Timeline

Honoring the Past

1981 GSBA is incorporated for the purposes of visibility and to create a unified voice for the lesbian and gay business community.
The GSBA Board of Directors is comprised of nine men.
Stan Hill is elected GSBA’s first board president by the general membership.
1982 GSBA adopts Standard of Ethics & Conduct. GSBA joins with 18 other U.S. lesbian and gay business organizations in the National Association of Business Councils.
Harley Broe becomes the first lesbian to join the GSBA Board.
Membership grows fivefold to 150.
1984 The Annual Business & Humanitarian Awards honor GSBA individuals, companies and member organizations for their overall success and outstanding contributions. The first affair is black-tie and attended by 150 people.
1985 GSBA members are instrumental in establishing the Pride Foundation.
1986 Mary Kay Wright becomes GSBA’s first woman elected board president.
1987 Dennis O’Mohundro, a GSBA founder, is elected president of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Democratic Clubs.
1988 GSBA renames its monthly newsletter Perspective.
Membership tops 300.
1992 GSBA in partnership with the Greater San Diego Business Association and the Camelback Business Association of Phoenix, form the Western Business Alliance, a network of LGBT business organizations.
GSBA Prime Time offers monthly evening socials which showcase a different member business each month.
1995 Ed Murray is elected to the Washington State Legislature, and carries on the efforts of Cal Anderson, the first openly gay person to be appointed to the state house of representatives.
Gov. Mike Lowry appoints GSBA founder Tim Bradbury to King County Supreme Court, making him the first openly gay judge in state history.
1997 Western Business Alliance unites 21 business organizations from Vancouver, B.C. to Tijuana, Mexico, connecting an estimated 12,000 LGBT and Allied business owners and professionals in three countries.
1998 GSBA launches corporate sponsorship program with participation from some of the nation’s largest companies.


Embracing the Present

2002 GSBA Guide cover proudly includes bisexual and transgender
2003 The GSBA Guide is now the most widely distributed LGBT and Allied guide in the nation with a circulation of 30,000.
Membership tops 800.
2004 GSBA makes history by sponsoring one of the first Gay Wedding Shows in the nation, garnering international attention.
GSBA becomes a founding member of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).
GSBA Executive Director Louise Chernin appointed by NGLCC to chair the Council on Chambers and Business Organizations (CCBO)
GSBA hires communications director.
2005 GSBA reconvenes the Western Business Alliance and the organization votes to fold into the NGLCC’s CCBO structure as the Pacific Regional Council.
Capitol Hill’s Broadway is lined with GSBA 25th Anniversary Banners
2006 GSBA turns 25 as the nation’s largest LGBT and Allied business chamber.
WA State Legislature passes the Gay Civil Rights Bill.
GSBA’s 25th Anniversary Edition Guide circulation tops 35,000.
Membership increases to 1,000.
2007 GSBA moves into its first independent office.
GSBA corporate sponsorships total $150,000.
GSBA lobbies at Equality Day 2007, WA State Legislature passes Domestic Partnership Bill.
GSBA hires scholarship program manager, director of sales and marketing and office manager.


Shaping the Future

1990 GSBA establishes the nation’s first LGBT and Allied Scholarship Fund to invest in our future leaders.
1993 Pride Foundation partners with GSBA to launch a complementary Scholarship Fund.
1997 GSBA produces the first-ever TASTE of GSBA fundraiser while providing a showcase for member restaurants and caterers to showcase their cuisine.
1998 Richard C. Rolfs, a Wenatchee native and 20-year activist, bequests $200,000 to fund the scholarship endowment named for him.
1999 First annual GSBA Scholarship Dinner.
2002 Annual GSBA scholarship fundraising campaign launched.
2003 Friends of Dorothy giving club established
GSBA hosts its first donor recognition event
2005 GSBA and Pride Foundation combined scholarship grants surpass the $1 million mark since the program’s inception.
First full year scholarship grants of $10,000 are established.
TASTE of GSBA draws more than 500 attendees and raises $150,000 to underwrite the scholarship program.
2006 GSBA Scholarship Fund grants surpass $100,000
Since its inception, the GSBA Scholarship Fund surpasses $550,000 in total awards.
2007 GSBA and Pride Foundation combined scholarship awards total $1.8 million.