On May 11th the IBA hosted the 2015 Business Leaders Luncheon at the Hotel Sofitel Philadelphia. The sold out event, presented by West Laurel Hill, was attended by over 225 members, guests and community leaders, including Nellie Fitzpatrick, Director of LGBT Affairs for the City of Philadelphia, Councilman Mark Squilla, and Tiffany Newmuis, Director of Diversity & Community Engagement for the DNC Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee.
One of the many highlights of this year’s luncheon was the keynote address given by Justin Nelson, Co-Founder & President of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). Nelson has used his background in small business and issue advocacy to help build a national organization that has given a much-needed commercial identity to the LGBT community. The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is the only national not-for-profit advocacy organization dedicated to expanding the economic opportunities and advancements of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender-owned businesses.
This was the 5th year for the Business Leaders Luncheon and by far the most well attended and biggest success yet. The theme for this year’s luncheon—“Business. First.”—was carried throughout the event by all who addressed IBA Members and guests.
A huge thanks goes out to all who made this event possible, in particularly our Luncheon Sponsors, Corporate Partners, the staff of the Hotel Sofitel, Mark Beyerle & his amazing team from Specialty Productions, JPG Photography and all those who helped make the day a true celebration of the achievements of the LGBT Business Community in the Greater Philadelphia Region.
On May 11th at the IBA’s Annual Business Leaders Luncheon, Paula Fryland, Regional President, PNC Bank, Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey presented the 2015 $10,000 PNC Bank LGBT Business Award to IBA Members, Holly Johnson & Stacey Vey of Stir Lounge – the first female owned business to be awarded the annual cash grant.
The PNC Bank LGBT Business Award, now in its 5th year, is a program designed to directly impact the local LGBT business community and its allies. This year, in recognition of the 5th year of the program, PNC doubled the award to $10,000. The award is a one-time grant given to an IBA Member business that demonstrates a well-defined plan for growth, including innovation, sustainability, and ongoing contribution to the community.
“We’re incredibly honored to be the first female business to receive this award and really want to thank PNC Bank and the IBA for this opportunity!” said Holly Johnson. The bar owners plan to use the award to expand Stir’s kitchen “to one that is more spacious and well-equipped.” They also plan on offering a savory food menu in the future.