Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Board Elects Richard Hernandez

Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce President Richard Hernandez

President Richard Hernandez. Photo: Monica Neumann Lunardi photo artist

The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has elected Richard Hernandez as Board President, the organization’s first Hispanic president since its founding in 2001. Hernandez, along with other newly elected Chamber board members and officers, will be sworn into office by Sacramento Mayor-Elect Darrell Steinberg at the Chamber’s 2016 Awards & Scholarship Dinner Thursday, Sept. 15, at Dante Club.

“I am proud of our Chamber’s accomplishments and growth over the past several years, and it is my honor to serve as its president,” Hernandez said. “Rainbow Chamber has helped expand opportunities for LGBT-owned businesses throughout California through the legislative process, led efforts to designate the Lavender Heights neighborhood and install the landmark Rainbow Crosswalk, and contributed to the economic growth of our community. With the support of the outstanding business leaders and professionals who make up our board, I am confident we will continue to build on our achievements in the coming year.”

Hernandez, who was elected to the Chamber board in 2014, currently serves as Director of Outreach for St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Sacramento and is active in many church ministries, including the church’s LGBT ministry. He previously worked for Hyatt Regency, helping to open the Hyatt Regency Sacramento in 1988, and serving as its Director of Human Resources until his retirement from that position earlier this year. Hernandez formerly served on the Sacramento and California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce boards of directors. He is a Viet Nam veteran and holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from University of California, Santa Barbara.

2016-17 Rainbow Chamber Board of Directors sworn in by Mayor-Elect Darrell Steinberg. Photo: Monica Neumann Lunardi photo artist

2016-17 Rainbow Chamber Board of Directors sworn in by Mayor-Elect Darrell Steinberg.
Photo: Monica Neumann Lunardi photo artist

Also elected to Chamber officer positions were Kammy Caruss, owner of digital marketing firm YNot Web, vice president; Don Hunt of California State University, Sacramento, treasurer; Alfonso Sanchez, of Northern California AAA, secretary; and Diana DePaola of Intrinsic Insurance Services, chair of the Chamber’s 501(c)(3) Rainbow Chamber Foundation. Board members at large for 2016 are Ranveer Singh of Wells Fargo; Joy Reinhardt of Dante Club; Amy Medina of Wells Fargo; Michael Reilly of Michael Reilly Agency-Farmers Insurance; Robin Shofner of Molsby & Bordner, LLP; Jonathan McKim of McKim Architectural; Fred Palmer of Outword Media Marketing Events; and Paul Weubbe of Billy’s Farm and Laughton Property Management, who is immediate past president.

“It has been a privilege to serve as Chamber president for the past two years,” Weubbe said. “Richard Hernandez brings great team-building skills, extensive experience in chamber leadership, and a passion for making our community a better place. He is the perfect leader to keep the Chamber’s positive momentum going.”

Among its accomplishments over the past year, Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce led fundraising efforts for installation of a Rainbow Crosswalk in Lavender Heights, commemorating Sacramento’s historic LGBT neighborhood; took over production of monthly Drag Queen Bingo events, raising more than $30,000 for local non-profit organizations; increased its membership by nearly 50 percent; endorsed 14 candidates for office in the 2016 primary election through its non-partisan RainbowPAC affiliate; and won a 2016 National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Community Impact Award.

Established in 2001, 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.