The GSBA Blog

Looking Forward to #NGLCC18: International Business & Leadership Conference

by Al Smith
| Aug 13, 2018

This week, three GSBA staff members will be attending the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) International Business & Leadership Conference. This annual gathering of LGBTQ chambers from around the country offers an opportunity for GSBA to connect with our long-time colleagues and new partners in equality.

Will you be there? Let us know at We’d love to connect.


We asked our staff what they are looking forward to most at #NGLCC2018:

Meridian Mayer, Sr. Membership Services Manager

2018GSBAStaff-MeridianAs a first-time NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference attendee, I am most looking forward to making new connections and learning as much as I can. In my role at GSBA I manage several programs, including the Travel Out Seattle tourism initiative.

Connecting with hospitality and tourism industry leaders to explore their programs and initiatives presents a great opportunity to promote the PNW and share expertise. I have found it rewarding to glean perspective from other industry leaders, come back to market, and implement key learnings for strategic growth.

There is so much industry knowledge out there—I am grateful to be able to attend. Plus, Martha Stewart will be there, so, enough said!

Ilona Lohrey, Director of Membership, Outreach & Engagement

2018GSBAStaff-IlonaSince taking on the Supplier Diversity Initiative at GSBA, I have made many wonderful connections with corporate and government Supplier Diversity Officers who are committed to supporting small and diverse businesses.

I very much appreciate being able to engage with our certified LGBT Business Enterprises who bring a variety of different experience levels and knowledge to the table and to hear about their success stories in landing a new contract and sometimes very creative ways with getting a foot in the door.

The NGLCC Conference provides a platform for me to meet existing partners and chamber colleagues and make new connections in the Supplier Diversity world—its own little biosphere!

Louise Chernin, President and CEO

2018GSBAStaff-LouiseFor me, attending the NGLCC Conference is all about connecting with colleagues and friends from other LGBTQ chambers. I generally attend the Chamber track and get to learn and share best practices from large and small chambers throughout the country.

Of course, I also love the opportunity to be introduced to prospective corporate partners. Where else can one spend time with over 1,200 LGBTQ business professionals? What a treat!