Darrick Lawson Named Rainbow Chamber’s 2015 Business Leader of the Year

Darrick Lawson, Rainbow Chamber Business Leader of the Year 2015Dr. Darrick Lawson, owner of Healing Touch Chiropractic, civic leader and LGBT activist, has been named Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce 2015 Business Leader of the Year.

Lawson is a former board member and past president of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce and founded the organization’s RainbowPAC. He was instrumental in helping to pass AB 1960 in 2012, which requires the state Department of General Services to collect and report voluntarily submitted information on LGBT-owned companies who contract with the state.

“I am proud to have built a successful business as an openly gay man, and to have worked with organizations such as the Chamber, the Stonewall Democrats and other institutions to create a diverse, inclusive economic environment in Sacramento where all people can be valued for their contributions rather than excluded for their differences,” Lawson said. “I am honored to receive the Business Leader of the Year recognition.”

“Darrick is an example to all of us of someone who has succeeded in business, in his family and personal relationships, and in his community,” said Chamber President Paul Weubbe. “Despite the demands of running a thriving practice Darrick gives generously of his time and leadership experience. He is an excellent choice for our 2015 Business Leader of the Year.”

The Business Leader of the Year is selected by a panel of Chamber and community leaders and recognizes an individual who has demonstrated leadership success within his or her business and the business community as well as within the Sacramento LGBT community and who has and will continue to serve as a role model for the Greater Sacramento community.

Lawson received his doctorate from the Cleveland Chiropractic College in 1991, passed his state exam and joined a Central Valley practice, where he became a partner within one year. In 2000 he relocated to Sacramento, helped build a successful practice in Orangevale, and in 2003 opened his own Midtown Sacramento office, which has grown steadily every year since.

Lawson has served on the Human Rights/Fair Housing Commission for six years and is a former chair of the commission. He was appointed by then Senate Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg to the Capitol Area Committee, which oversees development of state-owned property located near the Capitol. He has served on U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

Lawson is a founding vice president and former president of the Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento and a co-chair of the LGBT Redistricting Committee, which helped establish Sacramento’s LGBT community as a “community of interest” for city and county redistricting purposes. He is a 2012 recipient of the Stonewall Democrats Founder’s Award.

Gov. Brown to Help Light Up Governor’s Mansion Nov. 4

RCC President Michael Sestak Instrumental in Mansion Lighting Upgrade

Special Evening Event to Celebrate Completion of the Third Floor Restoration Plus Major Irrigation & Outdoor Lighting Donations

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California State Parks and the California State Historic Governor’s Mansion Foundation are pleased to announce a special “Light Up the Night” evening event on Monday, November 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park (SHP).  RCC President Michael Sestak Governor's Mansion LightingThe special event is designed to celebrate the completion of the third floor restoration project, the installation of a state-of-the-art outdoor lighting system and a new environmentally-friendly irrigation system for the Mansion gardens. As an event highlight, honored guest Governor Jerry Brown will officially “light up the night” by activating the eye-catching new lighting system once darkness falls.

 Working through the Sacramento Historic Sites Association, a State Parks Cooperating Association, a devoted group of Governor’s Mansion docents worked diligently for the past 30 years to raise the needed $100,000 in funds earmarked specifically to restore the Mansion’s third floor for public viewing. As background, a piece of the original crown molding was uncovered a number of years ago that revealed the original paint colors.  That discovery, in turn, spurred a renovation effort to re-create the third floor to its original 1877 splendor. After careful analysis and research, a dedicated team of experts has worked for over a year to re-plaster the walls, re-create the original paint finishes, re-finish the decorative hard-wood floors in the billiard room and the ballroom, and had Victorian carpet custom made for stairs, hallway and sitting parlor. At this point, the team is still searching for funding for grand Victorian chandeliers to finish the project (although some are currently on loan from a generous local resident).

Coinciding with the completion of the third floor restoration of the Governor’s Mansion SHP are two major donations to the exterior of the Mansion as well, including: the installation of a technologically-advanced outdoor lighting system with 110 LED lights that can be individually controlled to light up the Mansion, Carriage House and the grounds (which have never been lit before) that was provided by the Sacramento Chapter Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals (AOLP); and an environmentally-friendly and low-flow irrigation system donated by a number of involved local companies.  Donations of these two outdoor improvements total approximately $100,000 in materials and labor.  The new exterior lighting will illuminate the grounds and also provide an entirely new street presence for the prized Governor’s Mansion SHP, and the upgraded irrigation system will improve the landscaping while also conserving precious natural resources.

The idea to provide lighting for the exterior of the Mansion came from Michael Sestak, of Sestak Lighting Design.  Sestak was at the Mansion for a special event and thought the majestic house needed to be lit so everyone could appreciate the wonderful architecture and design at night.  He, along with Andy Thomas of Viewpoint Lighting, Scott Sissom of Elegant Outdoor Lighting and the members of the Sacramento Chapter of AOLP helped make the elaborate project happen.

“This celebratory event is significant in scope because it demonstrates what can be accomplished when State Parks, the Foundation, involved docents and community-minded private entities have a vision and work collaboratively to make it happen,” said G. Albert Howenstein, Jr., Chairman of the California State Historic Governor’s Mansion Foundation.  “These exciting high profile projects will help to raise the stature of this magnificent Mansion and further interpret California history for generations to come.”

