Following a nominations process that opened in December, the Capital Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, better known as The Chamber, has announced the honorees to be celebrated at the group's 21st annual awards dinner April 8.
''[It's] a very exciting group of folks that I feel really represents the D.C. business community well,'' says Mike Larson, who volunteers his time as president of The Chamber.
This year's honorees include transgender activist Dr. Dana Beyer, who will be recognized with the Community Advocate award.
''It's quite an honor, particularly after an election which didn't work out the way I wanted it to,'' Beyer says, referring to her candidacy last fall to become a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, and adding that she is currently on a sabbatical from politics.
Of the other honorees, Marriott International and Randy Grffin have been chosen as this year's Corporate Allies. Brent Minor of Team DC has been chosen as Volunteer of the Year. Kim Rosenberg and Meghann Novinskie of Mixology are being honored as Emerging Entrepreneurs. Attorney Glen Ackerman was selected as Business Leader, and Michael Kahn, Shakespeare Theatre Company's artistic director, will be recognized with the award for Business Excellence.
''I think it's important to honor folks who are either committed to doing business with the LGBT community or committed to doing business as out LGBT folks,'' Larson says.
Last year, about 280 people attended The Chamber's award ceremony and auction. This year, Larson says guests can expect to see original art, trips, services and household items up for auction.
''The dinner is our major fundraiser,'' he adds. ''We hired an executive director last year and we have a significant offering of programs and events. The dinner helps us to work for and with the LGBT business community.''
The Capital Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce's 21st Anniversary and Awards Dinner, Friday, April 8, runs from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Park Hyatt Washington, 1201 24th St. NW. Tickets start at $180 for members, $215 for non-members. For details, visit caglcc.org.