I want to thank the entire community for the unconditional support that they have shared for me over the past eight years as the first executive director of the Mid-America LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Dan Nilsen, founder and president emeritus, along with myself and a group of dedicated and like-minded people came together in 2011 and started planning and organizing what would become the 53rd affiliate of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
I am so appreciative of all of those who were so supportive of us during our planning phase and over the next seven years. Today, we rank as the sixth-largest LGBT chamber of commerce in the country, with over 350 member businesses, corporations and nonprofits. About 40% of membership is made up of our straight allies. And I am proud that our events and programming reflect the dynamic community we serve. Thank you to those many members who have helped us become sustainable, strong and relevant in the region’s business community.
I want to welcome my successor, Suzanne Wheeler, as the next executive director of our chamber. I am thrilled that a woman of Suzanne’s stature, experience and vision has come on board to lead us into the future. I believe that Suzanne possesses all the qualities that will help her guide Mid-America LGBT Chamber of Commerce to continue its growth trajectory. I am certain that Suzanne will not only take the chamber to the next level, but well beyond!
Congratulations to my friend Suzanne! I encourage the entire LGBT community to support her and her board of directors as they continue to build our chamber.
Michael Lintecum is producer at the Lintecum Group, a fund-raising and community relations company in Kansas City, Mo.