LGBT Chamber of Commerce

LGBT Chamber of Commerce

3179 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60657

773-303-0167

Our Mission

To promote economic opportunities for the LGBT community by being an advocate and resource for all member businesses that encourage equality.

Promote Member Businesses

The Chamber works tirelessly to promote our Members through marketing initiatives, public relation campaigns, and cooperative advertising that reach local, regional, national, and global markets.

Encourage Businesses and Individuals

The Chamber functions as a support system that empowers the LGBT community, both socially and economically.

Increase Exposure

Our committee structure garners free publicity for Members by promoting them on our website, at events, and to local media. We also highlight Member businesses at networking events and in our monthly newsletter.

Drive LGBT Tourism to Chicago

Our aggressive tourism campaign features a helpful LGBT Tourism Package distributed at our office, our events, and any key areas around the region.

Support LGBT Activities

We sponsor and maintain a presence at LGBT events and celebrations throughout the Chicago area, year round.

Foster Pride

We are always working to heighten awareness of LGBT issues and successes. This creates an increasingly positive public image that gains respect for LGBT businesses and consumers.

Champion LGBT Business Interests to State and City Government

As a voice of advocacy for the LGBT community, the Chamber has built the strong foundations necessary for our programs and initiatives to succeed.

Serve the Community

We will continue strengthening our ties to the community-at-large with educational projects and neighborhood initiatives that benefit everyone.

Board of Directors

Billy Stevenson

Billy Stevenson

Board Chair

Supplier Diversity / ERG Committee
Stevenson Transfer / iCandee Marketing

Omar Marrero

Omar Marrero

Vice Chair

Marketing Committee
Nielsen

Rickey Spivey

Rickey Spivey

Secretary

Events Committee
Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants

OPEN

OPEN

Treasurer

Finance Committee
Company

David Tucci

David Tucci

Board Member

Membership Committee
Mutual of Omaha

Matt Phillips

Matt Phillips

Board Member

Membership Committee
Lynfred Winery

Jeff Kessler

Jeff Kessler

Board Member

Supplier Diversity/ERG Committee
Baker & McKenzie

Board Member

Board Member

Board Member

Supplier Diversity/ERG Committee
NGLCC Procurement Council
iCandee Marketing

Staff

Gerardo Rodriguez

Gerardo Rodriguez

Executive Director

LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois

OPEN

OPEN

Administrative Assistant

LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois

Board of Directors Emeritus

Sandi Robinson

Sandi Robinson

Board Member Emeritus

Godfrey Hotel

Timmy Samuel

Timmy Samuel

Board Member Emeritus

Starbelly Studios

Karen Killinger

Karen Killinger

Board Member Emeritus

Hands-On CPA

Heather McRae

Heather McRae

Board Member Emeritus

Chicago Financial Services

Our History

In 1995, Tracy Baim of Lambda Publications and Kevin Boyer of Communications Management, Inc. saw a need for a local chamber of commerce dedicated to gay and lesbian owned businesses. Joined by three other business owners, they launched the Chicago Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Their goal was to have 30 Members by the first organizational meeting in March 1996.

By the time that meeting was called to order, the Chamber had grown to include more than 80 businesses.

Today the Chamber serves a roster of over 300 Members, a number that increases almost daily. These members are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) business owners, as well as gay-supportive businesses. Together they employ over 2,000 people in the Chicago area, with gross revenues that exceed $200 million.

Since gay and lesbian tourism brings an estimated $300 million a year to Chicago, it’s no surprise that the city has discovered the viability of supporting the LGBT community.

Currently, a portion of the Chamber’s funding comes from the city government which is a far cry from the days when the city of Chicago sought to close gay and lesbian owned businesses.

We envision a bright, prosperous future for all Chamber members. The key to this vision is unity, which we foster through promotional, networking, and advocacy programs. We believe that by aligning our common interests, Member businesses will continue to grow and thrive.