April 3, 2013 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gay biz chamber names 2013 award recipients
David Franco, Chris Delucchi, Amanda Simpson, Washington Blade, gay news

Awardees include David Franco, Christine Delucchi and Amanda Simpson (Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

The Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has named five individuals and one company as recipients of its 2013 Annual Awards, which will be presented at its April 19 gala ceremony at the Mayflower Renaissance Washington, D.C. Hotel.

“The awards recognize excellence in business, dedication to community, and development of new entrepreneurs,” the group said in a statement.

“We are thrilled with the slate of honorees,” said CAGLCC President Ernesto Santalla. “From promoting equality in corporate boardrooms to knocking on doors as volunteers, these are people and businesses that are committed to making a difference in the LGBT community.”

The award categories and names of the recipients, as released by CAGLCC, are:

  • Excellence in Business Award, honoring long-term achievement for the greater benefit of D.C. metro area and national LGBT community: David Franco, founder of the Universal Gear “chain of men’s retail fashion,” with stores in D.C., New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Rehoboth Beach, Del.
  • Business Leadership Award, honoring an LGBT individual for their leadership, accomplishments and example for the D.C. area LGBT community: Christine Delucchi, “who has drawn on her 30-plus years of marketing and public relations experience to launch two strategic communications firms.”
  • Corporate Ally Award, recognizing a non-LGBT business that has made significant accomplishments in partnering with the LGBT community: KPMG, the international consulting firm.
  • Emerging Entrepreneur Award, honoring an LGBT individual, group or business that has demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit and success in new and creative endeavors in the LGBT community: John Caldwell of Malvin, Riggins & Co.
  • Community Advocacy Award, honoring an individual, group or organization whose activism has benefited the health, well-being and position of the Washington area LGBT community: Amanda Simpson, “who under President Obama became the first-ever out transgender woman political appointee.”
  • Volunteer of the Year Award, honoring an LGBT individual for outstanding dedication and service to the broader LGBT community: Ashley Smith, “well-known in the community for his work with both the Human Rights Campaign and the D.C. Coalition of Black LGBT People.”

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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