MILWAUKEE — The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce today announced the winners of its 2019 Business Awards, a program that recognizes the contributions made by Chamber members to building a more diverse and inclusive business community in Wisconsin.
“The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize these amazing award recipients for all that they do to build a more welcoming and inclusive business community in Wisconsin,” said Jason Rae, President & CEO of the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce. “These winners represent the best of Wisconsin. We are excited to be able to turn the spotlight on these deserving companies and individuals that are committed to building a pro-fairness business community in Wisconsin.”
Those businesses and individuals receiving awards this year are:
- Corporate Partner of the Year: ManpowerGroup
This award is given to a corporation that is a member of the LGBT Chamber that has shown a strong commitment to diversity in the workplace and has worked to positively grow the LGBT and allied business community around the state. Specifically, ManpowerGroup has been key in growing and supporting the LGBT Chamber by serving as a Gold Founding member since 2015, being a leader of the LGBT Workplace Alliance which connects area LGBT employee groups, and serving as a past host to a number of Chamber events, including the LGBT Business Equality Summit and meetings of the LGBTBE Council.
- LGBT Business of the Year: Telmark Sales Solutions (Appleton, WI)
This award is given to an LGBT-owned business that is a member of the Chamber, is an active participant in building a more diverse business community in Wisconsin and has a proven track record of success and involvement. Telmark Sales Solutions is a certified LGBT Business Enterprise by the NGLCC and has been an active participant in the work of the LGBT Chamber in northeast Wisconsin. They have also been involved philanthropically in the LGBT community, contributing money to several area nonprofits. This business has seen tremendous growth in sales since its founding. They are dedicated to building an inclusive business community around the state.
- Allied Business of the Year: Company Brewing (Milwaukee, WI)
This award is given to an allied-owned business that is a member of the Chamber, is an active participant in building a more diverse business community in Wisconsin and has a proven track record of success and involvement. Company Brewing has participated actively in Chamber events, including Out in the Kitchen, as well as hosting numerous Chamber on Taps and Membership Orientations. They have worked intentionally to support all customers who visit them and have created a strong, welcoming environment where everyone is respected and appreciated for who they are.
- Nonprofit Organization of the Year: Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (Milwaukee, WI)
This award is given to a nonprofit organization that is a member of the Chamber, with a proven track record of success and involvement and a commitment to building a diverse community. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin has been a member since 2014, working closely with the Chamber to advance a diverse and thriving business community. Planned Parenthood has participated in a number of events, including the Chamber’s LGBTQ+ Job Fair, and more. Their leadership team has been past speakers at events and have supported employees going through the Business Leadership Academy.
- Business Leader of the Year: John Leidy of JDBC Tax Services (Milwaukee, WI)
This award is given to a hard-working and dedicated individual who has had a positive professional and personal impact on building a diverse business community in Wisconsin. John Leidy has been a passionate leader in growing the LGBT and small business communities throughout the state. The owner of a nationally certified LGBTBE, John has been actively engaged in the LGBTBE Council, as well as the Financial Services Council. He is committed to ensuring inclusion of all businesses, particularly LGBT owned businesses, in the supply chain.
- Advocate of the Year: Heidi Duss, Summit Credit Union (Madison, WI)
This award is given to an individual who has been a strong advocate for inclusion and diversity within the larger business community. Heidi Duss has been an active ally supporting and organizing a diverse business community throughout the state. She currently serves as the Manager for Diversity & Inclusion, Wellness & Community Engagement at Summit Credit Union. She has been a regular and active participant in the Chamber’s Leadership Council and LGBT Workplace Alliance. She is committed to creating change and promoting inclusion within her company, and the larger community as a whole.
- Business Resource Group of the Year: Harley-Davidson’s Employee Alliance for Gay, Lesbians, Bisexual and Transgender Employees (EAGLE) (Milwaukee, WI)
This award is given to an employee or business resource group at one of our corporate partners who works to support and build a culture of inclusion and acceptance. Harley-Davidson’s EAGLE has been a leader in creating a welcoming business environment. From participation in the LGBT Workplace Alliance, to helping organize activities around PrideFest and more, this business resource group has been making a positive impact on the community and within the company.
“Each winner demonstrates a strong commitment to building a diverse business community where all people can thrive,” added Rae. “We are so excited to honor these champions of inclusion later this month.”
The awards will be presented at the Chamber’s Business Awards & Showcase on Wednesday, September 25 at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee. The event runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the presentation of awards will take place around 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Registration is requested and can be done online at www.wislgbtchamber.com/awards.
The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce is an organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and LGBT-allied businesses, corporations and professionals throughout the state of Wisconsin. It offers networking opportunities, business development efforts within the LGBT community, and educational programming to its members. The organization has more than 650 members from around the state. In 2015, the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce received the National Chamber of the Year Award from the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). More information can be found online at: www.wislgbtchamber.com.