LGBT Business Summit



LGBT: Inclusion in the Workplace

The Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Council hosted the LGBT Business Summit on Tuesday, March 6th. The event focused on inclusion and diversity in the workplace and highlighted the LGBT business community. The LGBT Business Summit kicked off with a general session featuring Amber Hikes, executive director of the Office of LGBT Affairs for the city of Philadelphia, in which she spoke about the importance of understanding and respect of LGBT people in the workplace.

The Summit also featured breakout sessions which covered a variety of LGBT topics. “Power of the LGBT Dollar” presented by Bob Witeck, president, and founder of Witeck Communications, was the first breakout session. He spoke about marketing insights and future trends in targeting the LGBT consumer market. Simultaneously, in another breakout session, Kristin Leayman, Corinne Goodwin, and Jon Conrad presented “Transitioning with your Transgender Employees” which focused on employees during their transition. The next session was given by KingSpry partner, Keely J. Collins. She spoke about the best practices for implementing diversity and inclusion policies with her presentation, “Dialogue of Diversity: How to get the conversation started”. The final breakout session was presented by Lester Bahr, CPA LLC, and Dinoli Rowlands, VP Branch Manager, PNC Bank. Their session “Become your own boss and maintain success” centralized on starting your own business and maintaining it.

The LGBT Business Summit included an open networking hour during lunch, which gave LHV business owners the opportunity to meet and talk with other professionals in the Valley. Also, following the open network was a panel discussion on “Allies at Work”, which explored the roles of allies in LGBT inclusion within the workplace. Futhermore, the event concluded with keynote speaker, Eric Alva. Eric Alva was the first American soldier injured in the Iraq War. He was hailed a hero and went on to play a key role in the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. He’s a gay rights activist and spoke about embracing diversity and making the world a better place. See below for more information about this event!

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