Looking Back, Moving Forward

Catching up with the successes of CAGLCC's 2011 Annual Awards winners

By Kate Karasmeighan
Published on March 29, 2012, 6:34am | Comments

Ackerman, Beyer, Griffin, Novinskie and Rosenberg, Minor, and Kahn

Ackerman, Beyer, Griffin, Novinskie and Rosenberg, Minor, and Kahn

We all know that there are shining beacons in our community who deserve to be honored for the great work they do on behalf of the LGBT community. We also know that there are about a million organizations in the Washington metro area that host dinners honoring some of those great beacons. The Capital Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CAGLCC) is no exception – the annual awards dinner, which will be held this year on Friday, April 20, showcases the achievement and impact of LGBT business in our region. However, before you yawn and say, ''Eh, another one?'' let's check back in with some of last year's honorees, and see what they've been up to since the 2011 dinner.

CAGLCC's 2011 Emerging Entrepreneur Award went to Meghann Novinskie and Kim Rosenberg of Mixology – an offline LGBT dating agency. Following their success in D.C., they have expanded their work to LGBT singles in L.A., San Francisco and New York City. Their team has grown and they've been featured in multiple business magazines for their work, including SmartCEO magazine. And we can't forget that they worked with everyone's favorite reality-television yenta, Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger, to help match a gay celebrity early in 2012.

Asked about receiving the honor the Mixology team said, ''Being honored by such a prestigious, well-recognized business organization was humbling and inspirational at the same time.'' To which we say, keep the matches coming, ladies!

Brent Minor, CAGLCC's 2011 Volunteer of the Year, had much to say about what has changed since he was honored. He's been named the executive director of Team DC, making it the nation's first such local LGBT sports group to hire a staff member. That's not all. ''We've also worked to launch the Equality Sports Association to unite LGBT sports clubs and programs throughout North America,'' says Minor. ''Big stuff!''

CAGLCC was honored to present the 2011 Community Advocacy Award to Dr. Dana Beyer. ''The award was perfectly timed to help me reemerge after the 2010 election,'' she says of her unsuccessful run for Maryland delegate. ''When your family recognizes your efforts and encourages you to move forward it's much harder to stand on the sidelines feeling sorry for yourself.''

Indeed, Beyer has not been standing on the sidelines. Since receiving the honor last year, she has worked tirelessly on the state's gender-identity bill, created Gender Rights Maryland and helped facilitate the extension of civil rights protections to half the state – and the vast majority of Maryland's transgender population – in spite of the resistance of some senior Democratic leaders in Annapolis.

For many in the community who have needed legal assistance, the services of the 2011 Business Leadership Award honoree, Ackerman Brown Law Firm, have been invaluable. Says Glen Ackerman, ''The recognition confirmed that Ackerman Brown is the go-to law firm in the LGBT community and for LGBT related matters; that we provide quality legal services, and that we are active in the communities we serve. It also gave me and my colleagues greater access to the corporate community in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Northern Virginia.'' As with CAGLCC, Ackerman says, ''Ackerman Brown means business!''

Other 2011 honorees include Michael Kahn, artistic director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company, who won the Excellence in Business Award, and Randy Griffin/Marriott International, who won the Corporate Ally of the Year Award.

The 2012 CAGLCC Annual Awards Dinner will take place Friday, April 20,at The Liaison Capitol Hill. You don't want to miss the opportunity to hear from last year's honorees, and meet the business leaders, organizations and executives being honored in 2012. For more information about the event or to register, visit caglcc.org/AnnualAwardsDinner2012.

The Chamber means business. For more information visit caglcc.org.

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