Metro Weekly

Invitation to Indulgence

The Chamber readies its annual awards dinner with an emphasis on entertainment and opulence

Think you know what to expect at a typical awards dinner? Great, but that’s not what you’ll find when the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (aka the Chamber) celebrates its 24th anniversary and honors a diverse group of local business and community leaders at its Annual Awards Dinner and Gala on Friday, April 25, at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel.

Chamber Vice President Katie McElroy, owner of the event-planning company Katie Rose LLC, says this year’s event has been redesigned with more entertainment under a new theme: Indulge in Business Excellence.

Max Major
Max Major


“We are really excited to be the organization that acknowledges and commends businesses and leaders within the local LGBTA community, and we are honored and humbled by this responsibility,” says McElroy. “The Chamber has created this event to break the mold and elevate the Annual Awards Dinner beyond the typical D.C. gala that can feel sterile and routine. We want to treat our nominees and the community to an evening of opulence and grandeur that will indulge all your senses.”

Guests will be charmed, delighted, wooed and astounded by the entertainers participating in this year’s gala, where awards are given out in several categories: Excellence in Business, Business Leadership, Emerging Entrepreneur, Corporate Partner, and the Volunteer of the Year Award. More information is available about this year’s nominees online at

As part of this year’s exciting changes to the event’s programming, honorees will be announced at the dinner during a special awards presentation by this year’s master of ceremonies, magician Max Major. Twice voted D.C.’s “Best Performance Artist” by readers of the Washington City Paper and voted “DC’s Hottest Bachelor” by Inside Edition, Major will use a combination of magic, psychology and charm to entertain attendees while he pulls the award winners “out of the hat” of nominees in each category.

Entertainment will also be provided by the Rorschach Theatre, acclaimed for its fierce performance style and its bold use of theatrical space. The company will delight guests with its interactive, rococo-themed, in-costume and in-character performances throughout the evening.

“We are very grateful to have been part of such a warm and supportive community in Washington for the last 14 years, so we always love the opportunity to give back,” says Rorschach’s co-artistic director, Jenny McConnell Frederick. “Collaborations like these are essential in ensuring a really vibrant commerce ecology of our city — and we know it’s going to be a blast!”

Also performing will be singer Darsha Davis, who will treat attendees to an intimate set of soulful contemporary classics. “The opportunity to celebrate this year’s award candidates and ‘movers and shakers’ in our area is awesome,” says Davis.

The event will also feature the Royal Auction, sponsored by Malvin, Riggins and Company P.C. The auction consists of luxury items ranging from high-end clothing and accessories to special edition artwork. Some of this year’s auction items include a TAG Heuer men’s watch, donated by Tiny Jewel Box, and a DeLonghi Nespresso espresso maker, donated by Bloomingdale’s. This year, the Chamber offers the opportunity to bid online prior to the dinner, including “Buy Now” prices. For more information about the auction, visit the Chamber’s website.

Beyond the entertainment and Royal Auction, the value in attending the gala is the opportunity for networking. As described by Silvia Tergas, dinner co-chair and Chamber board member: “You can make new connections, meet a lot of decision makers, and build relationships. This is a fantastic business opportunity, wrapped in an evening of fun.”

The Chamber’s Annual Awards Dinner and Gala is Friday, April 25, at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave. NW, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets, starting at $210, and sponsorships are available on the Chamber’s website.

The Chamber Means Business. For more information visit or On Twitter, follow @DCLGBTBIZ

Robert E. McLean, a CAGLCC member, owns REM Association Services, a full-service association management company in Arlington.

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