The IBA

Philadelphia Area Alliance of Diverse Chambers of Commerce Announce New Coalition To Work Collectively for Economic Growth

October 6, 2021 | For Immediate Release
Philadelphia, PA — Today, the Diverse Chambers Coalition of Philadelphia, a collective of local diverse chambers of commerce, announced a formal partnership to focus on working collaboratively to facilitate entrepreneurship and growth, to advocate collectively on shared issues, and to increase each member’s organizational efficiency. The Diverse Chambers Coalition of Philadelphia (DCCPHL) includes the African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, and DE, the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Independence Business Alliance (Greater Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce). This announcement coincides with Philadelphia Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week 2021, which highlights Philadelphia’s minority businesses and the resources that help them grow.

The diverse business communities represented by the alliance of chambers account for an annual estimated contribution of more than $3 trillion to the U.S. economy. The DCCPHL will work collectively, as a community, to meet the unique challenges minority business enterprises face when they engage with our local economy. With the goal of economic uplift for and within the diverse minority business community, this coalition will speak with a united voice on issues where members unanimously align. This collective will aim to identify areas of collaboration among diverse businesses and will advocate for the advancement of policies that support the growth of diverse-owned companies at the tables where decisions are made. This partnership will work together to advocate for, educate, and connect our businesses for the greater good.

“Minority-owned businesses are the pillar of their communities and are the key to the revitalization of neighborhoods across our region. This coalition will be crucial in uplifting their efforts and ensuring minority-owned businesses have a stronger voice in the inclusive growth of our City,” said Regina A. Hairston, CEO & President of the African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, & DE.
““For the past year and a half going through the pandemic, one lesson learned is that small and micro diverse business issues were not understood and not well served. There is a strong need to focus on these businesses to help them provide jobs to contribute to the local and regional economy,” said Narasimha Shenoy, President of the Board of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia. “Asian businesses alone account for 10% of businesses in the city, with 9700 hundred of them having more than one employee. Diverse chambers are organized to meet unique needs of its businesses. The Diverse Chambers Coalition will collectively advocate to better serve our diverse small and micro businesses to grow the local and regional economy.”
Jennifer Rodriguez, President & CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce noted, “Diverse small businesses are the backbone of our communities, but they often feel powerless. Bringing the diverse chambers together through this coalition will enable us to be more effective in advocating for the policies and resources that will help small diverse businesses thrive.”
“Diverse Chamber Coalition leaders have realized through our collaborative efforts that we can better advocate for our businesses, especially small ones which comprise the backbone of the city’s economy, when we speak with a unified voice,” said Zachary Wilcha, Executive Director of the Independence BUsiness Alliance. “Demonstrating commitment to diversity is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also the smartest thing to do for businesses large and small. This coalition is unified behind a common theme: Diversity is good for business; and that’s good for Philadelphia.

For additional information, please contact:

Regina A. Hairston, President & CEO, African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, & DE rhairston@aachamber.org

Narasimha Shenoy, Chairman Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia
nshenoy@asianchamberphila.org

Jennifer Rodriguez, President & CEO, Greater Philadelphia Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce
jrodriguez@philahispanicchamber.org

Zachary Wilcha, Executive Director, Independence Business Alliance
zach@thinkiba.com

About the African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, & DE: The AACC is the leading advocate for minority owned business in the Delaware Valley and Southeastern Pennsylvania. Its purpose is to enhance the growth and effectiveness of African-American owned businesses in the Delaware Valley, and thereby, to improve the economic conditions within the regional African-American community. Its primary goal is to further the interests of businesses by responding to the needs of the business community and serving as an advocate for the purpose of increasing economic opportunities for the African-American community. https://www.aachamber.com/

About the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia:The AACC promotes and fosters relationships between Asian American and non-Asian communities, providing technical assistance and educational services for the start-up and growth of Asian American businesses, and bringing together Asian American business owners and professions, serving as a liaison between the federal, state and local governments and other chambers of commerce organizations, and promoting education programs to increase awareness of Asian American businesses. We are dedicated to promoting regional economic growth between Asian & non-Asian businesses while advancing business-friendly public policies, servicing our members through outstanding programs, benefits, and services. https://asianchamberphila.org/

