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Inspiring Conversations with Tammi Wallace of Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tammi Wallace.

Hi Tammi, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I am a Co-Founder of the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce and I currently serve as the President & CEO of the Chamber. I’ve been active in the LGBTQ+ community for 20+ years working on behalf of the community.
I spent my early career in corporate America with companies like Bank of America and Mellon Bank. In 2003, I was laid off as part of a companywide layoff and, at that point, I opted to focus my energy on work that mattered for the LGBTQ+ community seeing the enormous gaps in terms of protections and the widespread discrimination that still exists today. I’ve been involved in some aspect of working on behalf of LGBTQ+ rights since then.

In 2016, when I co-founded the Chamber, I found my highest calling with the mission focused on LGBTQ+ economic equity, justice and inclusion. Up until the launch of the Chamber, the LGBTQ+ Business Community did not have a voice locally or regionally. The intention with the launch of the Chamber was to not only to fill that gap but to ensure that LGBTQ+ business owners have a seat at the table in terms of economic development and opportunity. Today, the Chamber is growing and we have a thriving membership and many amazing Corporate Partners.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The Chamber is celebrating its milestone five year anniversary this year. When we launched the Chamber, we never could’ve imagined that within five years the organization would experience major events such as Hurricane Harvey, a pandemic and a devastating winter storm. Not to mention losing water all over the City on the date of our 4-year anniversary celebration! All of these events in our first five years! It’s been challenging but also incredibly rewarding to see the Chamber grow.

Through all of these challenges, we’ve stayed the course, maintained our commitment to the Chamber’s mission, grown year after year and created connection and an incredible Chamber community. The work we are doing is critically important for our members and the LGBTQ+ community as a whole.

As you know, we’re big fans of Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
The Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce is the leading voice for the Greater Houston LGBTQ+ and Allied Business Community. The Chamber accelerates economic opportunity for the LGBTQ+ business community through a strong network of business allies, innovative programs, strategic partnerships and advance policies that foster economic inclusion and equality. The organization is the only LGBTQ+ focused organization at the intersection of business and community.

The overarching work of the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber is focused on economic empowerment for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. Our work focuses on supporting and growing a thriving LGBTQ+ and Allied Business Community to create economic opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community.

The Chamber’s core focus areas include:

• Business Development & Growth

• Education & Networking

• Collaboration & Partnerships

• Leadership Development

• Advocacy/Policy

The Chamber offers a variety of events and programming focused on networking, business growth, certification and more. We give LGBTQ+ business owners a place where they can engage and be their full and authentic selves while supporting their businesses. We are proud to have about a third of our members that are LGBTQ+ Allies as well.

We help businesses that are 51% or more LGBT-owned get LGBTBE Certified. The Chamber has the largest number of LGBTBE Certified Businesses in the State of Texas. One of the Chamber’s biggest accomplishments has been working with Mayor Turner to get LGBTQ+ owned businesses recognized in City of Houston contracting and procurement making Houston the first city in Texas to do so and in the process making history.

Over the past five plus years, the Chamber has gained a strong reputation in the region for the many accomplishments in the first five years, strong collaborations and a thriving organization.

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
We frequently get the question…Do I have to identify as LGBTQ+ to join the Chamber? Absolutely not! We value our Allied members and were intentional about including allies in our mission statement.

Also, we also have amazing support from Corporate Partners such as the Houston Rockets, United, Amegy Bank, Comcast, Chevron and Shell to name a few.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Dalton Dehart Photography

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