Personal Branding for the LGBTQ Professional

So let's just hop right in, dive right in, and so today on the podcast we're recording this at the end of December, 2015, and I want to share with the listeners, and with you Sam, just some of the bigger more influential things that have happened over the year of 2015 as it relates to LGBT equality. And the lens in which our discussion will naturally have is really through economic impact, business advancement, just all of the really kind of awesome things that are happening from an equality standpoint that affect LGBT, small business owners, and subsequently those who support those small business owners. So I know it would the elephant in the room if we did not start this discussion on the topic of marriage equality, because even if you're living under a rock, you still are very well aware that marriage equality has arrived, at least in the United States. So I would just love to kind of hear your perspective, Sam, on how you feel this has impacted not just the fact that we can get married, but also from a business standpoint. And I know that you had mentioned that you were actually on the steps that day that it was announced. So I'm sure that was like a really kind of surreal experience. Could you just talk to us a little bit more about that?

 

Sam McClure:            Yeah, absolutely. Yeah it was quite a day really. You know, we're so lucky here in Washington that we're physically close, we're in proximity with powerful decisions that really alter the landscape of possibility for all kinds of people, and particularly as you said 2015 has just been a remarkable year for people who identify as LGBT. You know the day that the Supreme Court decision came, there'd been some waiting, right? You get these frames of time; well it could happen during this time, and then it doesn't happen and everyone was just reading the SCOTUSblog every day. And we had already decided as a team that when the announcement came we wanted to be there, and we were there when the case was started, when arguments were made, and we went back when the decision came down. And it was really very powerful to see all the people there. And I sort of don't want to sugar-coat it because really on both instances, not only were there many, many advocates there who worked for this change for decades, but there were also hate groups, there were religious extremists who were really vocally abusive to people that were in the audience. This is Washington D.C, this is a free country where we have the great spirit of democracy which allows for every point of view to be heard. But I must say despite the fact that I hold those values close and I believe in them, it was really hard to watch the sort of hateful rederick that was being launched around that space during a time of celebration. Particularly for some of our friends who had brought their whole families. We had one set of people with us, I know the parents, they're both women, and they've got three young children who- I keep saying they're young children, I actually think they just graduated high school, but I've known them most of their lives. They were all there together to celebrate it, and I think it was really hard for their children to see that there were people who were organized to push back this kind of opportunity for their family, and it really means the world to kids to know that their parents have access to marriage, and they have all the legal protections that they need as a couple and as a family. So yeah, it was a- surreal is a good word, you said surreal earlier, it was definitely a very surreal day, it was one of sort of emotional extremes feeling that the weight of the celebration, maybe a little bit of fatigue that this heavy lift that so many advocacy organizations had been working on for so many, many years, really was just tipped over. And so it was exciting, and it was also just sort of an emotional roller coaster that day. Of course all of us who are professionally gay, we went into a bit of a media blitz, so the next few days were quite difficult with interviews and talking to the media. But also really just talking to our different stakeholders about, 'Hey what does this mean in the immediate term? And what should we do?' And there was a little bit of waiting for lawyers to sort things out, and for rulings to come down. But yeah, it was amazing. Very amazing.

 

Jenn T Grace:             So I was not on the steps, although I feel like it was just as an emotionally kind of toying day; and of course June 26th is my birthday so I feel like I'm somehow a lucky charm in this situation. But I know that we were headed to- it was a Friday, we were headed to a friend of ours wedding actually that evening, and it was actually really interesting to be at someone's wedding- a straight wedding mind you, but at their wedding and for there to be so much chatter about the fact that equality was here, and it was a very positive chatter at least, so that was really good. I wonder if you could shed a little bit of light on kind of what I saw anyway, as the discussions that started unravelling after. Like the post-marriage equality world. I know that there was a lot of people talking about it, a lot of people writing about it, and I did see a fair amount of opinions that were saying like, 'Marriage equality is here, now we don't have any work to do.' You and I both know that is far from the case. But what did you see, and what did you experience kind of from that angle of people saying like, 'We have marriage equality, so our work here is done.' Did you hear that personally from anybody? Or were you having kind of a different conversation because you are in the nation's capital?

 

Sam McClure:            Yeah, that's a great question. It was a little bit of both, really. I mean there were some people- and frankly there was at least one organization that's sole mission was marriage equality, and they did close up shop right after the ruling. And I have to say I really respect that decision; they had a singular focused mission, they achieved that mission, and they concluded what they came to do. And I think for an advocacy organization, it's really important to sort of work towards the time when there's no need for your work, but I appreciate that they did that. However if you look at the broad landscape of what is the experience of an LGBT person, even just limited to here in the United States, where frankly we have a pretty high level of privilege. Marriage was really important, and I think it was something that became a high priority in the movement, maybe the highest priority some time ago, and one could question whether that was the right decision or not, or whether non-discrimination protection should have come first. It's sort of moot at this point because marriage did capture the imagination of the nation, and it really unified a lot of people to- just sort of understanding what's the day-to-day experience of a couple who don't have access to the protections offered by marriage, and what a really unjust dynamic that is. And it was a- we talk about it as a long journey, but I mean if you were looking at social movements, it actually came quite quickly in the overall scheme of things if you compared it to other struggles. And yet, it came in such a visible way, and such a large campaign movement for lack of a better word, and then resolved by the Supreme Court. I think there was so much drama to that, that it was actually easy for people to perceive the size of the win could easily be translated to, 'Well this is the win,' and we did have to remind people that there's a lot of work that's not done, and there's work that one would almost assume had already been done if you didn't know any better, but non-discrimination protections is a big one. There are still a lot of places here in the US, and again this is probably- we do have a very high level of privilege compared to many other countries where LGBT people are far more oppressed. But you wouldn't think that in the United States of America one could still be fired from their job just because of their sexual orientation. And it's even worse than that, it's like the perception of someone's sexual orientation. So I think many people remain quite vulnerable in terms of employment protections, and frankly not only LGBT people, but people who are different in any way on the gender spectrum. There are a lot of people who don't identify as LGBT, but may express themselves in a way that is not necessarily sort of in the center of the spectrum of their gender, and they may be treated completely differently because of that, and that creates a lot of vulnerabilities in the workplace. So we have a long way to go to help change hearts and minds so that people understand that LGBT people remain vulnerable in many ways, and to have the will to pass laws, make policy changes that would offer protections to those folks.

 

Jenn T Grace:             I remember in 2013 when we had DOMA and we were tackling that issue, also having a decision on June 26th, I remember that there was an onslaught of people changing their profile pictures to the HRC equal sign that was the red and pink. And I remember specifically that it was about three or three and a half million people who changed their profile to that. However in just two short years from 2013 to 2015, I read an article that Facebook had put out that 26 million people changed their profile picture to have the rainbow filter to celebrate marriage equality. So I feel like just from that kind of standpoint in a matter of two years, to go- and mind you the HRC is obviously an organization that not everybody is aware of, versus Facebook saying, 'Hey change your profile to a rainbow.' But that is still a very, very big difference I think in terms of just kind of the impact and the fact that so many people were willing to express their support for marriage equality, even something as simple as changing a profile picture on Facebook. It seems like such a small thing, but at the same time I feel like there's a lot of significance to the massive amount of people who were willing to change that, even if they may have somebody in their lives that may or may not have actually agreed with that decision.

 

Sam McClure:            Yeah, I agree and I think that's such an astute observation really, and such an important thing to talk about. Because if you were going to sort of analyze that a little bit, I think what you're looking at in the difference of those statistics is the journey of changing hearts and minds one at a time. One family, one relationship, one friend, one colleague, one neighbor, one public official; whatever it is. This kind of change really happens at the places where we experience emotion, and in just a short amount of time, the imagination and the compassion of a nation was really captured, and pushed in a direction that created a much higher level of equality for LGBT people in this country. And frankly I think we need the same kind of journey on employment non-discrimination. We need to keep talking to people and help them understand what vulnerabilities exist, and to put those in really tangible stories- human stories that people can understand. I mean I actually have an example sort of in my mind, if you don't mind me taking a little bit of a pivot.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Yeah, please.

 

Sam McClure:            I was at a gathering yesterday where I had an opportunity to talk to some of my most respected colleagues here in Washington about issues that they were working on, and actually ran into my friend and colleague Mara Keisling from the National Center for Transgender Equality. You should totally interview her sometime, by the way.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Yeah I would love to.

 

Sam McClure:            She's a giant in this work. And she was talking about how we're waiting for some particular rules and guidance to come down from the Department of Education on sort of the experience of transgender students in public schools. And it was just a brief conversation, and I was sort of overhearing her have a very direct dialogue on the policies with some officials who could affect that change. And you know, she was just trying to explain what vulnerabilities are created for these children during this time when people are kind of going back and forth on different issues, how do we accommodate all students in a way that's acceptable for everyone? And she pointed out that where they are in the current policy journey, young students- we're talking about adolescent children, have been put in a position where they have to go and be interviewed by the Board of Education to talk about how they're experiencing their gender. It was very heartbreaking to hear this story because I just know how dehumanizing a process like that can be for people.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Especially a child.

 

Sam McClure:            Exactly. A lot of times we think about transgender issues, and we immediately start thinking about adults because of different popular culture icons that get more attention or whatever. But at the end of the day when we're talking about protections for people, we have to remember that this often affects children, and these are probably the most vulnerable children in America right now, and I think it's just a perfect example of what you were talking about before. We can't really allow there to be this thought that we've somehow completed the work that we're here to do, because there still are many, many people including children who are very, very vulnerable right now. So I just want to put that out there, because I think it's something people need to be thinking about, and remembering that we talk about policy issues sometimes in very obtuse terms, but at the end of the day they all relate to some specific human experience that's being had by a person, and we all need to take pause and remember what that's like, what that person's experiencing, and what impact that experience is going to have on their lives.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Absolutely. I find that until someone knows someone that is directly impacted by some type of policy, there's just no human component to it. So I feel like to really- and again with the marriage equality, I think it was a lot easier to humanize marriage equality, because marriage is marriage, and it's so common. So to add the LGBT component to something that's so mainstream and so common as marriage, I feel like that's a lot easier to humanize versus trying to humanize the struggle that a transgender child might be facing. That's I feel like a much more difficult task, but certainly something that has to be tackled, because we need to put faces with names to make sure that we're really pushing these policies forward, and getting people who may or may not otherwise have known that such a policy were on the table, or maybe there is one that needs to be revised, or whatever it happens to be, I feel like it needs to be kind of a very grassroots movement. And going back to Facebook and kind of the power that Facebook has in so many ways of getting 26 million people to support marriage equality with a simple rainbow, and everybody knew what that meant, and if you didn't know, you knew somebody to ask because it was so- I remember looking through my friends list on there, and out of like 600 people, like 450 of them had changed to the rainbow within a matter of like an hour. So until we can find I think some kind of recognizable icon or figure or something to really kind of align with these other movements that are all kind of going concurrently, that you and I know about because we're professionally in this sphere, but the average person, or even the average person who would consider themselves to be an ally, may or may not actually know enough about the issue to really kind of be a pivotal, or an influential role in making that more of a reality for people. Would you agree with that, or any other thoughts?

 

Sam McClure:            I mean yeah, I definitely agree. I think we talk about grassroots work, and it really is- the work really is changing hearts and minds one at a time. And I think it means being present to conversations, being willing to answer questions when asked, and always try to help people understand that these aren't abstract issues. We're talking about someone's day-to-day experience. And you know, it's interesting that while so much progress is happening, we are going to see a lot of backlash behavior in the movement in terms of policy, and I don't want to get too wonky on this because I do work in policy and advocacy, and I know the language of bills, and laws is not interesting to everybody. But I would just throw something out there, that in 2016 I fully expect to see close to 100 bills, interviews in the US in different states that try to assert a religious freedom end goal, and they'll all be framed up differently, but every single one is aimed at one particular community to be divisive and polarizing, and to disrupt any potential additional progress that would be made for LGBT people. And one could also argue that they will be equally aimed at women's access to healthcare. And you know, it's really important that we keep having conversations with people, and that they understand what this kind of political activity really is. Because it will come masked, and not be obvious sometimes. I mean today's political discourse has got a level of rancor that is really despicable. And we have to be mindful and make sure that people are ready to translate, because people will hear many messages, contextualized many different ways, and we always need to aggressively point out when something is dehumanizing or demonizing of any particular community. And this will be used against not only LGBT people but difference in general. I mean we see a lot of really polarizing conversations in the electoral space right, and it's something I don't pay as much attention to, some of my colleagues do. But I will say just hearing news posts, and hearing chatter, conversations, it's very clear that some candidates and some legislators, they will appeal to people's most base emotions, and really to their dark secret sides, and their fears, and use those things to really amplify divisiveness and hatred in a country that's really based on the opposite of that.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Absolutely.

 

Sam McClure:            It's a nation that's based on welcoming all people, and this nation is a rich, diverse tapestry of every ethnicity, every community of faith, LGBT people, non-LGBT people, people with disabilities, all of the many, many complex and beautiful identities that make up the fabric of this nation. So I think we just have to be prepared that there's going to continue to be a lot of rancor out there, and we need to be prepared to speak to it, and not be afraid to tell the truth, and remind people what the specific pieces of legislation do to individual people, and families, and children. Important.

 

Jenn T Grace:             How do you see America's reaction to the bills that you fully anticipate are going to start coming down the pipeline? Because I just refer back to earlier in the year with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and all of the- I don't even know a delicate way of putting it, but the shitstorm basically, that swept through Indiana and the governor there for his decision around this. So I know that there are so many corporations in the Final Four, and Silicon Valley CEO's, people standing up saying like, 'This is ridiculous.' So do you foresee I guess that type of reaction? Or do you think Indiana for some reason was more of the anomaly to this larger issue at play?

 

Sam McClure:            Well so tricky question, good question. First I just want to talk about something ironic about all the shitstorm that you're talking about happening in Indiana. I that should officially be the technical name now.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Good.

 

Sam McClure:            Thank you for that, Jenn. So there's something really ironic about all that, right? So all of that public backlash that happened, much of it coming from Corporate America; I know we were very vocal in the early days around that, as well as were many of our corporate partners, local chambers, business owners. But all of that noise and pushback came after it was already done. Like there was actually very little done in a timely manner that could have pushed back those outcomes. And from sitting at my desk here in Washington D.C. where I get a lot of calls from a lot of different places on these types of issues, while we were answering hundreds of media calls, wanting to talk about what had already happened, we were also getting calls from other states like Georgia and Nevada, where these bills were still in motion, and if there was work that could be done to slow, stall, stop or even kill these bills. And in my office I had to make a conscious decision to have just one person taking all those media calls, and having the rest of the team connecting to local advocacy efforts in these other areas to say, 'Hey what can we do right now to bring this very same conversation, which is these bills are incredibly bad particularly for the economy because they're so polarizing. What action can we take to push back on those types of efforts?' So I guess- maybe I'm not answering your question exactly, but I guess I would just want your listeners to know that it's really important that we're proactive, and that we do react to this kind of bills- these introductions, but that we do it in a right timeline. It's really easy for everybody to jump on the bandwagon and demonize something that's already happened, and then hundreds of thousands more to sort of coattail on that. And everybody could be loud and aggressively saying, 'This thing happened and it was disgusting, and now we're going to punish you for it.' And that's good, I'm not saying we shouldn't do that, but I think we should also think about, 'Well what can I do when a bill is first introduced? What action can I take to go and talk to a legislator and help them understand why this is bad for my community, my state, our country?' And I think that's what we have to stay focused on, is to not let these things get so far that they gain the kind of momentum where they're not stoppable. I mean the way this nation is run from a policy perspective, it's very complicated. States have a lot of authority to make their own decisions on issues, and a federal policy may or may not influence or change those things, and at the end of the day this is a democracy where every voice can have huge impact, and people can't sit quietly while the government is being taken over by any particular type of extremist. The very principles under which this nation was founded, had a lot to do with religious freedom, but that freedom was about not oppressing anyone, and not forcing anyone to acquiesce to the will of the state. And now this religious freedom concept is being delivered in a very, very twisted manner that is literally the opposite of that. So it's something to be mindful of, and I think it's also just as important to really listen to communities of faith, welcome communities of faith, and really respect people's- the freedoms and the independence that they do have around their faith. But we can't let faith communities dictate one dominant point of view that oppresses others. So it's very complicated, but it's also very simple because these bills are laser focused on polarizing and dividing, and effectively prohibiting people from getting what they need.

 

Jenn T Grace:             You know, I wonder if- going back to our conversation about humanizing things, I wonder if the backlash came post-decision, because now it was easier to demonize the governor of Indiana specifically. So now there's a very clear villain for everybody to hate, versus while the bill is in some sort of state of progress, there's no one person that everybody's like, 'I hate that person. That person's the one who's causing this problem.' Versus when you have somebody who physically signs the bill and puts it into motion, now you have a person to actually hate. So I wonder if that might have something to do with- and not just specifically for this, but just in general in terms of I think just lack of awareness from a public education side of things is that the general public just does not understand, because these things are built so divisively, and because they're so filled with language that the average person just cannot wrap their head around, versus now the dirty work's been done, you have people who have analyzed it, and now the media is spreading the message of, 'We now have to go after this person or this particular issue or party because they've done this.' Now there's a clear villain in the situation. I don't know, it just makes me wonder.

 

Sam McClure:            Well yeah, I think that's fair. There's no question really. I've even heard people talking to other governors, and using this particular governor as an example. It's like, really? 'Do you want this to happen to you?' There's something to that. I guess I would just say from a 'what can we do' lens, that it's really important to remember that the legislators work for the people at the end of the day, and at the beginning of the day. Sometimes we have to remind them of that. But for a bill to go through the process that it takes to become a law, and then to get to a governor's desk, and then to get a signature, I can tell you there were a lot more people working on that than those legislators. There was an organized political push, and one has to be just as organized, and just as vigilant when we're on the side of stopping this type of legislation. And we can blame that governor all we want, but at the end of the day, every citizen in this nation has to take responsibility for their own role in the process.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Absolutely.

 

Sam McClure:            If one side's going to show up, the other side has to show up too. And it's not just about having public demonstrations, although I would argue that does have value. But it's also about asserting one's influence. I think sometimes our expectations for elected officials are just too high. We really want them to be leaders, and-

 

Jenn T Grace:             They aren't always.

 

Sam McClure:            They aren't always, and frankly by design, we're supposed to be the leaders. We're really supposed to bring the voice of the people to our representatives, and they are to represent the will of the people in the way they govern. And very often a legislator needs a reminder of who the people are. There's all these- so there are so many examples where legislators- I've even heard this. It's been a while, but I remember hearing a legislator say, "I don't have any LGBT people in my district."

 

Jenn T Grace:             Yeah.