About the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce: Established in 1990, the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GPHCC) is a not-for-profit organization devoted to promoting the advancement and economic growth of Hispanic businesses and professionals in the greater Philadelphia region. We accomplish this through educational programs, and a broad range of services and special events. The GPHCC proactively serves a diverse membership—consisting of entrepreneurs, Latino businesses, Latino professionals, corporations and government—with the overriding goal of helping these critical constituencies capitalize on the many opportunities their diversity, enhanced by our Latino multicultural mix, offers. Our Mission is to develop, promote and advocate for Hispanic business in the Greater Philadelphia region while encouraging the advancement and economic growth of the Hispanic community. https://www.philahispanicchamber.org/

About the Independence Business Alliance: The Independence Business Alliance (IBA) is Greater Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce. The IBA provides opportunities, access and resources to LGBTQ+ businesses, LGBTQ+ professionals, and our visible allies in the Greater Philadelphia area. The mission of the Independence Business Alliance is to promote Greater Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ business and leadership communities to enhance financial opportunities, foster diversity, develop leadership and collaboration, and advocate for positive change. www,thinkiba.com

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IBA Holiday Party 2021

IBA Holiday Party 2021 December 14th, 6pm – 9pm Morris House Hotel, Philadelphia

It’s been too long. We can’t wait to see you and celebrate in person! This year’s Holiday Party will:

· Take place under a large, open, heated tent in a courtyard
· Have indoor and outdoor areas to match everyone’s comfort level
· Require folks to wear masks when indoors and not eating or drinking
· Be full of lite fare options and have an open select bar
· Require a proof of vaccination
· Be capped at a number which falls safely within regulations of the venue and City

The Independence Business Alliance (IBA) is a membership-based business organization dedicated to making the Philadelphia region an influential and diverse LGBTQ+ business community with an impact on economic development, business equality, and policy issues. The IBA is a proud official affiliate of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). IBA serves more than 750 professionals across over 300 member businesses in Greater Philadelphia. There are more than 70 Certified LGBT Business Enterprises in IBA’s footprint, which collectively generate nearly half a billion dollars of revenue each year.

The annual IBA Holiday Party has become the largest LGBTQ+ holiday gathering of its kind in the Greater Philadelphia region, where members and non-members alike join together to celebrate the holiday spirit and network one last time before the new year. Our last Holiday Party in 2019 was our largest ever, and brought more than 300 together for holiday cheer and business success! The event has become an exciting way to engage business sponsors who would like exposure to our members and their companies.

TICKET PRICES:
-Tickets are selling fast and we WILL sell out!
-Early Bird prices have ended. After November 25th, ticket prices are $100 for IBA Members, and $120 for Non-Members.
-Not a member but know you want to come to the event? Become a member NOW so that you can receive the Member-discount ticket price!
-Can’t make the event in-person and want to support the IBA? Purchase a $90 “Support from Home (not attending)” ticket at any time to show your support!

Purchase your tickets here!

Email Operations Coordinator kai@thinkiba.com with any questions.

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Membership Spotlight: Mark Katelhon (he/him/his)

Description of product or service:
I am a Financial Advisor who helps LGBTQ clients gain financial clarity in today’s fast paced times. I have an unequalled passion for educating people in the LGBT community on retirement planning risks and protecting themselves and their loved ones. I have almost 30 years experience in serving the community in the areas of life & disability insurance, group health plans as well as investments and wealth management. My clients include individuals, professionals, small businesses and their families.

How many years have you been with company or in business?
I have been with Lincoln Financial for 3 years and in the financial services business for almost 30 years.

What company or organization you respect most and why?
I greatly respect Inter-American University in San Juan Puerto Rico. They treated me as one of their own the entire time I attended the English-speaking trimester program. IAU is middle states accredited by the Middle States Higher Education Association in Philadelphia. The University was founded in 1902 and has an ABA accredited Law school as well. If I come into a lot of money, I will remember IAU in my estate plans.

Which business leader or innovator do you most want to emulate and why?
Probably Mark Segal from the PGN. He is an innovator, publisher and author and believes in our community. He refused to back down from politicians or the police when it was dangerous to do so and we all have benefited from the inroads that he paved for us. His courage has enabled the local LGBT community to thrive and prosper.

What is the most important business decision you’ve made to date?
The two most important business decisions I have made are joining the IBA and transitioning my financial insurance and investment practice over to Lincoln Financial from another company.

What is the most important life decision you’ve made to date?
The most important life decision that I made was to go back to graduate school in 1993 and earn an MBA in 1996 from Inter American University in San Juan, PR. It was a totally rewarding experience. I was immersed in a Spanish speaking environment both at school and in everyday life on the island. Additionally, Puerto Rico has a rich and diverse LGBT community. In fact, it was someone from the LGBT community, Ben Gillespie that started the St. Patrick’s Day parade on the island.

