The Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny LGBTQIA+ Chamber of Commerce



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  • July 28, 2022 5:25 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Pittsburgh, PA - Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA) is proud to announce that its executive director, Cynthia Oliver, has been named a finalist for the 2022 Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Award. 

    The Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Award recognizes exceptional women who demonstrate excellence in their profession, contribute to their community, and help other women and girls to succeed through mentorship.   The 2022 Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Award finalists include:

    - Luz Blandon, Executive Vice President for Immigrant Children Services, Holy Family Institute

    - Dr. Trisha Gadson, Chief Executive Officer, Macedonia Family & Community Enrichment Center

    - Hollie Geitner, Director, Communications, Duquesne Light Company

    - Stacy Juchno, Executive Vice President and General Auditor, The PNC Financial Services Group

    - Cynthia Oliver, Executive Director, Three Rivers Business Alliance

    “Cindi is an excellent choice for the Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Award,” said 3RBA’s President, Ronald L. Hicks, Jr.  “Cindi is an exceptional leader who is very passionate about helping women and other minorities succeed in their business or profession.  Her passion and leadership are part of the reasons why 3RBA has been quite successful with Cindi as our Executive Director.  On behalf of 3RBA and its members, we extend our sincere congratulations to Cindi and all the finalists.”    

    Scheduled for September 9, 2022, at the Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh Hotel, the ATHENA Awards event in Pittsburgh is one of the largest annual gatherings among the hundreds of ATHENA International events presented around the world.  For more information or to purchase tickets, follow this link.  



  • April 12, 2022 12:38 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    City & State Pennsylvania has selected Three Rivers Business Alliance's President, Ronald L. Hicks, Jr., as part of it 2022 Pittsburgh Power 100, a round-up of people exerting the most influence in the City of Pittsburgh.  Read the full article here.  

    3RBA congratulates Ron on this well-deserved honor!


  • March 13, 2022 2:57 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Pittsburgh, PA - Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA) proudly announces that Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania has been the latest company to sponsor its operations.  

    Launched in 2018, 3RBA is a chamber of commerce that is affiliated with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.  3RBA serves to diligently advocate, promote, and serve as a catalyst for change that fosters diversity, inclusion, and equity, and produces increased opportunities for LGBTQ+ businesses and their allies in the Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny region.  Together with its foundation, 3RBA serves as a point of connection for LGBTQ+ and allied business owners and professionals, corporations, nonprofits, and civic leaders.  

    "3RBA is delighted and honored that Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania has agreed to sponsor and partner with 3RBA," said Ronald L. Hicks, Jr., a partner at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP and President of 3RBA and its foundation.  "Columbia Gas joins a growing list of companies that are committed to diversifying their business by including LGBTQ+-owned businesses in their procurement and contract programs." 

    As of March 2022, the list of companies that have partnered with 3RBA and its foundation include: 

    Mason-Dixon/Greater Allegheny ($10,000 annually)
    PNC Bank

    Allegheny River ($5,000 annually)
    UPMC and its Center for Engagement and Inclusion
    HRT Solutions
    GrubHub

    Monongahela River ($2,500 annually)
    Vibrant Pittsburgh
    Urban Redevelopment Authority
    Google
    Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania

    Youghiogheny River ($1,500 annually)
    Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP
    Highmark/AHN

    Luttner Financial Growth LLC
    Giant Eagle
    Duquesne Light Co.

    To learn more about how you or your company can become a partner or sponsor of 3RBA or its foundation, click here or download this brochure. 

  • March 11, 2022 12:17 PM | Cynthia Oliver (Administrator)

    Cathy Renna, crenna@thetaskforce.org, 917-757-6123 

     190 ORGANIZATIONS CALL FOR LGBTQI DATA COLLECTION AS NATIONAL ACADEMIES OF SCIENCES, ENGINEERING, AND MEDICINE (NASEM) RELEASES HISTORIC REPORT ON MEASURING SEX, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, & GENDER IDENTITY 

    Washington, DC, March 9, 2022 — Today an ad hoc panel of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine issued a groundbreaking consensus report focused on advancing data collection on sexual orientation, gender identity (SOGI), and sex, including variations in sex characteristics. The report synthesizes existing research, provides detailed recommendations about how to ask these questions, outlines key principles for advancing inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTQI) people, and articulates areas for further research.  The report emphasizes that improved and standardized data collection is vital for understanding the challenges LGBTQI people face.

    In response to this groundbreaking report, 190 LGBTQI and allied organizations today released an open letter calling for renewed efforts to advance SOGI and intersex data inclusion on surveys, in administrative data, and in clinical settings. The letter can be accessed here

    Data collected by private research firms suggest that there are over 13 million LGBTQ people in the United States, and the population is growing notably. Scientific estimates suggest as many as 2-5 million Americans were born with intersex traits.

    Said Liz Seaton, Policy Director for the National LGBTQ Task Force: ““Far too few surveys allow people to identify themselves as LGBTQI+ simply because they do not include sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex characteristics questions.  The lack of these questions stands in the way of addressing key disparities that LGBTQI+ people experience. We know that data inclusion is a cornerstone of equity, especially for LGBTQI+ people of color, low-income LGBTQI+ people, and transgender and intersex people. It’s important to note that transgender people may identify as male, female or gender nonbinary, and also some gender nonbinary folx do not identify as transgender.” 

