Sacramento Rainbow Chamber Honors LGBTQA Scholars at 2018 ‘Boas & Bow Ties’

Sacramento Rainbow Chamber Honors LGBTQA Scholars at 2018 ‘Boas & Bow Ties’

The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 16th year at its annual scholarship and awards gala, “Boas & Bow Ties,” on Thursday, September 20, at Hilton Sacramento Arden West in Sacramento. The sold-out event drew more than 300 guests and honorees.

The event, a fundraiser for the Rainbow Chamber Foundation, honored 15 LGBT and allied 2018 scholarship recipients, the highest number of scholarships awarded in one year in the 10-year history of the non-profit organization. Six of the 15 scholarships were awarded by the Palmer Family Health Care Professionals Scholarship Fund, established in 2018 to commemorate the parents of Outword Magazine publisher Fred Palmer. The Rainbow Chamber Foundation has awarded a total of more than $65,000 to 66 LGBT or LGBT-supportive students.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of working with the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce and our Rainbow Chamber Foundation is having the opportunity to invest in deserving LGBT and allied students,” said Chamber President Diana DePaola. “Every year we hear from students how much this unrestricted funding means to them. They are our inspiration and our hope for the future of our community.”

In addition to the scholarship awards, the Chamber presented its 2018 Business Leader of the Year award to Paul Villaluz Weubbe of Laughton Properties Inc. and Billy’s Farm. Also honored were nominees Tina Reynolds of Uptown Studios and Janet Smith of Lucky Buddy Petcare. The Chamber’s Business Leader of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has contributed to the Chamber and demonstrated leadership in the LGBT and business communities.

Sacramento Vice Mayor Steve Hansen installed the Chamber’s 2018-19 Board of Directors, with Reynolds serving as Mistress of Ceremonies. Live entertainment included performances by jazz singer Megan Ugarte of Sac State and drag personalities Taryn Thru-U, DoMe Moore and Precious Cargo. Charity auctioneer Steve Godfryd of Pacific Auction Company will preside over live and silent auctions, with all proceeds benefiting the Foundation’s scholarship fund.

The evening’s entertainment included performances by members of Sacramento’s Imperial CourtTaryn Thru U (Johnathan Cameron)Precious Cargo (Jake Bradley-Rowe), and Do Me Moore (Paul Crouch). Singer Joe Engle performed our National Anthem; and Megan Ugarte, vocals; Alex Agius, piano; Alex Reiff, bass; and Sean Nelson on drums, all of Sac State, performed for guests at our VIP Sponsor Reception. Sacramento Vice Mayor Steve Hansen installed our 2018-2019 Board of Directors, and Mistress of Ceremonies Tina Reynolds kept the whole evening rolling smoothly.

Congratulations to 2018 Gala Chair R. Paul Villaluz Weubbe and his event committee on a job well done.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the support of our generous sponsors, including the following Gold, Silver and Bronze level sponsors: Outword MagazineWells Fargo BankSMUDLasher Auto GroupSacramento KingsCalifornia Army National GuardGolden Pacific BankRCPOne Community HealthStephanie Slagel State Farm, and Capitol Archive and Print Holdings.

Following the dinner and program, guests migrated to the Boas & Bow Ties Afterparty at Faces Nightclub in Midtown Sacramento.

Thank you to all who helped make Boas & Bow Ties 2018 an evening to remember.

The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is a regional chamber serving LGBT business owners and professionals across the Sacramento Valley, as well as straight allies who support its mission of fostering a prosperous, diverse and inclusive business climate. For more information about the organization, visit RainbowChamber.com.

Boas & Bow Ties 2018 Event Photos

Boas & Bow Ties 2018 Event Photos

Read more about the photos here!

The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Annual Boas & Bow Ties Scholarship & Awards Dinner brought glamor and fun to the Hilton Sacramento Arden West on September 20, 2018. Photos from top left: The Rainbow Chamber Foundation honored a record 15 Scholars in 2018. From left: Rainbow Chamber President Diana De Paola of GL Anderson Insurance,Foundation Chair Amy Medina of Wells Fargo and Chamber Executive Director Fred Palmer of Outword Magazine Inc. Read more about our scholars and their awards.(Riverview Media Photography/Tia Gemmell).

2018 Business Leader of the Year Paul Villaluz Weubbe of Laughton Properties Inc. and Billy’s Farm with RCC President Diana DePaola of GL Anderson Insurance  (Riverview Media Photography/Tia Gemmell). Also honored were nominees Tina Reynolds of Uptown Studios and Janet Smith of Lucky Buddy Petcare. Read more.

George Raya of the Sacramento LGBTQ Community Center, Past RCC President Richard Hernandez of St. Francis Parrish and RainbowPAC Vice Chair Alan LoFaso, Deputy Controller, Health and Housing Policy at California State Controllers (Riverview Media Photography/Tia Gemmell).

