The Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce

Advancing Diversity, Inclusion, & Growth.



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  • August 26, 2021 2:47 PM | Anonymous

    City to Join Three Rivers Business Alliance for First Diversity Supplier Orientation for LGBTQIA+-Owned Businesses

    PITTSBURGH, PA (August 26, 2021) Representatives from the City of Pittsburgh will be joining the Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA) today to host the first Diversity Supplier Orientation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual Business Enterprises (LGBTBE) in partnership with the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA), Giant Eagle and the Small Business Administration (SBA).  

    The hybrid in-person and virtual orientation program will be held today, August 26, at 4:00 p.m. and feature procurement and business development representatives from the City, URA, SBA and Giant Eagle. 

    A city code change passed earlier this year now includes LGBTBEs among those recognized by the City’s Equal Opportunity Review Commission as diverse businesses. City code also recognizes Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE), Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSB).  

    “Thanks to the work of our Equal Opportunity Review Commission and Office of Equity to remove barriers and improve procurement processes, the City has increased the number of contracts awarded to MWBEs and invested over $32 million in the growth of these small businesses in 2020,” said Mayor William Peduto. “I am proud to support the addition of LGBTBEs to those recognized to contribute further towards to growth of our business sector. Pittsburgh’s economy only grows stronger when we uplift diverse businesses.”  

    All diverse businesses have access to procurement trainings as well as business development and support opportunities as the City of Pittsburgh is invested in creating a healthy, diverse, inclusive and thriving business environment for all.  

    “By continuing our partnership with the Three Rivers Business Alliance and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, we hope to ensure that the greatest number of eligible business owners can qualify for recognition as LGBTQIA+ owned, and that other Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) have access to resources to help them grow and maintain their presence in Pittsburgh,” said City Councilperson Erika Strassburger. “This is a great opportunity for potential and current business owners to learn the assistance and opportunities that are available to them.” 

    “I am delighted to see progress on this much-needed recognition of LGBTBEs to help support a more diverse business community,” said City Councilman Bruce Kraus. "In Pittsburgh, our pride as a city is based in unity. This legislation brings us closer to creating a City that is welcoming for all, with a more unified vision for the future that we want to build.” 

    3RBA will be hosting a press conference at 4 p.m. prior to beginning the orientation. Registration is required and can be done online here

  • August 16, 2021 10:42 PM | Anonymous

    Today, Vibrant Pittsburgh, in collaboration with the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, proudly released the 2020 Vibrant Index Summary Report in a public report to the region. Pittsburgh is one of just a handful of regions nationwide that tracks its progress on DEI. The Vibrant Index Diagnostic evaluated local companies in ten impact areas and provides recommendations to improve each participating organization. The impact areas are Written Commitment and Transparency, Benefits and Policies, Employee Networks, Leadership, Training and Education, Accountability Metrics, Talent Engagement and Recruitment, Supplier Diversity, Community Engagement, and 2020: Organizational Response to the Pandemic, Protests, and Sociopolitical Unrest.

    This year, the tenth category of Organizational Response was added to examine organizational responses to COVID-19 and systemic injustice in 2020. Participation in the Index increased by 56%.

    Companies that participate in the Index undergo an internal diagnostic of company processes and culture to examine where and how there is room for improvement. Participants benefit from sharing best practices and progress with other companies in the region and within their sector and size range.

    Companies that achieved at or above the 95th percentile on the 2020 Vibrant Index Diagnostic

    are considered “Vibrant Champions”. This year's Champions are: The Community College of Allegheny County, PNC Bank, The Pittsburgh Promise, and UPMC.

    Key Findings from the 2020 Vibrant Index Diagnostic:

    • 94% of respondents reported that developing an inclusive culture was a top priority for their DEI initiatives
    • 85% of respondents offered Employee Assistance Programs
    • 78% of respondents state explicitly that they do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation
    • 76% of respondents have an internal advising body dedicated to diversity and inclusion
    • Only 31% of respondents’ senior executives have a specific DEI component as part of their individual performance evaluations

    Allegheny Conference on Community Development President and CEO, Stefani Pashman, states, “in order to truly achieve the regional vitality that we all seek, we must collaboratively fight institutional racism and work towards a region that is equitable for all regardless of background or zip code. The Allegheny Conference is proud to partner with Vibrant Pittsburgh by engaging our member companies – some 300 regional employers - in this important work. The Vibrant Index is an essential roadmap for progress and systemic change.”

