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    Why Join the Bay Area’s LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce? And an invitation to our Holiday Party!

    By Dr. Krystal Drwencke–

    One common question I get asked is, “Why should I become a member of the Golden Gate Business Association, the nation’s first LGBTQ+ chamber of commerce?” I have been on the Board of Directors for the GGBA for over 6 years and a member for 7 years. The simple answer to join is for the connections. When I moved here 7 years ago, I had no clients and no friends. Through the GGBA not only have I found both clients and community, but also business skills, confidence, and professional development.

    The GGBA community is diverse in sexual orientation, gender identity, race, and lived experience, also in different stages of business as well. When I joined as a member, I was an employee of another business. Having the opportunity to rub shoulders and spend quality time with people who were CEOs of their businesses and have them offer their mentorship helped to propel me to open my own business and feel supported every step of the way. 

    Even in the pandemic, when most people would have understood if I closed my business or took months (or years) off, I had mentors all around me who helped me look inwardly and find another way. Even as the GGBA turned our events virtual for many months, people signed onto Zoom and together we shared information, referrals, programming, and opportunities.

    The GGBA is also under the umbrella of a National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. This enables the GGBA to offer certification to become a certified LGBT Business Enterprise. Being a certified gay-owned business helps businesses stand out to corporations who are looking to diversify their pipeline for suppliers. This also puts the GGBA in touch with Supplier Diversity reps and Employee Resource Groups at local and national companies. So, when it comes down to it, there are more connections.

    The relationships I have been able to form are long lasting and something I cherish very much. One of those relationships is with Betty and Jen of the San Francisco Bay Times. The Bay Times has had a working relationship with the GGBA for (how many?) years. They help us promote our members with the membership spotlight, and they help showcase the history of not only the GGBA, but also the LGBTQ+ history of the Bay Area and beyond. Their work is so important and I feel very fortunate to work closely with the Bay Times over the years as we join efforts to lift up and celebrate our community. Betty and Jen are so giving of their time, resources, and network with people who share that vision.

    (Editor’s Note: Thank you from all of us at the San Francisco Bay Times! Having met Krystal when she first arrived in the Bay Area, we can vouch for everything that she writes here about her personal story. She is one of the hardest working, dedicated members of the GGBA. That, plus her other work skills, has made her a successful business owner and trusted chiropractor. Please consider joining the GGBA, just as she did, to increase the profile of your own business, find new opportunities, meet likeminded others, and for additional reasons too numerous to list here.)

    Join Us for the Holiday Party!

    It is in the spirit of making connections that I invite you to take part in the Bay Times and GGBA joint holiday party coming up on Tuesday, December 13, at The Academy SF in the Castro. There will be networking, music, food, and a group of people ready to show up and be a part of a welcoming and inclusive community. With everyone being able to live more fully in the last year, we have much to celebrate! Details to come. 

    Dr. Krystal Drwencke is the Past Vice President of the Golden Gate Business Association Board of Directors and the founder of Ascent Sports Chiropractic. As a chiropractor, she has worked with members of the U.S. Open and U.S.A. Rugby teams.

    GGBA Message from Leadership
    Published on November 3, 2022