GSBA, Washington’s LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, honors community leaders, including two Supreme Court justices at 38th annual Business & Humanitarian Awards dinner – ‘Justice for All’

GSBA, Washington’s LGBTQ chamber of commerce, and the largest LGBTQ and allied Chamber of Commerce in North America, honored outstanding businesses, business and nonprofit leaders on February 21 at its annual Business & Humanitarian Awards dinner. The award recipients, each one demonstrating proven leadership in our community through philanthropy and volunteerism, embody a commitment to advancing LGBTQ equality, and working to achieve a world in which ‘Justice for All’ is a reality.

The passion and commitment to justice was articulated by each recipient, captivating the 600 guests in attendance. Opening remarks by U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), and then Washington State Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib roused the crowd in anticipation for the awards and speeches to come. ‘To all of those who are fortunate, and have worked hard enough to be in a position to run a business, to work in the business community, to earn a middle class wage or better: You all demonstrate leadership when you come together as a business association and say, we’re going to use the economic privilege we have to make our community better, to make our state better,’ said Habib.

Throughout the evening, honorees spoke about their personal commitment to supporting equality and justice for all in the work that they do. In recognition for their hard work and challenges they face, BECU presented the Small Business of the Year honoree, Aluel Cellars; and Pride Foundation presented the Nonprofit of the Year honoree, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, checks for $5,000 each. Justice Bobbe Bridge (ret.), founding Executive Director of the Center for Children & Youth Justice, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. ‘I wasn’t put on earth to just hang out,’ said Bridge. ‘I do believe that community service is the rent you pay for the space you occupy on earth.’ Speaking on behalf of Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Board President Luanda Arai reminded guests about the intersection of LGBTQ equality and immigrant rights: ‘We share your vision for a vibrant global economy that’s strengthened through the full participation of diverse local communities. And we hope that together we can continue to ensure that everyone in our region gets a fair chance at building the life they want, no matter the country of their birth, or the size of their wallet.’

The 2018 GSBA Business & Humanitarian Awards Honorees:

2018 Business of the Year
TomboyX | Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzales, Co-Owners

2018 New Business of the Year
Aluel Cellars | Alex Oh and Samuel Hilbert, Co-Owners

2018 Green/Sustainable Business of the Year
InterChange Media Art Productions | Jenny Ting and Michele Gomes, Co-Owners

2018 Business Leader of the Year
Kate Beck | Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

2018 Corporate Leader of the Year
Stephen Black | Vice President, Marketing, BECU

2018 Community Leader of the Year
Monisha Harrell | Equal Rights Washington (ERW)

2018 Nonprofit of the Year
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project | Jorge Barón, Executive Director


2018 Special Recognition: Voice of Social Justice
Washington State Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award
Bobbe Bridge (ret.) | Center for Children & Youth Justice

2018 President’s Award
Barry Faught | Broadcast Coffee Company, Owner

About the GSBA
GSBA (the Greater Seattle Business Association) is Washington’s LGBTQ chamber of commerce, and the largest LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce in North America. We represent over 1,300 small business, corporate, and nonprofit members who share the values of advancing equality and diversity in the workplace.

Courtesy of the GSBA

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