At this year’s Nashville LGBT Chamber’s Excellence in Business Awards, Sam McClure said that if we wanted to excel as a community we needed to build wealth. That thought has stuck with us all year and it’s part of what makes the 2013 Professional/Business Services category so exciting, knowing there are members of the LGBT community in the professional/business world making a huge difference every day. So from Lawyers to Dentists to LGBT Business Leader and Owner, spend some time with our 2013 Gay Faves winners.
LGBT Business Leader: Lisa Howe
After nearly tripling membership in her first year, Executive Director Lisa Howe has worked tirelessly to raise the bar for the now Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Howe told O&AN that her goal is to give Chamber events “a broader appeal and more professional image.” That image helped evolve this year’s Excellence in Business Awards from 50 person brunch to more than 200 in attendance at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
And that’s not all. Howe is seeking innovative ways to raise the bar in 2014 including a new program for members called Partner Perks. It’s a membership loyalty card that will allow members to collect discounts on services from the chamber’s more than 100 members. And Howe has been named Chair for the Southeast Region by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce CCBO. Howe will provide assistance and guidance and serve as a liaison for other Chambers in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
Lawyer: Abby Rubenfeld
It’s no surprise that in such a crowded category, Abby Rubenfeld would take 2013 Gay Faves lawyer in a landslide. After all she is one of the lawyers behind the October 21 lawsuit, urging the state of Tennessee to recognize the marriage of four Tennessee couples legally married in other states. In fact, in late November the couples asked for immediate protection of their families.
Dental Services: East Side Smiles
Say Cheese. With the O&AN cameras at events across town we want to catch you smiling and East Side Smiles is the place to go. Located in East Nashville, the full-service family dentistry was voted 2013 Gay Faves Dental Services and that is something to smile about.
Vet Services: Value Vet
Is there an area of town where you can’t stop in at a Value Vet? With 6 Middle Tennessee locations, they have you covered when it comes to Vet Services.
Health Services/Hospital: Vanderbilt University Medical Center
If you had to get sick, Nashville is the best place to do it. Everywhere you turn there is a hospital or health service but none more ubiquitous than Vanderbilt Medical Center.
Real Estate: Sheila Barnard
After winning in the first Gay Favorite awards, Sheila Barnard is back to stake her claim to 2013 Gay Faves Real Estate. And why not? She’s been in the real estate game through ups and downs and still comes out on top.
Like coffee, O&AN readers are fiercely loyal to their banks and this was a three way tie throughout most of the race before Regions Bank brought it home in the final days.
Pharmacy: Nashville Pharmacy Services
NPS shows its community support year round. This year they manned an expansive booth at the Nashville AIDS Walk and even helped sponsor the must-see documentary How to Survive a Plague at OutCentral. For their continued support, O&AN readers say thank you and name NPS 2013 Gay Faves Pharmacy.
LGBT Owned Business: Turnip Truck
The Turnip Truck duked it out with the ladies at Lipstick Lounge for this category but ultimately fresh and organic won. If you’re looking for a local and sustainable way to shop and eat, choose The Turnip Truck Natural Market. And it’s more than a shopping experience. A quick trip to their website and you can find recipes and more. And December is the perfect time to drop by and try some of their yummy soups.