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.

Rainbow Chamber Denounces Racist Violence and Hate Acts

Rainbow Chamber Denounces Racist Violence and Hate Acts

Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce President Richard Hernandez has released the following statement on behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors in regard to the recent violence and racist demonstrations that have stricken the Charlottesville, Virginia, community:

“We condemn the hateful and racist demonstrations and the resulting violence and loss of life that have befallen the city of Charlottesville, and we call upon all elected officials who purport to serve our country to join us in unqualified condemnation of any group that espouses hate against others. As an organization serving LGBTQ business owners and professionals, we serve and celebrate individuals of every race, ethnicity, religious heritage, gender identity and country of birth. We stand with our fellow diversity chambers, which have been our long-time partners in the effort to create a diverse, inclusive and prosperous business community. We stand with the majority of Americans, who oppose bigotry and discrimination, and who understand that diversity, inclusion and equality are the path to peace and prosperity for our society. Discrimination and prejudice against any of us are discrimination and prejudice against all of us.”

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.

2017 Business Leader of the Year Nominations

2017 Business Leader of the Year Nominations

The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Business Leader of the Year is an outstanding business leader, Chamber member and role model who has demonstrated leadership success in his or her business and in the Sacramento business community, as well as leadership success within the Sacramento LGBT community.  The Business Leader of the Year honoree is selected by a committee of former honorees and Chamber members.

To nominate a current member of the Chamber, please fill out our Business Leader of the Year form.

Completed Nominee Applications are due by August 14, 2017, and the selection will be made prior to September 14, 2017.

The 2017 Business Leader of the Year will be honored at the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Gala on Thursday, September 14, 2017, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Dante Club in Sacramento.  They are also included in the 2018 Sacramento Pride parade and may be asked to participate in photos and videos to be used on the RainbowChamber.com website and other SacRCC promotional materials.

Rules of Application for Business Leader of the Year:

  1. Member in Good Standing with the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce
  2. Nomination Application, with Picture and One (1) Letter of  Reference
  3. Signed Letter of Commitment by Nominee

 

Call for Board of Directors Nominations

The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is now seeking candidates for the Rainbow Chamber Board of Directors. Five board seats are open for election in August. Each new board member will be elected to a two-year term. New board officers—president, vice president, secretary and treasurer—will be appointed by the newly elected board at the September board meeting.

All candidates for the Chamber board must be an SacRCC member in good standing and must be nominated by another chamber member in good standing. The easiest way to nominate someone is to fill out the online Nomination Form. Once nominated, each candidate must fill out and submit a Board Application Form. Nominations must be made online or in person by the end of the Chamber mixer on July 18th where the list of all nominees will be submitted to the membership at the SacRCC. Nominations may be made by members from the floor at this mixer and will mark the close of nominations.

Electronic voting will begin one week prior to the Rainbow Chamber August Mixer on August 15. Each voting member in good standing will receive an e-mail containing log-in information in order to vote. Only one designated voting member is allowed for each member business. In-person voting also will be available at the SacRCC August Mixer on Tuesday, August 15. Winning candidates will be announced that night.

For more information about nominations or board elections, call the SacRCC office at 916-266-9630 or e-mail businessmanager (at) rainbowchamber.com.

Six Easy Ways to Support LGBT-Owned Businesses

Six Easy Ways to Support LGBT-Owned Businesses

Support LGBT-friendly candidates and proposalsThe Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce serves a diverse membership of LGBT and allied business owners—those who support the Chamber’s values of diversity, inclusion and equality—from an eight-county region. Many non-LGBT business owners and professionals join the Chamber and attend our events to network and build business relationships with an audience they might not otherwise reach.

Recent advances in equal rights, including legalization of same-sex marriage and legislation and policies that provide new opportunity for LGBT businesses, have strengthened the economic profile of the U.S. LGBT population. According to the latest report from Witeck Communications, the buying power of LGBT Americans rose to $917 billion in 2015, an increase of approximately 3.7 percent over 2014 figures. Economic prosperity translates to family stability, economic development and jobs creation, and political influence. In a nutshell, equality is good for business… and a strong, prosperous business community is good for equality.

Here are a few ways that Chamber members and non-members can support LGBT equality and help us continue to build a diverse and inclusive Sacramento business community:

  1. Support LGBT-owned and allied businesses with your dollar. Looking to buy a gift, send flowers, hire a DJ, book a vacation, or find a new bank? Consider looking first for a LGBT-owned or allied business that can meet your needs. Use our convenient online Member Directory. Pick up a copy of Chamber member Outword Magazine, and see who is advertising there. Or visit MyRainbow Pages, another Chamber member. The businesses you will find there are ether LGBT-owned or those that care about reaching out to and serving the LGBT community.
  2. Join the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce. The majority of the Chamber’s annual budget comes from membership dues. Anyone can become a Chamber member—annual cost of an individual (non-business) membership or non-profit membership is only $100; cost of a business membership, which includes listing in our online member director, free admission to Chamber mixers and events, and much more, starts at just $250 per year.
  3. Support RainbowPAC. Founded in 2012, RainbowPAC is the Chamber’s non-partisan, business-positive political action committee, dedicated to supporting LGBT-friendly candidates, legislation and public policy. Funded entirely by private donations, RainbowPAC was instrumental in the election of Sacramento’s first openly LGBT councilmember, Steve Hansen, and in the passage of state laws that have expanded opportunities for LGBT-owned businesses contracting with the State of California and corporations that do business with the state. Support RainbowPAC by attending our fundraising house parties and events, including our annual Crab Feed.
  4. Get LGBTBE Certified. If your business is at least 51 percent LGBT-owned, you are eligible for certification as an LGBT Business Enterprise through the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Cost of certification is regularly $400, but the fee is waived for Rainbow Chamber members.
  5. Sponsor an LGBT organization or event. Sacramento Rainbow Chamber offers a number of event sponsorship opportunities, ranging from our quarterly Membership Orientations to our annual installation and awards dinner held every September. Sacramento Pride held each June, the Gender Health Center’s annual Gender Bender Ball, Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus, and Sacramento International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival all offer opportunities for table sponsorships, program ads or auction donations—all great ways to spotlight your business and support the LGBT community.
  6. Advertise your own business or event in the LGBT media. The Sacramento area is fortunate to have Outword Magazine, published twice monthly in print, and RainbowPages, which produces a yearly printed directory of LGBT-owned and allied businesses as well as an online directory.
100directory_icon100news_icon100hotdeals_icon100contact_icon100calendar_icon

Upcoming Events

LGBT Chamber Will Work to Defend Recent Advances in LGBT Equality

LGBT Chamber Will Work to Defend Recent Advances in LGBT Equality

RCC-Current-LogoChamber President Richard Hernandez: Potential Loss of Legal Protections Would Harm LGBT Families, Business Owners & Economy

Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce President Richard Hernandez has released the following statement on behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors in regard to the 2016 Presidential election:

“The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce fully supports the U.S. electoral process and holds the will of U.S. voters in the highest regard. (more…)