November 18, 2010 at 4:28 pm EST | by Garrett Peck J. Max Barger Ernesto Santalla
Unexpected job offer leads to new opportunity

Alan Durand swears he wasn’t looking for a new job. The CAGLCC member was happily employed at Capital One, where he worked for more than five years in the legal and human resources departments. He enjoyed being part of the company’s LGBT employee affinity group, and he was the co-chair of the McLean, Va. chapter.

Durand began volunteering with CAGLCC on its Corporate Connections Initiative, the goal of which was “to get LGBT groups at large local employers to share best practices and talk to each other.” In April, CAGLCC executive director Mark Guenther asked him to speak at the initiative’s first event, which was hosted at Discovery Communications.

“All I was asked to do was talk about my work with the Chamber and the goals of the initiative,” Durand explained.

After he completed his presentation, a woman in the back of the room raised her hand and said, “Are you looking for a job?”

Durand was stunned. An informal conversation quickly led to submitting his resumé, a formal interview and a job offer. The woman who spoke up that day is now his manager.

Through the Chamber, Durand already had a few contacts at Discovery, so he checked out the company’s culture. “The Chamber provided me with a resource to talk to about this potential new opportunity and to see if Discovery would be the right cultural fit for me.”

“It all happened pretty quickly.” From the moment the woman in the back of the room raised her hand to Durand’s acceptance of the offer all took less than five weeks. “I wasn’t looking for a new job, but you have to be open to opportunities when they present themselves.”

Durand’s new position at Discovery Communications is Work Life and Diversity Program Manager. In this role he is responsible for the daily management of Discovery’s wellness, flexibility, diversity and inclusion programs, which reach more than 4,000 employees in more than 20 countries.

Jamming for Youth Pride Alliance

CAGLCC, Long View Gallery and ArtJamz are coming together to support The Youth Pride Alliance. On Dec. 1, 2010, 40 participants (“ArtJammers”) will convene at Long View Gallery to paint the night away and create their own work of art. Canvas, paint, brushes, snacks and libations are provided, together with a chance to socialize with fellow ArtJammers, while being entertained by an ArtJamz host and listening to music.

“ArtJamz breaks down the fourth wall of going out and lets people unleash their inner artist and get their hands dirty. It is set up to be interactive and allows people to get to know each other,” says community ally and founder Michael Clements. “We have been looking for creative ways to support our (Capital Queer) Prom beneficiary the Youth Pride Alliance,” says CAGLCC member and recipient of the CAGLCC 2009 Future Business Leader Award, Eboné Bell, founder of B.O.I. Marketing & Promotions. “Our LGBT youth need our support now more than ever and we are excited that ArtJamz has given us a creative way to support the community.”

Register to become an ArtJammer at for $60.

Guests who aren’t participating, but still want to socialize and appreciate the art may attend for $15. It’s a great way to meet people or to get a group of friends together — all for a great cause. CAGLCC is proud to co-sponsor the event.

CAGLCC Member News

Steve Thalheimer, CFP, Thalheimer Financial Planning, is named in the current issue of Washingtonian Magazine as one of the top financial planners in the D.C. metropolitan area.

Congratulations to David Taube, CFA, CFP, of Kalorama Wealth Strategies, LLC on five years of business success.

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