FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 18, 2020
Contact: Eric Moss, Director of Communications
GSBA HONORS BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS FROM ALASKA AIRLINES TO MICRO-BUSINESSES.
39th ANNUAL BUSINESS & HUMANITARIAN AWARDS DINNER – THRIVE TOGETHER.
SEATTLE (February 18, 2020) – GSBA, Washington State’s LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce, and the largest LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce in North America, honored outstanding businesses, business and nonprofit leaders on February 13 at its annual Business & Humanitarian Awards Dinner. The award recipients, each one demonstrating proven leadership in our community through philanthropy and volunteerism, embody a commitment to advancing LGBTQ equality, and working to achieve a world in which everyone can “Thrive Together.”
Each recipient, captivating the 500 guests in attendance, masterfully articulated their passion and commitment to equality. Opening remarks by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan roused the crowd in anticipation for the awards to come. “Seattle is such a thriving city, and you are all part of the reason it is,” said Durkan. “Not just small businesses, but having gay business owners stand up for equity, and other allied businesses knowing that we have to stand for equity, and it hasn’t always been that way in Seattle.”
Throughout the evening, honorees spoke about their personal commitment to supporting equality and building a culture where small businesses, corporations, and community organizations can come together and build equitable communities for all. In recognition for their hard work and dedication to their business, BECU presented the Small Business of the Year honoree, Chantel Jackson of Thyme Well Spent Catering with a check for $5k. Emily Parkhurst of the Puget Sound Business Journal presented Alaska Airlines with the 2019 Corporate Leader of the Year award, received on behalf of the airline by CFO Brandon Pederson and Managing Director of Community Relations Shaunta Hyde.
GSBA awarded the 2019 Special Recognition: Voice for Social Justice Award to OutRight Action International
, a LGBTIQ human rights NGO that addresses human rights violations and abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people around the world. OutRight Action International West Coast Director Katie Hultquist received the award on behalf of the organization. “We are dedicated to ensuring the freedom, safety, dignity, and equality of queer people, everywhere,” said Hultquist. “The progress has been uneven and the backlash has been fierce. Sixty-eight countries still criminalize homosexuality,” she continued, “and anti-gay propaganda laws and laws prohibiting freedom of assembly which means in many places we could be arrested for gathering just like we are here tonight. This is why OutRight exists.”
In total nine businesses and nonprofits were honored throughout the evening. See the complete list below and to find out more about each honoree, check out the short video of each on the GSBA YouTube
2019 GSBA Business & Humanitarian Awards Honorees
2019 New Business of the Year
Thyme Well Spent Catering | Chantel Jackson
2019 Business of the Year
Wezee's Plumbing | Louise Hansen
2019 Business Leader of the Year
Nat Stratton-Clarke | Café Flora
2019 Corporate Leader of the Year
2019 Nonprofit of the Year
2019 Community Leader of the Year
2019 Green Business of the Year
Goldmine Design | Cindy Hansen
2019 Special Recognition: Voice for International Social Justice
OutRight Action International
Board Chair’s Award
Marci Flanery | FlaneryCPA
Matt Woolcott (left) and Jennifer Koval (right) of BECU present 2019 New Business of the Year Award recipient Chantel Jackson of Thyme Well Spent (center) with the BECU New Business Award at the 39th Annual GSBA Business & Humanitarian Awards Dinner, February 13, 2020. Photo by Nate Gowdy
GSBA is Washington’s LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce, and the largest LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce in North America. We represent over 1,400 small business, corporate, and nonprofit members who share the values of advancing equality and diversity in the workplace.