    Vibrant Pittsburgh President and CEO, Sabrina Saunders Mosby acknowledged that, "in order for the Vibrant Index to truly show the strides being made in our region, all dedicated organizations must participate fully in the Vibrant Index initiative, utilizing the Diagnostic annually and committing to tackle this work to improve our region together. She went on to share, "the past year has shown that a focus on diversity, or increasing representation of people from various backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, is only part of the equation; inclusion, making space and amplifying the voices of everyone in the workplace, is equally important."

    During the event, Mosby also issued a 2021 Call to Action for the regions businesses:

    • Many organizations issued public pledges to support DEI. More organizations must share the action steps, plans, and measures put in place to uphold their public statements, therefore holding themselves accountable.
    • Non-discrimination policies must be intentional and should be expanded to mention all marginalized or historically underrepresented groups.
    • The business community must quickly provide more formal opportunities to express pronouns.
    • Organizations interested in improving morale, retention, cultures of belonging and attracting a diversity of talent need to provide more employee networks.
    • Organizations committed to building cultures of inclusion should implement a leadership body focused on DEI.
    • Organizations must track the career progression of underrepresented employees as part of a retention strategy.
    • The ways in which organizations handled the employee experience during the tumult of 2020 provide a window into organizational values.
    • When our country faces any act of racial injustice, organizations should provide clear support to employees and reevaluate DEI policies.

    The full Summary Report can be accessed here: 2020 Vibrant Index Summary Report

    The recording of the Report to the Region is available here: Vibrant Index: Report to the Region

  • August 09, 2021 11:51 AM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Three Rivers Business Alliance announces an important orientation and kick off sponsored by Giant Eagle for the new Pittsburgh Supplier Diversity program inclusion of LGBTQ businesses as disadvantaged business enterprises. Learn how to access the city portal to maximize your certification and gain government contracts as well as learn the additional resources and the process available to access DBE programs for URA, Giant Eagle, and the SBA.

    To learn more about the program, click here.

  • June 05, 2021 3:11 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Grubhub, a leading online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace with the largest and most comprehensive network of restaurant partners, and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community and certifying body for LGBTQ+-owned businesses nationwide, have launched a historic partnership to support restaurants and workers impacted by COVID-19.

    Throughout the month of June, NGLCC will be the official partner of Grubhub’s Donate the Change, which has raised tens of millions of dollars for organizations in need since launching in late 2019. The partnership will allow Grubhub and Seamless diners to round up their order total and donate the difference, with the company matching eligible donations from Grubhub+ members. All proceeds raised will go directly to NGLCC to support the LGBTQ+ community and LGBTQ+-owned restaurants. 

    Additionally, on June 25, 2021, Grubhub will be hosting their latest edition of Sound Bites, a virtual concert series bringing some of today’s top talent straight to diners’ living rooms. Artists Troye Sivan and Kim Petras will shake the virtual stage, with Grubhub donating $10 for every comment within the livestream (up to $100,000). The proceeds will also go directly to supporting NGLCC and their work within the community.

    To learn more about this collaboration and how to support LGBTQ+-owned restaurants, diners can order takeout at Grubhub.com or Seamless.com (and the respective Grubhub and Seamless apps) and opt-in to Donate the Change throughout the month of June.  Also, feel free to visit the NGLCC’s web site.

  • June 03, 2021 3:02 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Pittsburgh Pride in 2021 is a month long celebration of the LGBTQ Community of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. Over 20 events (and more added every day) are planned throughout the month of June hosted by a variety of organizations, businesses, clubs and entertainers. 

    For listings of the various events, check out these web sites:

  • June 02, 2021 2:31 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    3RBA's corporate partner, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, LLP, announced today an expansion of its services to include a group focused on LGBTQ+ businesses. Attorneys in the LGBTQ+ Business practice group will work with business owners in a wealth of areas to help their businesses succeed.

    “LGBTQ+ business owners often face unique challenges when doing business,” said Ted Walters, co-chair of the group. “The attorneys in our group are members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community and bring the experience, understanding, and authenticity needed to partner with our clients to help them achieve their goals.”

    “We recognized the need for this type of cross-disciplinary group to support LGBTQ+ businesses in all of our markets in Ohio, Florida, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C.,” said co-chair and 3RBA President, Ron Hicks. “Regardless of location, industry, stage of business, or corporate structure, we will work with LGBTQ+ business owners to enable a path that avoids challenges, minimizes risk, and leverages opportunity.”

    More information on Porter Wright's new LGBTQ+ Business Practice may be found on the firm’s website.

