The Chamber, Capital Area's LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Welcome to the Chamber. The Capital Area's LGBT Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber) is the nonprofit, nonpartisan, largely-volunteer network of over 400 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) and Ally members in addition to the nearly 5,000 LGBT professional supporters who own or are employed by businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies in Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland. The Chamber is an affiliate of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and was awarded Chamber of the Year 2012. The Chamber ranked 18th on the Washington Business Journal’s List of Chambers of Commerce in 2011 and moved up to 17th place in 2012.
The Chamber’s primary focus is to further the acceptance of LGBT people, help overcome adversity and then advocate, empower, promote and facilitate the common economic interests of all the commercial enterprises of LGBT businesses, professionals and their allies in the metropolitan D.C. region.
The Chamber is the place to...
- Share in the promotion and strengthening of the universal interests of the LGBT business community
- Discuss, consider and overcome of problems and issues affecting LGBT people in business
- Meet exciting people and expand professional networks
- Perform business within the safety of a community of like-minded entrepreneurs and professionals
- Find guidance and support in pursuing new career paths
- Find and communicate with future clients, customers, and employers
- Network with people who share your passion for the LGBT community and for business growth
- Learn useful tips, ideas, strategies, and insights for business advancement and betterment
- Interact with LGBT community leaders and local politicians
- Build your leadership skills, mentor others and give back to the LGBT business community
The Chamber The Capital Area's LGBT Chamber of Commerce Means Business! Ongoing education and good professional-to-professional relations give you many reliable contacts and can open doors you may have never considered. In today’s world you can’t leave your business relationships or knowledge to chance. Please consider joining The Chamber, Metro DC’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce today – we’re OUT for the LGBT business community and for your business!
The Capital Area's LGBT Chamber of Commerce, mission is to advocate, empower, promote and facilitate the success of LGBT businesses and their allies in the Metro DC region.
The diverse LGBT business community is acknowledged and well recognized as a key driver in a thriving Metro DC economy. This is happening because of the Chamber’s work to build the common economic interests and synergies between LGBT business owners, LGBT professionals and organizations intent on doing business with the LGBT suppliers and professionals. Business acceptance and business equality for the LGBT community is resulting in economic prosperity for all people in the DC Metro region.
- Engaged – it takes a connected group of people to fulfill the mission.
- Respectful – all people of all backgrounds are appreciated and served.
- Fun – advancing business is good and ought to be fun to do.
- Civic Minded – we care about our communities and their well-being is tied to our success.
The Chamber builds bridges across greater Washington's LGBT and allies’ communities by bringing together men and women professionals of all ages, races, backgrounds and by forming a dynamic network that helps all commercial enterprises succeed. The Chamber also acts a voice for common economic interests of the business community with local politics by staying abreast of city council hearings and decisions, inviting politicians to our events and testifying on behalf of small business interests. Chamber leaders work in a variety of fields, including technology, financial or strategic planning, marketing, public relations, advertising, arts, media, journalism, hospitality, architecture, consulting, real estate, law, banking, insurance, publishing, travel, specialty services, education, health care, government, associations, international affairs, and management. The Chamber maximizes our community involvement by working with and supporting the leaders of other LGBT organizations in the region.
The Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce calendar of events consists of three event types. Our primary activities are to host our four Signature events. In Addition to these we have scheduled recurring Core events. Our third types of events are known as the Special events. Special events happen sporadically throughout the year and are for the purpose of unique offerings to members of the LGBT and Allied business community.
Our primary activities as a Chamber are to host and produce four Signature events. The Signature events are designed to serve and speak to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community at large as well as the political and business communities. These events help to overcome adversity, strengthen, grow, and build awareness of the viability of the entire LGBT business community of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Our signature events are our highest-profile events and utilize the most resources of the Chamber. They consist of the Annual Awards Dinner, Capital Pride weekend, The Mega Networking and Social event and g.life.
