IBA, GPPN , merge for new networking event
by Angela Thomas
Jan 16, 2014 | 693 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
LGBT chamber of commerce Independence Business Alliance announced recently it would take over networking events formerly produced by the Greater Philadelphia Professional Network.

IBA, which formed in 2007, will present IBA ConnX, a new monthly networking event starting later this month, meant to provide the same atmosphere that GPPN events did.

Recently named one of the top-25 business networking associations in the region by the Philadelphia Business Journal, IBA currently has more than 200 members. GPPN was formed in 1994 and served as a networking organization with significant support from LGBT professionals.

The decision to form IBA ConnX came in September, shortly after GPPN ceased operations.

According to IBA president Rich Horrow, the alliance between the two organizations was seamless.

“Since 2007, the IBA and GPPN have worked closely together and have co-hosted monthly GPPN networking events,” he said. “Over time, our interests became closely aligned and it was apparent that IBA could devote more resources to developing and expanding business and professional networking opportunities to the LGBT community.”

The monthly events will be planned by IBA events committee chairs Tom Streeper and Joan Rivera.

Horrow said the goal for IBA ConnX is to help LGBT business professionals connect and find a sense of community within the business world.

“We want to expand the business opportunities and access for LGBT businesses and professionals in the entire Philadelphia region,” Horrow said. “We want IBA ConnX to be the go-to place for our members to make the important connections to grow their business.”

Streeper said the event venue will change from month to month, and it will be held at locations tailored to the interests of members.

“We are not just picking any place to have the event, we are choosing locations based on membership,” he said. “I think it is a great way for the business community to network outside of the weekend environment or outside of the office. It is a great way for members to look to meet a perspective customer or client.”

Streeper said the organization is looking to garner new interest from LGBT business communities in South Jersey and across the Delaware Valley and suburbs.

IBA executive administrator Tom Cavanaugh said he anticipates the new event will strengthen IBA, while providing more opportunities for growth for LGBT professionals.

“Our hope is to strengthen the membership of the IBA and LGBT business community in the region as a whole and provide opportunities, access and resources on a broader and larger scale through these events.”

IBA ConnX will host a launch party from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at U Bar, 1220 Locust St. The events will be free for IBA members and $10 for nonmembers.

For more information on future IBA ConnX events, visit www.independencebusinessalliance.com

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