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.

Sacramento Rainbow Chamber Names Publisher Fred Palmer Interim ED

Fred Palmer, Interim Executive Director, Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of CommerceThe 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.

Narrow Supreme Court Wedding Cake Ruling Upholds Nondiscrimination Principles

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled issued its decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, ruling 7-2 in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

As an organization committed to building an inclusive and equal business environment that empowers all communities to prosper and thrive, we are discouraged by a decision that allows any person to be refused service based on whom he or she loves. The unspoken message to LGBT consumers: If you are open and honest about who you are, you may be confronted and turned away. The decision is a small but disheartening step backward on our path to full equality for all.

But, while the Court’s decision is deeply disappointing, its ruling is specific to this case only, based on a concern that members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission may have evidenced an anti-religion bias. The Supreme Court upheld the principle that a public business must serve all members of the public, without discrimination. As Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said, ‘The court reversed the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision based on concerns unique to the case but reaffirmed its longstanding rule that states can prevent the harms of discrimination in the marketplace, including against LGBT people.’

We know other opponents of LGBT equality already are lined up to test that principle before the Supreme Court, and this case is no doubt the first of many to come. In California, the Unruh Civil Rights Act prohibits public businesses from discriminating based on sexual orientation, as well as race, gender or religion. But earlier this year, the Kern County Superior Court ruled in favor of a Bakersfield bakery owner who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In the Bakersfield case, the judge said the baker’s First Amendment rights to free speech superseded the state law against discrimination, but only because the baker was being asked to create a product that violated her beliefs. In clarifying his decision, Judge David Lampe wrote:

A retail tire shop may not refuse to sell a tire because the owner does not want to sell tires to same sex couples. There is nothing sacred or expressive about a tire. No artist, having placed their work for public sale, may refuse to sell for an unlawful discriminatory purpose. No baker may place their wares in a public display case, open their shop, and then refuse to sell because of race, religion, gender, or gender identification.

While we expect to see lots more cases challenging the equal rights of LGBT people, we continue to believe, to paraphrase the late Dr. Martin Luther King, that the ‘arc of the moral universe’ still ‘bends toward justice.’ We know others will use this recent Supreme Court decision to attempt to justify different forms of discrimination against LGBT people, at other kinds businesses and public venues, but we also know that equality is good for business and good for communities. The collective spending power of LGBT people worldwide is estimated at $3.7 trillion, approximately $900 billion within the U.S. alone. Communities and economies thrive when all individuals and families are protected equally under the law, and the Chamber remains committed to working toward a future in which fairness and equality prevail.

What can you do?

  • VOTE! Today (June 5, 2018) is Election Day, and your vote is critically important to the future of our region, state and country! Please vote or drop off your ballot today. Check here for information about voting and ballot drop-off locations: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/polling-place/

 

  • Report discrimination. If you or someone you know has experienced discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or other factors, the California Attorney General’s office offers a list of resources and responding agencies.

 

  • Participate with RainbowPAC. Rainbow Chamber’s non-partisan political action committee endorses candidates and supports public policy measures that mirror our business-positive values of diversity, inclusion and equality. Visit here for a list of local candidates endorsed by RainbowPAC in 2018.

 

  • Participate in Sacramento Pride! Presented by the Sacramento LGBT Community Center, Sacramento Pride events are scheduled all weekend, beginning with the annual Pride Awards Friday, June 8, honoring Rainbow Chamber Past President Richard Hernandez. Learn more about the history and achievements of the LGBT civil rights movement and next steps at Pride Activated on Saturday, June 9, at Mango’s in Midtown. Then join Rainbow Chamber at the Sacramento Pride Parade/March and Festival on Sunday, June 10, at Capitol Mall.

We are grateful for all the work our member businesses, professionals and allies do every day to make our region and business community better. Thank you!

 

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!

WBA LGBT Economic Summit comes to Northern California

WBA LGBT Economic Summit comes to Northern California

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.

SUMMIT AGENDA

MARCH 15, 2018 6:00pm—8:00pm: VIP GALA RECEPTION
SAN FRANCISCO CITY HALL ROTUNDA

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2018 8:30am – 5:30pm BREAK-OUT SESSIONS AND POWER LUNCH IV
HYATT REGENCY SAN FRANCISCO

CLOSING RECEPTION
TRANSAMERICA PYRAMID – 44th FLOOR

 $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