GSBA Reflects on 2017

by Brandon Macz
| Dec 13, 2017

The Greater Seattle Business Association capped off 2017 with an annual meeting where Business & Humanitarian Awards recipients were announced and local lawmakers gave an optimistic preview of the 2018 legislative session.

GSBA president Louise Chernin shared highlights from the past year, including how the state’s largest LGBTQ chamber of commerce in 2017 raised $950,000 in student scholarship funding. This year marked $3 million in total awards to LGBTQ and allied students to pursue their leadership potential over four years.

“There is no one doing that,” Chernin said, “so I just have to say that is really remarkable to stay with a student for four years.”

This was also the first year the GSBA led a leadership academy with students from around the country.

Antioch University provost Benjamin Pryor said the school’s partnership with GSBA has allowed the university to identify challenges for its LGBTQIA students and improve on its environmental education and mental health counseling. Antioch is also developing a post-graduate certificate for LGBTQIA counseling.

The chamber took a leadership position in the fight to oppose Initiative 1552, said GSBA chair Drew Ness, which failed to get enough signatures to make the November ballot this year. It would have restricted people to use the bathroom, locker room and other facilities that correspond with their biological gender... more.