The Austin LGBT Chamber, founded in 1997 works to achieve equality and inclusion by promoting economic vitality in our communities and strengthening LGBT and ally businesses. In 2004, the Austin LGBT Chamber became one of the founding members of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) with representation on the Council of Chambers and Business Organizations in 2008-2009 and 2013-present. In 2019, Austin LGBT Chamber joined forces with our partner LGBT Chamber in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio to form the Texas LGBT Chamber. www.texaslgbtchambers.com

About Us

Vision
We envision a fully supportive, diverse and prosperous community.

Mission
To empower and strengthen the LGBT business community and its allies.

Activities         

Chambers of commerce are trade associations charged with creating a business-friendly environment for their members in the communities where they’re based. We do this by advocating, educating, connecting and providing a variety of publicity tools. While most chambers have a singular mission to support commercial activity, others like the Austin LGBT Chamber also advocate on behalf of businesses whose members represent segments of the community with special concerns or a unifying social mission.

Advocacy
We engage with public officials at multiple levels: City of Austin, county, state, and federal through our membership with the National LGBT Chamber. At the national policy level, we support increasing opportunities for (LGBT) entrepreneurs, international trade, implementation of LGBT-inclusive polices, study and distribution of LGBT economic impact data and workforce leadership. Locally, we advocate on behalf of our members and the LGBT community at large to assist them with their business objectives.

Connections 
Austin LGBT Chamber hosts numerous events to foster relationships. 

Education
We offer a variety of committees (below) that offer a chance to both highlight our expert members and educate others in the community.  Our networking luncheons are topical, and we host a number of informational panels with our minority chamber partners. Our member orientations are also opportunities to learn about resources and new regulations that will impact businesses.

 
  • Advocacy Committee: This committee will research ordinances, regulations, and propositions at the local, state and national levels that will impact the LGBTQ business community. A minimum of 4 programmatic events with expert panelists will be held throughout 2020, including education about local, state and federal issues impacting business and workforce issues. Opportunities to attend our multi-ethic chamber collaborative candidate forums/debates.
  • Health & Wellness Committee: This committee will map out strategies to convene healthcare providers to impact the health and wellness of LGBT Austin. We focus on employee wellness and healthcare advocacy at the local, state and federal levels. We act as a resource and neutral forum for the entire community, both patients and providers through advocacy, education and connections. A minimum of 4 programatic events with expert panelists will be held throughout 2020 related to the work of this body.
  • Employee Resource Roundtable: The Chamber acts as a convener of existing and new ERG groups to provide a forum for education and awareness supporting the professional growth of LGBT individuals by fostering a safe environment within their companies/businesses for individuals to be authentic in the workplace. A minimum of 4 programmatic events with expert panelists will be held throughout 2020 related to the work of this body. Open to all your employees. Great resource to improve ERG program(s).
  • Business Academy: This committee acts as a resource for business members from large to small offering a variety of expert lead panel discussion on best practices in areas such as branding/marketing, business finances, IT/cybersecurity, supplier diversity and more. A minimum of 4 programmatic events with expert panelists will be held throughout 2020 related to the work of this body.
  • Young Professionals with Pride: Young Professionals with Pride is a networking group for the young and young at heart. Our mission is to empower and strengthen the Young LGBT and Allied professional community in Austin through networking, community outreach, and education. A minimum of 4 programmatic events with expert panelists will be heald throughout 2020 related to the work of this body.
 
 
 

Proud member of:

 

Here are just a few LGBT Chamber Milestones:

 

 

  • 1994: the board of directors decided to become a chamber of commerce.  During a three-year transition period, it was known as the Stonewall Chamber of Commerce. Confusion over the name (because there is a Stonewall, Texas) prompted the name change to the Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
  • June 2001: marked the first Annual Austin LGBT Chamber Pride Parade, which was very successful with nearly 45,000 in attendance in 2008. In 2009, the Austin LGBT Chamber produced the city’s first combined Pride Parade and Festival with over 50,000 combined participants and attendees before handing off the Pride events to a separate non-profit organization for 2010.
  • January 2006: the Austin LGBT Chamber reached 200 members for the first time
  • January 2007: the Austin LGBT Chamber had its first State of the Chamber speech given by the President to give members and guests a review of the past year’s achievements and an overview of the Austin LGBT Chamber’s plan for the coming year.
  • January 2007: the Chamber published its first magazine, Forward Austin replacing the printed directory.
  • June 2009: the Austin LGBT Chamber reached 300 members for the first time.
  • July 2012: the first issue of; The Agenda, the Austin LGBT Chamber’s new quarterly magazine, in collaboration with the Austin Chronicle, was released during Austin PRIDE.
  • March 2013: the Austin LGBT Chamber organized the first #BigGay Kickoff Party on the first day of the SXSW Interactive Festival. It attracted over 1500 attendees, making it the largest non-pride event in Austin.
  • July 2013: the Austin LGBT Chamber received the Rising Star Chamber of the Year award from the NGLCC
  • September 2013: the Austin Chronicle’s Best of Austin named the Austin LGBT Chamber as “Best Shop-Local Portals.
  • March 2014: the Austin LGBT Chamber’s Facebook page reached 10,000 likes, making it the most “liked” LGBT chamber of commerce on Facebook, and the most liked of any local chamber of commerce in the world.
  • August 2015: the Chamber received the Excellence in Community Impact Award from the NGLCC.
  • June 2016: was the first PROUD! The event in which the Chamber celebrates its founding, Pride month, Annual Business Awards and gives out scholarships to LGBTQ students through its Foundation.
  • August 2017: Austin LGBT Chamber receives CTI Certified designation issued by the University of Notre Dame and co-signed by the USHCC, USBC, USPAACC. The CTI Certification highlights the achievements made by the chamber as a whole.
  • Jan 2019: Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio Chamber collaborate and create the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce.
  • Dec 2019: Austin LGBT Chamber has record-setting Business of Pride Awards Gala
  • Dec 2019: Austin LGBT Chamber increased paid staff size to it’s largest staff in history on a path to high growth for 2020.
  • January 2020: Austin LGBT Chamber introduced the Engage 2020 Program Series focusing on expert panel discussions around Advocacy, Health & Wellness industry, ERGs, Young Professionals with Pride and Business Academy

 

Past Chairs and Presidents of the Board of Directors:

(2021 Chair Elect, Valerie Salinas-Davis)

2017-2020 Chase Kincannon

2016-2017 Amy Cook

2014-2016 Edgar Gierbolini

2013-2014 Jimmy Flannigan

2011-2012 Amy Cook

2009-2010 Chad Peevy

2007-2009 Jimmy Flannigan

2005-2006 Troy Hanna

2003-2005 Grant Henning

2001-2002 Amy Krause