1981 GSBA is incorporated for the purposes of visibility and to create a unified voice for the lesbian and gay business community. The Board of Directors is composed of nine men and Stan Hill is elected the first president by the general membership.
1982 The Standard of Ethics & Conduct is adopted. GSBA joins with 18 other lesbian and gay business organizations in the National Association of Business Councils. Membership grows fivefold to 150 and Harley Broe becomes the first lesbian to join the GSBA Board. GSBA organizes the annual Pride Parade and moves it to Broadway on Capitol Hill.
1984 The first Business & Humanitarian Awards dinner is held, honoring individuals, companies and organizations for their overall success and outstanding contributions.
1985 GSBA members are instrumental in establishing the Pride Foundation.
1986 Mary Kay Wright becomes GSBA’s first female President.
1987 Dennis O’Mohundro, a GSBA founder, is elected President of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Democratic Clubs.
1988 Membership surpasses 300.
1990 GSBA establishes the nation’s first LGBT and allied scholarship fund.
1992 The Western Business Alliance, a network of LGBT business organizations, is formed in partnership with the Greater San Diego Business Association and the Camelback Business Association of Phoenix.
1993 The Pride Foundation partners with GSBA to launch a complementary scholarship fund.
1995 Gov. Mike Lowry appoints GSBA founder Tim Bradbury to the King County Supreme Court, making him the first openly gay judge in state history
1997 The first TASTE of GSBA is held to raise scholarship fund and to showcase member restaurants and caterers. The Western Business Alliance unites 21 organizations from Vancouver B.C. to Tijuana, Mexico, connecting over 12,000 LGBT and allied business owners and professionals in three countries.
1998 Richard C. Rolfs, a Wenatchee native and 20-year activist, bequeaths $200,000 to fund the scholarship endowment named for him.
1999 The first GSBA Scholarship Awards Dinner is held.
2002 The GSBA Guide cover proudly includes bisexual and transgender.
2003 The GSBA Guide becomes the most widely distributed LGBT guide in the United States with a circulation of over 30,000. Membership surpasses 800.
2004 GSBA sponsors one of the first gay wedding shows in the country, garnering international attention. GSBA becomes a founding member of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), with Executive Director Louise Chernin appointed to chair NGLCC’s Council on Chambers and Business Organizations (CCBO). GSBA hires a communications director.
2005 Capitol Hill’s Broadway is lined with banners celebrating GSBA’s 25th anniversary.
2006 The Washington Legislature passes the Anderson-Murray Antidiscrimination Bill, banning discrimination against LGBT people in employment, insurance and housing. The Guide circulation tops 35,000 and membership surpasses 1,000. The Scholarship Fund surpasses $550,000 in total awards.
2007 GSBA moves into its first independent office. Washington enacts domestic partnerships registry.
2008 GSBA is named NGLCC’s Chamber of the Year.
2009 Washington State passes Referendum 71, expanding the rights and obligations of registered domestic partnerships, marking the first time that voters approve a state-wide ballot measure extending LGBT relationship rights.
2010 The Travel Gay Seattle initiative is launched
2012 Washington State passes Referendum 74, becoming the first state to approve marriage equality at the ballot box. GSBA is named 2012 Outstanding Philanthropic Organization by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
2013 Long-time GSBA member Ed Murray is elected as the first openly gay mayor of Seattle.
2014 GSBA hires its tenth full-time staff member.
2015 The GSBA Scholarship Fund celebrates its 25th anniversary and surpasses $2 million in scholarships awarded.