The Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce hosted its 6th annual Excellence in Business awards luncheon on Friday, May 4, 2018 at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Nashville, celebrating businesses and professionals who lead the city in diversity practices. The event was emceed by David Brzozowski and sponsored by Curb Records, HCA, Synovus Bank, Waller, Asurion and MediCopy.
More than 300 people attended this year’s luncheon which featured a keynote address from Mayor David Briley. At the event, Briley announced Metro’s investment in the city’s minority community by including $25,000 in the city’s budget earmarked to the LGBT Chamber, along with equal investments in the Greater Nashville Black Chamber of Commerce and the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The 2018 luncheon featured seven awards categories, five for individuals and two for businesses in the community. More than 100 applications were submitted for consideration. A panel of board members, members and previous winners selected the finalists. Members were then able to vote on the finalists.
A close, competitive score in the Corporate Diversity Award resulted in co-winners for the first time. Dell Nashville and Cracker Barrel received the Corporate Diversity award which recognizes large companies that excel in promoting LGBT friendly policies and workplace environments.
"It is a privilege for me to work with these loyal members and local employers of choice," said Chamber CEO, Lisa Howe. "Our panel and our members recognize Dell's long-time commitment to diversity and inclusion and voiced a strong appreciation for Cracker Barrel's work over the last year to advance LGBT-inclusion as a part of their journey."
This year’s honorees include:
Corporate Diversity: Cracker Barrel and Dell Nashville
Small Business Diversity: MediCopy
Entrepreneur of the Year: Phil Cobucci, BAM! Social Business
Business Leader of the Year: Kimberly Stephan-Tate, Asurion
Ally Award: Bethany Mason, Dollar General
Community Service Award: Joe Woolley, Get it Done Solutions
Leadership in the Arts: Don Schlosser, Nashville in Harmony
President’s Award: Ron Sanford, Ron Sanford Productions
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce. The organization has seen large growth over the last 20 years and now has more than 300 members in Middle Tennessee.