The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has named Fred Palmer, business owner and publisher of the twice-monthly LGBT publication Outword Magazine Inc., as Chamber Interim Executive Director. The new staff position follows a two-year board initiative to plan and budget for permanent, full-time executive staffing for the fast-growing regional Chamber.
“This is an exciting step we have been working toward for some time, as our membership and our footprint in the community have expanded,” said Rainbow Chamber President Diana DePaola. “This new staff position will allow us to better manage our growing schedule of networking events, workshops and community advocacy activities.
“As a founding member of the Chamber, Fred Palmer is someone who is both committed to the well-being of the organization and uniquely tuned-in to the Sacramento LGBT and business communities. We are fortunate to have him on-board.”
“The Rainbow Chamber is a growing, thriving business organization that offers members a connection to a diverse, entrepreneurial market and, through our many Chamber alliances and community partnerships, to the Greater Sacramento business community,” Palmer said. “I am so proud of all the Chamber has accomplished in its 16 years and honored to have the opportunity to serve the organization at this historic turning point.”
Palmer is the founder and publisher of Outword Media Marketing and Events Inc. Now in its 23rd year,Outword Magazine is an award-winning LGBT newsmagazine, published on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, providing news and entertainment for the LGBT community, as well as image consulting, logo design, fundraising, and alternative distribution channels to its clients.
Palmer is one of the original founding members of the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce and the Rainbow Chamber Foundation and has served several terms as president on each board. He has worked with numerous community organizations in the Greater Sacramento region and the Bay Area producing special events and fundraisers, including Sacramento Pride, PFLAG, Davis Pride, SIGLFF (now BENT) and Q Prom, helping to raise awareness for LGBT issues and to bring in necessary funding. Following the overturning of California’s Proposition 8 and the re-legalization of same-sex marriage in California, Palmer founded the Sacramento LGBT Wedding Expo, now in its seventh year, offering local businesses the opportunity to tap into the LGBT wedding industry. Fred and his team at Outword Magazine also founded and ran for many years monthly Sacramento Drag Queen Bingo games, which to date, have raised and donated more than $200,000 to local charities. Scheduled on the first Thursday of every month, the event, which is now operated by the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber, benefits a different local nonprofit organization each month.
Palmer’s past corporate experience includes several years at ICG Communications as VP of Marketing and several years in Regional Marketing for MCI Communications. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communications, with an emphasis in Marketing and Business Management from San Francisco State University.
DePaola said Palmer’s appointment as part-time Interim Executive Director is planned as a first step toward making the position full-time and developing additional staff support positions.
Rainbow Chamber will celebrate its 16th anniversary at its annual Boas & Bowties Scholarship & Awards Gala on Thursday, September 20, 2018, at the Hilton Sacramento Arden West. Benefiting the Rainbow Chamber Foundation’s scholarship program for LGBTQ and alllied youth, the festive evening will feature Tina Reynolds of Uptown Studios as Mistress of Ceremonies, live entertainment, installation of the 2018-19 board of directors by Sacramento Vice Mayor Steve Hansen, and the presentation of the 2018 Business Leader of the Year Award. Visit the Boas & Bowties page for more information about the event, sponsorship opportunities and to purchase tickets.
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 Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, visit www.rainbowchamber.com.
RainbowPAC, the non-partisan political action committee of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, endorsed 15 candidates in 2018 state and local races at an endorsement event March 7 at Sierra 2 Center. Candidates in 14 races, or their representatives, spoke to the gathering. Following candidate presentations and audience discussion, Rainbow Chamber members in attendance voted on endorsement, with a 60 percent majority required for endorsement.
Sacramento Rainbow Chamber was featured this morning on ABC10 TV’s The Morning Blend with Mark S. Allen. Here’s part of that segment with our very own Jenee Rawlings, Amy Medina, and Alfonso Voychez! (more…)
The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a long-standing member of the Western Business Alliance(WBA), a coalition of LGBT and allied business chambers. With the WBA and neighboring LGBT Chamber the Golden Gate Business Association, we are honored to be holding the second annual LGBT Economic Summit on March 16, 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The summit will address the economic factors and policy agendas that affect LGBT and allied businesses and communities in the western U.S. and Canada.
