FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATLANTA, Ga., November 23, 2021 –– OUT Georgia Business Alliance is proud to announce finalists for the 2021 Community Honors spotlight awards, presented by AARP Georgia, highlighting Georgia’s LGBTQ+ businesses, nonprofits, and leaders who are charting significant impact for our community.
OUT Georgia will use its virtual awards celebration, to be held Thursday, December 16 at 7pm Eastern, to recognize finalists and winners in the categories of Business Leader, Community Leader, Next Gen Leader, Nonprofit, Corporate Ally, Small Business, New Business, and Member of the Year.
“Our chamber has held this community awards event for decades, and we’re thrilled to once again share our lineup of diverse and inspiring finalists helping advance LGBTQ+ progress, impact, and visibility across Georgia,” said Chris Lugo, Executive Director of the OUT Georgia Business Alliance.
“This will be OUT Georgia’s second year in a row hosting a virtual Community Honors experience, but we’ve got some exciting developments up our sleeve to ensure this a fitting celebration of the exceptional leaders, businesses, and organizations demonstrating excellence while making Georgia a better place for all,” Lugo added.
Finalists were identified with guiding input from the community, and OUT Georgia’s executive Board leadership will determine the winners of each category, except for Member of the Year which will be open to Membership voting November 23 through December 8.
Winners in each category below will be announced LIVE during the 2021 Community Honors virtual awards show to be held Thursday, December 16 at 7pm Eastern!
Business Leader of the Year
This award is given to the LGBTQ+ business leader in our community who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to their organization, as well as to the OUT Georgia Business Alliance and the LGBTQ+ business community. OUT Georgia’s 2021 Business Leader of the Year finalists are:
- Raphael Bostic, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
- Latasha Griffin, UPS
- Dana Johnson, Cobb Chamber of Commerce
- Scott Mitchell, Travis Jean Emporium + The Bohemian Den
- Renee Montgomery, Atlanta Dream
Community Leader of the Year
This award recognizes a Community Leader who demonstrates a commitment to serving and advancing the LGBTQ+ community by having created or contributed significantly to the success of one or more local nonprofit organizations or community efforts. OUT Georgia’s 2021 Community Leader of the Year finalists are:
- Sam Park, Georgia House of Representatives
- Eric Paulk, Georgia Equality
- Dr. Alieizoria Redd, Covenant House
- Charles Stephens, Counter Narrative Project
- Feroza Syed, Trans Housing Coalition / Activist
Next Gen Leader of the Year
This award is given to a young LGBTQ+ leader, professional, or entrepreneur who has demonstrated exceptional performance and an innovative drive that has benefited their organization and the LGBTQ+ community. OUT Georgia’s 2021 Next Gen Leader of the Year finalists are:
- Taylor Alxndr, Southern Fried Queer Pride
- Liliana Bakhtiari, Candidate for Atlanta City Council
- DeMarcus Beckham, Georgia Equality
- Jesse Pratt López, Trans Housing Coalition
- Toni-Michelle Williams, Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative
Nonprofit of the Year
This award is given to a nonprofit organization that works tirelessly in order to positively impact the health, happiness, and general welfare of those in the LGBTQ+ community. OUT Georgia’s 2021 Nonprofit of the Year finalists are:
Corporate Ally of the Year
This award is given to the Corporate Partner or Member that has shown exemplary support to the LGBTQ+ business community and to OUT Georgia Business Alliance. As a corporation, the nominee has taken a leadership role in promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace; demonstrates a high level of corporate social responsibility in the community; and supports their employee diversity of LGBTQ Employee Resource Group. OUT Georgia’s 2021 Corporate Ally of the Year finalists are:
Small Business of the Year
This award is given to the LGBTQ-owned small business in the community that has shown exemplary support to the LGBTQ+ business community and to the OUT Georgia Business Alliance. OUT Georgia’s 2021 Small Business of the Year finalists are:
- Authentique Agency
- Charis Books and More
- Prestige Accounting Solutions
- Travis Jean Emporium + The Bohemian Den
- Q&A Events
New Business of the Year
This award is presented to the LGBTQ-owned small business that is less than two years old and already building a track record of excellence, innovation, and impact. OUT Georgia’s 2021 New Business of the Year finalists are:
Member of the Year
This award is presented to the LGBTQ+ or allied business owner that has shown innovation in their business practices resulting in the advancement of their organization. In addition, this award recipient will also have advanced the mission, goals, and purpose of OUT Georgia Business Alliance, resulting in a positive impact for the LGBTQ+ business community. OUT Georgia’s 2021 Member of the Year finalists are:
- Karmen Blackwell, Brixmor Property Group
- Jim Farmer, Out on Film
- Katie Leikam, Katie Leikam, LCSW
- Dr. Annise Mabry, Dr. Annise Mabry Foundation
- James McDonald, THEA
Member of the Year voting closes Wednesday, December 8 at 5pm Eastern, and all category winners will be announced LIVE during the 2021Community Honors virtual awards show to be held Thursday, December 16 at 7pm Eastern!
Voting for OUT Georgia’s 2021 Member of the Year is strictly for active Members! If you would like to join OUT Georgia Business Alliance, our state’s only LGBTQ+ and Allied Chamber of Commerce, visit https://outgeorgia.org/join/
2020 Community Honors Award Winners
About OUT Georgia Business Alliance
OUT Georgia Business Alliance proudly serves as Georgia’s only LGBTQ+ and Allied Chamber of Commerce.
Since 1994, OUT Georgia Business Alliance (formerly the Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce) has served the LGBTQ+ and Allied business community by advocating for the most inclusive and equitable business environment; providing support and resources to fuel economic growth; and driving meaningful community connections and impact across the State of Georgia.
OUT Georgia Business Alliance is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., and is a proud affiliate of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. For more information, contact us at OUTGeorgia.org or info@OUTGeorgia.org.