GLBT Chamber Briefs - March 07
Nashville GLBT Chamber Member Spotlight:
Benjamin Papa, attorney, Forward Focus, PLLC
Benjamin Papa is an attorney and mediator whose practice is focused in the areas of family law, elder law, estate planning and probate, as well as mediation services of all kinds. Papa assists same-sex couples and GLBT individuals with issues such as adoption, surrogacy agreements, domestic partner agreements, domestic partnership dissolution, as well as issues related to estate planning, such as wills, trusts and powers of attorney.
Papa and his partner, Dr. Bradley Bullock, have been together for 10 years and are the proud parents of three-year-old twins, Ella and Eli.
For more information on Forward Focus, PLLC, visit www.forwardfocusmediation.com.
Nashville GLBT Chamber Board Member Spotlight:
Angel Brown, insurance agent, AAA Auto Club South
Angel Brown is an insurance agent for AAA Auto Club South. She has experience in both life and health insurance. As an agent for AAA, Brown sells auto, home, flood, home warranty, renters and condo policies. AAA has been in the insurance business for over 50 years, and, according to Brown, "We have great rates and a product to meet everyone's needs!" Prior to joining AAA, Brown worked for State Farm Insurance.
Brown lives in Donelson with her partner and their four dogs. Before moving to Nashville eight years ago, she received her B.A. in communication from the University of Memphis. In addition to her career and community involvement, Brown teaches English as a Second Language classes to adult learners.
Brown can be reached at:
2501 21st Ave South, Suite 1
Nashville, TN 37212
(615) 297-7700, ext. 2237
CPAs ready to help file 2006 taxes
With personal income tax statements due in April and business statements due in March, tax time is upon us all. Should you seek an experienced GLBT accountant? Many GLBT filers prefer a gay or gay-friendly tax preparer for reasons of comfort. Gay couples have a stronger inclination to use an experienced “welcoming” preparer as their tax outcome is likely to be favorable.
CPAs may be “gay-friendly” but may not understand the tax impacts to GLBT couples. For instance, a preparer should understand how to “stack deductions” for a couple filing separately. By stacking deductions with the partner who earns the highest income and itemizes his/her deductions, significant savings are often realized.
Teresa Driver, CPA of Mount Juliet, has established a strong GLBT customer base and prepares state or federal returns in Tennessee. Driver may be reached at (615) 758-4144 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeffery N. Solomon, CPA, prepares returns for Tennessee residents or businesses. Solomon welcomes a diverse customer base and hopes to add to his expanding GLBT clientèle. For more information, contact Jeffery N. Solomon, CPA, at (615) 778-9821 or email email@example.com.
Salon Suites of Cool Springs
Gloria Newton celebrated the grand opening of her new Cool Springs location in February, after success in her hair color studio in the Franklin area. Newton has opened her new shop within Salon Suites, a popular salon rental arrangement, which has seen strong success in other areas of the country. The suite arrangement offers private rooms for individual stylists to operate their individual salons. The suites are located across from the Cool Springs Galleria off Crossroads Boulevard and Mallory Lane. Newton operates her salon in suite #105 and may be reached at (615) 403-8330.
PFLAG Nashville's 2006 successes
The Nashville chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) highlighted its 2006 accomplishments in Co-Chairman Don Shockley's letter to PFLAG members and request for funding in 2007.
Launch of a new Web site and MySpace page
Through the efforts of our communications chairman, Jeff Porter, PFLAG Nashville launched a new Web site on Jan. 1, loaded with PFLAG information and a comprehensive resource directory, www.pflagnashville.org. The site's sister MySpace page is located at www.myspace.com/pflagnashville.
First direct communication with United Methodist Churches
PFLAG member, Jim Strickland, wrote and secured permission to have information about PFLAG included in a monthly newsletter sent to 700 United Methodist churches and pastors.
Diversity training for high school counselors and professional therapists
Carolyn McFall, a therapist for Bradford Health Services, volunteered to head a committee to put together a GLBT-based information packet for high school counselors. The packets were distributed to 20 high school counselors at an event in GLBT diversity training.
Media training for PFLAG Co-chairmen H.G. Stovall and Don Shockley
After participating in a media training event sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), PFLAG Co-chairmen Don Shockley and H.G. Stovall wrote Tennessean commentaries and letters to the editor. Shockley was interviewed on "Out and About Today," after writing a guest commentary for the Tennessean seeking to rouse support against the marriage amendment.
PFLAG active during the recent political turmoil
Vanderbilt graduate student Sara Dykstra helped the fight against pending legislation in state government that would prevent gay and lesbian persons from adopting children. Dykstra's letter to Rep. Debra Maggert received media attention. This legislation did not pass, and PFLAG believes Dykstra's speaking out was a significant part of the resistance to it.
• Long-time member Gene Floyd was a panelist at an event on the marriage issue sponsored by the Jewish women's organization, Hadassah.
• Floyd teamed with H.G. Stovall's parents, Bob and Gayle Stovall, in a Pride Week panel at the Dell Computer Company.
PFLAG Nashville seeks funding to support its 2007 expected growth and community outreach. Donations may be made online at www.pflagnashville.org. PFLAG Nashville holds monthly meetings at 7:00 p.m. at the Scarrit-Bennett Center, second floor of the Laskey Library. The next meeting will be held Tuesday, March 20.