Tickets to the “Light Up the Night” outdoor reception and cocktail party cost $75 per person and include wine, tasty appetizers from Coyote Tap House, Lucca Restaurant and Bar, Oshimi Sushi, Restaurant Thir13een and Seasons 52, entertaining live music and the opportunity for guests to tour the newly restored third floor before it opens to the public. For advance tickets, more information about the “Light Up the Night” celebratory event or VIP sponsorships, please call 916-646-3827, or email events.cshgmf@yahoo.com (for event information) or gottliebandassoc@comcast.net (for VIP sponsorship information).

About the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park

Beginning with Governor George Pardee and his wife Helen in 1903, the stately Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park served as the home of 13 California governors and their families until 1967, when then-Governor Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy became the last to live there. Operated by California State Parks with financial assistance from the non-profit California State Historic Governor’s

Mansion Foundation, the Governor’s Mansion is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.  For more information, call (916) 323-3047 or visit www.parks.ca.gov/governorsmansion.

Changin’ It Up for Sac Pride 2013

Sacramento Pride 2013 is just around the corner, and we’re recruiting RCC members and friends to be part of the first ever RCC Briefcase Brigade in the Sacramento Pride Parade!

The Sacramento Pride Parade and Festival are Saturday, June 15. Line-up time for parade contingents is 9:30 a.m., and the parade begins at 11:00 a.m. RCC has enlisted award-winning choreographer Karen Schmidt, who promises the drill team routine will be fun, easy and accessible to all fitness and experience levels. We will ask you to attend three short rehearsals a couple of weeks before we march out. Sign up now, so we can get couture and briefcases ordered!

We’re also looking for folks to work the RCC booth at Pride Festival 2013! A great way to meet fellow RCC
members and showcase your own business. Email info@rainbowchamber.com today!

Connect With Major Corporations Who Want To Do Business With You!

NGLCC Business & Leadership Conference, July 30-Aug 2, 2013, Dallas, TexasWant to connect with LGBT-owned businesses and their corporate allies from all over the United States? If the answer is yes, then the 10th Annual NGLCC National Business & Leadership Conference, July 30-August 2, 2013, at the Omni Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas, is for you!

Sacramento will be sending a contingent of RCC board members, Sacramento Convention & Visitors’ Bureau staff and local business leaders, and we want you to come, too!

More than 600 attendees are expected at this amazing networking conference. More than 130 NLGCC corporate partners will be there—companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb, Wells Fargo, United Healthcare, Aetna, MillerCoors, IBM, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Motorola, Pepsico, Intel, Wyndham Worldwide, American Express, Ameriprise Financial and Ernst & Young, to name just a few. And here’s the best part: If you are a Certified LGBT Business Enterprise, all those corporate partners want to do business with you! If you want to market to the LGBT community or find LGBT business owners to partner with, you’ll have the opportunity to mix and mingle with hundreds of them.

“I have attended the NLGCC conference for the past two years,” said RCC Past President and owner of WriteAway Communications Services Bonnie Osborn. “The first year I attended for the opportunity to learn from other LGBT chamber leaders from all over the country—skills and resources I could bring back to RCC. But I was blown away by the opportunities to meet and talk with corporate diversity and purchasing officials from some of the biggest corporations in the world. Last year I got my company certified, and I went for the business connections. Best conference I ever attended.”


NGLCC Director of Affiliate Relations Sam McClure presents Assemblymember Roger Dickinson with Certificate of Appreciation for AB1960.
NGLCC Director of Affiliate Relations Sam McClure presents Assemblymember Roger Dickinson with Certificate of Appreciation for AB1960.

NLGCC Director of Affiliate Relations Sam McClure visited Sacramento in February to share a grant-funded internship program available to RCC member businesses and to honor Assemblymember Roger Dickinson for his sponsorship of AB 1960, which will for the first time in history count the self-reported LGBT-owned businesses who contract with the State of California. Wells Fargo sponsored the event honoring Assemblymember Dickinson at its Natomas Learning Center. Sam was quite taken with Sacramento and the warm welcome she received, and she’s hoping to see a huge Sacramento turnout in Dallas. Let us know if you’d like to attend, or if you would like information about becoming a Certified LGBT Business Enterprise—available at no cost for RCC members! (Click here for pictures from last year’s sold-out conference in Chicago!)

For more information on the Dallas conference, https://www.nglcc.org/events/2013-national-business-leadership-conference.


Brian McMartin Named 2012 Business Leader of the Year

Sacramento Realtor Brian McMartin recently was named 2012 Business Leader of the Year by the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce.

Brian McMartin, 2012 Business Leader of the YearMcMartin has been a Sacramento-area Realtor since 1986. In 2003, he founded McMartin Realty, building the agency to 35 Realtors and five staff before merging with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Mason McDuffie in 2011. McMartin is past-president and Lifetime Member of the Masters Club of the Sacramento Association of Realtors, which represents the area’s top 10% selling Realtors and is newly elected to the Association of Realtors board.

McMartin is a founding member of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, now in its 11th year. He is a former president of HIV/AIDS organization Breaking Barriers
and a long-time member of the Stonewall Democratic Club. McMartin is a long-time supporter of the Sacramento LGBT community and has hosted numerous LGBT community and arts events at his McMartin Realty property.

Members of 2012 Business Leader of the Year Selection Committee were Outword Magazine Publisher and 2011 Business Leader of the Year Fred Palmer, Christopher Biles of Wells Fargo, Lori Okamoto of SMUD and Sacramento Gay & Lesbian Center Executive Director Shara Perkins Murphy.

Runners up for the 2012 Business Leader of the Year award were Dr. Darrick Lawson, owner of Healing Touch Chiropractic, activist and business leader Ben Phillips Leseñana, and Tina Reynolds, owner of Uptown Studios.