When and why did you join the IBA?
I joined the IBA to make friends and create new business contacts in the LGBT community. I could not think of a better way to accomplish both objectives. And the IBA staff has been supportive as well giving us platforms to meet people such as the Virtual Coffee hour and Connx.

Since joining the IBA, what has been the greatest advantage to you and your business being a member of the Chamber?
The greatest advantage to joining the IBA has been to give me access to business, professionals and entrepreneurs in the LGBT community. Joining the IBA has opened doors that otherwise would not have been opened.

What is your proudest moment, honor, or achievement?
My proudest achievement was obtaining a 3.88/4.0 MBA in Finance and Marketing from IAU

What programs, outreach, or organizations are you involved in that give back to the community?
I have been a sponsor for the Elder Care Initiative as well as have participated in their events. Supporting LGBT seniors is a passion of mine. I have also provided free workshops at the William Way Center over the years on different financial topics to all that show up. I met a lot of diverse and really nice people there.

What is a little known fact about you?
I’m really shy and had to overcome this by practicing public speaking and standing in front of a mirror memorizing a speech until it became second nature.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I like to explore new restaurants in the city and suburbs. Especially Fishtown and Northern Liberties.

To date, what has been your most favorite vacation spot?
My favorite vacation spot over the years has been the Island of Puerto Rico. Since my first trip there in 1986, I have been back and forth at least 40-50 times. I liked it so much that I moved there to attend graduate school. The weather is great, and the people are very friendly. I also like Fort Lauderdale and Orlando for quick get-a-ways.

What is the last book you read?
“I will teach you to be Rich” by Ramit Sethi

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IBA COVID-19 Resource Guide

In an effort to best serve our members and the LGBTQ+ business community, we have complied a PDF of relevant resources related to implications of COVID-19.
We will keep this document updated as changes are made. If there is something that you believe should be on this list, please forward the information to kai@thinkiba.com.

PDF File:
IBA COVID-19 Resource Guide

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Member Spotlight: Braxton Fleming (he/him/his)

Description of product or service:
We are a luxury supply company that specializes in Hormone Replacement Dopp Kits for the transgender and allied communities. Our mission is to give shot day a better overall experience, by offering a sleek product that keeps your HRT/Personal Needs organized and prepared no matter where you are. We are travel friendly but also used right at home. We know how stressful life can be and adding on medication weekly, or biweekly. We make taking your shot a breeze, no matter where you are.

How many years have you been with company or in business?
3

What company or organization you respect most and why?
The organization that I respect the most is NGLCC, they have welcomed me into the chamber like I was their son. There is no other business-related organization of such caliber that makes you feel like family as much as the members of NGLCC.

Which business leader or innovator do you most want to emulate and why?
I look up to Gary Vaynerchuck hands down the greatest entrepreneur of our time, his whole persona and go getter attitude with the most gracious empathy for all people while creating and making heart-felt content. The fact he honors and respects his parents for raising him the way they did, for him to become such a great influencer of our time. This is special to me because I believe both of my parents had a major impact on my current status as an adult today. I owe them everything that is coming to me because they place the wisdom, integrity and strength within me to make it this far.

What is the most important business decision you’ve made to date?
The very first business decision I made was the most important, it was to weigh the risk with reward to start this brand. Without taking that huge risk of losing it all was one of the biggest decisions to get this brand started.

What is the most important life decision you’ve made to date?
Most important life decision was to transition, I honestly felt as though I was in fetus form before my transition. It was necessary to become who I am today because I wouldn’t be where I am at this very moment, that major life shift has put me on a track where I feel my most confident and focused.

When and why did you join the IBA?
I recently join the IBA in 2020, because I was invited to NYC Chamber Event in late 2019 and the warmth and networking connections there made me want to became a member of Chamber within my own community.

Since joining the IBA, what has been the greatest advantage to you and your business being a member of the Chamber?
The networking opportunities and the ability to help people reach one another within our LGBTQ community even if their current status doesn’t hold value to you, it may be of help to someone else you know. The sharing and caring of business is the greatest advantage.

What is your proudest moment, honor, or achievement?
My proudest moment was when I was explaining this business idea to my father who is also an entrepreneur, and I said “Dad I ordered 300 bags to kick start my business!” and when I explain what I was doing and the business plan behind it, he replied “Do you think 300 bags is enough?!” At that moment I knew I had something of great need for my community and not only did I know it but the man I always looked up to confirm its’ greatness.

