NGLCC Co-Founders Honored by Matthew Shepard Foundation for LGBTQ Community Leadership

October 22, 2018

Washington, DC –  The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community, is proud to announce that the Matthew Shepard Foundation has honored NGLCC Co-Founders, President Justin Nelson and CEO Chance Mitchell, with the 2018 Dennis Dougherty Award for Community Leadership. The award was presented on Saturday, October 20 at the Hilton Denver City Center during the 2018 Matthew Shepard Foundation Bear to Make a Difference Gala, a celebration of community members, civic leaders and corporate partners who come together to support the 20th Anniversary of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and those who share its commitment to a future free from hate.

“I hail from the same Wyoming town as Judy and Dennis Shepard, and have often said that, ‘These are the two of the most amazing people I wish I never had to meet,’ but meeting them has changed my life as it has anyone who knows them and the great work of the Matthew Shepard Foundation. It is an honor for the NGLCC to be recognized with the Dennis Dougherty Award for Community Leadership as the champions for the global LGBT business community. We look forward to continuing our powerful and impactful partnership with the Shepards as we shape the more inclusive world Matthew would have fought for had he not left us too soon,” said NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson.

Joined by Matthew’s parents, Judy & Dennis Shepard, at the NGLCC 15th Anniversary National Dinner in November 2017 NGLCC’s Co-Founders announced that NGLCC and the Matthew Shepard Foundation would be linking arms to preserve Matt’s legacy. The Matthew Shepard NGLCC Global Fellowship will inspire future generations of LGBT global advocates and foreign service leaders fighting against discrimination and creating new opportunities for our communities to thrive around the world. Each year, NGLCC Global fellows will spend two weeks in Denver, CO at the Matthew Shepard Foundation, learning of Matt’s legacy and how they can become powerful storytellers and change agents around the globe. The fellow will also accompany and support Judy and Dennis Shepard at speaking engagements around the country, furthering their understanding of the impact of the foundation and its mission.

“The Shepards and the Matthew Shepard Foundation have become an extension of the NGLCC family. Together, through the Matthew Shepard NGLCC Global Fellowship and other important collaborations, we will ensure Matt’s passion for leadership and service lives on around the world. The Shepards have moved and inspired attendees at NGLCC’s International Business & Leadership Conferences, as well as our National Dinner Galas, time and time again. We are so thankful for this recognition from them, and are eager to continue the great work we’ve begun together at the NGLCC,” said NGLCC Co-Founder & CEO Chance Mitchell.

Additional honorees at the Bear to Make A Difference Gala included Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon, who was honored by the NGLCC and its partners in the National Business Inclusion Consortium at the 2018 NBIC Best-of-the-Best gala; author Leslea Newman; and LGBTQ youth activists Ose Arheghan and Drew Adams.

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Jonathan Lovitz
Senior Vice President, NGLCC

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) 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, known as LGBT Business Enterprise (Certified LGBTBE®) companies. @nglcc


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