[On Wednesday, Dec. 12], more than 300 business members of the GSBA community came together to celebrate and share in the triumphs of what can happen when a group of equality-minded partners LEAD BOLD.
The Sponsor Expo was a hit, set to festive music played by pianist Victor Janusz and Medearis on saxophone, with more than two dozen of our annual sponsors showcasing their business and sharing what ‘Equality is Good Business’ means to them. A sincere thank you to each and every one of our participating sponsors for this, and all they do.
Opening the program, we were treated to the stunning voice of singer and multi-talented performer, Lauren Du Pree of A Sensible Theatre Co.
We recognized the outgoing members of the 2018 Board of Directors; Kim Bogucki, Elaine DuCharme, Kevin Gaspari, Rob Hampton, and Trinity Parker. We then welcomed in our new members of the 2019 Board of Directors; David Blandford, Leda Chahim, Shelley Gaddie, Rigo Garcia, Eve Gourley, Andrew Held, and Lisa Sterritt.
Drew Ness, our fearless leader who is finishing his term as GSBA Board Chair, was recognized for his leadership by our incoming Chair Stephanie Dallas. Additionally, we celebrated our GSBA Ambassador of the Year, Toraya Miller, for her commitment to promoting the voice of GSBA.
As we wrapped up our annual meeting, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan gave insightful remarks about progress in Seattle for small businesses and for equality, and outlined more of the work to come. Mayor Durkan described Seattle as a beacon of hope as we continue our fight for equality across the entire LGBTQ spectrum.
President & CEO, Louise Chernin introduced panel moderator, former Seattle City Councilmember and current UW Director of Regional and Community Relations, Sally Clark. Sally and our panelists, Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau and Seattle Chief of Police Carmen Best, captivated the audience with their conversation about breaking glass ceilings, community and police relations, the safety of LGBTQ students, racial equity, and a few Seattle quirks – including finger-snapping as an expression of approval. We are truly thankful to have these leaders in our community and to have them spend the afternoon with us.
The GSBA Annual Meeting & Holiday Luncheon is made possible with support from our incredible event sponsors, Antioch University and our newest Pearl Jewel sponsor, Olympic Hot Tub. And, of course, we give our thanks to our event host, Marion Oliver McCaw Hall for once again sharing with us the perfect festive backdrop for a holiday meeting.
This year has been full of successes for the GSBA and we are so thankful to the entire GSBA family who made 2018 another year for the books. From our hearts to yours, we wish you the happiest of holidays and a great start to your 2019.