 

Sam McClure:            And I would be like, well this is sort of awkward since I live in your district.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Yeah.

 

Sam McClure:            And I have an entire group of people here to lobby you today, and they all live in your district. Well the reality is that you just don't know everyone in your district, and how could you? But here we are today to talk to you and help you understand who we are, and why this particular policy is important to us. And I think the same could be true for any type of diverse community, that sometimes the legislator doesn't know- they haven't had personal contact with a particular point of view, or a particular identity. And we all have to make those connections happen, and it does help to again, humanize issues and remind people that at the heart of every public policy issue is an individual person, and their journey as a citizen, and the experiences that they're having, or the things they don't have access to.

 

Jenn T Grace:             And it's our responsibility to- as just American citizens to be part of this discussion. And if we aren't part of the discussion I feel like we don't really have any right to be complaining about what's happening then. That's my personal opinion anyway.

 

Sam McClure:            I think it's true, and it can be exhausting, and sometimes we all have to tune out the politics because it could hurt your soul a little bit. But I also think we have to tune in at other times when our voices are important. At the federal level we have the introduction of the Equality Bill, which I don't know if you've had a chance to review it, or if others have, but it's really the largest bill we've ever seen that pushes for real equality in this nation for LGBT people. It's a complicated and dense piece of legislation, but it would cover employment protections, it would eliminate discrimination in housing and public services, and many, many areas where LGBT people are still experiencing really extreme vulnerabilities. And I think the bill is going to have a really long journey, but it's a really important step, and I was honored to be in the room the day the bill was announced in the press release- or the press conference I should say. And it was amazing to hear all the speeches from progressive legislators who have fought for the civil rights of multiple different communities who are now being aggressive leaders to ensure that the road to equality- full equality doesn't stop just because of marriage equality. So that's really important.

 

Jenn T Grace:             So I feel like this is kind of a really good segue, because I have not talked about the Equality Bill here. I have at one point or another talked about the Employment Non-discrimination Act. But I know that we've been a little bit ho-hum in terms of talking about like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and kind of some of the negative that's happened. But I know NGLCC, and you personally have a huge, huge victory, which I have not yet actually talked about on the podcast. So I'm really excited, because we can kind of change the direction of the conversation from talking about what Indiana did or did not do properly, to talking about Massachusetts, and the Executive Order in Massachusetts. I would love for you to kind of maybe give a high level overview of what the Executive Order was, and what NGLCC's part in that was, and yours personally, and then how that actually impacts so many LGBT businesses.

 

Sam McClure:            Yeah, absolutely and thanks for bringing that up. I'm super proud to talk about this, it was a little bit of a labor of love for me, and- I don't know why I say that because I think most of my work is indeed a labor of love.

 

Jenn T Grace:             I think it all is.

 

Sam McClure:            Yeah, as I often say to people, I have the best job ever and I'm one of those lucky people that gets to do work I'm really passionate about. So the Executive Order in Massachusetts, this is very historic, first of its kind anywhere. As you know very well, and I think I've talked to your audience about this before. The NGLCC, we're the certification body, we certify LGBT-owned businesses, and we created the LGBT inclusion in supplier diversity. And I think we're very well known as the industry standard for this type of trend shaping in supplier diversity. If you look at our certification, and the kind of success we've had in just- it was created in 2004, so a fairly short amount of time, and you fast forward to now when we're accepted by over a third of the Fortune 500, they recognize our certification, and they actively seek out certified LGBT business enterprises to add to their supplier diversity programs. So basically creating contracting and procurement opportunities intentionally for this community just as they do for women and ethnic minorities. And that's a great success, we're very proud of that, and I think it's these Corporate America opportunities are really largely what we're known for. A few years ago we recognized and started talking about the fact that yeah, the marketplace, the private sector, they were doing great with increasing inclusion for business development opportunities. And I think Corporate America just really understands why this is important for building sustainable economic strength in diverse communities. People have to be given opportunities for more than just jobs. Jobs are great, and I would continue to fight for job creation everywhere in America, but if we want true equality and equity for all people, then we have to make sure that people who are in diverse communities and have less access to opportunities are intentionally included, and that efforts are made to make sure that they have access to business development and contracting opportunities which will help them scale and take some real equity in the economic experience here in this country. Now what I realized is that the private sector was doing a really good job of this. The public sector, government, lagging far behind. So we've always worked to increase opportunities for contracting in the federal government space, and we continue to chip away at that. And at the same time we've been working in states and municipalities all around the country to do what we can to sort of move that needle on inclusion in a meaningful way. And you know, we were contacted by the governor's team in Massachusetts back in May, and they were exploring ways to improve their supplier diversity programs in the state. This is all coming from the Department of Access and Opportunities and the Commonwealth. And it became apparent that they were aware of some of the work that we had done in California and other places, and they were really looking for a partner or an organization, just work closely with them to help them work through the policy internally, an administrative policy change. And I agreed to do that, and I really became a trusted member of the team there working for this change. To make a long story short, the governor did recently announce in November an executive order that not only added LGBT business enterprises to their supplier diversity programs state-wide, government procurement, but it also added businesses owned by people with disabilities, and businesses owned by our veterans. And these are three layers of very progressive inclusion, very, very important, and at the same time that they were doing this, they not only added more diverse businesses to the pool of people who would bid to bring innovative solutions to those procurement opportunities for the commonwealth, but they also increased the spending goals for all of the businesses that were already included. So sometimes we hear people say, "Well if we add another diverse segment there will be less opportunities for the people who are already in it." And they really prove that wrong in such a demonstrable way because they added three more numerating classes, and also increased all the spending goals for the women and minority-owned businesses that were already in the program. Is was really a very bold and innovative move, and at the same time they also increased the acceptance of third parties certifications. So organizations like the NGLCC can certify a business, and our certification will be recognized by the state. Versus the state requiring a duplicate certification. This has been a big problem in supplier diversity. Sometimes there's duplicate requirements that really create barriers for business owners instead of creating opportunities for them, which is not what it's intended. To get a change there was really just monumental.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Now I was living in Massachusetts back in 2004 when marriage equality became the first state to be legalized in Massachusetts. So does it surprise you in any way that Massachusetts would be the first one to stick the flag in the sand to say, 'Listen, we are now including- we are now doing this, and now rest of the country, get on board too.' Do you think that it was some kind of concentrated effort by just the governor and his team to say, 'Listen, we were on the forefront of this before, we want to be on the forefront again.' Or I don't know, is there any I guess information that you could share around why Massachusetts I guess versus another state?

 

Sam McClure:            Yeah I won't speak for the governor or the governor's team, I have to be really careful about that.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Of course.

 

Sam McClure:            But I think that the narrative you just described would be hard to resist. Massachusetts has been a leader in really creating the roadmap to equality in many respects. It's not a perfect state, they have other work that needs to be done yet. They also don't have adequate public accommodation protections as of yet, that's something that's in progress. But I do think- and it's also just from a respect to policy, it's very different to do something legislatively than to do it administratively. I think this was something that the governor's team could do with an administrative policy change that would not only make a policy shift that improves their supplier diversity program and includes more people, but it's something that they could do proactively in a precedent setting way without having to go through a legislative battle, or even a controversial public discourse. This was literally just negotiating through an administrative policy change, and making a conscious decision to say, 'I want to be a leader in this space, and I'm going to use my executive authority to do that.' And it's a very elegant piece of policy, the executive order, and I just can't give enough credit to this team who really wanted to do something big, and they found a way to do something big. And I think it's worth pointing out if maybe- hopefully not all of our listeners are a partisan in their politics, but I know many people are. It's very important to note that this was signed by a Republican governor, and I think sometimes people just don't think that- they just sort of think the only people that care about equality for LGBT people are in one party or the other, and it's just not always the case. When we're talking about the work we do, economic empowerment for people, advancing the economic strength of the LGBT community, we're literally talking about improving the economy by having an economy that includes more people. And that's where the power of the type of economy we have. The more engagement of more people, the stronger the growth of the economy, the more jobs, the more sustainable economic strength in a given community; whether that's a city, or a state, or even the nation. So I think it became less about sort of LGBT politics, and more about what's for the good of the commonwealth? Are more business opportunities for more people, and fewer barriers, and the way people looking for those opportunities in the best interest of all? Yeah of course they are, and I think that's why it got done, and it's worth remembering that when we look at all the economic development work that we do; it does not have to get mired down in partisan politics. When we're talking about economic advancement, this is something that's good for everyone.

 

Jenn T Grace:             So let's talk tactical for a second. So the listeners who are listening to our conversation right now, it's mostly business owners. I don't have that many people who are not a business owner. So it could be LGBT business owners, or it could be allied business owners. So my question on tactics is for those who live in the state of Massachusetts- so it's a two part question. For those who live in Massachusetts, what is that tangible benefit that a business owner who could be certified, whether it's LGBT, as a veteran-owned business, or a person with a disability. So what is that I guess tangible benefit as somebody who's in Massachusetts? But then what is the larger impact I guess for businesses who may not have- maybe they're not residing in Massachusetts; is there something that they too can access as a benefit as a result of this legislation?

 

Sam McClure:            Yeah, great question. So I'm going to come at this in a reverse order of the way you asked the question.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Okay good.

 

Sam McClure:            So number one, this win in Massachusetts is not limited to businesses residing in Massachusetts. The contracting opportunities are opened in the commonwealth. However any business owner who meets the requirements of the program can gain access to opportunities, and can get into the bidding process, and bid and win business with the government procurement systems, and the commonwealth of Massachusetts. So we're really talking about opportunities that are valuable from the tip of Maine, probably to the bottom of Virginia. I mean this is really we're talking about opportunities opening up on the Atlantic seaboard. And from a tactical perspective, the benefit is more access to more opportunities to bid and win business. And in terms of what's next, what do you do, how do you engage with this? Step one is contact the NGLCC, get your business certified as an LGBT business enterprise. If you're a person with a disability looking to take advantage of this opportunity, you contact the USBLN (the United States Business Leadership Network), and it's just www.USBLN.org. And you get your business certified as a disability-owned business enterprise. The veterans, I'm not sure exactly which certification program it is, I'll have to look that up. There's several different opportunities, and some of them come through state programs as well. But that's always going to be step one. Get the certification, and then get yourself registered in these portals to take advantage of these programs. Now I don't think we mentioned the exact date, but this just happened in early November, I believe it was the 3rd, but I'd have to check that to make sure. Should we pause?

 

Jenn T Grace:             Yeah, sure.

 

Sam McClure:            I'm getting an echo.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Oh you have an echo?

 

Sam McClure:            Yeah.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Is it on your end, or is it when I'm speaking?

 

Sam McClure:            I think it's on my end. Okay so I'll keep going.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Okay.

 

Sam McClure:            So I don't know if we mentioned the date but this was just announced in early November. And it's important to remember that now we're in an implementation phase and we're working to figure out how to align the different data systems and communication systems so that we could get the information out to all of our business owners. But step one remains the same always. Get your business certified, as a step one, and then work with the staff at the NGLCC, or the USBLN, or any other certification body to understand what your next steps are to take advantage of these opportunities. And I would just add one more thing to the tactical for business owners. And it's very important, every business owner should have a plan for how they're going to scale and grow their business. And when people are looking at these scale opportunities, and contracting opportunities, I think it's really important to have a diverse portfolio of different types of customers. Now if you're looking at contracting and procurement opportunities for your business, you might want to have a handful of corporate clients, you might want to have two hands full of small business clients, and you might want to have another handful of government contracts and opportunities; or any mix of those things. But it's rare that sort of one of those spaces is all a business owner needs, and it's good to look at that broad landscape of opportunities. I would also say when looking at government contracting opportunities, small businesses should remember that you don't have to be the prime contractor, and you might not be big enough to be the prime contractor, but every prime contractor has two, three, ten, a hundred, or a thousand vendors.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Absolutely.

 

Sam McClure:            Those are all contracting opportunities as well. So it's really important to look at that.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Yeah I was actually going to ask you to bring that up, so I'm happy that you just did. So I guess even there's a possibility that someone listening to this doesn't really understand the concept of being a prime contractor. Could you just kind of give maybe a quick layman's version of I guess the business opportunities that exist from working with a prime?

 

Sam McClure:            Yeah, absolutely. So I'm sorry about that, I slipped into lingo for a minute, so let me break it down here. In a contracting supply chain, we refer to prime contractor as the contractor that is supplying a service at the top of the chain. So if let's say the commonwealth of Massachusetts is the customer, and the business that holds the big contract at the top of the chain is the prime contractor, that prime contractor might utilize many, many other businesses as subcontractors in order to fulfill the contract that they have with the government. The same is true in the private sector's supply chains as well. So that's basically what it is; the prime contractors, they're usually the biggest contracts, they're also the biggest businesses, and little known secret or something that people forget is that they're also the most vulnerable should there be a disruption in the company that they provide service to. And that's one of the reasons that prime contractors are usually so big.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Absolutely.

 

Sam McClure:            Because they've got to be able to serve several different entities in order to mitigate the risk of being a prime contractor. And it's just- I just remind people about this a lot of times because people will say to me, "Well my business is too small to do contracting." I'm like, "Well your business is too small to do big contracting."

 

Jenn T Grace:             Yeah.

 

Sam McClure:            "Why don't you look at some little contracting that's appropriate for your scale?" Because there really is no too big or too small, there just is what your scale is, and you have to find the opportunity that fits your scale, and gives you the opportunity to expand your scale over a period of time.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Yeah I would be willing to guess not knowing obviously everyone in my audience listening, but I would be willing to guess that most of them would be tier two, tier three contractors, even like myself. I have one prime contract out of everything that I'm doing, or me direct to the Fortune company. And then everybody else, I'm just part of a team who'd fulfilling a very large corporate contract. I think it's just a matter of businesses understanding where they kind of fit in the food chain, and not trying to be something that they're not, and really just understanding what their sweet spot is. And I know this is something that kind of comes up pretty often on this podcast, is the whole idea of working with other certified businesses. Because I know that for me personally, that just seems to be the right avenue, versus trying to go for corporate directly. So I'm appreciative that you've kind of explained it in a very simple way for everyone to understand. And I am amazed at how quickly time is flying talking to you. I know that we've had a really dense and exciting interview for everyone to listen to today, but in terms of- instead of looking back at maybe what we haven't touched upon in 2015, could you just give us what your thoughts are on what you see as the future, and kind of what's next as we enter 2016?

 

Sam McClure:            Yeah absolutely, and again it's such an exciting time for LGBT people, and I think so much has been accomplished. For me, my highest priority is the economic advancement of the LGBT business community. And there's a lot to be done yet in that lane. We talked about our historic win with the commonwealth of Massachusetts, and I think it's a perfect model. We've added this state-wide procurement inclusion to a long list of advocacy wins that are opening up business opportunities in the public sector for these business owners. And I will tell you that for me what's next, is how many more doors can we open as quickly as possible?

 

Jenn T Grace:             Finish your thought, then I'll ask.

 

Sam McClure:            Here at the NGLCC we've had such a string of successes, and we're not going to rest until every door is open for these LGBT business owners, and every barrier to access opportunity is removed. And you know, way back in the early days of the NGLCC, we started working with the Obama Administration here to open up federal contracting opportunities and removed any barrier that was there for the LGBT-owned business. We made a lot of progress, we've signed multiple memorandums of understandings with multiple federal agencies, including I think we just got a lot of attention for having secretary Julian Castro sign the MOU for HUD, which is the Housing and Urban Development federal agency on stage at our dinner. And I'm so proud of all the successes we've had in this lane, however I also recognize that the doors aren't going to be fully open until we get an executive order from President Obama codifying all the progress we've already made at the federal level, and saying clearly and at no uncertain terms that the federal government is open to business with all people. Any business owner that's qualified to bid and win business opportunities and contracts at the federal level should have that opportunity. And every program that exists at the government level to ensure that diverse communities have equal access to opportunities should be open to LGBT people. And we're going right to them with this request, and it may be one of the last things that gets done by the Obama Administration. It can be done with administrative policy, and I think it would be a beautiful bookend to the administration which has without a doubt done more for LGBT people than anyone I've ever imagined. I think it's no coincidence that President Obama found himself on the cover of Out Magazine as maybe the most visible and strongest ally that this community has ever had. And I was lucky enough to be at the White House yesterday for one of the holiday receptions, and I was talking with another entrepreneur that I know, and she's not from the LGBT community, she's actually a Hispanic business leader, and someone with a lot of influence in this country. And she had brought her mom and her sister to the White House, and we were just talking about what was that experience for them to be there, and they remarked on the fact that it was such an interesting group of people there. It was so diverse, people from all walks of life, all segments, all communities. And I just kind of smiled and I said, "Well you know, during this administration this has really been the people's house." And it felt like that yesterday, it feels like that every day, and I'm confident that the Obama Administration will sign the executive order to open up the really massive marketplace that is federal government contracting for our LGBT business enterprises.

 

Jenn T Grace:             That would be amazing for everyone listening to this podcast right now, in addition to anyone who's not; the opportunities are endless if that- and I shouldn't say 'if.' When that opportunity comes. Wow.

 

Sam McClure:            Exciting. And you know, it's not an easy lift. We're gathering a lot of support from all of our different constituencies, and it's sort of what- I do believe it's what's next, and I think it's one of the most important things that happens, that will happen to just make for a strong, sustainable community over a long period of time. And I also think we're going to see multiple other states doing what Massachusetts does. I think one of them will be a very close neighbor of Massachusetts, and I think it's going to happen soon. I've no doubt that New York will make a move as well. So there's just a lot that's going to be happening, and I will continue my laser focus on the economic advancement of this particular business community, and the NGLCC is a strong growing organization, and we will not rest until there's no more need for us. And I think we have a lot of years ahead of us, and a lot of big wins coming on the radar.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Yeah, I look forward to 2016 being a really- a year filled with impact as well. And I guess my last question to you would be, so for people who are listening to this, so if they go to www.JennTGrace.com/74 because this is episode number 74, the final one 2015, I want them to be able to access information about the NGLCC, and is there any particular call to action that you would like those listening- is there any one particular thing that you think would be valuable for them to do next as a result of listening to this conversation? Maybe they now are kind of fired up about the economic advancement that they might be able to play some large or small part in. Is there anything in particular that makes sense for you to say, 'Go do this.' Or, 'It would be great if you did this.'

 

Sam McClure:            Yeah, absolutely. If you're a business owner, and you're out there listening, and you're LGBT, or you're a woman, or you're a person of color, or you're a veteran, or you're a person with a disability; get your business certified. Do it right away, and engage in your local chambers and organizations, and their national umbrellas like the NGLCC and the USBLN. And just stay connected to the opportunities that are coming out there. Look closely and strategically at what opportunities there are for you to scale your company, and continue to focus on growth. Upwards of 90% of the jobs in America are and will be created by small business owners. So you might not feel like you're the most powerful force out there for economic development, but in fact you are. You're the engine of this economy, and you're the backbone of this nation. So just keep doing what you're doing, keep building your companies, and take advantage of every one of these opportunities.

