GLBT Chamber president embarks on ‘listening tour’

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Nashville’s GLBT Chamber of Commerce President John Wade wants to lend you his ear for a few minutes and hear what you have to say about the direction of the chamber.

Wade, who emailed more than 300 chamber members and supporters last month, has embarked on a “listening tour” to get input from current and former members of the chamber so that he and the chamber’s board of directors can set some clear goals for its members.

Wade, who said he initially expected to meet with 10 to 12 people, has scheduled 32 meetings.

“I’m really excited,” Wade said of the response. “I’ve been able to meet with about a dozen people so far and the ideas and input has just been fantastic.”

One thing Wade has heard so far was that the chamber needed to establish a clear identity – between that of its former self (Nashville Association of Professional Persons) and that of its evolved self, the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce.

“The board voted to make that transition complete by the first of the year,” he explained. “We have an updated logo that drops the former NAPP moniker and clearly identifies us as the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce.”

Wade said he’s heard a consistent theme from the people he has meet with – and it’s a theme he’s happy to hear.

“People want to know how to promote gay commerce,” he said. “I’m hearing over and over again that people want the chamber to provide some clear and tangible goals for the organization and they want to know how they can participate. . .get involved.”

Still, Wade said he wanted to assure all members that while the chamber was evolving from what started out several years ago as a professional social networking group, there would always be a place for those members who were seeking only that component.

“Our name has changed and our mission is evolving,” he said. “But we’ll always be able to provide the basic function that we’ve built upon – and that is as a professional networking organization. We’ll just be able to expand upon that mission for those individuals and businesses that want and need more from us.”

If you are interested in meeting with Wade as part of his “listening tour," you can contact him at wade1412@comcast.net.