Chris Lugo, Executive Director
Chris Lugo is the first Executive Director of the OUT Georgia Business Alliance, proudly serving as Georgia’s only LGBTQ+ and Allied Chamber of Commerce.
In this role, Lugo is charged with leading the nonprofit chamber’s focus on serving 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.
He has been instrumental in leading the organization’s rebranding effort, statewide expansion, and COVID-19 response, in addition to launching several key programs and initiatives, including the 2021 launch of the OUT Georgia Impact Fund, powered by United Way of Greater Atlanta.
Lugo is honored to serve on the City of Atlanta Mayor’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Board alongside fellow corporate, nonprofit, and community leaders, and he is co-chair of its Economic and Community Development Committee.
He is also a member of Cobb Chamber’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and the LGBTQIAP Advisory Council led by Dr. Sheila Gregory of Clark Atlanta University for a special research project identifying strategies to improve access to resources for LGBTQIAP students of color.
Lugo previously held marketing, fundraising, and nonprofit management positions with IBM Corporation, Direct Energy Business, Alzheimer’s Association, and most recently The Cavaliers, a Chicago-based nonprofit developing young leaders through the performing arts, where he served as the organization’s first-ever Executive Director.
Lugo is a proud alumnus of the University of Florida and is married to his long-time partner and husband Tommy Allen, who both reside in Atlanta, Ga., with their dog Varik.
Nichole Palmietto, Membership Coordinator
Nichole Palmietto has served the OUT Georgia Business Alliance since 2018, helping OGBA members get the most out of their memberships. Whether it’s helping a member set up their directory listing, checking in new and familiar faces at networking events, or answering questions about membership benefits, Nichole is proud to serve the members of Georgia’s only LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce.
Nichole is also the executive artistic director and a co-founder of Found Stages, which builds community through innovative storytelling. Since 2014, Found Stages has been taking plays out of the theater and into real-world spaces where people live and work. Found Stages’ Frankenstein’s Funeral (which Nichole directed, conceived and co-wrote with Neeley Gossett, Annie Harrison Elliott and Addae Moon) was named one of the best plays of 2019 by ArtsATL in its “Year In Review.” (Learn more at foundstages.org.)
Nichole has presented on creating site-specific and immersive theatre at the Dramatists Guild Annual Conference (July 2018) and the Institute of Outdoor Theatre Conference Paul Green Seminar (October 2017). She was the lead artist of a 2015-16 Alliance Theatre Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab project; a member of the Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta (ALMA) class of 2019 and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation Observership Class of 2016-17; and served as the resident director of Atlanta’s Working Title Playwrights Ethel Woolson Lab in 2015-16.
Nichole holds degrees in theatre and public relations from The University of Texas at Austin, and is an alumna of Actor’s Express Theatre’s directing internship program.
Savannah Johnson, Accounting Intern
Savannah Johnson is currently serving as the accounting intern for the OUT Georgia Business Alliance. She is a senior at Mercer University majoring in accounting with a minor in marketing.
On Mercer’s campus, Savannah is involved in Beta Alpha Psi and the National Council of Negro Women. Living in Atlanta for most of her life, Savannah is excited to contribute to an organization active in her own backyard.