local LGBT business community.

The winner is:
Kellie Parkin, The Pride Chamber of Greater Orlando

The Affiliate Supplier Diversity Champion Award is designed to recognize an individual who is a local champion for the NGLCC Supplier Diversity Initiative and Certified LGBTBE® inclusion where they live.

The winner is:
Ilona Lohrey, GSBA

Our NGLCC Rising Star Chamber is given to a relatively newer Affiliate Chamber, or a Chamber experiencing a renaissance, that has experienced strong growth in its membership, programming, and operations. This chamber recognizes the importance of solid planning and goal setting, has a plan for maintaining its pattern of growth and stability, and serves as an inspiration to its fellow chambers.

The winner is:
Long Beach Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

NGLCC Global Supplier Champion is designed to recognize the growing commitment of corporate leaders in Certified LGBTBE® inclusive procurement practices outside the United States, who have helped NGLCC Global expand to more than fifteen nations on five continents — and we are just getting started.

The winner is:
Nedra Dickson, Accenture

The NGLCC Global Chamber of the Year Award is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an international affiliate for outstanding work and achievement over the past year, helping advance NGLCC Global’s mission of international prosperity and opportunity for all LGBTI people and business owners.

The winner is:
PLUS:  the LGBTI+ Business Network of South Africa

EY and the NGLCC collaborated on the second annual Business Resource Group (BRG) Challenge. BRGs are increasingly demonstrating that they have an impact on employee engagement and contribute to the achievement of company goals via collaborations with Supplier Diversity efforts and procurement.  

The winner is:

The Conference concluded with a passing of the baton from Tampa to Las Vegas. 

“From all of us at The Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce of Nevada, who had the honor of hosting NGLCC most recently in 2017, we cannot wait to welcome you back to our city for the 2020 NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference.  We can’t wait to show off how much the city has grown, and how important the LGBT community has been to our city’s success.  You know what they say about what happens in Vegas, but we know all the connections and all the success you make at NGLCC2020 will definitely leave with you.  Thank you — and see you next August,” said Tricia Costello of the Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce of Nevada.

Additionally, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau announced that Fort Lauderale, FL will serve as host to the 2021 NGLCC Conference.

# # #

The National LGBT 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. | @NGLCC

Jonathan Lovitz
Senior Vice President
[email protected]


Recent News & Press