Metro Weekly

The Stars Come Out

Chamber's annual awards dinners honors leaders of area business community

Every chamber of commerce relies on its volunteers to help keep things running smoothly. The Volunteer of the Year for 2013 is Ashley Smith, who works as director of guest services at the Sheraton Pentagon City.

”As soon as I arrived in Washington several years ago I found The Chamber, which helped me reach outside of my comfort zone and contribute to those organizations in the community that needed the support.” Smith said.

Smith has been an avid supporter of the HRC Federal Club, and previously co-chaired that organization’s annual dinner.

The local LGBT community counts numerous corporations as allies. This year, the award for Outstanding Corporate Partner went to KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm. Through the efforts of its Pride@KPMG group, the firm has dedicated a significant portion of its resources to working with The Chamber.

”Our Washington metro area office is one of Pride@KPMG’s most active chapters,” said Anita Whitehead, the chapter’s local leader. ”We offer awareness-building and career-development training, mentoring and networking programs, and opportunities to connect and build career-enriching relationships both within and beyond KPMG.”

Put April 19 on your calendar to come out and salute these stars of the LGBT business community.

The 2013 Annual Awards Dinner takes place Friday, April 19, at the Mayflower Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets start at $210, available online at

John F. Stanton, a CAGLCC member, is the president of SRP & Associates Inc., a strategic marketing and public relations firm in Northern Virginia.

CAGLCC means business. For more information, visit