NAPP to market itself as Nashville’s GLBT Chamber of Commerce

An “explosion of gay-owned and related businesses” has prompted the Board of Directors of the Nashville Association of Professional Persons (NAPP) to approve an expanded mission and a new marketing identity tagline.

NAPP will begin marketing itself as “NAPP, Nashville’s GLBT Chamber of Commerce.”

NAPP President Chris Sanders said the change was part of the business group’s mission to help GLBT business professionals in Middle Tennessee. NAPP is the mid-state’s largest gay professional group, with more than 140 members.

“The new marketing identity is our response to the explosion of gay-owned and related businesses in the community and the growing number of GLBT professionals in Middle Tennessee,” said Sanders. “The new identity compliments the traditional name and will help professionals and their organizations connect with us more easily. The cornerstone of our rebranding effort is the URL for our new website which will launch in April – .”

NAPP is the sponsor of “Out & About Newspaper’s” monthly business page, another component of its marketing plan.

NAPP meets monthly in the Lyric Room of the Lowe’s Vanderbilt Plaza on West End in Nashville. Dues are $60 per year for an individual. Sanders said the board would be examining options for a business level membership, but that individual memberships will remain the lynchpin of its membership plan. The $60 membership fee provides members with: admission to ten membership meetings with refreshments; business and/or personal listing on our website and a Membership Directory

“The monthly networking meeting will always be the heart of NAPP, but we have begun to take on new functions such as documenting workplace fairness in Middle Tennessee,” notes Sanders.

NAPP announced at its January meeting a workplace fairness initiative along with a young professionals outreach initiative. Sanders said those initiatives were part of a plan of diversifying NAPP's work.

NAPP’s decision mirrors a trend by other gay professional groups around the country. Recently Dallas’ Stonewall Professional and Business Association dissolved in response to the formation of the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce.

NAPP had its beginning on April 17, 1998 in the East Nashville living room of Don Sumner, a California native in his early 30s pursing a career in financial planning where he met with four other individuals interested in creating a group for business professionals. By October 1998, the group had created enough synergy and positive response within the community to hold its Charter Membership Dinner. More than 60 persons attended this event, staged in the Veranda at the historic Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville.

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