National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

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National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Certifying LGBT Businesses, Connecting Our Communities
Formation 2002
Founder Justin G. Nelson, Chance Mitchell
Type Non-profit
Headquarters 729 15th ST. NW
Area served
Leader Justin G. Nelson, President, Chance Mitchell, CEO
14 (2011)

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is a U.S. not-for-profit advocacy group that aims to expand the economic opportunities and advancement of the LGBT business community. Its headquarters is in NW in Washington, D.C. The group aims to act both as a national certification body for LGBT-owned businesses, and as advocates for LGBT supplier diversity.


The NGLCC was co-founded in 2002 by Justin G. Nelson and Chance Mitchell.[1] Nelson has served as President since the NGLCC was founded, and Mitchell has served as CEO over the same period. In 2002 the pair were named to OUT Magazine's Top 100 Success Stories for their role in founding the NGLCC[citation needed]. Instinct Magazine named Nelson as one of their 25 leading men in 2006[citation needed].

The NGLCC works with state and local chambers of commerce and business groups on various issues and is an advocate on behalf of LGBT owned businesses, professionals, students of business, and corporations that want to expand the gay community's financial opportunities, economic growth, continued innovation, and equality.[2] It supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.[3] The NGLCC is affiliated with 52[4] local, state, and international LGBT chambers of commerce, and serves to represent their interests.

The NGLCC offices employ approximately 15 full-time staff. The NGLCC runs an internship and fellowship program to support operations.

The Board of Directors includes:

NGLCC Co-Founders Justin G. Nelson and Chance Mitchell also serve on the Board of Directors.[5]


Supplier diversity initiative[edit]

Since 2004, the NGLCC has offered certification to businesses owned by LGBT people. This certification is intended to help vendors source from LGBT-owned products and services, also known as supplier diversity. The NGLCC has certified 650 businesses across the U.S. Certification in a multi-step process involving an application and supporting documents, a site visit, and final approval before regional certification committees.

In June 2005, the NGLCC and the US Department of the Interior signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase opportunities for LGBT-certified small business seeking to contract with the department. In August 2007 the NGLCC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Women's Business Enterprise National Council to provide opportunities for dual-certification as both a women-owned, and lesbian, bisexual or transgender-owned, business. In 2011 the Human Rights Campaign announced it would include active sourcing of LGBT certified businesses as part of the Corporate Equality Index, a national directory of gay-friendly workplaces.

Corporate partnerships[edit]

The NGLCC offers corporate membership. Over 140 companies are recognized as corporate partners of the NGLCC. Membership provides benefits such as access to certified suppliers, recognition as supporters of the LGBT business community and opportunities to share best practice in supplier diversity. The NGLCC recognizes 10 companies as founding corporate members.[6]


The NGLCC national dinner, "An Evening of Courage", is an annual awards event held in November to celebrate progress in the LGBT business community.

It was first held in November to celebrate progress in the LGBT business community. It was first held in 2003 and has been held at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC since then[citation needed]. It is attended by businesspeople, LGBT equality advocates and political figures[who?].

On November 3, 2011, the NGLCC announced it would be honoring U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, with the NGLCC/American Airlines ExtrAA Mile Award for her outstanding contribution to LGBT equality. Previous winners include LGBT activist and sportswoman Martina Navratilova and Academy Award-winning director Cynthia Wade.[7]

Every summer the NGLCC holds a National Business and Leadership Conference. The conference aims to help corporations and small business owners share best practice in supplier diversity, to offer networking, and provide learning tools for small businesses. The Conference also features an exhibition event to advertise services and provide networking. It has previously been held in Washington, DC, Minneapolis, Seattle, Las Vegas and Chicago in 2011.

Since 2007 the NGLCC has held an annual Diversity in Financial Services awards dinner at the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate diversity in financial services[citation needed]. In 2007 the event was held in honor of U.S. Senator Barney Frank[citation needed].

Relations with affiliated chambers[edit]

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce works with 63 local, state and international chambers. In 2011, the NGLCC appointed a full-time position to oversee relations with affiliated chambers.[8] The move is considered mutually beneficial to both local chambers and the national chamber.

The NGLCC stopped national membership options in 2011, and all membership is now routed through affiliated chambers. Membership of an affiliated chamber infers membership of the NGLCC. Benefits for membership include a waiver of the fee required for supplier diversity certification. NGLCC corporate partners also offer benefits to members of affiliated chambers.[9]

Relations between affiliated chambers, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and the LGBT business community are overseen by the Council of Chambers and Business Organizations (CCBO).

Affiliated US chambers[edit]

Affiliated chambers outside of US[edit]

International work[edit]

In 2010 the NGLCC hosted the first LGBT trade mission to Argentina, joined by U.S. LGBT businesses. The trade mission met with government officials and business counterparts and formalized relations with the Argentine LGBT Chamber of Commerce. In October 2011 the NGLCC traveled to Bogota to lay the groundwork for a future U.S. certified LGBT trade mission to Colombia.

The NGLCC aims to be the umbrella body for several international LGBT chambers of commerce.


NGLCC ring NYSE Closing Bell

The NGLCC became the first LGBT organization to ring the New York Stock Exchange Closing Bell on June 20, 2005. It rang the bell again on June 5, 2009 and January 10, 2011.

In 2005, the NGLCC launched with Wells Fargo & Company the NGLCC/Wells Fargo LGBT Business Owner of the Year Award to small LGBT business owners; the award includes a cash prize of $5000, a promotional video, and a chance to be recognized at their annual dinner party.[11] The award is no longer offered.

In 2010 the NGLCC began international work (see above).

In November 2011 the NGLCC unveiled a new Supplier Innovation Center covering a second floor in the building that houses their offices. The Supplier Innovation Center is designed to facilitate training opportunities and develop best practice for small businesses, and provide a space for local start-ups to operate. The NGLCC is offering scholarships to LGBT business owners in partnership with the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, to be held at the Supplier Innovation Center.


  1. ^ Co-founders
  2. ^ Mission
  3. ^ Justin Nelson, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, 'Statement Submitted to: Subcommittee on Oversight House Financial Services Committee Diversity in Financial Services', Thursday, July 15, 2004 [1]
  4. ^
  5. ^ Board of Directors
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Jerry Jones, 'National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and Wells Fargo Announce Call for Applicants for Second Annual LGBT Business Owner of Year Award', Out & About Newspaper 08/01/2006 [2]

External links[edit]