Liftoff for the LGBT Chamber

by Robin Beaudoin Ownby

The new MidSouth LGBT Chamber held its launch party on November 18 th at Grind City Brewing Company downtown, overlooking the Mississippi River, which reflected a twinkling violet Hernando DeSoto Bridge. Patio lights, a warm, inviting open hall, and pizza from Aldo’s greeted guests and business owners, who networked and socialized with other LGBT-friendly businesses. The purpose of the launch: raise awareness of the group and get input on business needs so the chamber can best serve the business community.

The first forty guests received a drink ticket, redeemable at the Grind City taproom bar for a pint of their delicious in-house brews. Hosts Jeff Rhodin, Ray Rico, Austin Rowe, Chooch Pickard, Ginger Leonard, and Erin Swinney organized the event, and announcements were made by Leonard, Rowe, and Pickard, greeting guests and offering membership information. Door prizes were drawn, including at night at the new MOXY hotel downtown, a case of Grind City IPA, and a Memphis Gift Basket.

In attendance were some of Memphis’ favorites: Love Doesn’t Hurt, Memphis Gift Basket, One You Love Home Care, Rowe Realtors, Crye-Leike Realtors, Pride Works Agency, Mede Analytics, and Raymond James. Sponsoring business partners included Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, Ray Rico Freelance, ROWE Realtors, Memphis Gift Basket, Cotton Row Uniques, Friends for Life Corporation, MOXY Memphis Downtown, Grind City Brewing Company, DRUS Place, Pumping Station, and Theatre Memphis.

“Our goal for the MidSouth LGBT Chamber of Commerce is to provide a space for LGBT businesses in our area to network, grow, advocate, and educate with each other. We are excited to begin this journey and look forward to all the opportunities it has to offer our community” states Austin Rowe.

To learn more about the MidSouth LGBT Chamber and how to join, visit their Facebook page at @midsouthlgbtchamber or their Instagram @midsouthlgbtchamber.