Annual Awards Dinner
The Chamber created the Annual Awards Dinner Gala to showcase the achievement and highlight impact of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender business in our region. Each year, the Chamber recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations that have contributed to the economic, social and cultural fabric of the LGBT Community in the Metro DC area. By being the organization that recognizes the accomplishments created within the LGBT Business community we overcome oppression and stereotypes and we empower people to achieve even more success. Everyone is welcome to participate in the nomination process, receive an award and or join us at the actual Gala.
Annual Mega Networking and Social Event
Each spring, the Chamber hosts the largest event directed to the improvement of business conditions in the LGBT community in the entire region. This event is known as the Mega Networking and Social Event, where thousands of LGBT and allied people attend for free and where the Chamber partners with and offer dozens of LGBT professional, networking and social groups the opportunity to connect with other LGBT and Allied professionals to inform, recruit and strengthen their own organizations. The Chamber realizes that by offering a platform that helps make the entire LGBT community more united, we also make the LGBT business community stronger. It is free to attend this event and also free to be a Community Partner.
The g.life day-long expo produced in the fall of each year builds on the Mega Networking event with a much larger Community Partners project and by adding a Community Partner recruitment fair and an extensive seminars and workshop series called g.life University or g.life U. While the expo itself offers opportunities for the LGBT business community to reach thousands of potential consumers, it also encourages vendors from all over the region to interact, sell to and communicate with the general LGBT market. This type of cross interaction educates and promotes the acceptance of LGBT people while maintaining a focus on commerce and business. All components of g.life are free for attendees.
Pridelicious Parade & Festival Weekend
June is Pride month for the LGBT community and the Chamber uses the Capital Pride celebration to highlight our achievements to the rest of the community. The Chamber marches with a large colorful contingent in the Pride Parade that travels 1.5 miles through Dupont Circle and 17th Street and ends in the Logan Circle neighborhood of northwest Washington, DC. The annual Pride Parade attracts over 150,000 spectators annually.
The Chamber also operates an informational booth at the Capital Pride Festival on Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th Streets. The Festival is DC’s largest annual one-day event with over 200,000 visitors, almost 300 sponsor & vendor exhibits, three stages, two beverage gardens, a family area, and numerous food vendors offering a huge selection of various cuisines.
In addition, the Chamber hosts the Pridelicious Lounge. The lounge is held in a hotel suite just steps away from the Capital Pride festival and is an amazing place for important guests of the Chamber, local politicians, and our sponsors to come for a cool drink, a snack or two, and to meet and network with the other guests. The lounge is free for all to attend.
In addition to the 4 signature events we have 93 Core events and programs prescheduled for 2014. The Core events can be broken into networking mixer style events and educational events.
There are 12 Networking Thursdays #NT, a mixer event that happens on the 2nd Thursday of every month for the past 23 years at different member host venues. The counterpart to the NT is the Women’s Wednesday #WW that is also a mixer style event and will occur 12 times on the 3rd Wednesday of each month also at different member host venues. Our Chamber VA #CVA event series started in 2013. There will be six mixer style events that occur in Virginia and are for the purpose of serving our members that work and or live in VA. All six of the Chamber VA events will be on Tuesdays late in their varying perspective months and will be hosted by different members in the state of Virginia. All of our mixer style events are open to all people to attend.
In addition to the networking mixer type events listed above, we offer educational events that are also open for all to attend. Our educational events serve the purpose of teaching people to improve their own business conditions. One of our greatest programs is the MasterMind Group #MM that has been meeting every Thursday morning at 7:30 am for almost a decade. This group acts as a think tank or an independent shared board of directors for each of the attendee’s businesses.
In addition to MasterMind we have 9 educational Business Matters Lunches #BML geared specifically to address the educational needs of the small to medium sized business owner. Topics include everything from understanding how to maximize social media to learning about the Affordable Care Act.
Another program now in its forth year is the SmartNetworking 2.0 #SN event where we cross an educational component and a networking mixer with some networking skills to offer one of the most powerful programs we ever done.
The Chamber Is Inclusive
Joining The Chamber is easy and connects you with the community. You can also opt-into our free e-list for regular E-Newsletter and e-blast updates. Collaboration with and promotion of locally based businessesIn addition to individual and partner memberships, CAGLCC welcomes business membership.