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''An application is only as good as the stuff the chamber is doing,'' Bugg said. ''We have great leadership in terms of what Mark, Ernesto and the executive committee have put together. We also have a really strong board. … For that kind of growth and effort to be recognized by the NGLCC, that is a really amazing honor.''
Santalla agrees. He said that it's gratifying to have years of effort recognized, and that he is trying to savor The Chamber's achievement.
''As a volunteer, as a board member and ultimately as president, I just went about the work we needed to do, finally getting to a point that all this hard work we've done gave me the realization of, 'Look what we have,''' Santalla said. ''That realization gives me tremendous pride.''
Guenther added that regardless of whatever connection an LGBT Washingtonian or ally may have to the chamber, this NGLCC award is a point of pride for the entire community.
''It says that D.C. has it together,'' Guenther said of the honor. ''We're a great community with a strong, thriving LGBT chamber. Our chamber can excel because the backbone of our community is there. Our ability to succeed really stems from all the LGBT people in Washington. We're a strong organization because we have a strong community.''