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    A New Era of Transition, Transformation and Energy for the GGBA

    John Henning

    By John Henning–

    Since joining the board of the Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA) three years ago, I have never been more excited about the direction and leadership of the chamber. As I am now reaching the end of my term on the board and looking forward to what’s next for me, I wanted to share my thoughts and perspectives on what the GGBA means to me, what it means for our community and how you can contribute to the future success of this great organization.

    I have been so proud to have served with my fellow board members, volunteers and corporate sponsors. Without their dedication, commitment and service, the GGBA simply would not exist. Every individual with whom I have had the privilege to work has contributed in their own unique way and given their time, money, love, passion and intellect to serve the membership and our corporate sponsors.

    As the chamber enters its 45th year of service to the LGBTQ community, the baton of leadership is once again being passed to a new team of leaders, with our first trans woman president-elect, Gina Grahame. This milestone represents a new era of transition, transformation and energy for the GGBA. Our current president, Audry deLucia, and her leadership team including Dr. Krystal Drwencke, Aaron Landers, Jay Greene, Lara Brecher and Tony Archuleta-Perkins, have done an amazing job this year laying the foundation for growth and change.

    For me, the GGBA represents the unique intersection of San Francisco LGBTQ history, political and social transformation, and a force for innovation in support of the diverse segments of our city’s business community. The LGBTQ community has had incredible success over the past decade, largely in response to the courageous leaders from The City by the Bay and the partnerships developed between local, state and national government officials, the GGBA and local business owners throughout the country.

    Now, as we look to the future of the GGBA, the chamber is focused on listening to our members, and collaborating with our corporate sponsors to develop new approaches to deliver on our mission of economic empowerment, education and advocacy for the LGBTQ community. I believe now is the time for the GGBA to develop closer partnerships with other diverse segment leaders locally, regionally and nationally to unify the message of diversity and inclusion across all segments of diverse-owned businesses. By working together to optimize delivery of programming and to reduce competition for scarce corporate sponsorship dollars, our collective voice can be stronger and more focused to defeat the powers of hate, the status-quo and ignorance.

    In my opinion, every individual and business owner in our community, whether they be LGBTQ, Native American Indian, African American, Hispanic, Asian American, Women, Disabled, Veteran or Allied, has a duty to use whatever platform available to them to promote and defend equality and justice in their daily lives—both personally and professionally. We must all be sacred warriors and contribute what we can, whether it be time, money, intellectual capital or simply showing up at events, to show our support and to be part of the dialogue for change. I encourage you to reach out to the GGBA for more information about how you or your business can get involved and contribute in your own unique way.

    We have come so far in the past 45 years and we are on the cusp of so many great things as we come together as one people, helping each other to succeed and grow. As the saying goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone … . If you want to go far, go together.” I believe that we can, and will, go far.

    John Henning is the CMO and Head of Professional Services at Granite Solutions Groupe, which provides financial services decision makers with effective people and solutions. For more information: https://www.granitesolutionsgroupe.com/

     


    GGBA Calendar

    Coffee with the President
    Each Friday through September 6, 2019, Audry deLucia and Gina Grahame—President and President-elect of GGBA—invite you to share your thoughts with them about GGBA and to learn more about the Association and LGBT business certification.
    August 9, 16, 23, 30
    September 6
    7:30 am–8:30 am
    Equator Coffee
    LinkedIn building
    222 2nd Street (at Howard)
    https://bit.ly/2LJm01E

    GGBA East Bay Make Contact
    GGBA will kick off Oakland Pride Weekend at this East Bay event.
    September 5
    Wooden Table Cafe
    2300 Broadway, Oakland
    6 pm–8 pm
    Free for Members; $25 for Non-Members
    https://bit.ly/2Zt1Htp

    GGBA 2019 Annual Member Meeting
    September 10
    https://bit.ly/2YBdoNd