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

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