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    GGBA Message from Leadership: Protecting My Gay Son’s Future While Helping Others

    By Stacey Blanda–

    Why did I, as a straight woman, become a board member of an LGBTQ chamber? I’ll tell you. As a mother of a young, gay man, I watched what he went through growing up with empathetic eyes. I couldn’t believe what I witnessed. 

    How could it be that, in today’s world, so many are still ignorant in their thoughts? I have to admit I was very naive until that day.

    I personally never thought twice about someone’s sexual preference and gender identity, skin color, or religious beliefs. My son is an extremely intelligent, creative, honest, young man and strives to develop a brand that promotes his freedom of expression. I wanted to protect my son’s future from discrimination; not only his future, but the future of all members of diverse groups. I decided that I wanted to advocate for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that was signed into order in 2014. 

    I finally had the “ah ha” moment while I was employed by The Golden State Warriors, a wonderful organization that fully embraces diversity. Despite some positive steps in the right direction, I know many in our community still have a very real concern about the possibility of being fired for having nonconforming sexual and gender identities. I want to be a part of the community that looks toward a brighter and more equitable future. I was completely supported by my employer to take on this charge and be a part of the push for increased rights and protections.

    As the Controller for The Golden State Warriors Community Foundation, I worked in a culture that supports diversity and inclusion, and not just in word but in real action, hard work, and ongoing mindful movement toward this mission. I take the topic very seriously. For the foundation I was an advocate for underserved youth in San Francisco and Alameda County, and I always look for ways that our community involvement can support the variety of backgrounds it represents. 

    I have first-hand experience in collaborating with other nonprofits and engaging with business professionals to support policies and foster a more inclusive and welcoming business community. I worked extremely hard, on a daily basis, on the mission of our foundation.

    Now, as a hiring manager and a member of an executive team, I am always seeking ways to advocate, educate, and participate in providing opportunities based on qualifications without discrimination. I’m thrilled to share my professional experience and passion for equity serving on the Board of Directors for the GGBA. 

    After serving for a few years, I decided to Chair the Nominations Committee of the GGBA. I did it because I would like to stretch my knowledge and understanding of this process. I believe that I can bring a fresh viewpoint to evaluations while supporting diversity in the decisions that are made.

    I bring a perspective that is indirectly affected by issues of LGBTQ business owners, but one that strongly supports opportunity, education, and advocacy. With over 30 years in the finance and accounting industry, I feel I can also bring expertise to this committee. I am also passionate about compliance and the financial success of the chamber. I believe that the farther the GGBA’s reach is, the more we can give or provide support to those in need.

    As a first-generation college graduate, I know how important it is to provide opportunities to those who need it. As an advocate, I am always looking for opportunities to push for economic, social, and political change for the LGBTQ+ business community. I hope the impact is not only for the current memberships and community partnerships, but also for future generations.

    Stacey Blanda has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Golden Gate Business Association since 2018.

    Published on September 9, 2021