Out Georgia celebrates Atlanta’s top LGBTQ business leaders

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The LGBTQ business owners of Out Georgia Business Alliance feted their top members in multiple categories on Thursday during a Facebook Live celebration.

In a year of hits that just keep coming for local businesses, most everything is different. The networking chamber formerly known as Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce replaced its annual gala dinner and business summit, but not its recognition of jobs well done in a challenging environment.

Three days of virtual workshops, discussions and business-building sessions took place Tuesday through Thursday. To warm up, Tuesday included the announcement of a new local queer Who’s Who of sorts, Out Georgia’s Most Influential LGBTQ Georgians of 2020. Thursday wrapped the week with the live Community Honors Awards and Celebration.

“Congratulations and thank you to our winners and finalists on driving meaningful progress and impact during an exceptionally challenging year,” said Chris Lugo, Executive Director of Out Georgia, in an announcement. “Our winners represent the best-of-the-best.”

Bank of America strategist Matt Keith won Business Leader of the Year. Member of the Year went to Bruce Logue of Palmer House Properties. State Sen.-elect Kim Jackson, the first LGBTQ person ever elected to the Georgia Senate, won the award for Community Leader of the Year.

“The Out Georgia Business Alliance has had a tremendous impact not only on my business but on my life,” Logue said during the event. “I’ve met members who inspired me, and I’ve met members who’ve become my dear friends. … I promise to continue to seek out ways to support the organization and our members throughout the state of Georgia.”

Jackson expressed similar gratitude in her acceptance speech.

“I am just absolutely thrilled and honored and so deeply humbled,” Jackson said. “I am grateful to be on such a wonderful list, and also just want to express my sincere gratitude for the way in which the Out Georgia community has supported me, both through the long campaign and hopefully through my work serving as a state senator.”

An award worthy only of 2020 went to Out on Film for “Best Pivot of the Year.” The festival sidelined its in-person theatrical events due to the pandemic, but after a community survey and plenty of backstage maneuvers, organizers managed to present a full slate of films for online streaming.

“I’ve always said that you’re only as good as the people you work with, and my team has made me so proud this year for taking on this challenge and working hard to make this event happen and give back to the community,” said OOF Director Jim Farmer.

Out Georgia’s Next Gen/Emerging LGBTQ Leader of the Year is Dionne Kettl, a transgender activist and workplace equity advocate. The award for Nonprofit of the Year went to Zami NOBLA, a veteran group on aging for lesbians of African descent.

Small Business of the Year went to lesbian- and Black-owned Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours. Glass House Guide, an Amazon Alexa platform for real estate marketing, was named New Business of the Year. As with every year, Out Georgia gave a Corporate Ally nod, this year to Cox Enterprises.

Here’s the full list of Community Awards nominees:

Business Leader of the Year

Dennis Collard, Collard Shockley LLC

Nancy Goodman, Alliance Planning & Probate, PC

Matt Keith, Bank of America

Crystal King, Grady Health System

Pam Stewart, The Coca-Cola Company

Community Leader of the Year

Tori Cooper, HRC

Jamie Fergerson, Atlanta Pride Committee

Jeff Graham, Georgia Equality

Chanel Haley, Georgia Equality

Rev. Kim Jackson, GA State Senator-Elect

Dr. Annise Mabry, The Dr. Annise Mabry Foundation

Michael Shutt, Lambda Legal

Next Gen – Emerging LGBTQ+ Leader of the Year

Taylor Alxndr, Southern Fried Queer Pride

Roy Broderick Jr., Authentique Agency

Barret Broussard, Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia, Inc.

Jon Dean, Wussy Magazine

Dionne Kettl, TRANScending Barriers Atlanta

Jesse Pratt López, Trans Housing Coalition

Humberto Orozco, Latino LinQ

Nonprofit of the Year

The Dr. Annise Mabry Foundation

First City Pride Center

Out on Film

Southern Fried Queer Pride

Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia, Inc.

TRANScending Barriers Atlanta

Zami NOBLA National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging

Corporate LGBTQ+ Ally of the Year

The Coca-Cola Company

Cox Enterprises

Grady Health System

MARTA

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Sage

Small Business of the Year

18.21 Bitters

Authentique Agency

Charis Books and More

Modern Estate Planning by Scriber Law Group

Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours

Witness & Co.

New Business of the Year

Balmori Balmori Home Fragrance

Benni Beverages

Equal Footing

Glass House Guide

Prestige Accounting Solutions

Young Scrappy Money, LLC

Valiant Marketing

Member of the Year

Miko Evans, Meak Productions

Bruce Logue, PalmerHouse Properties

Katie Leikam, Katie Leikam LCSW

Jan Levie, Handy Entertainment

Stephen Urbrock, Spring Street Financial of Raymond James

Erica Wright, U First

Pivot of the Year

Dunlop Productions

Handy Entertainment

Occasional Occasions by Carlton

Out on Film

Valiant Marketing

Zami NOBLA National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging

Find more on the Out Georgia Business Alliance at outgeorgia.com.

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