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.
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!
Invest in the future of our community! Limited Number of Tickets Available! Rainbow Chamber Foundation VIP Scholarship Dinner is Thursday, May 25, 6-9 pm. This fundraiser will be held at the beautiful new venue at Capital Public Radio. This exclusive event supports scholarships for Sacramento area LGBTQ and allied youth! Tickets $125. Reserve your seat NOW before we sell out!
Support LGBTQ Youth Scholarships! Donate to Rainbow Chamber Foundation on Big Day Of Giving! Join thousands in supporting non-profits on this day of philanthropy. You have 24 Hours to give where your heart is! #BDOG2017Click on the link below to donate to Sacramento Rainbow Chamber Foundation! www.bigdayofgiving.org/rainbowchamberfoundation
The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a part of the Western Business Alliance, a coalition of LGBT and allied business chambers. With the WBA, we’re honored to join our colleagues across the Western United States as the Greater Seattle Business Association hosts the first-ever LGBT Economic Summit on March 16, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. 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, Working Together for Shared Prosperity, will explore topics such as: leveraging the power of LGBT businesses; Blue State tourism; maintaining Left Coast politics in the post-election era; working together to promote diverse supply chains; and unlocking the power of bringing marginalized communities together.
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 Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and British Columbia.
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.
The Western Business Alliance, formed in 1992, is a coalition of LGBT and allied chambers of commerce located on the west coast of the 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 3000 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)
ABOUT OUR HOSTS AT THE GREATER SEATTLE BUSINESS ASSOCIATION
Established in 1981, the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) is the world’s largest LGBT and allied chamber of commerce. GSBA represents over 1,200 small business, corporate, and nonprofit members who share GSBA’s values of promoting equality and diversity in the workplace. GSBA proudly serves as a connector across the region, bringing the community together through business while advocating for civil rights and small business, promoting LGBT tourism with its Travel Gay Seattle initiative, and investing in the next generation of leaders through the GSBA Scholarship Fund. For more information, visit www.theGSBA.org.
In just a little over a week, the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce will hold its Annual Scholarship and Awards Dinner–Thursday, Sept. 15, 6 to 9 p.m., at Dante Club–and you don’t want to miss it!
Our keynote speaker, Sacramento Mayor-Elect Darrell Steinberg, will present his vision for Sacramento’s future, as well as swear in your newly elected Chamber Board of Directors. You will be entertained by the dulcet tones of cabaret singer Gayiel Von, accompanied by Jim Jordan on piano. We will announce the recipient of the 2016 Business Leader of the Year Award, with long-time Chamber member and community statesman Dennis Mangers serving as our emcee. As with all Chamber events, it will be a party to be remembered!
In 2008, the Rainbow Chamber Foundation awarded its first two academic scholarships to LGBTQ and allied students, totaling $2,500. We are proud to announce that on September 15 the Foundation will award a total of 10 scholarships, totaling $10,000, each one of which is an investment in the future of our community. Thank you to our generous sponsors and donors and all of you who have attended our annual galas, purchased raffle tickets at our mixers, selected Rainbow Chamber Foundation when you made purchases on Amazon Smile, and bid on auction items over the past nine years–all of you have contributed to the growth and success of our Rainbow Chamber scholarship program; all of you have contributed to the achievements of our deserving scholarship recipients.
This year once again, all proceeds from our live auction, presented by benefit auctioneer Jerry Goldstone, BAS, will support the Rainbow Chamber Foundation and our scholarship program. We can’t wait for the party to start, and we hope to have all of you there with us as we work to make the Sacramento business and LGBTQ communities better for all of us!