What programs, outreach, or organizations are you involved in that give back to the community?
We have worked with several transgender own businesses to help promote and give back to the community. Such as Point of Pride Organization, Black Trans TV, Flavnt Streetwear and many more. We also have a special fund where portions of our sales goes to our Stealth Bros Support Fund, where we give back yearly to the transgender community whether it be help with Top Surgery Funds or ordinary transgender supplies that are needed for our daily living.

What is a little known fact about you?
I am obsessed with the gym; it is an essential part of my daily growth and overall mental health.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I do love to indulge on a good cigar with a nice glass of cognac on ice.

To date, what has been your most favorite vacation spot?
My favorite vacation spot thus far has to be California, I truly love California.

What is the last book you read?
7 Daily Habits of Highly Effective People

Posted in <a href="https://www.thinkiba.com/category/members/" rel="category tag">Members</a>, <a href="https://www.thinkiba.com/category/uncategorized/" rel="category tag">Uncategorized</a>

IBA Business Leaders Luncheon 2020!

Independence Business Alliance’s Business Leaders Luncheon celebrates the achievements of the LGBTQ+ business community, including the awarding of the PNC Bank LGBT Business Award.

The event provides an outstanding opportunity to place your business in front of decision makers and support the work of Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce.

A number of sponsorships are available for the event, which will attract nearly 300 business owners and professionals, LGBTQ+ business leaders, corporate and community partners, and government officials.

Sponsorship Packages are going fast – email zach@thinkiba.com today for details. Ticketing information available NEXT WEEK – we’ll see you there on May 12th!

Mark your calendar for:
Tuesday, May 12, 2020 from 11am to 1:30pm
at City Winery Philadelphia
990 Filbert St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Posted in <a href="https://www.thinkiba.com/category/announcements/" rel="category tag">Announcements</a>, <a href="https://www.thinkiba.com/category/news/" rel="category tag">News</a>

Member in the Spotlight: Mallory Hanfling

Description of product or service:
Courage To Grow Counseling is a Queer-friendly outpatient therapy practice located in South Philly. Using mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and psychodynamic approaches, I work with my clients in a supportive, non-judgmental, and compassionate space to better understand themselves… why they may choose to do things, and cope in ways, that have been unproductive, problematic or even harmful to their wellbeing. Through mindfulness we develop new skills that promote peace & serenity.

How many years have you been with company or in business?
1

What company or organization you respect most and why?
I’m a huge fan of the Walnut Psychotherapy Center, Attic Youth Center, Morris House, Galaei, and The Therapy Center of Philadelphia. I hope that once my business grows I can emulate their financial accessibility to the community I love, other than my current sliding scale, and offer Queer-intersectional competence training for emerging clinicians and build another safe space in our city.

Which business leader or innovator do you most want to emulate and why?
I want to emulate the likes of Brené Brown, Jen Sincero, and Danna Bodenheimer. These women have been professional role models and have courageously created things they believed in, and believed in themselves in the process. They modeled permission to take risks and kick ass!

What is the most important business decision you’ve made to date?
Believing in myself enough to take a huge risk, quit my financially comfortable job in a high school with students I loved, and be my own boss.
What is the most important life decision you’ve made to date?
Being Out and Proud. I know that being able to be Out and Proud is a privilege, and I choose to use that privilege to create a safe space to encourage others to be their most authentic selves and help them feel comfortable in their own skin. I am grateful for the support I had while coming out, and my hope is to do the same for as many other people as I can.

When and why did you join the IBA?
I joined the IBA this past summer to connect with other Queer business owners and learn more about the LGBTQIA* community.

Since joining the IBA, what has been the greatest advantage to you and your business being a member of the Chamber?
I love meeting new people at the ConnX events and developing new professional relationships with the people I meet through IBA. There is so much collective knowledge for success in this group of humans and I am grateful to learn as much as possible!

What is your proudest moment, honor, or achievement?
Choosing myself. I mean this in a couple of different ways. Feel free to ask me about it the next time you see me 🙂

What programs, outreach, or organizations are you involved in that give back to the community?
I am a Board Member on the Events Committee with The Spruce Foundation. The Spruce Foundation is an all-volunteer, next-gen-led non-profit based on Philadelphia. We’re focused on cultivating the next generation of philanthropists through community giving and grant-making in support of Philadelphia’s youth. I’m hosting a Cabaret to fundraise our LGBTQIA* grant (last year’s winner was Galaei) on 2/21 at Ruba Club! I hope to see you there!
What is a little known fact about you?
Yo hablo Español. Ik spreek ook en klein beetje Nederlands.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Donuts. All of the donuts.