Boas & Bow Ties Emcee Tina Reynolds of Uptown Studios, with Toru OkamotoLori Okamoto, recently retired from SMUD’s SEED Program for small local businesses; LaRon Norman, and Heidi Pyle of SMUD (Riverview Media Photography/Tia Gemmell).

Dave Rupel, Ron Tackitt of Outword Magazine Inc. and Stefan Murphy (Nate Feldman, Artistic Photography).

Chamber Executive Director Fred Palmer, 2nd from left, with SMUD’s Lori Okamoto (Nate Feldman, Artistic Photography).

Jennifer Garland and Anne Fenkner (Riverview Media Photography/Tia Gemmell).

Ballroom scene, Hilton Sacramento Arden Garden  (Riverview Media Photography/Tia Gemmell).

Performers DoMe Moore /Paul Crouch, Taryn Thru U/Johnathan Cameron and Precious Cargo /Jake Bradley-Rowe (Riverview Media Photography/Tia Gemmell).

Chamber Board member Stephanie Slagel with Rainbow Chamber Foundation scholar Meagan Transue, on right, and guest (Nate Feldman, Artistic Photography).

Gina Richardson with Melissa Muganzo of Sac State Pride Center  (Riverview Media Photography/Tia Gemmell).

Boas & Bow Ties 2018 Chair R. Paul Villaluz Weubbe with Board member DoMe Moore/Paul Crouch (Riverview Media Photography/Tia Gemmell).

RainbowPAC Chair Robin Shofner of Molsby & Bordner LLP, Board member Kammy Caruss of YNot Web and retiring Board member Alfonso Voychez of AAA (Riverview Media Photography/Tia Gemmell).

Sacramento Vice Mayor Steve Hansen installs 2018-2019 Board of Directors, from left: R. Paul Villaluz Weubbe of Sac State; Secretary and RainbowPAC Chair Robin Shofner of Molsby & Bordner LLP; Chamber President Diana De Paola of GL Anderson Insurance; Vice President Ranveer Singh of Wells Fargo; Treasurer Kammy Caruss of YNot Web; Doug Dransfield of Golden Pacific Bank; Kris Ritualo of AARPPaul Crouch of Eurest Dining ServicesJoel Hockman of Pucci Pharmacy; Jenee Rawlings of Yolo Federal Credit UnionEdward Simon of Cal American Water; and Stephanie Slagel of Stephanie Slagel State Farm (Riverview Media Photography/Tia Gemmell).

Past President Michael Sestak of Sestak Lighting Design and RainbowPAC Executive Board member Dennis Mangers of the Sacramento Mayor’s Office (Nate Feldman, Artistic Photography).

Mary Barber of Legacy Law Group, Chamber Board member Doug Dransfield of Golden Pacific Bank, former Sacramento City Manager John Shirey, and Sacramento Vice Mayor Steve Hansen (Riverview Media Photography/Tia Gemmell).

Sac State musicians Alex Agius, Sean Nelson, Alex Reiff and Megan Ugarte performing for guests at the VIP Sponsor Reception (Nate Feldman, Artistic Photography).

Boas and bow tie (Nate Feldman, Artistic Photography).

California National Guard Chief of Staff Col. Nicole M. Balliet, center, and guests at Silent Auction/Reception (Nate Feldman, Artistic Photography).

Chamber Executive Director Fred Palmer and donor Carl Romstadt with Frank and Mary Palmer commemorative quilt, created and donated by Anne Fenkner and Jennifer Garland. The handmade piece, created from pieces of Frank’s and Mary’s clothing, was auctioned to benefit Rainbow Chamber Foundation and the Palmer Family Healthcare Professionals Scholarship Fund. Upon placing the winning bid for the quilt, Romstadt announced he was donating it back to Palmer, whose parents passed away in early 2018. (Riverview Media Photography/Tia Gemmell).

Read more about Boas & Bow Ties 2018 here. See more photos from the event at our Facebook page here!

Rainbow Chamber Announces 3 Nominees for 2018 Business Leader of Year

The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber has announced three nominees for the 2018 Business Leader of the Year: Tina Reynolds of Uptown Studios; Paul Weubbe of Laughton Properties Inc. and Billy’s Farm; andJanet Smith of Lucky Buddy Petcare. The Chamber’s Business Leader of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has contributed to the Chamber and demonstrated leadership in the LGBT and business communities.

Honorees are chosen by a selection committee consisting of past honorees. Steven Walker of FastBreak Tech and Jason Russell of Russell CPAs shared the Business Leader of the Year honor for 2017. The three nominees will be recognized and the 2018 Business Leader announced at the Chamber’s annual scholarship and awards gala, Boas & Bowties, on Thursday, September 20, at the Hilton Sacramento Arden West. The event is the primary fundraiser for the Rainbow Chamber Foundation’s scholarship program for LGBTQ and allied students. Visit RainbowChamber.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

“The Business Leader of the Year award recognizes the achievements of area business owners and professionals whose character and contributions make them role models in our community,” said Chamber President Diana DePaola. “We are proud to spotlight the many accomplishments of our outstanding 2018 nominees.”

