The Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce held its annual holiday party and December meeting recently in the heart of downtown, and the group is already anticipating a prosperous 2016.

The event was hosted by national law firm Waller, Lansden, Dortch, & Davis inside the beautiful Nashville City Center, providing a phenomenal view. TASTE Award-winning Savor the Flavor catered the event, and attendees were asked to bring lightly worn or new business clothes for a professional clothing drive. The clothes were donated to local transgender support groups T-Vals and T-Men.

Executive Director Lisa Howe highlighted the mission of the Chamber and the importance of businesses representing themselves as friendly to the LGBT community but also of LGBT owned businesses to identify as such. She said the Chamber has received numerous requests from federal agencies wanting to know things like whether members of the Chamber, or LGBT businesses more broadly, had engaged in applying for business loans, and if so whether they had been accepted or rejected.

The numbers remain unclear, even to the government, so Howe told the leaders present, “It’s imperative that people in our community who are able stand out and self-identify do so. We need them in order to further our mission and to be that voice.”

The 2016 Board’s members are:

Joe Woolley, President

Ron Snitker, Vice President

Cathy Werthan, Treasurer

Taylor Wirth, Secretary

Joey Amato

Greg Cason

Donna Drehmann

Deb Grant

Clayton Klutts

Joyce McDaniel

Sara McManigal

David McMurry

Bob Rehley

Brad Pinson

Chris Robinette

Dustin Turner

 

“I am excited to work with the new Executive Board and new Board members in 2016,” says Howe. “I applaud the Board Search Committee for their commitment to increasing the diversity of our Board of Directors. It is a seamless transition for me since many of our new Board members have been working with the LGBT Chamber for a year or more as a committee member, volunteer, or representative of the LGBT Chamber.”

The Chamber is also continuing to bring on new businesses as it moves into 2016, including Addiction Campuses, Doubletree by Hilton Nashville Downtown, Belcourt Theatre, TapSnap1071, and viaONEHOPE.

 

New 2016 Board Members

David McMurry—David brings successful experience in sales, management, property management, customer experience, and non-profit organizations. In addition to a leadership position with the Madison-Rivergate Chamber of Commerce, David is active in Habitat for Humanity, Hands on Nashville, and Relay for Life.

Bob Rehley—Bob is the owner of AlphaGraphics Music City, a print and marketing communications company based in East Nashville. Prior to opening AG in 2013, Bob was a senior financial officer at Gibson Guitar, EnPro Industries, and Metaldyne. He held management positions at Cummins, Upjohn, and UNISYS.

Joey Amato—Joey began his career in New York City as part of the marketing team for Sony Music. His passion for art and music has led him to begin multiple enterprises around the industry, including the quarterly UNITE Magazine and Agency33. UNITE began in Nashville and has grown to Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Richmond. Agency33 clients include Peter Max, Mick Fleetwood, and Jane Seymour.

Deborah Grant—Deb brings human resources experience from across the country from Vermont to the Pacific Northwest with a stop in between in Wisconsin. Currently, she advises on employment and labor relations at Vanderbilt University. As Executive Director of Human Resources at the university, Deborah and her team just worked through the separation of the university from the medical center.

Donna Drehmann—Donna is a customer experience leader across multiple industries including insurance and telecommunications. She is certified in Net Promoter Score methodology which she uses to help businesses develop customer experience strategies and reduce the number of customer complaints. She owns her own business, Listen, Learn, Live, LLC. Donna is an active Board member with the Belcourt Theatre, NAWBO, and CABLE.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

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