 

Jenn T Grace:             I love it. How can people get in touch with the NGLCC or you directly? What is your preference? And please share how they would do that.

 

Sam McClure:            Well our website is www.NGLCC.org and on the staff page you can access all of our staff members. You're welcome to contact me via email or the phone, frankly. I do pick up the phone, I'm kind of old school. Really all the information is there on the site, and if you want to start getting certified right now, you can click on 'Grow My Business,' and you'll have full access to all of our certification process right there online. And I look forward to hearing from any and all of you, and helping you continue to grow your businesses.

 

Jenn T Grace:             I love it. This has been fantastic, thank you so much for being a second time guest on the show. I have no doubt that you will be joining us again in 2016.

 

Sam McClure:            Well I really look forward to that, and I always enjoy my time with you, and I really appreciate your work and your great interview, and I will come back anytime I'm invited.

 

Jenn T Grace:             Awesome, thank you so much for joining the show today, and I look forward to speaking with everybody in 2016. I can't believe it's already here. Thanks so much and I'll talk to you then.

 

[End of Audio 01:06:39]


Hey all - this episode is a re-airing of episode 53, so if you already heard episode 53, come back for a new episode in episode 74!

In today's episode I cover a few topics. The first is I answer a listener question about what to do when you don't feel comfortable networking in an LGBT environment. The second is I do a deep dive into what the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Corporate Equality Index is. I also review an article shared with me by a Facebook fan, who wanted to hear my personal opinion on the HRC. With the HRC it is usually a love em' or hate em' scenario. I share why I see such a significant importance in the Corporate Equality Index specifically and of course, share how I really feel about the HRC. This is an episode you've been waiting for. And now that I'm back from jury duty I have time to the deep dive you've been asking for! Speaking of jury duty, next week's blog post is going to share the 4 lessons I learned by being a juror on a murder trial - you won't want to miss that post - so come back next week!

 


Today we are talking about how confidence impact your LGBT marketing approach. I’m bringing this question to you because I’ve had two conversations with prospective clients in the last couple of weeks, and both of them – with two very different businesses were both asking similar questions around this topic. Here are my thoughts on how confidence does impact your LGBT marketing approach and what you can do to boost your confidence!

Direct download: episode_72_How-Does-Confidence-Impact-Your-LGBT-Marketing-Approach.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:29am EST

Thank you for listening to episode 71 of the podcast. On my last podcast I was able to answer a question from a reader and it was nice to get back to that type of podcast! I decided this week I would get to a few more questions I've received from LinkedIn connections that address reaching LGBT consumers. I also chat briefly about my recent marathon experience and international postage :)

If you have an LGBT-related question please feel free to drop me a line, I'd love to hear it.....and you never know.....your question may be featured on an upcoming podcast!

 

 

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below.

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE: Episode #71

Jenn T Grace: You are listening to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast, episode 71.

Intro: Welcome to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast, where you'll learn how to do business with and market to the LGBT community in an authentic and transparent way. We're talking about an $884 billion lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. We'll help you grow your business, gain market share, and impact your bottom line. And now your host; she teaches straight people how to market to gay people, and gay people how to market themselves. Your professional lesbian, Jenn- with two N's, T. Grace.

Jenn T Grace: Well hello and welcome to episode number 71 of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I am your host, Jenn Grace, and today I am going to be answering a handful of questions that I have received from LinkedIn. In the last episode I'm pretty certain I had mentioned that I had a whole queue of LinkedIn questions that I wanted to answer. However the last episode I ended up only answering one of them, which I ended up titling, 'An Open Letter from a Self-Admitted Homophobe.' So if you have not listened to that podcast yet, I would totally recommend doing so. It's episode number 70 so you can go to www.JennTGrace.com/70. And if you prefer to read it rather than listen to it, the transcript for that episode is available as well, so you can certainly do that. But because that episode ended up taking me- or I should say that question ended up taking me an entire episode to respond to, today I want to cover three particular questions that I've received. One is from a gay business owner who is abroad, and there's a lesbian business owner who is in the United States, and then the third one is from a recent college grad looking for advice and tips on what she calls, 'the consulting thing.' So I do want to address all three of those questions, and hopefully I can keep it to a reasonable time frame here. Somehow under an hour, which is usually my goal, however as you all know sometimes that does not happen.

But anyway, so before I talk about those questions and provide some thorough answers, there's a couple of things that I do want to mention before diving into the meat of the episode. And the first of those things is that I wanted to give you a super quick update on my half marathon. I was just looking through old podcast episodes going back to in the mid-thirties for episodes. So going back to mid-2013, and I realized that for a really long time I was giving you regular updates on the progress, and what was going on. But then at some point along the way I have somehow stopped doing so. And it was interesting because I just ran my third half marathon over this last weekend, and I had a handful of people from my Facebook page reach out to me asking for updates because it was a whole debauchery of epic proportions, just like the last time I ran one. But when people were asking me for updates it occurred to me that, oh wow I have not actually mentioned it on the podcast in a while. And some of you who reached out are podcast listeners. So I wanted to just give a super quick update.

Direct download: episode_71_Simple-tactics-for-reaching-LGBT-consumers.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Thanks for listening to episode #70 of the podcast. Today's episode of the podcast isn't an interview, it's a response to an email I received from a reader. It's been a few months since I've spent a podcast just talking to you, my audience, so it was nice to get back to that and even share some exciting updates to come to this podcast. I receive a lot of comments and emails from my readers and listeners, but this one in particular felt like it should be shared. Because there's a lot in the question itself, and I think that it's probably a little more common of a thought process than we might want to believe. So I really wanted to take time today to dedicate answering this question in as much detail as I can. Take a listen and let me know if you can relate to the question being asked. I always love to hear your thoughts - leave them below!
Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below.

 
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AUDIO TITLE: Episode #70

 Jenn T Grace:

You are listening to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast, episode 70.

 

Intro:

Welcome to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast, where you'll learn how to do business with and market to the LGBT community in an authentic and transparent way. We're talking about an $884 billion lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. We'll help you grow your business, gain market share, and impact your bottom line. And now your host; she teaches straight people how to market to gay people, and gay people how to market themselves. Your professional lesbian, Jenn- with two N's, T. Grace.

 

Jenn T Grace:

Well hello and welcome to the episode number 70 of the podcast. I am your host, Jenn Grace, and today is not going to be an interview. I know many of you listening have been enjoying interviews that from what I can tell started back at episode 61. So we are in episode number 70 today, so we have had many, many interviews that if you are listening to this live as it comes out, you have been listening to it pretty much all throughout the summer, I've had awesome guests on the show. So the last time that I just kind of riffed with you one-on-one was back in July. It seems a little bit crazy, I didn't realize it had been that long, but back in July I had done episode number 61, which was the 'Marriage Equality has Arrived, But the Work is Far from Done.' So I talked about the implications of marriage equality, and what that's going to mean for marketing going forward. So since then we've heard from Jeremy Wallace, Alice Derock, Bryce Summers, Rolla Selbak, Ann Townsend, Diane Conklin, Michele Wierzgac, and Melissa Ferrick. So we've had some pretty awesome lineup, if I do say so myself, of guests that I've had on the show. So I'm definitely planning on having more guests coming in the next few months or so to kind of wrap up the year. But today I wanted to talk with you one-on-one in response to a reader's question. So this question is really lengthy, and it's really, really astute and I think requires a podcast response versus me trying to create a blog out of it, or just email them back. Because there's a lot in the question itself, and I think that it's probably a little more common of a thought process than we might want to believe. So I really wanted to take time today to dedicate answering this question in as much detail as I can. And I'll read the entire question first, and then I'm going to break it up not necessarily line by line per say, but I'm definitely going to break it up so that way I can address very specific points that have been brought up in that question.

So before we get into answering this question, which I'm hoping is going to be very informative for you, I do want to bring up a couple of things, because we are at the end of October, and we are on episode number 70,

Direct download: Episode_70_An-open-letter-from-a-self-admitted-homophobe.mp3
Category:Allies -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Thanks for listening to episode #69 of the podcast. Today’s guest, Melissa Ferrick, is a master of many trades – an acclaimed performing artist (currently listed as #20 of the top 50 women in indie music), a record label owner as well as a professor at Berklee College of Music. She shares her take on the evolution of the music industry in the digital age, her ups and downs and the lessons she’s learned as a business owner as well as the new music venture she started. I’ve been a fan for over a decade and I know after hearing her insights, you will be too. I hope you enjoy the episode. As always, feel free to leave your feedback!
Links mentioned in today’s episode

Melissa Ferrick
Facebook: Melissa Ferrick
Twitter: Melissa Ferrick
Welcome to the rebirth of Right on Records!  

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AUDIO TITLE:  Episode #69 – Melissa Ferrick Interview
Jenn T Grace:
My first question that we just kind of briefly went over would be how did you become to the place that you are today? Like what was the path that led you to being on your twelfth album for example that you are in the process of releasing now?
Melissa Ferrick:
Sure. Really started in 1991. I had an opportunity to open for Morrissey, the former lead singer of the band called the Smiths. And I was signed to a major label deal at that time, I was signed to Atlantic Records. So my first album came out in 1993, and I had an incredible opportunity to be an artist on a major label, which not a lot of people have that. It was really the hay day of the music industry. You're talking about Nirvana, and Jewel, and Hootie and the Blowfish, and Sound Garden; it was a great time to be putting records out. And in '95 I put a second record out with them, and didn't sell enough records. I did have some success in Europe on those two albums, and some success in the states too, as far as just name recognition and having the ability to get on some pretty cool tours. Particularly Weezer I think for me was the coolest one I got to be on. And then that started my path of independent record labels, and DIY, and cell phones came out, and AOL started. So I really was one of these people- I am one of these people that had survived a lot of changes in the music industry. So I signed an Indie deal with a label in Boulder, Colorado and made three records for them. And that was a pretty standard 50/50 deal at the time. That was- from a business perspective anyway, that was the new thing. Look we're going to give the artist 50% instead of 10% which is what major labels gave them. However you were going from a budget of a major label of $150,000 to make a record to a budget of $5,000. So the numbers didn't really make a lot of sense. So that 50% back actually wasn't as great as it seemed. However I do still get royalty checks from them, so that's great because you recouped. You made the $5,000 back, and at Atlantic it was hard to make the $150,000 back. So that was really- after I finished working with Warp Records and Rob Gordon in Boulder, that was in 1999 I gave him the record 'Freedom' which the song 'Drive' is on, which is like my most popular song. And that was when I realized that I should be doing this on my own and putting out records on my own label. Certainly at that time Ani DiFranco, she was huge at that time, and she was owning her own record label and putting records out. And then this other woman named Amiee Mann that I'm a huge fan of had this record called 'Magnolia' and it won an Oscar, and the label that she had bet on didn't want to put the record out. So everything was really, really changing and I thought, 'Well I've got to just open up my own label.' So I did, and I started my record label in the year 2000 with an $8,000 credit card,

Direct download: episode_69_Melissa-Ferrick-Rock-Folk-Singer.mp3
Category:Allies -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Thanks for joining me for episode #68 of the podcast. My guest today is Michele Wierzgac, who I’m so glad shared her story with me and now you. Michele’s journey is an interesting one; from the volleyball court to the main stage there’s never been a dull moment. She offers amazing insight into how to be authentically successful, as well as some of the best advice she’s ever received. She and I also shared a laugh about how unfamiliar we are with being bored – how many of you feel the same? I would love to hear feedback and/or questions. Drop me a line or comment below! Enjoy the show!

Links mentioned in today’s episode

www.micheleandco.com

 
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AUDIO TITLE:  Jenn T Grace – Ep 68
Jenn T. Grace:
Let’s dive right in and tell the audience a little bit about yourself, your story, and essentially what your path looked like that led you to the place that you are today.
Michele Wierzgac:
Well I was born in Chicago, one of six children. My mom had eight brothers and sisters, and my dad had eight brothers. Can you imagine just being the baby of eight older brothers?
Jenn T. Grace:
That is a lot. No thank you.
Michele Wierzgac:
So you can get a sense that I grew up on the south side of Chicago with a big family, Polish Catholic family, and tons of cousins, aunts and uncles. And as a young child I played volleyball, softball and ice hockey with my brothers and friends in the neighborhood. And during this entire time while I was playing sports, my dad always yelled at me, "A woman's place is in the home to cook and clean and raise the kids. Stop playing sports!"

So my mother always said then, "Okay you can go out and play, only after you do the dishes." So I had all these rules and regulations I had to live by these traditional 'social values.' And then my grammar school coach who was my friend's mother discovered that I had a talent for volleyball, and she talked my mother into allowing me to go to practice after dinner. And that's how everything started for me, and I had somebody believing in me- my mom and my volleyball coach.

So in high school I was involved in everything from journalism to band, I played the flute, the piano, I refereed for basketball and played for softball, teaching volleyball clinic. And again, my mom told me to focus, you can't be good at everything, you need to focus on just a few things. So I dropped off journalism and band and everything, and I made room for volleyball and I discovered I had a natural talent again, for volleyball even at the high school level. We went to state, took second in state, I was the captain in All-State, All-American, and my high school coach called me as the season was over and said, "Michelle, you need to sit down, you need to take a look at this. There are eleven scholarship offers sitting her." At that time they contacted the coaches. And I said, "Oh, college?" And she said, "Yeah, college." And she said, "You really need to think about which college you're going to," and I said, "Oh no, my father would never allow me to go to college. There's just no way." She says, "Oh well I need to talk to your mother." My mother and my high school coach conspired. My father said, "There's no way. A woman's place is cook and clean and stay at home and raising babies." And mother said, "Like hell. She's going off to college. I never had an opportunity like this, and she's going." And I think really focusing on one sport really helped me out, and her wisdom really helped me out. So anyway, I chose Illinois State University and my mom and dad asked the question, "Why did you pick that?" And I said, "It's a great teaching school, look how they're rated." I did my homework, that's another thing that I learned to do.

Direct download: episode_68_michele_wierzgac.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Links mentioned in today's episode:

LGBT Success Academy
 Implementation Coaching Event
Welcome to Complete Marketing Systems

To listen to the episode, click the play button below.

 

AUDIO TITLE: Episode #67 – Diane Conklin
Jenn T Grace:
Alright so why don't you tell the listeners just a little bit about your story, your history, some of your path that basically took you from where you were early in your career to where you are now as the owner of your business?
Diane Conklin:
That's a loaded question when you're my age, you know?
Jenn T Grace:
No one knows your age, we'll keep that a secret.
Diane Conklin:
I don't care if they do or not. So it's interesting. I think for me having grown up in rural small town Ohio on a 75 acre farm in very conservative, very prejudice kind of what I would call small-minded I guess. Or really it's not about being small-minded, it's people there knew what they knew. And to be where I am today, there was no thought certainly of that back then. But you know I think the big thing for me that really changed and sort of catapulted my career was you know I have a Master's degree in Exercise Science, and I was sort of working in health clubs and wellness facilities, and I've worked in hospitals, and done a lot of really cool things in that part of my career. Yet there was always a part of me that said- while I was fulfilled and I loved it, and was making a difference in people's lives, there was always this part of me that sort of tug that said there was something more kind of thing. And I think the real catapult for me in the marketing industry and where I am now was I actually worked for a guy in Florida for a year for no pay. And as crazy as that sounds, I was in my thirties, I took what would fit in the back of the pickup truck and drove eight hours to a little place called Merritt Island, Florida from Atlanta. Left the house- the relationship, the dogs, the- all of it, the friends, the everything to do that. And you know that really in a lot of ways was the beginning for me of a whole new view of sort of not only life, but really work, and the industry, and my business, and all of that. So I think that was sort of the catapult for me, and the great thing is after I finished my year and left and branched out on my own, I've never made less than six figures a year. So call it luck, call it hard work, call it preparation, whatever you want to call it. There was a lot of all of that I think. I think that's really for me the thing that sort of made the biggest change.
Jenn T Grace:
Interesting. So that's a good I suppose piece of advice. Work for free for a year, and then the karma will pay itself back.
Diane Conklin:
Well you know, I don't know so much about that as it's just I have that sort of- and I think this comes from growing up on a farm. You know, whatever it takes kind of attitude. And you know there are a lot of people who said, "Wow that's really cool. Wow, I wish I could do that." And then the guy who I worked for, his name was Ted, when Ted would offer people the opportunity there was always a reason, aka excuse, right? They couldn't do it. "Well I have kids," or "I have a house," or "I have a family," or "I have a this or a that." And interestingly, you know all of those things applied to me. And my partner at the time stayed in Atlanta and continued running the business, and took care of the house and the animals and all of that stuff. It was just the commitment that we made because I knew that by doing it- although it was a tough year, I mean jeez I was on dial-up for crying out loud. You know I knew that it was going to get me to a large degree where I wanted to be. And so it was about the end result, and I think that's the real lesson for people, is what's the result that you want? And then how do you get there?
Jenn T Grace:
That's a really, really,


Thanks for listening to episode #66 of the podcast. Today's episode is with Ann Townsend, author of LGBTQ: Outing My Christianity. She is also an advocate for LGBTQ youth with Hands Across the Pond. She also shares a few secret projects she is working on and how you can get involved. I hope you enjoy the episode - reach out to me with any questions or comments!
Links mentioned in today's episode:

LGBTQ: Outing My Christianity
Hands Across the Pond | LGBTQ Youth Advocacy, Authors, and Speakers

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below.