Tina Reynolds, President, Uptown Studios

Tina Reynolds, Uptown StudiosAfter running her own graphic design company since 1976, nominee Tina Reynolds launched her woman-owned visual communications firm, Uptown Studios, in 1992, with the idea that 75 percent of company services would be devoted to non-profit organizations and municipalities, 25 percent to corporate clients. Reynolds’ approach to marketing her business is to be actively involved in the community. She promotes a happy, healthy work environment where each team member is valued and encouraged to be involved in community activities and causes they are passionate about. “I love what we do at Uptown Studios and love working with people with a passion for their work,” Reynolds says. “We work together to change the world for the better!”

More about Tina

Reynolds is the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of her community service and business success, including the 2018 American Red Cross Tiffany Circle Philanthropist of the Year award, the Sac BERC Sustainable business Award, the Unity Bar and SacLEGAL Community Service Award, the Sacramento Metro Chamber’s Al Geiger Memorial Award and the 2015 U.S. Small Business Adminstration Women-Owned Business award for the Sacramento region, to name a few. She is a founding member of WomenUp Network (2017) and of the Women and Girls Advancement Coalition (2016), served on the Sacramento Habitat for Humanity Committee in 2015 and 2018, and served on the board of the Nonprofit Resource Center from 2012 to 2016. Reynolds has worked for the cause of LGBT equality throughout her career as a member and supporter of the Rainbow Chamber, the Stonewall Democratic Club, The Stonewall Foundation, and the River City LGBT PAC. Her company is certified as an LGBTE with National Gay Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. In the aftermath of Proposition 8, passed by voters in 2008, which stripped LGBT Californians of the freedom to marry, Reynolds founded Equality Action NOW. With the fate of California’s gay marriage ban in legal limbo, Reynolds and EAN kept busy in 2010, leading protests at the Capitol, hosting celebrations for California’s first Harvey Milk Day, and organizing a candlelight vigil to decry the national spate of youth bullying. Equality Action NOW also began collecting video testimonies of local gays and lesbians as part of a larger project, titled “It Gets Better Sacramento.” In June, Reynolds was honored on the floor of the California State Assembly for her ongoing efforts against Proposition 8 and was hailed as “a tireless activist for social equality and change.”tent goes here

Janet Smith, President, Lucky Buddy Petcare

Janet Smith, Lucky Buddy Petcare, with ZoeNominee Janet Smith started her pet-care services company in 2004, after four years as manager of an animal hospital, using an unexpected inheritance to fund the start-up. “It was literally a leap of faith,” she recalls. “I had no idea what I was doing and pieced together ideas and advice from coaches.” Smith worked temporary jobs for the first six months, until the business had enough referrals to be sustainable. The company has grown steadily since then, currently serving nearly 800 clients with 22 employees. “We’ve never had a year that had lower sales than the year before,” Smith says.

More about Janet

Lucky Buddy Petcare has been voted the Sacramento A-List 1st Place Winner for Best Pet Sitter for the past 10 years and added a 1st place win for Best Dog Walker for 2018 as well. The company also won Outword Magazine’s Reader’s Choice award for Best Pet Services for 2018 and maintains an A grade on Angie’s List.

In addition to her participation in the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber for the past five years, Smith is a cyclist, sponsor and board member for NorCal AIDS Cycle, the annual 4-day, 300-mile cycling fundraiser for area HIV/AIDS service organizations. “We’re a constant and steadfast supporter of the LGBTQ community and are greatly appreciative of the opportunity to be considered for this award,” Smith says.

Paul Weubbe, Director of Operations and Property Manager, Laughton Properties Inc.

Paul-Weubbe-Laughton-PropertiesPaul Weubbe enjoyed a successful career with major international brands in the food and beverage industry before joining Laughton Properties in 2009. He also manages and operates Billy’s Farm, a family-owned, organic Christmas tree farm located near Wilton in eastern Sacramento County.

Weubbe worked in sales for Capital Beverage Company and The Minute Maid Company before serving as a national sales executive for The Coca Cola Company and later as Market Transformation Manager and National Sales Manager for PepsiCo.

More about Paul

Weubbe currently serves as vice president of the California Apartment Association-Sacramento Valley and is a member of the Rental Housing Association of Sacramento Valley and the Central City Housing Task Forces; he serves as the Lavender Heights Project lead for the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce in partnership with councilman Steve Hansen. He was a 2006 Lifetime Achievement Honoree for the International Foodservice Executives Association and was awarded the 2006 Grand President’s Leadership Award by the Alpha Gamma Rho Agricultural Fraternity, for which he served as Region Vice President and was one of 100 honored Brothers of the Century.

