IBA wins two awards at national conference for LGBT chambers

IBA wins two awards at national conference for LGBT chambers

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The Independence Business Alliance, the LGBT chamber of commerce in Greater Philadelphia, today earned two awards for a business-certification initiative and community impact. Representatives received the recognition while attending the 2016 International Business and Leadership Conference in Palm Springs, Calif.

“We’re very proud that the work we’re doing is gaining national recognition and that we can show other chambers that community impact is an important part of the work we should be doing,” said Zach Wilcha, executive director of the IBA. “As we approach our 10th anniversary, it’s a great affirmation of the work the board’s been doing.”

One award came with a $5,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation. It was administered by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the conference’s host, to increase the IBA’s capacity to certify and promote LGBT business enterprises. The local program is called IBA ConnX Supplier Diversity.

Entities like the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority use the certification when considering diverse businesses from which to contract work. Wilcha said Philadelphia is poised to follow the port authority in looking to work with more LGBT-owned businesses. He hoped Pennsylvania would not be far behind, either, in an initiative for supplier diversity.

The other award recognizes the IBA’s commitment to community impact, evidenced by its Women in Business programming, along with award and philanthropy initiatives.  

Every year, the IBA awards an LGBTQ Scholarship in partnership with DVLF, an LGBT grantmaking organization; the LGBT Business Award in partnership with PNC Bank; and the Business Integrity Award in partnership with Integrity Staffing.  

“NGLCC affiliate chambers like the IBA are using their relationships with corporate partners and advocacy groups to open doors for LGBT professionals, creating more inclusive communities,” Sam McClure, senior vice president of the national LGBT chamber of commerce, said in a statement. “It is what makes the IBA a role model for other LGBT Chambers.”

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