Greetings Members, Allies
As we all continue to navigate the uncharted course of COVID19, I pray this note finds, you, your families, loved ones and businesses well, whole and safe. These are very trying and complex times. And figuring out how to maneuver and manage through this moment, I know, can be can taxing — especially coupled with the unforeseen hardship for business owners. My first goal and obligation is to let you know I care, and do so greatly.
Over the last days, like you, I have watched with horror and with heartfelt solidarity, as people have taken to the streets to actively protest the harsh killing of George Floyd, an African-American man in Minneapolis, MN. Unfortunately, his tragic death, was not the first in this American cycle of pain. The list of names is almost endless—Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, and many, many more. So, the death of Floyd, at the oppressive knee of those we pay to protect and serve, shocks only because we saw it, watched then watched it again in utter disbelief. And that viewing left us with far more questions than we have answers.
Those of us in the LGBT+ community, no matter our ethnicity or orientation, understand the anger and fear that must have coursed through Floyd in his last moments. We understand the passion of those who have taken to the streets to fight for their right to be heard. Many in our community also have been victimized, marginalized and abused. While the genesis of the prejudice is different, the sting, the ugliness, and hurt are the same.
As a community of people well-acquainted with grief and the systemic hammer of injustice, I ask that you seek to find what you can do, to help your neighbor and friends who are in the midst of suffering. Many of us are suffering from the pain and disappointment in a country that has failed its most fundamental promise that on these shores, “all men are created equal.” There is suffering from a culture of racism and discrimination that seems to have no bounds. Many are wondering when enough will truly be enough. Let’s intentionally make it a reality now with our collective voice; allowing our actions and voices to unify us.
As a community let’s remain strong!
Our Mission and Vision for the Maryland LGBT Chamber of Commerce
The Maryland LGBT Chamber of Commerce empowers and promotes the economic well-being of the LGBT+ community in the Maryland marketplace through education, networking and advocacy. As a vital link between government, businesses and our allies, the Chamber facilitates equality, prosperity and inclusivity for all members of the LGBT+ community.
Our vision is to be the leader in the economic fabric of Maryland, working to unite LGBT+ professionals and businesses with business, government and community entities for the common goals of inclusivity, fairness and prosperity for all of our members in their business endeavors.
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Keron R. Sadler Chief Executive Officer
Tom Koerber Chairman | Terri Hett Vice Chair | Ricky Adams Treasurer | Darlene Niccoli Secretary
Betsy Cerulo Advisor/Co-Founder | Dave Imre Executive Advisory Board Chair/Co-Founder
Adrian Cox Member-at-Large | Cara-Michele Nether Member-at-Large | Jayson Williams Member-at-Large
Lyndsae’ Peele Member-at-Large | Rafael Ortiz Member-at-Large
Many, many thanks to all the volunteers who have been working hard behind the scenes to build this chamber!