Weubbe has served in numerous leadership roles with the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, including a two-year term as president as well as former chair of the Chamber’s non-partisan RainbowPAC. He has been instrumental in managing the Chamber’s partnership with the Sacramento Black and Hispanic chambers of commerce and City of Sacramento Economic Development and helps produce the Chamber’s monthly Drag Queen Bingo fundraising events, raising tens of thousands of dollars for local non-profit organizations. He also has raised money for HIV/AIDS services as a cyclist in the 7-day San Francisco-to-L.A. AIDS Lifecycle and the 4-day, 300-mile NorCal AIDS Cycle fundraising events.

The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is a regional chamber serving LGBT business owners and professionals across the Sacramento Valley, as well as straight allies who support its mission of fostering a prosperous, diverse and inclusive business climate. For more information about the organization, visit RainbowChamber.com.

Announcing 2018 Boas & Bow Ties

Join area business and community leaders for Sacramento Rainbow Chamber’s Boas & Bow Ties Annual Gala.

  • Featuring 2018 Business Leader of the Year Award
  • Honoring 2018-19 Rainbow Chamber Foundation Scholars
  • Installation of 2018-19 Rainbow Chamber Board
  • ​Fabulous Live & Silent Auctions Benefiting Scholarships for LGBTQ & Allied Students

Call for Sponsors!

Download our 2018 Event Sponsorship flyer

SIGN UP NOW!

Steven Walker, Jason Russell Are 2017 Business Leaders of the Year

Steven Walker, Jason Russell Are 2017 Business Leaders of the Year

The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the selection of its 2017 Business Leader of the Year Award to Steven Walker, founder and CEO of computer managed services company Fast Break Tech, and Jason Russell, owner of Russell CPAs, a married couple. The award will be presented at the Chamber’s 15th Anniversary Crystal Gala, Thursday, September 14, at the Dante Club.

The award marks the first time the Chamber has named two recipients to receive the annual honor. The couple, both of whom served for as Chamber board members and officers in its formative years, met for the first time at a Chamber meeting in 2005 and have been together since. They married in October 2015.

“We are excited and proud to recognize Jason and Steven as our 2017 Business Leaders of the Year,” said Chamber President Richard Hernandez. “Together they did so much to build a solid foundation for our Chamber. The growth, the community partnerships, our advocacy and legislative work, all rests on their shoulders. None of it would be possible had they not put the organizational infrastructure into place.”

As a Chamber board member and volunteer, Walker used his technological skills to modernize Chamber operations, setting up and maintaining its first website, membership database and email system. Russell served as Chamber Treasurer for several years and continues to serve as the Chamber’s accountant.

The Chamber’s Business Leader of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has contributed to the Chamber and demonstrated leadership in the LGBT and business communities. Honorees are chosen by a selection committee consisting of past honorees.

Walker says he ran Fast Break Tech from his bedroom and the trunk of his car from 1999 to 2004, before moving into a brick-and-mortar location in 2005. Between 2005 and today, the company has grown to a team of eight to 10 technicians. Russell joined the accounting firm of Marcia Fritz & Co. early in his career, later becoming a partner in the business, then taking it over following Fritz’s retirement.

Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce 15th Year Crystal Gala

Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce 15th Year Crystal Gala

Come and enjoy an evening of 1960s nostalgia at our 15th Anniversary Scholarship and Awards Gala, supporting the the Rainbow Chamber Foundation scholarship program.  This annual dinner is our largest event of the year, and will be held Thursday, September 14th, at Dante Club, 2330 Fair Oaks Boulevard, beginning with a cocktail reception at 5:30pm. Individual seats and whole tables are available at early bird pricing until July 31st.

Indulge in amazing cuisine by Joy Reinhardt of the Dante Club while being entertained by Master of Ceremonies Rob Stewart of Grammy-winning “Rob On the Road,” KVIE Public Television’s highest-rated locally produced program. Experience an extensive LIVE auction presented by Pacific Auction Company, Steven Godfryd, featuring sports memorabilia, fine art, travel, admission to local attractions and much more!

Installation of the new board members will be performed by Sac State President Robert S. Nelson. The Business Leader of the Year award will be presented by Chamber President Richard Hernandez and 2016 Business Leader of the Year and past-President Michael Sestak.

Disco into the 1970s at our VIP after-party, where you will be swept back to a time when disco balls and Studio 54 were all the rage. Don’t let this evening of excitement and opportunity pass you by!


RSVP for a seat or table
 today!

Thank you to our top sponsors!

Emerald Sponsor SMUD

Crystal Sponsor Wells Fargo

Crystal Sponsor Wells Fargo