  • May 11, 2021 5:00 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Three Rivers Business Alliance is proud to announce the City of Pittsburgh enacted legislation to include NGLCC Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) suppliers in the City's contracting and procurement programs.  For LGBTQ+ citizens of Pittsburgh, this inclusive policy provides fair and equal access to contracting opportunities and economic development programs that drive innovation, create jobs, and promote economic growth throughout the region.  For the NGLCC's full press release, click here.

  • May 11, 2021 10:34 AM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    This morning, Three Rivers Business Alliance's President urged Pittsburgh City Council to support the passage of Bill 2021-1416 which is an ordinance that will amend the City's procurement programs to include certified LGBTQ+ in its procurement programs.  Here is a copy of its President's public statement:

    Members of Council, my name is Ron Hicks.  I am a law partner at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP, and an out and proud member of the Pittsburgh LGBTQ+ community.  My pronouns are he, him, and his. 

    In 2017, with the encouragement of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, commonly known as the NGLCC, I and several other LGBTQ+ business owners and professionals in the Pittsburgh area formed Three Rivers Business Alliance.  3RBA is the first-ever Chamber of Commerce for LGBTQ+ businesses and their allies operating in the Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny region.  I proudly serve as President of 3RBA and its 501(c)(3) foundation. 

    As a member-based organization, 3RBA’s mission is to “Advance Diversity, Inclusion, & Growth.”  3RBA accomplishes this mission, in part, by expanding the economic interests of LGBTQ+ businesses and their allies.  3RBA is supported by several corporations located in the Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny region, including PNC Bank, UPMC, Duquesne Light, and Giant Eagle, to name a few. 

    Bill No. 2021-1416 gives Pittsburgh the opportunity to join the growing number of metropolitan areas which include NGLCC-certified LGBTQ+ businesses among their pool of certified companies that have equitable access to contracting and procurement opportunities.  There are over 1,200 NGLCC-certified LGBTQ+ businesses in the United States, with 68 of them located in Pennsylvania.  Locally, these NGLCC-certified businesses include:

    • An architectural acoustics and environmental noise control company based in East Liberty;
    • A business consulting firm in the Lawrenceville;
    • A recruiting and human resource outsourcing company in Mount Lebanon;
    • A psychotherapy and employee assistance programming company in West View;
    • A website development company in the South Side;
    • A concrete manufacturer representative company in Aspinwall;
    • A custom and stock packaging company in O’Hara Township; and
    • A computer programming and project management company in Robinson Township.
    On behalf of 3RBA and its members, I thank Councilpersons Strassburger, Krauss, and O’Connor for their sponsorship and introduction of this historic legislation.  For LGBTQ+ citizens, this inclusive initiative provides fair and equal access to contracting opportunities and economic development programs that drive innovation, create jobs, and promote economic growth throughout Pittsburgh and the Greater Allegheny region.  For Pittsburgh, inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community in its supplier diversity programs will move the city closer to its goal of becoming a competitive 21st Century city that will benefit from the tremendous expertise, skills, talents, and ideas the LGBTQ+ community has to offer. 

    I ask City Council to support the passage of this bill.  Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Following Hicks' comments and favorable comments by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Pittsburgh City Council unanimously voted in favor of the legislation.  Later that day, the Mayor signed the legislation into law.


  • April 27, 2021 9:36 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    On Tuesday, April 27, 2021, Pittsburgh Councilpersons Erika Strassburger and Bruce Kraus introduced legislation allowing LGBTQ+ businesses to register with the City of Pittsburgh’s procurement platform. This will allow NGLCC-certified LGBTQ+ businesses to gain access to the full suite of business development and trainings that the City offers Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE’s).

    “It has been my honor to work with the Three Rivers Business Alliance [(3RBA)], the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce [(NGLCC)], the Mayor’s office as well as many other City departments and Commissions to put pen to paper and allow LGBTQIA+ business owners to more easily participate and do work with the City,” said Councilperson Strassburger. “This bill represents one more step in our march toward equity here in Pittsburgh. I’m hopeful this will help expand and grow our city's LGBTQIA+ businesses that are already making a positive impact here.” 

    “I am delighted to sponsor this much-needed legislation that Councilmember Strassburger has introduced,” said Councilman Bruce Kraus. In Pittsburgh, our pride as a city is based in unity. This legislation brings us closer to creating a City that is welcoming for all, with a more unified vision for the future that we want to build.” 

    City code already recognizes Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE), Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses as part of its DBE program. Once passed, today's legislation will amend the City of Pittsburgh’s Code to include NGLCC-certified LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs) as a DBE. 