The full-day summit, including breakout sessions an “Power Lunch” will explore topics such as: needs of millennial LGBT entrepreneurs, LGBT homeless issues/solutions from a regional perspective, creating new LGBT entrepreneurs via ‘disruptive technologies’, removing barriers to Transgender economic development, accessing capital for LGBT businesses, and expanding LGBT participation in government/business contracting.
Through keynote presentations and panel discussions, attendees will share information, provide critical input to regional challenges, and build relationships with other LGBT and allied business leaders from 20 chambers throughout North America.
The Board of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is actively participating in this event and its planning efforts. We encourage any/all interested parties to join this historic, and meaningful, event. It is sure to spark a new level of momentum in the LGBT economic equality movement.
$125 Full day (includes Power Lunch, Break-outs and both receptions) REGISTER HERE
ABOUT THE WESTERN BUSINESS ALLIANCE
The Western Business Alliance, formed in 1994, is a coalition of LGBT and allied chambers of commerce located in 21 cities and 11 states in the western United States and Canada. WBA chambers are committed to expanding economic opportunities for the LGBT and allied community by promoting equality through business. Through cooperation and sharing best practices, our chambers are integral to the economic health of our region and proudly connect the more than 4000 businesses we represent located throughout the western U.S. and Canada.
THE WBA CHAMBERS INCLUDE:
Sacramento Rainbow Chamber (Sacramento, CA)
Rainbow Chamber of Commerce of Silicon Valley (Sunnyvale, CA)
Portland Area Business Association (Portland, OR)
LOUD Business of Vancouver BC (Vancouver, BC)
Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (Los Angeles, CA) Long Beach Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (Long Beach, CA) Lambda Business Association (Las Vegas, NV) Inland Northwest Business Alliance (Spokane, WA)
Greater Seattle Business Association (Seattle, WA)
Golden Gate Business Association (San Francisco, CA)
Desert Business Association (Palm Springs, CA)
North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce (Dallas, TX)
Greater San Diego Business Association
ABOUT OUR HOSTS AT THE GOLDEN GATE BUSINESS ASSOCIATION
Founded in 1974 as the world’s first LGBT chamber of commerce, the GGBA holds a special place in the history of the ever-changing economic landscape on the local, national and international levels. GGBA uses its affiliation with many organizations to build recognition for today’s vibrant LGBT business community and to foster the growth of similar organizations throughout the world
The Rainbow Chamber Foundation awarded nine $1,000 scholarships for the 2017-18 school year to the following students: Marshall Dankbar, Junior, Sac State; Augistine Garcia, SCOE; Nyree Hall, 2nd year Master’s student, Sac State; Jaela Harding, Freshman, University of Southern California; Travis Legault, Junior, Sac State; Kenneth McBride, Sophomore, UC Merced; Reina Miller, 2nd year, Lincoln Law School; Heidi Nguyen, Freshman, UC Davis; and Vanessa Vallarta, Sierra College. The scholarships were awarded as part of the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce 15th Anniversary Crystal Gala, held Sept. 14 at Dante Club.
“Every year, we are inspired and uplifted by the stories of our amazing scholars, the challenges they have overcome, and their determination to succeed,” said Foundation Chair Diana DePaola. “By helping these outstanding young people get their start, the Chamber is planting seeds for the future of our community.”
Marshall Dankbar is channeling his passion for all things technological into a pursuit for a Computer Science degree at Sac State. “The LGBT community in Sacramento has also been there for me when I needed them for support when I was younger,” he writes. “I came out when I was 13, and I didn’t know any other peers in my situation. I visited the Lambda Center [now Sacramento LGBT Community Center] in midtown Sacramento, where I was able to meet other teenagers who were part of the community, and this helped me greatly in terms of my identity. Since then, I have always been proud to be gay and to be a part of the LGBT community.
“One day after I’ve completed my degree, I would love to contribute back to the community by helping LGBT youth and the community with what I have learned during my studies, so hopefully I can make the same difference in other people’s lives.”
Augistine Garcia is a 4th grade teacher in San Juan Unified School District, and, with his partner, father to four adopted children. The scholarship will help him obtain an administrative credential from the Sacramento County of Education and a master’s degree in Education from National University. With the additional accreditation, Garcia hopes to become an elementary school principal, “to create a safe environment, welcoming and open campus for all students.”
