In the past, the Austin Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce presented its State of the Chamber Address at an annual event to give members and guests a review of the past year’s achievements and an overview of the AGLCC’s plan for the coming year. This year, the Chamber broke with tradition as AGLCC President and CEO Edgar Gierbolini delivered the 2017 edition of the State of The Chamber Address virtually, via video.
The video is below, along with a copy of the transcript from this year’s State of the Chamber address.
Welcome to the virtual 2017 State of the Chamber! I’m Edgar Gierbolini, President and CEO of the Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
On behalf of the entire board, I’d like to thank you for being a member and continued supporter of AGLCC.
2016 was a hard year for many of us. The deadly shooting in Orlando and the major shifts in our political climate highlighted what was for many a difficult year.
Yet we faced these troubling times with renewed vigor. The pain we felt from Pulse nightclub allowed us to foster stronger partnerships and cooperation with Austin Pride, Equality Texas, the Austin Police Department and our LGBT clubs.
We launched our first annual Gala, PROUD! The gala not only gives a home to our annual business awards showcasing the vibrancy of our business members, but also raises money for the AGLCC Foundation, created to give out scholarships for LGBTQ individuals wanting to further their educational goals in Central Texas.
AGLCC co-hosted a Hate Crimes Forum with the Lesbian & Gay Peace Officers Association and the Matthew Shepard Foundation with Judy Shephard in attendance. It was at this Forum that Mayor Adler took the exiting step of encouraging the creation of an LGBTQ Quality of Life Commission for the City of Austin.
The Chamber strengthened its alliance with the Greater Austin Black, Hispanic and Asian Chambers of Commerce, continuing our collaborative events throughout the year including a well-attended Job and Career Expo!
Former AGLCC Board President Jimmy Flannigan was elected Council Member of District 6 for the City of Austin and will now serve as the first openly gay male on Council.
In 2017, to better serve you and other LGBT business people and allies in Austin you will begin to see many positive changes for the AGLCC.
We’ve launched a new program, Biz Dev 101, which will provide essential training for LGBTQ and allied professionals in a social environment while encouraging becoming a certified LGBT business owner.
A new member database will roll out which will change the appearance of the website (AGLCC.ORG) while giving our members an easier interface to maximize your AGLCC membership… we’ll even have an App!
New alliances have been created among the other three LGBT Chambers of Commerce in Texas: San Antonio, Houston and North Texas.
Council Member Flannigan has already begun 2017 with community building, hosting a public forum to gain input on the soon to be formed LGBTQ Quality of Life Commission. He has also hired our dear friend Ceci Gratias to handle constituent relations and those include being a liaison with our Community.
It is thanks to Ceci’s vision and leadership that the Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is where it is today. We will be forever grateful.
With the AGLCC now having long time chamber volunteer Amy Cook as Board Chair, we proudly have a woman helm our organization. Speaking as a gay Latino myself, I ask for your help in expanding our own diversity. We welcome new industries and different perspectives to join our ranks. Our diversity and inclusion only makes us stronger against all odds and hateful rhetoric. There is a definitely a place for you here.
We will continue to set policy and make thoughtful decisions based on our core values of Leadership, Social responsibility, Equality, Collaboration, Accountability and Transparency.
As we remember the moments of 2016 and embark with hopeful determination of 2017, we ask that you’ll join us in taking advantage of all that the Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has to offer, such as networking luncheons, happy hours and workshops. Even more importantly, we hope you’ll join us in helping shape the future of AGLCC and, by extension, the LGBT business community in Austin.
Thank you for being Uniquely Austin, and Uniquely You.
Check out these social media links for more information about the Austin Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce:
- Website – www.aglcc.org
- Facebook – www.facebook.com/aglcc
- Twitter – www.twitter.com/aglcc
- Instagram – www.instagram.com/atxlgbtchamber
TOP IMAGE: Austin Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Edgar Gierbolini delivers the 2017 State of The Chamber address / photo credit: Screen Capture / YouTube