To date, what has been your most favorite vacation spot?
My favorite place I have been so far is Amsterdam. Everything there is full of history and charm, and mostly love and joy. I have family friends in Amstelveen, right outside of the city center, and my Dutch family make Amsterdam feel like home away from home. Gezellig!

What is the last book you read?
Jen Sincero’s “You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life.” This book was actually the impetus to take the leap and begin Courage To Grow Counseling. Highly recommended if you want to uncover your own bad-assery!!

Posted in <a href="https://www.thinkiba.com/category/members/" rel="category tag">Members</a>

Presenting: Our IBA Holiday Party 2019 Sponsors!

We are so grateful to this dynamic group of LGBTQ+ and allied supporters. Thank you all for your support of the Independence Business Alliance!

Presenting Sponsor
Philly AIDS Thrift | Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room

Hospitality Sponsors
The Curtis Atrium by Constellation Culinary
Industry and Commerce Imageworks

Cheer Sponsors
44 Business Capital
Borgata
Independence Blue Cross
PHLDiversity

Good Tidings Sponsors
Gian-Grasso, Tomczak, & Hufe, P.C.
GSK
KASHIYAMA
Tavern Group

Silver Bell Sponsors
Berner Klaw
Broadway Grille
Cuba Libre
Dr. Michelle Angello
Fulton Bank
Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia
Insperity
Integrity Staffing Solutions
Live Nation
Metropolis
MTR Therapy
Phillies
Sellers Dorsey

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TransWork Program Grows in 2019

TransWork is a program of the Independence Business Alliance, Greater Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce, and represents its commitment to helping all members of our community access economic opportunity. This program, made up of a cohort of trans and gender non-conforming IBA Board Members and community members, fills a critical gap for addressing un- and under-employment by connecting transgender and gender non-binary job seekers and entrepreneurs to a network of supportive employers and business partners. We have seen much growth in 2019, including a job prep workshop and job fairs! Visit the TransWork website at https://transwork.org/ to learn more about upcoming events.

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IBA Partners with Fox Rothschild for Law-Related Programming!

The IBA is thrilled to announce a new collaboration in law-related programming with Corporate Partner Fox Rothschild. Several times a year, we will be bringing you the latest in legal topics through a series of programs designed to help everyone from lawyers to business owners to employees stay up to date.

In September, Fox Rothschild attorney and Independent Business Alliance Executive Committee member-at-large Brian McGinnis facilitated the first in a series of programs on timely topics facing IBA members. This presentation focused on trends in employment law at the state and federal levels. Attendees received practical takeaways about what companies need to know, including questions that may arise when hiring, employing or terminating individuals who identify as LGBTQ.

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IBA’s Member2Member Discount Program

Team IBA would like to thank you our members for your membership and continued support of the IBA! We are continuously striving to provide the best possible experience for our members. We are re-introducing a member-to-member discount program in order to help our member businesses grow and increase their exposure to the community.

To post a member discount, just log into your account here. You’ll see a tab for Member Benefits in the main menu bar. Click “Post & Manage Benefits” to add a special discount or rebate for your fellow IBA members.

Thank you for helping us to launch this important member benefit!

-The IBA Membership Committee

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IBA + IBX LGBTQ Health Fair

The Health Fair is back! This one-of-a-kind event, in combination with our popular monthly ConnX mixer, will take place on Monday, October 21st from 5pm to 7:30pm at Independence LIVE space, conveniently located at 20th and Market in Center City, Philadelphia.
This third annual LGBTQ health & wellness event will provide unique opportunities for IBA members to purchase vending space, and all are welcome to attend, network, and learn more about LGBTQ-friendly wellness services in our community.
The Health Fair will also feature cooking and exercise demonstrations, all set in a state-of-the-art space that is dedicated to wellness. In addition to drawing our regular ConnX crowd, this event will be highly publicized and open to the public.

We welcome any health or wellness related businesses to join us by tabling! (Nutrition, fitness, stress management, family health, financial health, legal, dental, hospitals, technology, massage, etc.)

We look forward to celebrating the wellbeing of the community with you!

Register here

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