Nyree Hall, who is seeking a master’s degree in Sociology at Sac State, is the first in her family to attend a university. After struggling for years to feel accepted, she came out to family, friends and campus community when she ran for student body president. “I decided that the best way for me to make a contribution to social justice is to educate others…,” she writes. “With my degree, I hope to educate students in higher education about the importance of diversity, inclusivity, feminism, the LGBTQ community, and about positive representation.”
Jaela Harding has been an exceptional scholar all her life, beginning high school at just 12 years old, graduating high school with a 4.38 cumulative GPA, now majoring in biochemistry at USC. At her conservative, Catholic high school, she bonded with other LGBTQ students and challenged the logic of homophobic church teachings. “By standing up for myself and my LGBT+ community, I have made small, yet significant changes,” she writes.
Travis Legault, a third-year government major at Sac State, has been interested in public service since high school and plans a career in legislative advocacy and campaign consulting. He is active in the College Democrats, Sacramento County Young Democrats, Stonewall Democratic Club of Sacramento Valley, and California College Democrats and is serving an internship in the office of Sacramento Councilmember Eric Guerra. He is interested in higher education policy and getting LGBT candidates elected to office. “No matter what, I will always take time to put my skills to use for this community that I am so proud to be a part of,” he writes.
Currently majoring in Business Management and Economics, Kenneth McBride plans to seek an MBA and is passionate about community service. At UC Merced, where 7 percent of the student population is African American, he serves on the executive board of the Black Student Union, is a member of Afrikans for Outreach and Development Program and the Baseball Club. He was named “Most Outstanding Freshman” in 2016-17. “I’m not on campus just to focus on grades,” he writes. “I really try to be that positive role model for other students around me.”
Reina Miller graduated from Sac State with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, earning dean’s honors and becoming first in her family to earn a college degree, all while holding down two jobs. She currently volunteers for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) as an advocate for foster youth. At Lincoln Law School, she serves as vice president of the newly formed Lambda Law Student Association and on the boards of LLSA (Latina/Latino Law Student Association), WJS (Women’s Justice Society), and APALSA (Asian Pacific American Law Student Association).
Heidi Nguyen holds a degree in business marketing and works at AT&T. She says she was inspired to seek her MBA in Organizational Behavior by friends and mentors in the LGBT community. Through the AT&T Aspire Mentorship program and its partnership with Boys & Girls Club, she discovered a passion for helping at-risk youth. “I have not stopped my support the LGBT community, because the introduction into this community has been made me a better person,” she writes. “My desire to make the world a more inclusive place for everyone has pushed me to pursue my education.”
Vanessa Vallarta is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, with a major in exercise science. Originally from Philippines, she emigrated to the United States with her family six years ago and is the first in her family to attend college. Growing up with a gay cousin, she became aware of the bullying and discrimination he experienced. “I promised him that he will never feel alone, because I will always be there for him and support him for everything that he chooses to do…,” she writes. “We all need someone to lean on, and I can be someone’s shoulder to lean on. I stand with the LGBTQ+ community.”
Rainbow Chamber Scholars are selected via a competitive application process, including a written essay. Because the program’s mission is to support local students, applicants must reside in or plan to attend a university, college, or school in the counties of Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Sierra, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne, Yolo, or Yuba. Applicants must be enrolled or planning to enroll in senior year of high school or in a university, college, or qualified vocational school and must have a minimum 2.9 cumulative GPA to qualify.
Since 2008 the Rainbow Chamber Foundation has contributed almost $50,000 to fund college and vocational education scholarships for LGBTQ and LGBT-supportive youth. The organization also provides funding support and sponsorships for youth service organizations including the Sacramento Gay & Lesbian Center, National Suicide Prevention Program Trevor Project, GSA Network, Transgender Law Center and Gender Health Center.
The Rainbow Chamber Foundation was established by the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce as a separate, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2007, with the mission to promote mentoring, guidance, and education, and to support programs that improve quality of life for the LGBTQ community. The scholarship program is designed to motivate and assist LGBTQ and supportive students in pursuing educational degrees or vocational certificates. Applications for 2018-19 scholarship awards open March 1, 2018, and close June 30, 2018. For more information and the scholarship application form visit https://www.rainbowchamber.com/scholarship-program/.