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.
$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
Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce President Joy Reinhardt has released the following statement on behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors regarding tragic shooting in Las Vegas on October 1.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the victims of yesterday’s violence and their loved ones, to the people of Las Vegas, and to our sister organization, the Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce of Nevada,” Reinhardt said. “Many of us in the West have gotten to know Las Vegas as a vacation getaway and as a wonderful host for professional conferences and events, including the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Annual Business & Leadership Conference, held in Las Vegas many times. It is so easy to imagine ourselves in the place of those concert-goers and the hundreds of business owners, casino workers and first responders whose lives have been changed forever.
“In the presence of such inexplicable violence, it is easy to feel powerless to do anything about it. But we know change often begins at the local level. The Chamber board and I remain committed to working with business owners, law enforcement, community-based organizations and residents to help make sure our local and regional workplaces and entertainment venues are safe and violence-free for all Sacramentans.”
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.”
Marshall 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 Sacramento 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.”
Nyree 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. At 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.
Travis 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.”
Reina 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 community. 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.”
Vanessa 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/.
Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce President Richard Hernandez has released the following statement on behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors in regard to President Trump’s revocation of the DACA (Deferred Action for Child Arrivals) policy:
“The President’s action to end DACA is directly damaging to the U.S. economy, to workforce readiness, and to the interests of countless small businesses and major corporations alike,” Hernandez said. “With this action, our government has told 800,000 young, educated, law-abiding workers, most of whom know no other home than the United States, that we don’t want them here. These young Dreamers represent a significant investment in our country’s future—an investment in which all of us, as tax-payers, business owners and citizens, have a stake. These Dreamers are the workforce we depend upon to help us build our small businesses. These Dreamers are the same talented young people in which organizations such as our Rainbow Chamber Foundation have invested time, mentoring and scholarship funding. No society, no economy, can afford to discard so callously its best and brightest assets.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those whose families and futures have been put at risk by the Trump administration’s reckless and inhumane repeal of DACA, and we call upon Congress to act quickly to prevent what surely will be a tremendous loss to our country’s future.”
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
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).
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.