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below!
AUDIO TITLE:  Episode #66 – Interview with Ann Townsend

 
Jenn T Grace:
Essentially I would love for you to tell the listeners just a little bit about yourself. So you can talk about your personal story, your professional journey, maybe the intersection of both of those which I know is actually part of your story, and just kind of- I don't know, give a little overview to the listeners of what your path looked like that led you to the place that you are currently today.
Ann Townsend:
When I was a teenager I was far from even close to a point where I was willing to accept that I was gay. I- in fact until probably the last five or so years, I was uncomfortable saying the word 'lesbian.' It has a lot to do with my upbringing. I was raised in- even though I was born in California, I was raised in Arkansas in a town that was filled with a gazillion churches and there was only 10,000 in the population. So-
Jenn T Grace:
Lots of choices.
Ann Townsend:
Yeah. So when I went to Hawaii and I was away from all the people that could possibly judge me and affect my life in any way, I went ahead and followed some instincts. And I had already had my first physical encounter with a female, even though it was fully clothed and included combat boots; it was one of those- that was the 'ah-ha' moment. That was like, "Oh, yes. Yes, I am gay. I like girls, yes I do. And this one in particular is fine." And then in Hawaii I went ahead and didn't stay in the military- had my first girlfriend and stayed with her for six months, and learned a lot about relationships that I had no idea about because I had had boyfriends. But because I was never emotionally invested in them it was never something that really- I didn't really grow from it. It was kind of like I was going through these motions like, "This is supposed to be this way. This is the way I'm supposed to be. This is the way the world works. Get over it Ann, whatever your problem is." And I always- it was kind of hard though because I was always disconnected in one way or another from everybody, because just the way my brain works. And turns out there's a reason for that, that I only got recently diagnosed with. But there was always a piece of me that couldn't understand some of the conversations, couldn't understand some of the social norms, and so I felt that I was just having to deal with yet another one of those social things that I just didn't get, that I just was disconnected from, and I just had to deal with it because that's what people did. And- but in Hawaii having a girlfriend and experiencing an actual lesbian love affair that was hard and fantastic and amazing, and because of the two people we were, was not at all successful. But while I was there I met some really fantastic older ladies from Portland, some- my roommate was gay, and he was also my supervisor. And they came down from Portland to take a look at the shop that we were doing. It was a national corporation, and we were doing something right and doing some things wrong, and they wanted to see how they could emulate the rightness and fix the wrongness. And they spent some time with me personally, and explained a lot of things to me, and my first introduction to the concept of baby ...

Direct download: Ann-Townsend-Interview-epi-66.mp3
Category:Community -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Links mentioned in today's episode:

Rolla Selbak Pix

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

 
Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE:  Episode #65 – Rolla Selbak Interview
Jenn T Grace:
Alright so if you are ready, I can certainly kind of just hop into the questions and we can just kind of go from there.
Rolla Selbak:
Yeah, absolutely.
Jenn T Grace:
Alright, cool. So the first question that I want to ask you is if you could just share a little bit about your background. So if you want to talk about your personal background, your professional background, you know if it's something you want to talk about your filmmaking currently, something else you might be working on. Just really I guess give the audience and the listeners a glimpse into kind of how you ended up doing what you're doing now if you will.
Rolla Selbak:
So let's see. So I grew up in Abu Dhabi and I completely fell in love with films and filmmaking and TV, and my parents bought us this huge gargantuan like VHS like tape- camcorder type of a thing. And originally they had bought it and they were one of the first ones in the neighborhood to actually have one, and originally they bought it so that they could actually- you know for birthday parties, and for special occasions and such. But I immediately hijacked it, and I dressed up my siblings in hilarious costumes, and I made videos and commercials, and you know and short films. And they were of course horrible and nothing I would ever show any of your audience members, or else it would be highly embarrassing.
Jenn T Grace:
And entertaining.
Rolla Selbak:
But that's where I started. And then so when I came to the US after the first Gulf War, I ended up going the engineering path because you know, one has to kind of make money to support their film crack habit as I like to call it. And so I ended up doing both; both engineering and then I also was like writing scripts, and then finally I decided if no one's going to be producing my scripts I'm just going to go ahead and teach myself how to direct, and shoot, and all that type of stuff. So I was just completely self-taught. My first short film was called 'London Bridge.' It was, you know, seven minutes and it was about- something about like loneliness in America. You know like that teenage angst that you get. And I invited all my family and friends, I rented out this theatre, and it was- it was really funny because everyone came. They didn't really know what to expect, and they watched seven minutes of really depressing footage and then they left. And then they would pat me on the head and be like, "Are you okay?" I'm like, "Yes I'm just expressing myself through film." And so yeah, so that was my foray into actually directing, and filmmaking, and I just did another short film, another short film, another short film, and then went up to doing feature films, and series, and you know all that other good stuff. So yeah, so I had very, very humble beginnings, completely self-taught.
Jenn T Grace:
That's awesome.
Rolla Selbak:
But you know, that's the fun of it, right?
Jenn T Grace:
Yeah. I feel like learning is so much part of that process, that's just for me personally, I think it's the most fun part.
Rolla Selbak:
Yeah, yeah, yeah for sure. For sure. And- yeah.
Jenn T Grace:
So will you tell us I guess a little bit about your films? And I know that you have a web series that's on Tello, and Christin Mell was actually one of the guests on here- actually it seems like quite a while ago at this point. But if you want to I guess just kind of give the audience a little bit of an idea. I'm sure your films kind of vary in background, but just a little bit because I do see- I'm on your website right now and it certain...

Direct download: epi-65-rolla-selbek-out-queer-filmmaker-producer.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Links mentioned in today's episode:

Sci Fi Horror Books | Gay Fiction Novels

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below.

 
A short bio about Bryce Summers:
Bryce Bentley Summers is a psychologist, fiction novelist, and founder of Queer Sense theory. Bryce has authored the young adult dark fantasy Amen to Rot series, which includes the final piece, Nyte God which pits a group of teen heroes against alien invaders. The Zombie Squad is a teen supernatural thriller where four teens find themselves in New Orleans during a zombie apocalypse. The Zombie Squad recently received RUNNER-UP in the New York Book Festival in the unpublished manuscript category.

Rotville is the newest novel, a sci-fi thriller that follows Dylan, a genetic engineered human who breaks out of prison and from the clutches of a cruel director and finds himself inside a quarantine city filled with deadly mutants.

Fresh Meat is s supernatural suspense with multicultural and gay themes. This novel received Honorable-Mention in the San Francisco and New York Book Festivals. This novel parallels the institution of American slavery with the man-versus-punk political system that defines modern day prisons.

Queer Sense examines how people form attitudes toward sexual orientation, for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered, as well as those who are not. The unique aspects ofQueer Sense are the influence of three factors that all occur within the ecological model: 1) exposure to social models whether they are a person (MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow or your parent for example), or institution, like the Republican Party; 2) connections – also known as attachments – we make to these social models; and 3) the language we use with these social models.
Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the podcast? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE:  Episode #64 – Bryce Bentley Summers Interview
Jenn T Grace:
So I want to start off by asking you just a little bit more about I guess either your personal past, or your professional past, just basically what has brought you to the point where you are in your career right now as you're kind of in the throes of launching this book, and really kind of what brought you from before to the current. If you just want to kind of share anything that you feel is of interest and we'll kind of take it from there.
Bryce Summers:
Oh sure. Well I had gotten my Master's degree in Psychology around 2002, and when I had done that I had- I was in a residence studying lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender kind of issues, but I had never quite pursued that. And then fast forward several years later, 2006 I started my PhD program, and I was very- I was definitely- I was wanting to pursue a research in this area. And I looked at different things to do research on, and in the end collaborating with my advisor, we decided to look at attitudes towards- heterosexual attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people. And from that I did my dissertation on that, it was a very niche kind of project that was- had done pretty simple, quick. Simple quick, I mean it was like three years. But that branched out though into me looking more about how do people- how do we all form attitudes, you know whether we're heterosexual, or whether we're gay, or transgender; how do we all just form attitudes in general? How does this come to be? And so then I started- that's when I just started doing more writing on myself to try to kind of bring out some of these answers, and that kind of really helped as flushing out the idea that there's, you know ecological- we're all in the ecological place in society. So you know, I live in Dallas, Texas, and someone might live in Boston, Massachusetts, and all these cultures shape our attitudes by the churches we see, and the people we see.

Direct download: Episode_64_with_Bryce_Summers_author_of_Queer_Sense.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Below are links mentioned in today's podcast:

Wet For Her

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

 
Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE:  Episode #63 – Alice Derock Interview
Jenn T Grace:
Alright so I guess what I'd love to just have you maybe walk us through a little bit about your history, maybe a little bit about what you've done in the past, and what you- you know what experiences maybe led you to the point where you are, where you founded your current company.
Alice Derock:
Okay, so I used to work in the hotels in France, like at five star hotels. And I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and see what was missing was the idea of which product I could bring to the market, something new and something, you know that will help people or it be- yeah that would help people. So one day with my girlfriend we went to a love store to buy a sex toy, and the only thing that was proposed to us was really like you know realistic and with like not good image with straight girls on the back of the packaging and we were just like, "Don't you have anything for lesbians?" And the guy said, "No we don't have." And so then we went on the Internet and we didn't find any manufacturer of sex toys for lesbians. So this from where the story starts.
Jenn T Grace:
Okay so like most entrepreneurs, you're starting from a place of you were looking for something for yourself, and ended up-
Alice Derock:
Exactly.
Jenn T Grace:
Yeah. Okay so can you I guess share with the listeners where you're located, and then additionally- I know we were just talking about the different places that you have warehouses, because you are a global company. So I'd love for them to kind of get a good sense of just the size and magnitude of your-
Alice Derock:
Sure. So we started the business in France, like we launched the business in France and then like three months after, I moved to New York and then I really started the company in New York in fact. And so today the head office is in New York, we have the company in France also for all of Europe. We have warehouses in like California, in Santa Clara, warehouse in Paris, and we have just opened a warehouse in Sydney now. So we're covering North America, Europe, and Australia.
Jenn T Grace:
So what I guess in your work experience, or your past industry knowledge, or anything like that made you feel like you had what it took to basically carve out an entire new niche within a huge industry that's very male dominated I would imagine?
Alice Derock:
What helped me with my experience?
Jenn T Grace:
Mm hmm.
Alice Derock:
I will say- I would say that today what my experience in the hotel industry helped me with customer service, and that might be the only thing because coming from the hotel industry where we are giving service in fact to customers, it's very different from being a manufacturer. So I had to learn every step from designing, manufacturing, with the mold, with how it worked, packaging, and then shipping, and then warehousing, and then setting. And then we have all the marketing and everything. So I had to learn a lot in fact.
Jenn T Grace:
That sounds kind of crazy. So how long did it take you to go from inception of 'we need to do this because we ourselves need this, so we need to create this,' to actually having a product that goes to market?
Alice Derock:
It took like- it took like a year and a half.
Jenn T Grace:
Wow, that's not bad.
Alice Derock:
But that's not too bad, but that was only for one product. So it can go fast, but the mistake that I made was to put to the market only one product. We should have done like maybe a line of products and we did like maybe launched like five or six products one at a time ...

Direct download: epi-63-gay-business-marketing-made-easy-alice-derock.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Links mentioned in today's podcast:

Jeremy L. Wallace | Transgender Keynote Speaker 
Jenn T. Grace --- LGBT Marketing and Communications Expert

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcription than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE: Episode #62 – Jeremy Wallace Interview
Jenn T Grace:
So yeah, so let's just dive right in and let me ask you the first question which is if you could just share with the listeners of this podcast just a little bit about your story. So if you want to talk about what your path looked like that led you to the place you are today, talk a little bit about your professional past, your personal past. Really just kind of what makes you the Jeremy Wallace that we know today.
Jeremy Wallace:
Okay, wonderful. Well I am almost 44 years old, and I can say that about three years ago was the first time that I experienced what it was like to be truly happy. And that was because I had been pretty much immersed into my transition from female to male. And so growing up in the seventies I didn't know anything about transgender issues, I never had heard the word before, I just was a miserable kid all the time. There was pockets of, you know, smiles and good times, but for the most part I would say this dark cloud just followed me everywhere. I couldn't figure out why I never felt normal, I never felt like I fit in my skin, and just as I got older and more mature and a little more life under my belt, I started to realize that what was happening was the reason why I was miserable is because when I would look in the mirror, I always expected to see something different looking back at me. So I would pick myself apart, and I couldn't- and it started to unravel and realized that the stuff I was feeling- and I always felt like I was a little boy when I was growing up. That that's who I really am. And I decided then at 37 to actually really dive into this with just all faith; just basically jump into an empty pool and hope there's water kind of experience. And that's what I did. So at 37 I made the life-changing, the life-affirming decision to transition. And I would say that it was the best thing I've ever done in my entire life.
Jenn T Grace:
That's really- that's really awesome. And I know that you have written a book, and I think a lot of my listeners know that I do work with a lot of authors or people who are professional speakers, or their desire is to become a professional speaker. And you were kind enough to send me your book, and I personally was just blown away by the quality. So I do know a lot of people who have written books, and not to discount anyone's quality of anyone's book, but even your book compared to mine, like just the quality just is completely superior, it's just awesome. So can you just share I guess a little bit about that process of how you came to wanting to actually put your story in writing so others can learn from it?
Jeremy Wallace:
Sure. And first of all, thank you for that compliment, that was very, very sweet. I would say that I- when I first transitioned, in fact I remember even this almost verbatim coming out of my mouth. There's no way I'm going to be a poster child for this. And well, as all things in life, things change. So not that I consider myself a poster child but I am choosing to be highly visible. How that came about was once I settled into my own skin, I would tell people about certain things that happened while I was transitioning. Funny things that would happen. And as I told the stories people were actually real intrigued and I found that by me telling stories, that that broke through that kind of uncomfortableness between when people were like, "Ooh, I'm not really sure what- what you're going through. I don't think I've ever met somebody who's transgender. This seems a little weird.

Direct download: Episode-62-Jeremy-Wallace.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Wow - don't we have a lot to celebrate!

Before I get into our topic of celebration and marriage equality and what's next - I want to say THANK YOU to the 5,000+ new listeners who enjoyed episodes during the month of June. This is the 3rd year in a row I've aired the interviews and I have to say - you are all amazing.

For those of you who are listening to this for the first time after having been introduced to the podcast via a great interview from the 30 Days - 30 Voices project - welcome!

Today's episode is going to be about all of the great things marriage equality can bring to us.
Below are the links mentioned in today's episode:

The Washington Post 
Facebook Went Red for Marriage Equality: The Results
#48: How to be an ally to a community you don't belong to [Podcast] 
Will changing your Facebook profile do anything for marriage equality?
Employment Non-Discrimination Act 
LGBT Entrepreneurs 

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

 

 
Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE:  Episode #61 – Marriage Equality Has Arrived, But the Work is Far From Done!
Jenn T Grace:
You are listening to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast, Episode 61.
Intro:
Welcome to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast where you'll learn how to do business with and market to the LGBT community in an authentic and transparent way. We're talking about the $790 billion lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community. We'll help you grow your business, gain market share and impact your bottom line. And now your host - she's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven and an advocate for the LGBT business community. Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello and welcome to episode number 61 of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Today is Wednesday, July 1st. And today is a completely off the beaten path episode for you. I typically put out a podcast every other Thursday, and today I wanted to do a random one actually on July 1st, just after this past June because I recently relaunched the Thirty Days, Thirty Voices: Stories from America's LGBT Business Leaders Podcast Series. Which basically ran for every single day in June, and the reason I'm bringing that up and the reason why I'm recording today on Wednesday, July 1st, is because I need to thank you and welcome you to this podcast. I have over 5,000 new listeners. The last time I checked which was a couple of hours ago, I had 5,251 new listeners as a result of this past June and the Pride Month episodes. So I seriously cannot thank you enough. And I know that I did not have these 5,251 new listeners prior to June 1st so welcome to this podcast, I'm super excited to have you, I'm so happy that you found the show. You might have found it as a result of somebody that you know, some expert that I interviewed and you wanted to check it out. But regardless of how you found your way to this podcast, I am so excited to have you here.
Today's special topic...
So today's special edition episode is to talk about marriage equality; I'm sure you were so surprised by that being the topic of today's discussion. So I know that I do have a really significant size audience that is outside of the United States, but I am going to be talking to you, the US listeners today, and those I guess who are in other countries who sell to the United States. So if you have been living under a rock, which perhaps you have, the Supreme Court of the United States this past Friday handed down a ruling making same-sex marriages the law of the land here in the United States. This is such a huge, huge victory for the LGBT community, for LGBT equality across the board, it's really just really exciting. And as a side note which I'm super excited about is that this al...

Direct download: episode_61_Marriage-Equality-Has-Arrived-But-The-Work-Is-Far-From-Done.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Expert Interview with Selisse Berry of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
San Francisco, California 

 

To listen to this audio podcast please click the play button on the left above. Or subscribe to the free podcast in iTunes today!

 

 

Want to see who else is being interviewed for this Pride month project? Check it out here – 30 days – 30 voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders

 

 

 

Links mentioned - 

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates 

Out & Equal Workplace Summit 2013

 

Books mentioned - 

Out & Equal at Work: From Closet to Corner Office

 

You can get in touch with Selisse here - 

Outandequal.org 

facebook.com/OutAndEqualWorkplaceAdvocates

Twitter.com/OutandEqual 

Facebook.com/Selisse.Berry 

Twitter.com/Selisse_Berry 

 

 

The post Selisse Berry Interview for “30 Days – 30 Voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders” [Podcast] appeared first on Jenn T. Grace.

Direct download: 063013_SelisseBerry.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Expert Interview with Kevin Letourneau of Go Out Loud
Salem, Massachusetts

 

To listen to this audio podcast please click the play button on the left above. Or subscribe to the free podcast in iTunes today!

 

 

Want to see who else is being interviewed for this Pride month project? Check it out here – 30 days – 30 voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders

 

 

Links mentioned - 

Go Out Loud 

Northshore Pride

City of Salem, Massachusetts

Google Reader

Salem State University

 

You can get in touch with Kevin here - 

Go Out Loud website

Facebook.com/GoOutLoud

Twitter.com/GoOutLoud

 

 

 

The post Kevin Letourneau Interview for “30 Days – 30 Voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders” [Podcast] appeared first on Jenn T. Grace.

Direct download: GBM_062913_KevinLetourneau.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

 
Storytelling with Dan Nilsen of Bishop-McCann
Kansas City, Missouri
Links mentioned in the show:

Bishop McCann
Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce – Kansas City Area
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t

You can get in touch with Dan here:

Email: dnilsen@bishopmccann.com
Bishopmccann.com
MAGLCC.org

Listen to the podcast by clicking the play button below!

Would you rather read the transcript than listen to the podcast? No problem! Read the transcription below!
AUDIO TITLE:  30 Days, 30 Voices – Dan Nilsen

Jenn T Grace:
Welcome to 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT business leaders.
Intro:
You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now, your host. She's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven, and an advocate for the LGBT business community - Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/30days-30voices. If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview.I am delighted to be talking with Dan Nilsen today. Dan is the CEO of Bishop McCann which is a brand experience agency with six locations in the United States. In 2010, Dan was awarded with the NGLCC Wells Fargo Business Owner of the Year Award. And this recognition spawned Dan to found the Mid-America Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, recognizing that there was a need to have one in the Kansas City area. So Dan, I've given the listeners a really brief overview of who you are and a little bit about your company; but why don't you tell us a little bit more about yourself, your story, and what your path looked like that led you to where you are today.
Dan Nilsen:
Hi Jenn, thanks for having me on today. You know I actually was asked about a year ago to be the topic of a reality series because my life- where I got to today is just so interesting because it involves so many pieces, some quite entertaining actually. I was born and raised in California and went to Long Beach State, and grew up and actually married my college sweetheart, Julie, out of that. And we had three children together. I have three daughters actually, they are- my first just graduated from college, my second just turned 21. So I can't believe that it's been so long. I started actually in Big Pharma out of college, so I was a pharmaceutical sales rep for a company like- called Marion Laboratories back in '85, and left school to work for them and ran sort of the LA market for that. I was 24 at the time and the average age of my district at the time was about 32. So that was quite a challenge to kind of move in, try to quickly learn all the things that you didn't know about managing people. I remember one of my first sort of a ride-along where you ride with one of your reps, she was talking about getting a divorce and I didn't know the first thing about what I could say that could possibly give her any advice. But I learned at that point I was supposed to be a good listener, and just share as much as I could about my reps with each other and I think was one of the ways that I certainly got to in terms of working with people and understanding the differences in people.

