On Friday, November 18, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), capped a successful inaugural NGLCC Global LGBTI Business Week in Washington, D.C., November 14-18, 2016, with a dinner gala for over 700 global LGBT business leaders and allies.
Although the National Dinner has become an NGLCC annual tradition, this was the “first summit of its kind to converge economic, public policy, and global human rights experts with the goal of shaping a more equitable world for LGBTI citizens,” according to NGLCC’s Andy DiAntonio.
“The creation of NGLCC Global LGBTI Business Week speaks to the heart of the mission of NGLCC Global: to build an inclusive global economy in which LGBTI entrepreneurs and their allied business partners are free to trade, develop, and succeed,” said NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson.
Attendees from all over the world mingled during cocktail hour under the illuminated pillars of the National Building Museum, all while posing for red carpet photos and admiring Marriott’s installation, Love Travels, “an art collaboration dedicated to transgender lives and leaders everywhere.”
Philadelphia Independence Business Alliance (IBA)’s Zachary Wilcha was in attendance, along with Philadelphia’s Director of LGBT Affairs, Nellie Fitzpatrick. Montgomery County’s small business owner and trans activist, Jayne Keyser, from Bustard Advertising, also enjoyed the evening’s festivities.
After cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, guests were escorted to the main ballroom for musical entertainment, including a piano performance by Ji, who ended his performance with the words, “We are all together, but we are all not the same.”
Top corporate representatives shared insights on diversity and inclusion in the global business community, while guests enjoyed a three-course surf & turf dinner.
Trips to Flanders and Paris were auctioned off for $10,000+ a piece and guests bid on silent auction items throughout the evening.
The 2016 Honorees were awarded in four categories:
- Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year: Rondu Vincent of Bristol-Myers Squibb
- LGBT Supplier of the Year: Q&A Events
- Corporation of the Year: Pacific Gas & Electric
- NGLCC/American Airlines ExtrAA Mile Award: Actor and Advocate BD Wong, best known for his role as Dr. George Huang on Law & Order: SVU and now Hugo Strange in the new TV series, Gotham.
Guests laughed when BD Wong opened his remarks by saying, “I want to thank NGLCC for giving me the best excuse to get out of bed and leave the house.”
Attendees continued the celebration during the evening’s afterparty, where partygoers danced and said their goodbyes after a week of global festivities.
To see photos from Glocal LGBTI Business week, click here.
To see photos from the National Dinner, click here.
More information on NGLCC and the LGBT business community can be found at www.nglcc.org