    Both the NGLCC and 3RBA expressed their gratitude for the introduction of this legislation.  “Thanks to the leadership of Pittsburgh City Councilperson Erika Strassburger and of our local affiliate chamber, the Three Rivers Business Alliance, LGBT entrepreneurs in the Pittsburgh region will now have the opportunity to create jobs and develop innovations that benefit all who live there. Pittsburgh has a legacy of leadership in promoting inclusivity throughout the many industries that power its economy. Now Governor Wolf’s historic 2016 Executive Order including LGBT Business Enterprises throughout Pennsylvania will take root and grow in the city economies across the Commonwealth.  This victory for inclusivity has once again proved our core values that ‘diversity is good for business’ and that ‘if you can buy it, a certified LGBT-owned business can supply it.’ We are excited to see LGBTBEs in every field, from construction to catering and everything in between, help grow the economy of Pittsburgh and beyond,” said NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson and CEO Chance Mitchell. 

    “Three Rivers Business Alliance thanks Pittsburgh City Councilpersons Erika Strassburger, Bruce Kraus, and the rest of the members of the Pittsburgh City Council for the opportunity they have created for LGBT business owners and professionals in the Pittsburgh region.  With this legislation, Pittsburgh joins the growing number of metropolitan areas which include NGLCC-certified LGBT Business Enterprises among the City’s pool of certified companies to ensure they have equitable access to contracting and procurement opportunities throughout the City.  For LGBT citizens, this inclusive initiative provides fair and equal access to contracting opportunities and economic development programs that drive innovation, create jobs, and promote economic growth throughout the Greater Allegheny region. We are glad to be a part of this historic legislation, and we look forward to working with other municipal authorities and private companies to diversify their supplier networks,” said 3RBA’s President Ronald L. Hicks, Jr., of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP.  

    City Council will vote on the legislation at its upcoming May 5, 2021 Standing Committee meeting.  

     
  • April 23, 2021 6:31 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA), the Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce, is pleased to announce the appointment of Cynthia Oliver as its first Executive Director.  Launched in 2018, 3RBA and its foundation serve to promote networking and business development within the LGBTQ+ and allied business community operating in the Pittsburgh and Greater Allegheny region.  Also, as an affiliated chamber of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), 3RBA serves as a point of connection for LGBTQ+ and allied business owners and professionals, corporations, nonprofits, and civic leaders.

    “I am looking forward to joining 3RBA,” said Oliver, “to build upon and continue the Chamber’s work that is so vital to lifting the region’s LGBTQ+ business community.  I look forward to working with the Chamber’s board, volunteers, and staff to grow the organization and promote the interests and success of our members.  I encourage every business and leader in the region to join us and take advantage of the opportunities to grow your network and participate in collective learning.”

    Cynthia brings over 20 years of extensive business experience to 3RBA.  Most recently, she served as a Business Consultant at the Small Business Development Center at Duquesne University and Executive Director of the East Liberty Chamber of Commerce. 

    The selection of Ms. Oliver caps an extensive search facilitated by the chamber’s board.  “Cynthia has an energetic leadership style combined with significant experience in both the profit and non-profit world, as well as direct experience as a chamber of commerce executive. This makes her uniquely qualified to serve as our first executive director and lead the 3RBA team,” stated Ronald L. Hicks, Jr., a partner at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP and President of 3RBA and its foundation.  “Ms. Oliver offers tremendous skill, insights and value to our members looking to start, grow, and build their businesses,” he added.

    In addition to being a small business owner herself, Ms. Oliver has over 20 years’ experience serving as a major gift officer and CEO of several local nonprofits.  She is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, holding a master’s degree in public affairs and a bachelor’s degree in public relations.  Cindi and her husband John are parents to 7 grown children and reside in the City of Pittsburgh.  She serves on the board of Dress for Success and the Eberly College of Business at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

    ###

    About Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA)

    Launched in 2018, 3RBA serves to promote networking and business development within the LGBTQ + and allied business community operating in the Pittsburgh and Greater Allegheny region.  Together with its foundation, 3RBA is committed to expanding the economic interests of LGBTQ+ owned and allied businesses through advocacy, education, business development and growth, diversity, leadership, and partnerships throughout its region.  Also, as an NGLCC affiliated chamber, 3RBA serves as a point of connection for LGBTQ+ and allied business owners and professionals, corporations, nonprofits, and civic leaders.  Learn more about 3RBA at www.3rba.com.


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Three Rivers Business Alliance

1735 E. Carson St. #403
Pittsburgh, PA 15203-1705

info@3rba.com
412-346-4161



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