Direct download: 062813_DanNilsen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Expert Interview with Rony Tennenbaum | Business Owner and Jewelery Designer
New York City, New York

 

To listen to this audio podcast please click the play button on the left above. Or subscribe to the free podcast in iTunes today!

 

Want to see who else is being interviewed for this Pride month project? Check it out here – 30 days – 30 voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders

 

 

Links mentioned in the show -

Amazon Kindle Commercial 

Rony Tennenbaum Rings 

 

You can get in touch with Rony here -

RonyTennenbaum.com

Facebook.com/RonyTennenbaum

 

 

 

The post Rony Tennenbaum Interview for “30 Days – 30 Voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders” [Podcast] appeared first on Jenn T. Grace.

Direct download: GBM_062713_RonyTennenbaum.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Expert Interview with Tonie Snell of 925 Hire
Cleveland, Ohio
Links mentioned in the show:

925 Hire
Snitch.name
Crain’s Cleveland Business: Cleveland Business News
Google Business Products 
Knack.it

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would your prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE:  30 Days, 30 Voices – Tonie Snell
Jenn T Grace:
Welcome to 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT business leaders.
Intro:
You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day, each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now your host. She's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven and an advocate for the LGBT business community. Jenn, with two N's, T Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning into this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/30days30voices. If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview.

I am pleased to be talking with Tonie Snell today. She is the CEO of 925 Hire, which is a staffing firm headquartered in northeast Ohio, whose focus is dedicated to creating a more equitable workplace. Her firm specializes in building cultural diverse staffing, and training solutions throughout the United States. She is also known as a job mingler which can be found on her business card.

So Tonie, I've given the listeners a really brief overview of who you are, but why don't you tell us a little bit more about yourself and what your path looked like that led you to where you are today?
Tonie Snell:
Well I am first and foremost a mom and a grandparent of nine. I've been in the recruiting industry for about fourteen years. I started 9 to 5 Hire about three years ago because of an encounter that I experienced with an internal recruiter. I had just probably been out for about maybe six years, and I was really, really sensitive and she was going on and on about how glad she was to see me. There was another recruiter who was just there trying to solicit business from this company, and he happened to be gay and she went on to berate him and I said, 'This has to be a better way.' So I actually- at that moment I decided I'm going to do something a little different with the staffing industry, so my community- specifically the LGBT community, African American women, don't have to go through that. I decided to create a full service staffing firm to be the forefront of those communities.
Jenn T Grace:
Wow, that's really interesting. And especially because as most entrepreneurs you see some sort of problem and it's just your natural inclination to want to fix it. And for this to have been the case, and it being so personal to you, to have had to sit there and have somebody be berating this openly gay man and then you sitting there thinking like, 'Oh my God, I can't believe this person doesn't know this about me.'
Tonie Snell:
Yeah, exactly. And of course I didn't want to work with her anymore because then the people- I'm very clearly open and diverse. The people that I send to her may encounter that type of attitude, so I decided again just to be the forefront, and all of my clients know that we have- we're LGBT focused. So nine times out of ten, our candidates are going to be LGBT, that's not exclusive. Of course we're women-owned and African American-owned and actually Latino-owned; so it...

Direct download: GBM_062613_TonieSnell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Expert Interview with Kristen Hickey of Supplier Diversity
Manchester, CT

 

To listen to this audio podcast please click the play button on the left above. Or subscribe to the free podcast in iTunes today!

 

 

Want to see who else is being interviewed for this Pride month project? Check it out here – 30 days – 30 voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders

 

 

Links mentioned in the show -

Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council

Craig Ross Leadership Podcast

VIA Strengths Assessment

Levi Strauss Co. Inclusion & Diversity 

 

Books Mentioned -  

StrengthsFinder 2.0

Stomp the Elephant in the Office

The 10 Greatest Gifts I Give My Children: Parenting from the Heart

 

You can get in touch with Kristen here -

linkedin.com/hickeykristen

twitter.com/KristenHickey1

Website - http://hickeykristen.wix.com/khickey

Email – hickeykristen@hotmail.com

 

 

The post Kristen Hickey Interview for “30 Days – 30 Voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders” [Podcast] appeared first on Jenn T. Grace.

Direct download: GBM_062513_KristenHickey.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Expert Interview with Victoria Fulkerson of National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Washington D.C.

 

To listen to this audio podcast please click the play button on the left above. Or subscribe to the free podcast in iTunes today!

 

Want to see who else is being interviewed for this Pride month project? Check it out here – 30 days – 30 voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders

 

If you liked Victoria's interview don't miss Episode 10 of my podcast (not part of "30 days - 30 voices" series) when I interviewed Justin Nelson, Co-Founder & President of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) [Podcast]

 

 

Links mentioned in the show - 

National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

Out for Work

NGLCC Supplier Diversity Initiative 

NGLCC Conference

 

Books Mentioned - 

Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization On the Growth Track–and Keeping It There

 

You can get in touch with Victoria here - 

nglcc.org

facebook.com/NGLCC

twitter.com/NGLCC

#LGBTBIZ

#NGLCC13

 

 

The post Victoria Fulkerson Interview for “30 Days – 30 Voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders” [Podcast] appeared first on Jenn T. Grace.

Direct download: 062413_VictoriaFulkerson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Expert Interview with Deb Prior of Liberty Tax
Hartford, Connecticut
Links mentioned in the show:

DOMA: Defense of Marriage Act
CABO – Connecticut’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Liberty Tax Facebook
Inspired Gardens and Landscapes Facebook page

Books Mentioned:

The Age Wave: How The Most Important Trend Of Our Time Can Change Your Future
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
Bringing Nature Home

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE:  30 Days, 30 Voices – Deb Prior
Jenn T Grace:
Welcome to 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT business leaders.
Intro:
You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day, each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now your host. She's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven and an advocate for the LGBT business community. Jenn, with two N's, T Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning into this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/30days30voices. If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview.

I am excited to be talking today with Deb Prior. Deb has more than thirty years’ experience in both the insurance and financial industries. In 2005 she left the corporate environment and set out on her own path as a business owner, who currently owns a Liberty Tax franchise and Prior Enterprises, which has two divisions; a bookkeeping service division and a landscape design division. Deb, I have given the listeners a really high level overview of your past, but why don't you tell us a little bit more about yourself and what your path looked like that led you to where you are today?
Deb Prior:
Well, I started out as a child; so I won't go that far back because that was a long time ago and I've been alive for a long time.
Jenn T Grace:
That will be our secret.
Deb Prior:
Yes, okay. Well you know as you mentioned I went through the corporate world and I had a great career at New York Life primarily, where I was a financial advisor representative. And I'd gotten the entrepreneurial bug back then because as you know a number of financial advisors, that they are- it's like running your own business. And so I really, really enjoyed that. Different things in life caused my career to take several turns. But I'd never had a position or a job that I didn't like, and that I didn't find valuable, and that added- you know helped me become who I am. And the only job that I really hated was the last one. And that's when it was time for me to strike out on my own. So I actually started in the landscaping business because I really love plants. I got into the master gardener program, became a certified master gardener, and started out doing landscape designs and installations, and I bought a little red truck, and that was very fun. And then I was looking for something to do in the winter. And so I decided that I would do taxes, and was looking around for tax classes and I stumbled upon Liberty Tax. And the owner of that- Liberty Tax is a franchise, and I worked for a franchise owner and he said, "Well you're an entrepreneur, you should probably own one yourself." And I thought, "Yes, I probably should but let me see if I like this.

Direct download: GBM_062313_DebPrior.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Expert Interview with Paul Collanton III of Gay Ambition Blog
Denver, Colorado

 

To listen to this audio podcast please click the play button on the left above. Or subscribe to the free podcast in iTunes today!

 

 

Want to see who else is being interviewed for this Pride month project? Check it out here – 30 days – 30 voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders

 

 

Links mentioned in the show -

Gay Ambition Blog

Gay Ambition Podcast

Service Source

Proudly Speaking: Denver Colorado's LGBT Toastmasters

Toastmasters International

Rainbow Toastmasters

GLBT Community Center of Colorado

Marriage Equality is Coming Blog Post

Curve Magazine

Amazon Kindle Commercial

Start Out

Matt Skallerud Interview for “30 Days – 30 Voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders” [Podcast]

NGLCC National Business & Leadership Conference

New Media Expo

Jamie Tardy's The Eventual Millionaire Blog 

 

Books Mentioned: 

Me 2.0, Revised and Updated Edition: 4 Steps to Building Your Future

Thoughts of a Tribal Elder: One Queerman's Journey from the Ashes Risen

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

 

You can get in touch with Paul here -

Gayambitionblog.com

Facebook.com/paulcollanton

Twitter.com/PaulCollanton

LinkedIn/PaulCollanton

 

 

The post Paul Collanton III Interview for “30 Days – 30 Voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders” [Podcast] appeared first on Jenn T. Grace.

Direct download: GBM_062213_PaulCollanton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Evan Urbania of ChatterBlast Media
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Links mentioned in the show:

ChatterBlast
Independence Business Alliance – Greater Philadelphia’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
LGBT Community Centers Directory
ChatterBlast
twitter.com/TheUrbanian
twitter.com/ChatterBlast

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
 

AUDIO TITLE:  30 Days, 30 Voices – Evan Urbania
Jenn T Grace:
Welcome to 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT business leaders.
Intro:
You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now, your host. She's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven, and an advocate for the LGBT business community - Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/30days-30voices. If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview.

Okay let's get started. I am pleased to be talking with Evan Urbania, the CEO of Chatterblast Media, a social media marketing and online strategy firm whose clients range from small businesses to Fortune 500's, and non-profits and government entities. Evan first became an entrepreneur in his teens when he produced and recorded over forty albums for local musicians. Additionally, he is active in both non-profit and business communities as the co-founded of The Memoria Project, a non-profit effort to memorialize the lives lost on 9/11. He is also the president of the Independence Business Alliance which is greater Philadelphia's LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Evan, I have given the listeners a brief overview of who you are, but why don't you tell us a little bit more about yourself and your business, and what that path looked like for your that led you to where you are today.
Evan Urbania:
Sure, thank you. I guess when I was young and in high school I always knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur and most of the time I didn't even know what that word meant. But I always knew that I liked building things, and being involved in new projects and being part of a team and also doing things on my own. And kind of as my bio says, when I wrote that my business partner and I, we joked about it and put it on our website, but it is kind of true. And when I was in high school, in my summer of my last year I ended up buying a bunch of audio recording equipment at a time when digital had just become accessible to the general public. And I said, "Mom and Dad, can I build a recording studio in my basement?' And of course they looked at me like I was crazy, but ultimately I did because I got away with everything anyway. And kind of figured out how to put this stuff together and buy this gear and spend all of my savings and market myself. And I lived in the small town of Rumson, New Jersey, and the town nearby Red Bank was a big arts community. And there was a lot of local artists and musicians and theatre. And so I found a way to just get connected to them and bring them into my space and I decided to call the company Sigma 6 Recording after the Pink Floyd band which was their name before they chose Pink Floyd and I was real fond of them back at the time.

Direct download: GBM_062113_EvanUrbania.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Valerie Clark of the Greater Boston Business Council and Tsipora Consulting
Plymouth, MA
Links mentioned in the show:

Sadler Financial
Greater Boston Business Council
3 Reasons you should never say Homosexual blog post

Books Mentioned:

Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE:  30 Days, 30 Voices – Valerie Clark
Jenn T Grace:
Welcome to 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT business leaders.
Intro:
You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day, each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now your host. She's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven and an advocate for the LGBT business community. Jenn, with two N's, T Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning into this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/30days30voices. If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview.

I am excited to be talking to Valerie Clark today, she has a long history of working in the financial field as the owner of several start-ups. Most recently she is an investment professional with Sadler Financial Group based in Plymouth, Massachusetts. In addition to this, she is the President of the Greater Boston Business Council, which is Boston's LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Val, I have given the listeners a brief overview of who you are, but why don't you tell us a little bit more about yourself and your business, and what your path looked like that led you to where you are today.
Valerie Clark:
Sure. You know I think like a lot of people, my path was not- definitely not one that was straight or well-defined. I kind of stumbled into my profession. I'd thought that I would be a teacher when I was in college, and I have a degree in history and modern languages. Then I found out how much teachers actually make, versus how much money I owed the government for my degree. And I decided that you know, I simply- I couldn't, as passionate as I was about the opportunity, I just couldn't live on $25,000 a year. So I had been in the restaurant business probably since I was about fourteen, and one day was actually in a restaurant waiting on tables when I was recruited right off the floor.
Jenn T Grace:
Wow.
Valerie Clark:
Yeah. So it was- totally took me by surprise but literally inside of a month, you know I had my securities licenses and I was sitting behind the desk ready to do all sorts of damage. And you know, it's sort of the cliché within the financial services profession is that these kids when they recruit them, they're just so full of energy and ready to go, but the truth of the matter is they just don't even know what they don't know.
Jenn T Grace:
Yeah, absolutely.
Valerie Clark:
So I, you know I was with a major bank at the time and had a successful career from let's say- I want to say early 2000 on until 2006 when I left sort of pre-crazy housing market bubbl...

Direct download: GBM_062013_ValerieClark.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Dennis Velco, Owner of LinkedIn’s largest LGBT Group
Columbus, Ohio
Links mentioned in the show:

Human Rights Campaign 
Dennis Velco’s Artwork
LGBT-GLBT Networking Group on LinkedIn

Books Mentioned:

Becoming a Category of One: How Extraordinary Companies Transcend Commodity and Defy Comparison

You can get in touch with Dennis here:

dennisvelco.com
dcvelco.com
twitter.com/DennisVelco
linkedin.com/in/dvelco

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below. (Coming soon!)
 

Want to see who else is being interviewed for this Pride month project? Check it out here – 30 days – 30 voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders

This podcast episode originally aired in June 2013.

The post Storytelling with Dennis Velco for "30 Days – 30 Voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders" [Podcast] appeared first on Jenn T. Grace.

Direct download: GBM_061913_DennisVelco.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Robin McHaelen of True Colors
Hartford, Connecticut
Links mentioned in the show:

True Colors 
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
Gay-Straight Alliance Network
Public Allies
Bienestar – LGBT Youth
Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
Give Out Day 
Gill Foundation 
The Overbrook Foundation 

Books mentioned:

How to Talk So Teens Will Listen and Listen So Teens Will Talk

You can get in touch with Robin here:

Facebook/ourtruecolors
twitter.com/TrueColorsCT 

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below.

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below. (Coming soon!)
 

Want to see who else is being interviewed for this Pride month project? Check it out here – 30 days -30 voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders

This podcast episode originally aired in June 2013.

The post Storytelling with Robin McHaelen for "30 Days – 30 Voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders" [Podcast] appeared first on Jenn T. Grace.

Direct download: GBM_061813_RobinMcHaelen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Matt Skallerud of Pink Banana Media
New York City, New York

Links mentioned in the show -

Travel Gay Canada 
California Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce 
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
International Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce 
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association 
GayWired.com
SheWired.com
The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly

You can get in touch with Matt here -

Pink Banana Media 
Facebook.com/PinkBananaMedia
LinkedIn

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below!
AUDIO TITLE: 30 Days, 30 Voices: Matt Skallerud

Welcome to 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT Business Leaders

You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now, your host. She's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven, and an advocate for the LGBT business community - Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Hello and welcome!
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/30days-30voices. If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview.

Jenn T. Grace: I am pleased to be talking with Matt Skallerud today, who is the president of Pink Banana Media. Matt began his online career in May of 1995 with the launch of the website www.GayWired.com. This website became one of the top three LGBT websites worldwide. He has been helping clients reach the LGBT community for more than eighteen years, and in addition to this he is a current board member for Travel Gay Canada and the interim Executive Director of the California Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Also he is actively involved with many key national LGBT organizations, which include the International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and Out & Equal Workplace Advocates just to name a few. So Matt, I've given the listeners a brief overview of who you are, but why don't you tell us a little bit more about yourself and what your path looked like that led you to where you are today.

Matt Skallerud:  Yeah! I always try to simplify things. I've just been very lucky. I went to school, I got my degree in engineering, got really bored with it in about three years and thought to myself, 'I got a degree for this? I don't know if I want to do this for the rest of my life.' And- but I actually went into sales, I was in this kind of high-tech R&D world of lasers and then I went into sales of lasers and the reason I bring all that up is because it was that combination of kind of just being comfortable with technology, and it was a perfect time. It was when computers were just really starting to come out. I used to have a Commodore 64, and then I had some of the first Compaq 286 and all these fun computers but I had the opportunity to really utilize them first for more on the engineering side, but then as things developed more on the sales, and then also very much marketing of products I used to work on in the lab. I basically took all those skills,

Direct download: GBM_061713_MattSkallerud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Jim Koury of Diversity Rules Magazine
Oneonta, New York
Links mentioned in the show:

Diversity Rules Magazine
Brokeback Mountain

Books Mentioned:

The Truth of Yesterday

You can get in touch with Jim here:

Website: diversityrulesmagazine.com/
facebook.com/Diversity-Rules-Magazine
twitter.com/DiversityRules
plus.google.com

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below. (Coming soon!)
 

This podcast episode originally aired in June 2013.

The post Storytelling with Jim Koury for "30 Days – 30 Voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders" [Podcast] appeared first on Jenn T. Grace.

Direct download: GBM_061613_JimKoury.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Sara Calabro who is a Content Strategist
Portland, Oregon
Links mentioned in the show:

AHA!
AcuTake
Think Traffic website

Books Mentioned:

But You Don’t Look Gay…
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)
The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future
What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question

You can get in touch with Sara here:

saracalabro.com
linkedin.com/in/saracalabro

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below. (Coming soon!)
 

Want to see who else is being interviewed for this Pride month project? Check it out here – 30 days – 30 voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders

 

This podcast episode originally aired in June 2013.

The post Storytelling with Sara Calabro for "30 Days – 30 Voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders" [Podcast] appeared first on Jenn T. Grace.

