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!

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

Rainbow Chamber Honors 2017-18 Scholars

Rainbow Chamber Honors 2017-18 Scholars

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.”

Rainbow Chamber Scholar Marshall DankbarMarshall 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 Rainbow Chamber Scholar Augistine GarciaSacramento 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.”

Rainbow Chamber Scholar Nyree Hall 2017Nyree 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. Rainbow Chamber Scholar Jaela Harding 2017At 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.

Rainbow Chamber Scholar Travis Legault 2017Travis 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.”

Rainbow Chamber Scholar Reina Miller 2017Reina 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 Rainbow Chamber Scholar Heidi Nguyen 2017community. 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.”

Rainbow Chamber Scholar Vanessa Vallarta 2017Vanessa 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/.

 

 

2017 Sacramento Rainbow Chamber Biz Expo

2017 Sacramento Rainbow Chamber Biz Expo

For Vendors:
The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Biz Expo is the perfect opportunity for businesses and organizations to showcase services and products to Sacramento-area residents and businesses. The Biz Expo is an opportunity as part of your membership investment in SacRCC with free booths to members.  However, booth space is limited, so to leverage this event to get in front of potential customers, students, and businesses you’ll need to sign up now.

For Guests:
The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber Biz Expo brings together businesses with a wide variety of goods and services from throughout the region. The Expo features engaging exhibits, breakout workshops, and a wine reception finale. Admission is free and so is parking!  See Workshop details below.
Classroom space is limited so register now for a workshop track. Expo guests are not required to pre-register but are invited to check-in for free drink tickets.

Cost:
Workshops and Expo free to the public, Free vendor space to members; $25 non-members

REGISTER as a vendor OR a workshop student

Contact

When:

Thursday, October 12, 2017 3pm – 6pm
CHECKIN BEGINS AT 2:30pm: Workshop students need to be in class by 3pm. Vendors MUST be checked in by 3:30.

Where:

University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law campus
3200 5th Ave,
Sacramento, CA 95817

Registration:   https://business.rainbowchamber.com/events/details/business-expo-282

WORKSHOP DETAILS

Workshop Track #1 Business Planning: The 5 Biggest Legal & Employment Mistakes that Business Owners and Newly-formed Companies Make
Speaker: Richard Molsby, Managing partner The Law Offices of Molsby & Bordner, LLP

Richard Molsby is the managing partner of The Law Offices of Molsby & Bordner, LLP, a regional law firm (affectionately known as MOBO) with offices in Truckee, Sacramento, Reno, South Lake Tahoe, Roseville and Tahoe City.  MOBO practices in several areas including business law, construction law, estate planning, family law, intellectual property, real estate law, and bankruptcy. Using his prior experience as a business consultant and manufacturer’s representative, Molsby grows MOBO and its clients’ business in smart ways.  While managing his practice at MOBO, he has also been a professor at Cal Northern School of Law in Chico. In addition to being an attorney, Rich is also a commercial and residential real estate broker.

Workshop Track #2 Marketing: Can Your Customers Find You Online? Key Strategies to Effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Speaker: Kammy Caruss, CEO, YNot Web

In this workshop you will learn:
• How to measure if your website is working for you
• Semantic SEO, Technical SEO, and Content SEO methods you can implement for any business online
• A Checklist of items to request of your technical and marketing teams to take your business or organization to the next level
• Bad SEO methods that may be hurting your visibility and how to correct them
• How to track improvements: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Kammy Caruss is the founder and CEO of YNot Web, Inc., a local digital marketing firm established in 2003. YNot Web helps businesses, organizations, and entrepreneurs get more visibility on the web with online marketing services such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), paid search (SEM), and social media marketing (SMM).

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.