Direct download: GBM_061513_SaraCalabro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Trung Tieu of PepsiCo
Chicago, Illinois
Links mentioned in the show:

The Chicago Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce 
CABO – CT’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce
A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
twitter.com/PepsiCoTrung
linkedin.com/trungtieu

 
Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below. (Coming soon!)
 

 

Want to see who else is being interviewed for this Pride month project? Check it out here – 30 days – 30 voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders

This podcast episode originally aired in June 2013

The post Storytelling with Trung Tieu for "30 Days – 30 Voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders" [Podcast] appeared first on Jenn T. Grace.

Direct download: GBM_061413_TrungTieu.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Meghan Freed of Freed Marcroft Law
Hartford, Connecticut 
Links mentioned in the show:

The Colin McEnroe Show, WNPR: Divorce In 2013. Gay people face complications, and cases of collaborative divorce are rising.
Steve Jobs Biography
Freed Marcroft

You can get in touch with Meghan here:

Facebook page:
Twitter:

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem. Read the transcript below!
AUDIO TITLE:  30 Days, 30 Voices – Meghan Freed
Jenn T Grace:
Welcome to 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT business leaders.
Intro:
You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now, your host. She's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven, and an advocate for the LGBT business community - Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/30days-30voices. If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview.

I am excited to be talking to Meghan Freed, founding member of Freed McKeen which is a law firm located in Hartford Connecticut. In addition to many of her accomplishments, she is especially proud of her estate planning, family and small business legal practice within the LGBT community. Also, her name appears in the Connecticut Supreme Court's ground-breaking decision on marriage equality which was Kerrigan versus the Commissioner of Public Health. Meghan, I have given the listeners a brief overview of who you are, but why don't you tell us a little bit more about yourself and your business, and what your path looked like that led you to where you are today.
Meghan Freed:
Sure, hi Jenn. First of all thank you so much for having me; I love your podcast, and I love your website, and I love your Facebook page. So I'm thrilled to be a part of it.
Jenn T Grace:
Thank you.
Meghan Freed:
I went to law school back in 2000, and after I graduated I went to a firm here in Hartford, Connecticut, Shipman & Goodwin, and then I worked at a much larger international firm called Bingham McCutchen. And then after that I was in-house council for a number of years at a wonderful company, Hartford Steam Boiler. At a certain point in my career I wasn't sure what to do next. And practicing law has been really a wonderful thing for me but I was ready to sort of take a new path, and work more with individual folks than with the companies I had been working for as clients prior. So I started talking about the concept of beginning my own law firm and a friend of mine from law school, Ryan McKeen, was sort of at the same place and came to me with the idea of forming a firm together. And my initial thought was, 'Ugh, wouldn't that be nice? I would really love to do this. But I also have this wonderful biweekly paycheck, and I love the people I work with, and I love the work I do. Am I really ready to take this risk?' I was sitting on a plane one day with my partner Kristen Marcroft, and we were talking about how I wish I could go into practice for myself and she at the time was looking at graduating from law school herself in a few months. And so she said, 'Well really why not? What is the risk?' And we went through everything and thought about our lives and our finances...

Direct download: GBM_061313_MeghanFreed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Stan Kimer of Total Engagement Consulting
Raleigh, North Carolina
Links mentioned in the show:

5 things never to say to gay people blog post
Business of Change website
The Gill Foundation
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
NGLCC Trade Missions
Raleigh Business & Professional Network
Trade Press Article on Stan’s innovative career mapping methodology
LGBT at IBM Facebook Page
The Kimer-Kamba Community Center Stan is funding in Mtito Andei, Kenya

Books Mentioned:

StrengthsFinder 2.0
Million Dollar Consulting

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read transcript below. (Coming soon!)
 

Want to see who else is being interviewed for this Pride month project? Check it out here – 30 days – 30 voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders

This podcast episode originally aired in June 2013

The post Storytelling with Stan Kimer for "30 Days – 30 Voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders" [Podcast] appeared first on Jenn T. Grace.

Direct download: GBM_061213_StanKimer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Links mentioned in today's episode:

Corporate Equality Index
Buying for Workplace Equality 2013
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Human Rights Campaign

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript rather than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below!
AUDIO TITLE:  Liz Cooper Interview for “30 Days – 30 Voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders”
Jenn T Grace:
Welcome to 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT business leaders.
Intro:
You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now, your host. She's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven, and an advocate for the LGBT business community - Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/30days-30voices. If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview.

I am delighted to be talking with Liz Cooper today, who is the manager of Corporate Programs for the Workplace Project at the Human Rights Campaign. She is the go-to gal for all things regarding the Corporate Equality Index which does come up a great deal on this podcast. So Liz, I've given the listeners just a really high-level highlight of your most recent work, but why don't you tell the audience a little bit more about yourself and what your path looked like that led you to where you are today.
Liz Cooper:
Absolutely, so thanks so much for having me. I'm Liz Cooper as Jenn mentioned, manager at Corporate Programs at the Human Rights Campaign. I've been here just about three years now and so for folks who are not familiar with the Human Rights Campaign, we're the organization that goes along the blue and yellow equal sign. We're the largest civil rights organization working for LGBT equality in the US and I've been with HRC just about three years. And the project that I work on, the Workplace Project, deals with how companies are ensuring the safety, inclusive policies, benefits, protections for their LGBT employees. And as Jenn mentioned, the main mechanism that we measure and evaluate, the status of LGBT equality in the workplace, is through the Corporate Equality Index. So the CEI has been around for over ten years now, and it was really- and not to be too corny but an honor to inherit such a well-established and respected project when I came along on board with the team. So the CEI is a very objective measure of LGBT equality in the workplace. It doesn't account for employee surveys or their perception of their own personal experience with the company. It really is, 'Do you have these inclusive policies in place or do you not? Do you have these benefits for your LGBT employees or do you not?' So it's a really great objective measure and while it's also reporting out on the status of LGBT equality in these major US employers, our main focus is for those employers with 500 or more full-time employees; so we're talking about the big guys. But it's not just a report out, it's also a roadmap for folks who might now be scoring that well, might not have the most inclusive policies on the books. But we're here to help folks get there. We don't want to shame companies or make them feel bad about not being the best they can be,

Direct download: 061113_LizCooper.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Brad Sears of The Williams Institute at the UCLA, School of Law
Los Angeles, California
Links mentioned in the show:

The William’s Institute, UCLA School of Law
Lambda Legal
About Brad Sears

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below. (Coming soon!)
 

Want to see who else is being interviewed for this Pride month project? Check it out here – 30 days – 30 voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders
This podcast episode originally aired in June 2013

The post Storytelling with Brad Sears for "30 Days – 30 Voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders" [Podcast] appeared first on Jenn T. Grace.

Direct download: GBM_061013_BradSears.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Expert Interview with Jill Nelson of the INUS Group
Portland, OR | Vancouver, WA
Links mentioned in the show:

Portland Area Business Association
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
Evolutionaries: Transformational Leadership: The Missing Link in Your Organizational Chart

You can get in touch with Jill here:

Website: http://www.INUSGroup.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/inusgroup
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jilllnelson
By e-mail at: jill.nelson@paba.com or j.nelson@inusgroup.com

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE:  30 Days, 30 Voices – Jill Nelson
Jenn T Grace:
Welcome to 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT business leaders.
Intro:
You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day, each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now your host. She's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven and an advocate for the LGBT business community. Jenn, with two N's, T Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning into this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/30days30voices. If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview.

Okay let's get started. I am excited to be talking with Jill Nelson today, founder of the INUS Group which works with individuals, teams and organizations to create powerful lives and dynamic relationships. She is also a community leader actively working towards LGBT equality issues through business, marriage equality and youth issues. She also spent over a decade as an ordained minister serving congregations in three different states. Jill, I have given the listeners a brief overview of who you are but why don't you tell us a little bit more about your business and what your path looked like that led you to where you are today.
Jill Nelson:
Well I'd love to do that Jenn. I have what many might consider a very convoluted path. I started out many, many, many, many years ago- I'm not even going to elaborate how long ago because then you'd know how old I am. But my undergraduate degree was in Accounting, I started out with, and it didn't take me long to realize I really didn't enjoy Accounting and switched to business management. And over the course of the next fifteen or twenty years, I got an opportunity to really experience retail management, business consulting, working several different industries. Eventually reached the point where I felt as though business work was two dimensional. I didn't feel as though I was really doing everything I wanted to make the world a better place, and that kind of led me into the ministry. I spent, you know as you noted in my introduction, a good ten or twelve years working with congregations wanting to help people really in touch with their whole life experience, not just their work experience. And help people then realize their full potential. But after twelve years in ministry I discovered that I missed business. I missed creating things. There were pieces of ministry that just didn't resonate well for me, and I met someone who was a couple's coach. Met them through a church group that I was co-facilitating for couples. And I discovered the world of coaching. And that opened up just an amazing,

Direct download: GBM_060913_JillNelson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Danie Fineman of Keller Williams Realty
Hartford, Connecticut
Links mentioned in the show:

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would your prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE:  30 Days, 30 Voices – Danie Fineman
Jenn T Grace:
Welcome to 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT business leaders.
Intro:
You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day, each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now your host. She's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven and an advocate for the LGBT business community. Jenn, with two N's, T Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning into this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/30days30voices. If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview.

I am pleased to be talking today with Danie Fineman, who has spent eight years in the US army. She earned two Bachelor's degrees from the University of Connecticut, and is now a realtor with Keller Williams Realty. She is located in the great state of Connecticut next to me, so I am pleased to have her on as my guest today. So Danie, I've given the listeners a really high level overview of who you are, but why don't you just tell us a little bit more about yourself, and what your path looked like that led you to where you are today?
Danie Fineman:
Well thanks Jenn for having me, this is a nice surprise to be asked to be doing something like this. You know I tend to have the world view that I'm just a tiny, tiny person in such a large world. So for you to ask me to do something like this is really quite an honor, so thank you first and foremost for that.
Jenn T Grace:
You are very welcome.
Danie Fineman:
You know I need a little shot to my self-esteem every now and then so this is great.
Jenn T Grace:
Absolutely.
Danie Fineman:
So I'll just start from the beginning. I do like to tell people that I sort of came from a suburban neighborhood with a large Italian family, and did the typical things growing up; playing on soccer teams, and had a very typical childhood. But I grew up in a family where you know, resources were stretched a bit, so when it came time for me and my four siblings to go off and do our own individual adult things as children do go to college, get jobs and move out of the house, I was sort of left with the decision of do I not go to college because my parents really can't afford it because they already sent somebody before me who has sort of drained the bank accounts? Or do I take sort of matters into my own hands and I was being offered a scholarship to a very, very small school in Pennsylvania to play softball for them. And as all good lesbians, we all play softball, so I actually toyed with the idea. And so I actually ended up taking matters into my own hands and as a very independent eighteen year old, met with a recruiter and decided to join the US Army; without my parents' permission and without even their knowledge. And I don't regret it one bit, it was actually a very freeing and liberating decision, and I got to grow up in the military. I spent sort of my formative years in the military, and I feel like that's sort of where I grew up,

Direct download: GBM_060813_DanieFineman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Matt Luginbuhl from the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at Aetna
Hartford, Connecticut
Links mentioned in the show:

Aetna
Out & Equal Connecticut
Community Marketing Inc. LGBT data points
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
The Williams Institute, UCLA Law School

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below. (Coming soon!)
AUDIO TITLE:  30 Days, 30 Voices: Matt Luginbuhl
Jenn T Grace:
Welcome to Thirty Days, Thirty Voices: Stories from America's LGBT Business Leaders.
Intro:
You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day, each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Pride Month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now your host; she's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven, and an advocate for the LGBT business community. Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning into this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest, and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/30days30voices. If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview.

Okay, let's get started. I am pleased to be talking with Matt Luginbuhl today who is currently the Senior Diversity Business Specialist at Aetna, and he also manages the enterprise-wide diversity and inclusion communications strategy. In his previous roles at Aetna, he also managed fifteen Employee Resource Groups, with 100 chapters nationwide. Matt is also the cofounder of Out and Equal Connecticut. Matt, I have given the listeners a brief overview of who you are, but why don't you tell us a little bit more about your business and what your path looked like that led you to where you are today?
Matt Luginbuhl:
Thanks very much Jenn, thanks for having me. So I work you know in a Fortune 500 healthcare benefits provider, and we're really focused on empowering people to live healthier lives. During this time of healthcare reform, we really are at a pivotal moment in terms of how healthcare is affecting all of us, how we're all paying for healthcare, and how we're creating innovative solutions to solve the economic problems that are stemming from healthcare. Specifically at Aetna I work in the office of diversity and inclusion, and we're really focused on creating a diverse and inclusive work environment at Aetna. That's important both so that we are able to better understand our customers, it's really important that we look like our customers, that we have the perspectives of our customers, that we have the experiences of our customers. And it's also important that internally we have diversity in our workforce so that as we are creating those innovative ideas we have- or innovative solutions rather, we have the diverse perspectives at the table to make sure that we are creating a diverse solution. So I actually studied Industrial Organizational Psychology at Quinnipiac, the university as well as classical voice. How I got here, you know I worked at Aetna and through school I worked actually on the healthcare side of the business working with our members, and helping them manage their chronic conditions as they worked with nurses here on the telephone. And having studied Industrial Organizational Psychology, which really is the psychology of the workplace, a lot more related to HR, diversity had certainly come up and I had been involved with our Employee Resource Groups here at Aetna.

Direct download: GBM_060713_MattLuginbuhl.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Dawn Ackerman of Out Smart Office Solutions
San Francisco, California/Seattle, Washington
Links mentioned in the show:

Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (LAGLCC)
Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA)
EcoToner
Office Depot Tier One Supplier Diversity Partner
10th Annual NGLCC National Business & Leadership Conference
Greater Seattle Business Association
What is an LGBT Chamber of Commerce?
But You Don’t Look Gay… book
Empire of the Ants

You can get in touch with Dawn here:

Out Smart Office Solutions
https://www.facebook.com/outsmartoffice
https://twitter.com/outsmartoffice
https://twitter.com/outsmartdawn

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below!
AUDIO TITLE:  30 Days, 30 Voices – Dawn Ackerman
Jenn T Grace:
Welcome to 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT business leaders.
Intro:
You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now, your host. She's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven, and an advocate for the LGBT business community - Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/30days-30voices. If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview.

I am excited to be talking with Dawn Ackerman today. Dawn is the president and CFO of the west-coast based company Outsmart Office Solutions. Prior to this, she was the CEO and founder of EcoToner. In 2012 Dawn and her business partner George were awarded with the Supplier of the Year Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Additionally she has spent six years on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, including two terms as the president. And she is currently serving as the vice president of the Golden Gate Business Association, which is San Francisco's LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Dawn, I have given the listeners a brief overview of who you are, but why don't you tell us a little bit more about yourself and your business, and what your path looked like that led you to where you are today.
Dawn Ackerman:
Thanks Jenn. Well that was a pretty good introduction. I have basically been a business owner and entrepreneur since I was about 24 years old. So my path has been every day just trying to build business and building a business that can really do something for the LGBT community. So Outsmart Office Solutions is an office furniture, office interior design and space planning company. We are also the first LGBT tier one partner of Office Depot, which allows us to be able to see office supplies as a certified LGBT company to any company with the support of a company the size of Office Depot. So we have a very large catalog of supplies and a distribution capability that is national because of our partnership with them. We also donate a large portion of our proceeds back to LGBT and environmental non-profits every year. So really Outsmart was formed because of our- my understanding of the LGBT certification. The first time I ever went to an NGLCC Conference, I realized that some opportunities were going to be out there for certified LGBT businesses,

Direct download: GBM_060613_DawnAckerman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Richard Oceguera of Richard Oceguera Coaching
New York City, New York
Links mentioned in the show:

Convert your Community to Cash: Monetize your Connections
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce New York
Merchant Mart USA
Greater New York Steering Committee – Human Rights Campaign
The Landmark Forum
Relationship Building Requires a Strategy: How to get the LGBT community to know, like and trust you

You can get in touch with Richard here:

Sign up for your complimentary Business Breakthrough Call
Richard Oceguera Coaching
His Facebook Page
Richard Oceguera Coaching Facebook Page 
LinkedIn
Twitter 

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE:  30 Days, 30 Voices – Richard Oceguera
Jenn T Grace:
Welcome to 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT business leaders.
Intro:
You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now, your host. She's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven, and an advocate for the LGBT business community - Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/30days-30voices. If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview.

Okay let's get started. I am pleased to be talking with Richard Oceguera of Richard Oceguera Coaching. He is a transformational business coach, a speaker, a thought leader, and a community advocate. In addition he is the author of a new book called 'Convert your Community to Cash, Monetize your Connection.' Richard has played a key role in the startup of several organizations, most notably as the founding president of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, New York. Richard, I have given the listeners a brief overview of who you are, but why don't you tell us a little bit more about yourself and what your path looked like that led you to where you are today.
Richard Oceguera:
Yes, well Jenn thank you. First I just want to say thank you for having me participate in this honor, it's really an honor to be able to spend some time with you talking about business and LGBT business. Yeah, so wow where to start. Well this is really great timing because I recently launched my new company, Richard Oceguera Coaching, as you mentioned, and it's exciting for me because it's an opportunity to bring together 29 years of experience in sales, marketing, business development and personal development, and really translate that to the clients that I'm working with. And specifically I work with entrepreneurs, business owners, as well as people who are in business development or sales capacities. And it's really wonderful to have the opportunity to take this experience and have it make a difference for other people as they're building out their businesses. So that's a little bit about what I'm doing now. But you asked about the path that led me to where I'm at today, and I think that's a very interesting question. And you know my path has not been clear cut. I've done many different things over the years and certainly if I mapped it out it would be quite a zigzag of different experiences.

Direct download: GBM_060513_RichardOceguera.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Tony Ferraiolo of  Tony Ferraiolo Coaching

New Haven, Connecticut 
Links mentioned in the show:

The Genderbread Person
What is Cisgender?
IPEC Coaching
But You Don’t Look Gay…
The Dalai Lama’s Book of Wisdom
If I’m not lesbianed you can’t be transgendered…
http://tonyferraiolo.com/

 Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE: 30 Days, 30 Voices – Tony Ferraiolo
Jenn T Grace:
Welcome to 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT business leaders.
Intro:
You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now, your host. She's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven, and an advocate for the LGBT business community - Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/30days-30voices. If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview.

I am pleased to be talking with Tony Ferraiolo today. Tony is a certified life coach, a speaker, a trainer and an advocate for transgender youth and their families. He is the founder of several organizations that support transgender youth as well as the cofounder of the Jim Collins Foundation. Most recently he is the subject of the new documentary A Self Made Man. Tony, I've given the listeners a really brief overview of who you are, but why don't you tell us a little bit more about yourself and what your path looked like that led you to where you are today.
Tony Ferraiolo:
Absolutely. But first, thanks for having me on the show.
Jenn T Grace:
You are welcome.
Tony Ferraiolo:
It's great to be here. So this is what really happened to me. I'm transgender and I just turned 50, so back in the early 70s when I was a teenager, or actually an adolescent and I was growing up knowing that something was different about me, I didn't have any support from anyone. And that led me down a really dark path; it led me down a path of suicidal thought, it led me down a path of self-harming. It led me down the path of drug use and alcohol use. And when I realized at a very late age, like 41 years old that I was transgender, it was a celebration for about I would have to say a day and a half and then I got really, really scared. And I went down to a beach, a local beach, and I sat there with every intention to end my life. I could not imagine being transgender and having people support me and having people love me and having friends. I didn't know anybody who was transgender at that time. But something happened to me in the moment that I was crying and ready to end my life, that something inside of me said, 'Stop. Wait a minute. You have all the power to create yourself.' And I shifted instantly. Like I took my power back. And I started going down the path of transition for me, and I always say 'for me' because this is my story and everybody's transition is different. But my transition started off really trying to work on not being angry anymore and being able to face life with a positive thought, not a negative thought. And to do that I had to let go of a lot of the anger that I held for people who were abusive to me in the past.

So I did that,

Direct download: GBM_060413_TonyFerraiolo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Sam McClure of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Washington D.C.
Links mentioned in the show:

National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
NGLCC National Business & Leadership Conference
But You Don’t Look Gay…
Green Eggs & Ham
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
https://twitter.com/SamNGLCC

For more information on Supplier Diversity:

#008: Expert Interview with Heather Cox of Certify My Company [Podcast]
#011: Diversity & Inclusion and Business Opportunities, Oh My! [Podcast]
Are there small business resources for LGBT business owners?

Want to see who else is being interviewed for this Pride month project? Check it out here – 30 days – 30 voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders
Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below!
AUDIO TITLE:  30 Days, 30 Voices – Sam McClure
Jenn T Grace:
Welcome to 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT business leaders.
Intro:
You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day, each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now your host. She's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven and an advocate for the LGBT business community. Jenn, with two N's, T Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning into this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/30days30voices. If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview.

I am pleased to be talking with Sam McClure. She is the Director of Affiliate Relations and External Affairs for the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Prior to this she was the Executive Director of Quorum, which is the Minneapolis, Saint Paul LGBT and Allied Chamber of Commerce. And in addition to these roles she has previous experience owning several small businesses. So Sam, I've given the listeners a brief overview of who you are, but why don't you tell us a little bit more about yourself and what your path looked like that led you to where you are today.
Sam McClure:
Well thanks Jenn, and I just want to say thanks again for having me on your show, it's really a pleasure and looking forward to our interview. So a little more about me. I'm here in Washington D.C. at the headquarters of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and I just moved to D.C. and joined the team here internally almost two years ago. But I've actually been with the NGLCC since really the very beginning. You know the organization just celebrated our tenth anniversary, and I was part of the earliest days when our co-founders created the NGLCC and came to one of the earliest conferences as a volunteer board member for a local chamber, Quorum, that you mentioned in the beginning. And you know I was quite taken with this whole concept of business equality as a movement and intentional inclusion of LGBT-owned businesses in the economy and the network of other LGBT chambers around the country. And also the corporate partners that were coming into the space to be part of this movement to leverage economic development opportunities specifically for people who are LGBT. I got really excited about the movement right away, I became a volunteer leader in the chamber council at that conference, and I served as the chair of the Midwest region and then after a few y...

Direct download: GBM_060413_SamMcClure.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Bree Gotsdiner of Publicly Related
Orlando, Florida

Links mentioned in the show:

Gay Games 2018
Tim Ferriss – The 4 Hour Work Week
Zebra Coalition
Difference between an Ally and an Advocate blog post
Expert in the Boardroom Program

You can get in touch with Bree here:

Website: http://publiclyrelated.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PubliclyRelated
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PublicistBreeGotsdiner
Twitter: https://twitter.com/publiclyrelated
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/PubliclyRelated
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/publiclyrelated/

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below. (Coming soon!)
 

Want to see who else is being interviewed for this Pride month project? Check it out here – 30 days – 30 voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders

This podcast episode originally aired in June 2013

The post Storytelling with Bree Gotsdiner for "30 Days – 30 Voices – Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders" [Podcast] appeared first on Jenn T. Grace.

Direct download: GBM_060213_BreeGotsdiner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Storytelling with Jennifer Brown of Jennifer Brown Consulting
New York City, New York
Links mentioned in the show:

The Manhattan Jazz Transfer
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
NGLCC National Business & Leadership Conference
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
Out & Equal Workplace Summit
Book – Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

For more information on Supplier Diversity:

#008: Expert Interview with Heather Cox of Certify My Company [Podcast]
#011: Diversity & Inclusion and Business Opportunities, Oh My! [Podcast]
Are there small business resources for LGBT business owners?

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below!
Audio Title: Storytelling with Jennifer Brown 
Jenn T Grace:
Welcome to 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT business leaders.
Intro:
You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now, your host. She's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven, and an advocate for the LGBT business community - Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Jenn T. Grace:
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/30days-30voices. If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview.

I am pleased to be talking with Jennifer Brown today. She is our first guest starting off the 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT Business Leaders Podcast Project. You may remember Jen from an interview she did with us back in February, and because she had so much great wisdom to share then, I had to have her back here to kick off this special Pride Month series. So for those of you who do not know, Jen is the founder and CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting which is New York City based consulting firm that is both a woman-owned business and an LGBT-certified business. She is a social entrepreneur committed to making an impact that creates healthier workplace cultures for all of the clients that she serves. Jen it is fabulous to have you back on the show, how are you?
Jennifer Brown (Consulting):
I'm great Jenn, thanks for having me.
Jenn T. Grace:
It's fabulous to have you back and as I mentioned already, I gave the listeners a really little bit of an overview of who you are but why don't you just tell us a little bit more about yourself and what your path looked like that led you to where you are today.
Jennifer Brown:
Great, absolutely. I'd love to share. It's been a wonderful journey and I'm really excited about what we've accomplished and really where we're going. So I have had my company for about six years now, Jennifer Brown Consulting, or as we refer to it as JBC. And my background was a combination of non-profit management, I've always been pretty much of an activist if you can say, or an advocate for social change. And so I got my start in work like that and then at the same time I've always been an artist and performing artist and a vocalist. So I had two Masters degrees, one of which is in opera. And so in my twenties it was a combination of doing non-profit work, programming work for organizations that I believed in, and also singing and following the path of an artist. And that's actually led me to New York which is where I ...

Direct download: GBM_060113_JenniferBrown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

On today's episode of the Gay Business & Marketing Made Easy podcast, I talk to Gina Capristo-Gajdosik, the filmmaker behind the film Make Me Blush! We talk about her personal coming out journey, the journey of being a filmmaker and seeing your project through to the end. This interview is one of the most raw and heartfelt episodes I've done in quite sometime, where you'll learn a bit about the film industry and a lot about how to communicate with your LGBT clientele.
Links mentioned in today's episode:

Today's episode
Make Me Blush: The Movie
Twitter: @MakeMeBlushFilm

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE:  Episode #60 – The Power of Coming Out
Jenn T Grace:
You are listening to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast, episode 60.
Intro:
Welcome to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast where you'll learn how to do business with and market to the LGBT community in an authentic and transparent way. We're talking about the $790 billion lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community. We'll help you grow your business, gain market share and impact your bottom line. And now your host - she's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven and an advocate for the LGBT business community. Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Well hello and welcome to episode number sixty of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I am your host, Jenn Grace, and today I have a really awesome interview for you. In last week's- or I guess the last podcast this month, episode number 59, I as you may recall was having some sort of technological problems with my podcast, and I have since been able to resolve them, so I'm really excited about that. But I did promise you a brand new interview, a brand new episode. And I am very pleased that I can actually deliver on that promise. Because when I promise something and I can't deliver on it, it just destroys me even if it's something as simple as a new podcast for you. So I'm quite pleased today to share with you this new episode.

So a couple of things that I want to mention before I really kind of dive into who I'm speaking with today, is in the last podcast I mentioned that I have a new webinar, so I want to talk about that briefly again if you don't mind, because I'm super excited about this new webinar called Sales and Marketing Strategies for Reaching LGBT Customers. And the primary objective of the webinar is to help you find, market and sell to the LGBT community in as few steps as possible. So this webinar is just under an hour or so, it's available on my website, you can go and find a date that makes sense for you to come and attend the webinar. And you'll just learn a whole bunch of stuff as it relates to really thinking about how you're going to market your product, service, business, et cetera to the LGBT community. You know it covers things like how to target, what LGBT clients are going to be right for your business, and how- it'll give you some tips and tricks around how to make sure that you're not treating your LGBT marketing efforts as one big mass marketing approach, and identifying things like what pain points are specific to your LGBT clients that may not be pain points for other clients of yours. So that's really kind of the short and dirty of the new webinar, so again you could head over to www.JennTGrace.com/webinars and you can totally check that out there.

The other thing that I wanted to mention is I have not mentioned my running endeavors recently; and to be honest I don't even know if I told you that I was running a half marathon in May. So this episode is airing on May 28th, if you're listening to this live, the day it comes out. But I actually ran a half marathon earlier this month in the first weekend in May.

Direct download: epi-60-gay-business-marketing-the-power-of-coming-out.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Listen to this great (and entertaining) interview with Heather Cox as we discuss -

• Supplier Diversity

• LGBT Business Certification

• Certification as a marketing tool

• Buying from each other

I had a chance to sit down with Heather Cox of Certify My Company recently and ask her a series of questions around supplier diversity and certification. We talk about LGBT certification, women-owned certification, disability-owned certification, veteran-owned and minority-owned, etc. She teaches us about NAICS codes, the Small Business Association and her past experience as an acro-gymanst! Hit the play button above or head over to iTunes to listen to her answers.

This week I am talking with Heather Cox, the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Certify My Company, which is a diversity certification business. She helps women, minority business owners and LGBT businesses that qualify; certify their businesses to become part of the ranks and privileges that certification brings.

Welcome to the show Heather are you ready to get started?
Before we get into the heavy topic of supplier diversity and certification I have to ask you - how did you get from being a acro-gymnast, tight rope walker and juggler to working in the diversity space?
Now that we have a bit about your background lets get down to basics. On this show and on my blog I bring up supplier diversity and certification quite a bit. My goal is to demystify this for my audience. Could you share what exactly supplier diversity is and how it can benefit the business owners listening to this?
So now that we have a foundation of what supplier diversity is, could you elaborate more on what certification is and what the process looks like with a specific emphasis on LGBT?
So let's talk about misconceptions. I imagine you probably get statements like "I don't want to get business just because I am a woman or just because I am LGBT?" Can you address that for those listening? And talk about any other common misconceptions that
Oftentimes when I speak with business owners the thought of going through so many hoops to be certified seems daunting, could you share a bit about how CMC can make that process less painful?
It's evident that you love what you do and are very knowledge in this space. If you could give one piece of advice to businesses owners who are considering becoming certified what would it be?
Back in February I had Jennifer Brown of Jennifer Brown Consulting on this show and she spoke about how she uses her dual certification both as a woman and LGBT to her advantage in her marketing. Could you share one piece of advice or nugget of wisdom with the listeners on how they could leverage their status in their marketing efforts?
On a similar note, as an entrepreneur yourself. What is one piece of business advice that you would give to your fellow entrepreneurs listening?
And our final question of the day - and this question always yields interesting responses. What is one thing about your business that you are really excited about, right now?

Links discussed in the show:

WBENC - Women's Business Enterprise National Council
NMSDC - National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
USBLN - USBLN Business Leadership Network
NGLCC - National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
WOSB - Women-Owned Small Businesses
SBA - The US Small Business Administration
NAISCS and SIC codes
UNSPSC Codes
SAM.gov
Jennifer Brown Interview
Next webinar

Here are the many ways you can get in touch with Heather:

Certify My Company 
Twitter 
Facebook
Heather on LinkedIn
info@certifymycompany.org
Check out the sponsors of this podcast, the Human Performance Academy, at Mentalcompass.com

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Direct download: gay-business-marketing_epi-59_Heather_Cox_Certify-My-Company.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Welcome to the podcast! Today's podcast episode is going to be a dive into the archives going back to episode #19. I've been very busy and haven't had a chance to record a brand new podcast, however I do talk about my recent experience speaking at Salem State University which is partially the reason I wasn't able to record a full new episode. Have a listen because everything in this episode is absolutely applicable to today, as it was when it was first recorded.

After hearing so much chatter about the CEO of Barilla Pasta and his anti-gay remarks, I have my own thoughts on this. I take a different angle than you may expect and share it all in this podcast.
Below are the items mentioned in this episode of the podcast.

Marketing to the LGBT community is not for everyone
Dealing with opposition when preparing an LGBT outreach
Guido Barilla - 1st apology, letter
Guido Barilla - 2nd apology, video
Huffington Post article on Barilla Pasta
Stats on LGBT shopping
Check out the online course!
Check out the sponsors of this podcast, the Human Performance Academy, at Mentalcompass.com

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the podcast? No problem! Read the transcript below
So now let's just get into the meat of the episode today. And as I'm recording this I have no idea how long this episode is going to be, I'm just going to cover the things that I feel like need to be talked about because of what is happening in the news currently with Barilla pasta and the LGBT outrage, and the scandal that has been occurring. If you follow anything LGBT related, you have heard about this- I've seen the Twitter #PastaGate at this point. And there's a whole slew of controversy around the Barilla CEO, Guido Barilla, who basically said some words that were anti-LGBT, and now the community is up in arms. So rather than me perpetuate a lot of media hype, I really wanted to take a different angle on this. Because in most instances, I am the voice of reason; and I should say- I would say in almost every single instance, I take the stance of the voice of reason. So on my blog if you're reading something, I try to be very two-sided about things in terms of hearing one person's point of view, understanding someone else's perspective, and really just kind of blending the both of those in so you get a really comprehensive standpoint on something, versus me just giving you what my opinion is. I want to make sure that you have a full scope of the debate and the argument, and why something may not sound right and the ways to counteract that. So that is no different with what's going on with Barilla right now.

And what I want to start off with is talking about two recent blog posts that I've written. And they're very much intertwined with what's happening right now with what's going on with Barilla. And just recently I wrote a blog post titled, 'Marketing to the LGBT Community is not for Everyone.' And I find this post to be very relevant, and because in this post I just talk about how if you really want to market to the community you need to be authentic. You need to be genuine, you need to be transparent in what you're doing. You really just need to be doing it for authentic reasons. So if I say to you, "Why do you want to get involved with the LGBT community?" And you respond back to me with, "Because the community has a lot of money, and I want to tap into it." I'm going to push back on you and say, "I need more than that, that can't be your only reason, that can't be your motivating reason." And of course you're listening to this podcast because you're interested in knowing more about the community and how that can help your business. So clearly at the end of the day, I'm here to teach you how to go about this in a way that's going to produce more revenue and bring you more sales.

Direct download: epi-58-gay-business-marketing-is-authenticity-dead.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:05am EST

In this episode of the podcast I talk with Ebone Bell - founder and managing editor of Tagg Magazine. If you have been looking to market to the lesbian community but haven't been certain on where to start, this podcast will point you in the right direction. Tagg Magazine is a lesbian publication and as the founder, Ebone knows more than a thing or two on how to effectively reach the lesbian market. You'll hear Ebone break down the myth that the LGBT community is monolithic and much, much more!
Links mentioned in today's podcast:

 Today's episode 
Tagg Magazine - Lesbian Culture, Events, & Entertainment

Listen to the podcast by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE:  Episode #57 – Expert Interview: Marketing Tips for Reaching Lesbians
Jenn T Grace:
You are listening to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast, Episode 57.
Intro:
Welcome to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast where you'll learn how to do business with and market to the LGBT community in an authentic and transparent way. We're talking about the $790 billion lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community. We'll help you grow your business, gain market share and impact your bottom line. And now your host - she's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven and an advocate for the LGBT business community. Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
So I am super excited to have you on the show today. So I am talking with Ebone Bell. And you are the Tagg Magazine it person, is what I will call you. But your official title is you are the owner of it, you're the creator of it, founder, editor-in-chief, and basically the cook, line, bottle washer, and all that stuff as well I'm guessing.
Ebone Bell:
Exactly, you absolutely nailed it.
Jenn T Grace:
So I'm really happy to be talking to you today, and I really just want to- I'm really excited for the fact that you have Tagg Magazine which is a lesbian publication, and there are so few lesbian publications out there, that I'm so excited to have you on the show. Of course calling myself a professional lesbian and having a fellow professional lesbian basically being on the show, I think this is great to just kind of talk to us today about your business, about your personal story, and one question I'm really dying to know is what made you create Tagg Magazine?
Ebone Bell:
And that's a great question, and a question that I get all the time. Because people are like, 'Well what made you want to do a print publication where people are saying that print is dead. But essentially you know I live in the DC metropolitan area, and we have you know, other LGBT publications here which are great. But one consistent thing that I would always see, and still always see, is it was really geared a lot towards gay men and specifically even white gay men. You know when I would give presentations or sometimes still now I would have somebody count the number of men they see in the first ten pages of whatever publication, local LGBT publication is out there. And then I'd have them go back and count the number of women. The last time I did the presentation they counted 33 men and they counted two women. And some of those might have I think a couple or one of those happened to be an ad. So I always start off that way because that is the reason that we started Tagg Magazine. You know I took a huge leap of faith by wanting to do a print publication, but I really felt like there was a need for it, and the women's community has amazing people doing great things, and I wanted to be able to tell their stories, have resources for people, list events and kind of show how thriving the lesbian community is. So really that's why I started it and thankfully the community is really supporting this magazine in more ways than o...

Direct download: epi-57-ebone-belle-marketing-to-lesbians_1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:05am EST

 

Today's podcast episode is going to cover the ripple effect that supplier diversity opportunities can have on ​your​ business, whether or you are part of the LGBT community or an ally to the LGBT community. It doesn't matter if you are a diverse supplier or if you are selling to corporate - no matter what your business there is a world of opportunities that you are probably overlooking completely! Who doesn't want access to new opportunities to expand and grow your business? I don't think many people would say no to that. Today's episode will talk about all of the ways your business can benefit and grow as a result of these opportunities. You don't want to miss it.
Links mentioned in today' post:

Set up a call with me!
Today's episode
NGLCC Website 

 
Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE:  Episode #56 – Supplier Diversity
Jenn T Grace:
You are listening to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast, Episode 56.
Intro:
Welcome to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast where you'll learn how to do business with and market to the LGBT community in an authentic and transparent way. We're talking about the $790 billion lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community. We'll help you grow your business, gain market share and impact your bottom line. And now your host - she's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven and an advocate for the LGBT business community. Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello and welcome to episode number 56 of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I am your host, Jenn Grace. And today I have a fairly meaty episode for you. So I want to talk about supplier diversity. Yes, again it's that phrase that you keep hearing me talk about but you may or may not know how that actually relates to your business. So I want you to from the get-go, basically understand that when I'm talking about supplier diversity, my mentality around it is that everybody has an opportunity, even if you're not someone of any type of diversity. But I guarantee you probably are, you just don't know it.

So that's going to be today's episode, but of course before we get into the actual meat of the episode, I want to just talk about three particular things. So the first of those three things is that I am looking for additional guests to feature on this podcast. So I have a pretty large network of people that I can go to and ask if they want to be on the show, and I personal just enjoy interviewing people that I somehow get along with, or somehow I see some sort of synergy between what they do and what I want to talk about here on the podcast. But I actually want to hear from you, and who you think should be on the show. I've been inviting people based on my own personal preferences, but at the end of the day, you're the ones listening to the show and I have a continuously increasing amount of listeners, and I want to know what you want to hear. So if you yourself would like to nominate yourself to be on the show, or you have a client or a colleague, a friend, a partner, spouse; whomever it happens to be that you think would be a good fit for this podcast, please let me know. I would love to hear from you. So you can do so by going to my website, going the Contact Me page, sending me an email that way and then I will get back to you and we'll see if it's a good fit.

So that is item number one. And item number two is that I am still accepting new coaching clients. I've been talking about it for- I don't even know, a couple of months maybe now, that I have been increasing the amount of coaching clients that I'm taking on. I only have five spots remaining at this point, so if you would like to be one of those five, please feel free to reach out to me on that.

Direct download: gay-business-epi-56-growth-opportunities-for-your-lgbt-or-allied-business.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Hello! Welcome to episode #55 of the podcast. Today's episode is a rerun of a podcast episode I aired back in August 2013. I am doing this because I am currently in Miami speaking at the New Mainstream Business Summit! Since I have so many new listeners each day, giving you a throw back to episode #15 when we are on episode #55 seemed like it could be a cool thing to do. This episode covers a lot of ground about LGBT business, marketing and communications. It is co-hosted with Paul Collanton of the Gay Ambitions Podcast while sitting together at the NGLCC Conference. Overall, it's a great episode and I hope you enjoy. I promise episode #56 will be a new episode! Thanks for being a listener - you are awesome!
Links mentioned in today's episode:

Gay Ambition Podcast
Gay Ambition Blog
30 Days – 30 Voices: Stories from America’s LGBT Business Leaders

Paul Collanton
Sara Calabro
Jennifer Brown

NGLCC – National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

Justin Nelson
Tori Fulkerson
Sam McClure

CABO – Connecticut’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of the Year

IGLTA – International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below!
AUDIO TITLE:  Episode #55 – Paul Collanton
Jenn T Grace:
You are listening to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy, Episode 55.
Intro:
Welcome to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast where you'll learn how to do business with and market to the LGBT community in an authentic and transparent way. We're talking about the $790 billion lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community. We'll help you grow your business, gain market share and impact your bottom line. And now your host - she's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven and an advocate for the LGBT business community. Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello! Welcome to episode #55 of the podcast. Today's episode is a rerun of a podcast episode I aired back in August 2013. I am doing this because I am currently in Miami speaking at the New Mainstream Business Summit! Since I have so many new listeners each day, giving you a throwback to episode #15 when we are on episode #55 seemed like it could be a cool thing to do. This episode covers a lot of ground about LGBT business, marketing and communications. It is co-hosted with Paul Collanton of the Gay Ambitions Podcast while sitting together at the NGLCC Conference. Overall, it's a great episode and I hope you enjoy. I promise episode #56 will be a new episode! Thanks for being a listener - you are awesome!
Paul Collanton:
I'm so excited to be sitting here with Jenn T. Grace at the conclusion of the NGLCC 2013 conference. This was my first conference and I'm so excited to be here, met incredible people, attended a ton of workshops and just learned a lot all around. And it's so great to be sitting here with you.
Jenn T Grace:
I'm excited for us to be sitting together. I don't even know how we actually found each other. How that happened.
Paul Collanton:
It's the online world. I think it was Twitter.
Jenn T Grace:
It is, we're a very well connected world. Was it?
Paul Collanton:
No, LinkedIn. LinkedIn back in January we connected through the LGBT Professional Group.
Jenn T Grace:
Yes, yes. And since there's few media podcasters or bloggers or whatnot in our space, voila. We have to team up; we have to do something together.
Paul Collanton:
We have to. And yeah we were on similar courses, and then one of the things that came out of that that I learned of, was your 30 Days, 30 Voices special Pride Month project; which was incredible and ground-breaking, and I think it was awesome and educational for everyone.

Direct download: GBM_episode_55_interview-with-paul-collanton-from-august-2013.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Today's podcast is an interview, finally! It's been since episode #45 with Amy Mayes since I've done an interview - wow. Well, now that we are back to an interview format - you are in for a real treat. I had a chance to talk with Mona Elyafi of ILDK Media. She owns a boutique public relations agency based in Los Angeles. She shared her personal story of how she came to found her company and all of the important milestones she hit along the way. We also discussed the nuances of pitching LGBT stories to LGBT publications and mainstream publications. She provides some solid PR strategies you could take and run with in your own business. I hope you enjoy the show! Please reach out with any thoughts or comments!
Links mentioned in today's podcast:

Check out my survey here!
Today's episode 
#45: Expert Interview with Amy Mayes of Amy Mayes Photography [Podcast]
ILDK Media
Website for the Dinah Shore

To listen to the podcast, click the play button below!

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE:  Episode #54 – Mona Elyafi
Jenn T Grace:
You are listening to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast, Episode 54.
Intro:
Welcome to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast where you'll learn how to do business with and market to the LGBT community in an authentic and transparent way. We're talking about the $790 billion lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community. We'll help you grow your business, gain market share and impact your bottom line. And now your host - she's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven and an advocate for the LGBT business community. Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Well hello and welcome to episode number 54 of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I am your host, Jenn Grace, and today I have a real treat for you. It's been probably, I have to say at least a couple of months since I have done an interview with someone. And I am now getting back into the swing of things. It does require far more additional planning to schedule and line up guests and all that great stuff. But fortunately this time around works out beautifully. So I have the guest today on the show, is Mona Elyafi, and she is the founder of ILDK Media which is a PR agency based in Los Angeles. And she had reached out to me in terms of actually mentioning one of her clients that she wanted to see if she could get as a guest on my show. And come to find out she had already been a guest which is Christin Mell from Tello Films, so she has already been a guest which is pretty awesome, and then we also discovered that Rony Tennenbaum was also on my show quite some time ago and is also working with Mona. So she's certainly well connected and very involved in the LGBT space as you're going to find out from a public relations standpoint. It was just a great opportunity to connect with somebody that I did not know and just really learn and she had some great insights, and words of wisdom to share. So I'm really looking forward to sharing today's interview.

As always before we hop into the interview I do have a couple of things that I want to announce in advance. So we are in episode number 54, which seems quite crazy that we're already at episode 54. But I want to mention the next webinar that is coming up. I have an absolute ton of RSVP's for this webinar, I'm really excited about it. I don't know- I think I might have said this in the last podcast, I have no idea what it is about this particular webinar that has everybody excited, but it is happening and I'm stoked. So it is on March 24th, so it's a couple of weeks out from the time that you're listening to this. And of course if you are listening to this and it's after March 24th of 2015, don't worry because there will be another webinar available for you.

Direct download: GBM_epi_54_mona-ILDK_pr.mp3
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In today's episode I cover a few topics. The first is I answer a listener question about what to do when you don't feel comfortable networking in an LGBT environment. The second is I do a deep dive into what the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Corporate Equality Index is. I also review an article shared with me by a Facebook fan, who wanted to hear my personal opinion on the HRC. With the HRC it is usually a love em' or hate em' scenario. I share why I see such a significant importance in the Corporate Equality Index specifically and of course, share how I really feel about the HRC. This is an episode you've been waiting for. And now that I'm back from jury duty I have time to the deep dive you've been asking for! Speaking of jury duty, next week's blog post is going to share the 4 lessons I learned by being a juror on a murder trial - you won't want to miss that post - so come back next week!
Links mentioned in the episode:

Corporate Equality Index | Human Rights Campaign
Food Dive 
Homonormativity 101: What It Is and How It's Hurting Our Movement 
Out Now Global
 015: Tables are Turned - Paul Collanton interviews Jenn! [Podcast]

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AUDIO TITLE:  Episode #53 – HRC Corporate Equality Index

Jenn T Grace:

You are listening to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast, Episode 53.

Intro:

Welcome to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast where you'll learn how to do business with and market to the LGBT community in an authentic and transparent way. We're talking about the $790 billion lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community. We'll help you grow your business, gain market share and impact your bottom line. And now your host - she's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven and an advocate for the LGBT business community. Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.

Hello and welcome!

Well hello and welcome to episode number 53 of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I am your host, Jenn Grace, and I have a very content-filled episode for you today; I'm pretty excited about having the time to actually get this episode done. I've been talking about it and delaying it a couple of times. But today we are going to talk about the Human Rights Campaign and their Corporate Equality Index. There will be lots of information shared in addition to a couple of areas of just my own personal opinion about the organization based on a request from somebody that is a fan on Facebook and somebody that I know. So I want to address a question of hers.

In addition I want to talk about kind of an overview of what the Corporate Equality Index is, because you may not have any idea what it is. So I want to share that a little bit.

I also am going to reply, in audio format, to a question I received from somebody that was on my webinar last month. So I want to have an opportunity to respond to this because it's a longer question, and I just didn't have enough time to actually type a really thoughtful response. But, also in looking at her question I feel like it's something that you may also feel or have a similar question around. So it can help you at the same time.
What's in store for today's episode!
So that's basically that in terms of what we are going to cover in today's episode. As I am recording this I'm going to apologize in advance for perhaps some rustling sounds or- I don't even know what kind of noise this would make in the microphone. But I am wrapped up in a blanket as I am recording this, and I have big, fluffy slippers on. Because it is one degree outside right now. It is- as I'm recording this it's about 8:00 in the morning, so one degree is actually warmer than it has been overnight. But it's very cold.

Direct download: epi-53-gay-business-marketing-hrc-corporate-equality-index.mp3
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In today's episode of the podcast you will hear an interview I did with my friends over at the Peak Performance Podcast, Mike & Maria Keiser. Their show is "about everything having to do with being a Peak Performer.  We discuss high achievers, relationship management, mind management, happiness and well being, and everything we can think of to help you reach your full potential." I had the joy of being on their show a while ago now but I wanted to bring this interview to you because it emphasizes how important having a business coach is, in addition to sharing a lot of details about my own business journey that I haven't already shared here on the podcast or blog. If you came here today looking for this episode to be about the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Corporate Equality Index (CEI) - my apologies - that'll be in the next episode. I'm serving as a juror on a trial and didn't want you to go a week without new and interesting content, so this is what I've got for you. In episode #53 we will cover the recap of the 2015 HRC CEI, promise! As always, thanks for listening - you are the best!
Links mentioned in today's episode:

Peak Performance Podcast 

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

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AUDIO TITLE:  Episode #52 – Interview with Mike and Maria Keiser
Intro:
You are listening to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast; Episode 52.
Well hello and welcome to episode number 52 of the Gay Business and Marketing Made East Podcast. I am your host, Jenn T. Grace. And it is February of 2015, and in the last episode, episode number 51, I shared with you an interview that I did with Liz Cooper from the Human Rights Campaign. And I talked about how in this podcast episode we were going to go into more detail on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index.

Today's episode is a little different...
Now I am apologizing up front that today's episode is not going to be that. And I actually have a very valid reason for why today's episode is going to be a little bit different than usual. So I was recently chosen to serve on a jury for a pretty lengthy trial here, where I'm based in the Connecticut area. So my time is exceptionally limited right now. So I've already been on it for about a week and there's still about two to three possible weeks left to go.

So I want to use today's episode, which I'm basically going to share with you an interview that I did with Mike and Maria Keiser. They are part of the Peak Performance podcast and some time ago, honestly I don't even remember when it is but I will include the link to it in today's show notes; but I did an interview on my podcast with them, and I want to say it was one of the earlier podcasts. So today we're in episode 52, I want to say with them it was somewhere between like episode 14, 15, 16, somewhere around that time.

So I did an interview with them quite some time ago, and it was actually one of the higher listened to interviews that I had done, because they own a coaching company called the Entrepreneur Circle, and for long time listeners of this podcast I'm sure you are familiar with Mental Compass, and that is Mike Keiser. So he and Maria are sponsors of my podcast, I'm a sponsor of theirs, we both get a lot of out of it. So what I want to do with today with you, is I just wanted to share with you an interview that I did on their podcast, and this was a short time ago, I want to say it was probably September of 2013 or so. So it's about a year and a half old; however, the entire content of that interview is really about learning how to achieve your peak performance in your business, and of course in your marketing.

So one of the things that I've recently- I guess recently had a revelation about, is when I was just doing my 2015 goal planning,

Direct download: epi-52-learn-how-to-be-a-peak-performer-in-your-business-and-marketing_1.mp3
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Today's podcast episode is meant as a pre-cursor to the next episode! Each year the Human Rights Campaign puts out their Corporate Equality Index (CEI) which is something I absolutely swear by. This index helps me understand what companies are doing good for the LGBT community and what companies are not. In episode #52 of the podcast I will be doing a recap of the 2015 HRC CEI. But before doing that I wanted to first give you an idea of who the HRC is and what they do through the eyes of one their own - Liz Cooper, manager of the Workplace Project. I hope you enjoy!

Links mentioned in today's episode:

Corporate Equality Index
Buying for Workplace Equality 2013
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Human Rights Campaign

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below!

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AUDIO TITLE:  Episode 51 – Who is the Human Rights Campaign, and How Does this Help your Business?
Jenn T Grace:
Welcome to 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT business leaders.
Intro:
You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now, your host. She's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven, and an advocate for the LGBT business community - Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Hello and welcome...
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/30days-30voices. If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview. I am delighted to be talking with Liz Cooper today, who is the manager of Corporate Programs for the Workplace Project at the Human Rights Campaign. She is the go-to gal for all things regarding the Corporate Equality Index which does come up a great deal on this podcast. So Liz, I've given the listeners just a really high-level highlight of your most recent work, but why don't you tell the audience a little bit more about yourself and what your path looked like that led you to where you are today.
Liz Cooper:
Absolutely, so thanks so much for having me. I'm Liz Cooper as Jenn mentioned, manager at Corporate Programs at the Human Rights Campaign. I've been here just about three years now and so for folks who are not familiar with the Human Rights Campaign, we're the organization that goes along the blue and yellow equal sign. We're the largest civil rights organization working for LGBT equality in the US and I've been with HRC just about three years. And the project that I work on, the Workplace Project, deals with how companies are ensuring the safety, inclusive policies, benefits, protections for their LGBT employees. And as Jenn mentioned, the main mechanism that we measure and evaluate, the status of LGBT equality in the workplace, is through the Corporate Equality Index. So the CEI has been around for over ten years now, and it was really- and not to be too corny but an honor to inherit such a well-established and respected project when I came along on board with the team. So the CEI is a very objective measure of LGBT equality in the workplace. It doesn't account for employee surveys or their perception of their own personal experience with the company. It really is, 'Do you have these inclusive policies in place or do you not? Do you have these benefits for your LGBT employees or do you not?

Direct download: epi-51-gay-business-marketing-human-rights-campaign-interview-with-liz-cooper.mp3
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Today's episode of the Gay Business & Marketing Made Easy Podcast covers the topic of knowing, liking and trusting someone. A recent plumbing snafu in my house made me realize how important this and even further how important it is for someone within the LGBT community. My experience can help you adapt your LGBT marketing message to attract more LGBT customers. Find out about this topic and more in this monumental 50th episode of the podcast!
Links mentioned in today's podcast.

Gay Sales 101: How to Sell to the $830 Billion LGBT Market
#45: Expert Interview with Amy Mayes of Amy Mayes Photography [Podcast]
#48: How to be an ally to a community you don't belong to [Podcast]
My first book: But You Don't Look Gay...
Tutorial on how to create your 'why'
Visit the online store!
The Trevor Project
Check out Tony Ferraiolo's inspiring website!

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AUDIO TITLE: Episode #50 – Why Know, Like & Trust is Important for LGBT People

You are listening to episode number fifty of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast

Welcome to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast where you'll learn how to do business with and market to the LGBT community in an authentic and transparent way. We're talking about the $790 billion lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community. We'll help you grow your business, gain market share and impact your bottom line. And now your host - she's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven and an advocate for the LGBT business community. Jenn, with two N's, T. Grace.
Welcome to Episode Number 50!
Well hello and welcome to episode number 50 of the podcast. I am your host, Jenn Grace, and I am delighted to ring in the New Year with you. Today is the first podcast of the New Year, and it is episode number fifty, which I consider to be quite monumental. I started this podcast back in January of 2013, and now here we are in January of 2015. And I can certainly say that a lot has changed in two years for me personally and for my business and for the LGBT community and movement. And it's really been I think a very fast moving two years that we've just had. So I would encourage you if you are interested to check back at some of the past episodes that I've done. There's at least the fifty from this particular podcast; but then I also did a special interview series where there is another thirty interviews. All of which are available on the website at www.JennTGrace.com/thepodcast. So definitely go check it out.
In today's podcast...
Today's podcast I want to cover four topics really, and I'm trying to bucket out some of my thoughts here and a lot of times I just kind of hit record and just run off of a pretty general outline. But today I have some really concrete thoughts that I want to share with you, and some links that I want to share, and all that kind of great stuff. So generally speaking the first thing that I want to cover is going back to something that I talk about a lot, a favorite topic of mine, about knowing your 'why' and being an ally to a community that you're not part of. So I'll get into a little bit of detail there.
#LeelahAlcorn
I also want to talk about the recent tragic story of a transgender Ohio teen, and what this means for you as a business person, as a person, as an ally to the community or possibly somebody within the community. And it's just a terribly tragic story and it's certainly worth bringing up on today's show.
Our first webinar of the new year...
The third thing that I'm going to cover briefly is what to expect from the first webinar of the new year, which is, if you are listening to this live- or not live but as it came out, it is next week on January 13th.

Direct download: epi-50-gay-business-marketing-why-know-like-trust-is-important-for-lgbt-people.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:05am EST

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