    To speak with LGBTQI+ experts about data equity and this report, please contact:  

    • Cathy Renna, National LGBTQ Task Force, crenna@thetaskforce.org 
    • Sharita Gruberg, Center for American Progress, sgruberg@americanprogress.org 
    • Naomi Goldberg, Movement Advancement Project, naomi@lgbtmap.org 
    • Alesdair Ittelson,  interACT, ittelson@interactadvocates.org  
    • Aaron Ridings, GLSEN, aaron.ridings@glsen.org 
    • Scout, National LGBT Cancer Network, scout@cancer-network.org 

    The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice, and equity for LGBTQ people. We are building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we’ve made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. For more information go to https://www.thetaskforce.org

  • February 23, 2022 8:25 PM | Cynthia Oliver (Administrator)

    PA LGBTQ+ Chambers Joined Together to Denounce Chambersburg Council Repeal of LGBTQ+ Inclusive Law Harrisburg/Philadelphia/Pittsburgh. Keystone Business Alliance, Independence Business Alliance, and Three Rivers Business Alliance, representing the three Pennsylvania affiliated chambers of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, express their disappointment with the decision of the Chambersburg Council in repealing its ordinance that banned discrimination based on sex, race, religion, and other factors in terms of employment, housing, and public accommodations and established a local human relations commission tasked with handling complaints of violations. In repealing the ordinance Chambersburg became the first among 70 Pa. municipalities that have enacted LGBTQ inclusive laws to revoke it. By repealing the ordinance without implementing any further protections for the LGBTQ+ community and other members who have historically faced discrimination, the Chambersburg Council has sent a clear message that LGBTQ+ businesses and their allies are not welcome in their town. Nondiscrimination protections ensure those basic freedoms to earn a living, rent or own a home, and participate fully in the community. LGBTQ+ people currently do not have these express, comprehensive nondiscrimination protections nationwide, and continue to lack clarity and consistency here in our state. It’s essential to our local and state economy that all employees, customers, and visitors – and their families – feel safe and welcome in all towns in Pennsylvania, including Chambersburg. Keystone Business Alliance, Independence Business Alliance, and Three Rivers Business Alliance call upon the Chambersburg Council to reconsider its decision. Also, all three chambers stand together in their demand that the Pennsylvania General Assembly join the rest of that states in the Northeast of the United States and enact a non-discriminatory statute that protects the LGBTQ+ community in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, regardless of their zip code. Otherwise, Pennsylvania will continue to be viewed as an unwelcoming state for LGBTQ+ businesses and their allies. Contact: Cynthia Oliver, Executive Director Three Rivers Business Alliance coliver@3rba.com

  • February 23, 2022 8:24 PM | Cynthia Oliver (Administrator)

    February 24, 2022

     

    Today 3RBA was one of 145 organizations who sent a letter to the “Big Three” credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) and to the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA), the trade association that represents them, urging them to take needed actions to correct credit report problems for transgender and nonbinary consumers.

     

    The signatory organizations include LGBTQI+ advocacy organizations, community centers, chambers of commerce, businesses, and community groups, as well as consumer, employment, housing, and anti-poverty organizations.

     

    The letter responds to the CDIA’s February 2 announcement, “Helping Transgender and Nonbinary Individuals Prevent Potential Disruptions to Their Credit,” that describes new policies at the Big Three credit bureaus to allow transgender and nonbinary consumers to submit name-change documentation to update the name on the credit reports.

     

    The letter acknowledges the credit bureaus’ new policies as an important first step and recommends additional action to correct persisting problems for trans and nonbinary consumers. After a legal name change, many transgender and nonbinary consumers end up with multiple credit files in different names and suffer a loss of credit history and score as a result. Additionally, credit reports out trans and nonbinary people to landlords, employers, and lenders when they apply for loans, jobs, and housing because the report still includes their deadname.

     To address ongoing problems the letter calls on credit bureaus to take additional steps, including:

    • Using consumers’ full 9-digit Social Security numbers in matching algorithms to ensure credit information is associated with the correct credit file.
    • Facilitating name changes by having clear procedures to update a consumer’s name on their credit report when presented with a legal name change order, and ensuring that staff are sufficiently trained in those procedures and are able to provide culturally competent service to transgender and nonbinary consumers.
    • Reducing the burden on transgender and nonbinary consumers to submit name-change documentation to each credit reporting agency by instituting a “one-stop” system that allows a consumer to submit a single request to have the legal name on their report updated, and ensures the request is communicated to all consumer reporting agencies.
    • Preventing the occurrence and recurrence of fragmented credit files by creating procedures to detect when a consumer changes their legal name with a creditor, to associate the new name with their credit file, and to consolidate a consumer’s credit information in their current and previous names in a single credit file — as the industry presently does when cisgender women and other consumers change their last names.
    • Preventing the disclosure of transgender and nonbinary consumers’ deadnames to landlords, employers, and underwriters by disclosing only a consumer’s current legal name in reports provided to credit report users.

     

    The letter was organized by a coalition of LGBTQI+, consumer, and employment advocacy organizations–including the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research (CLEAR), Equality California, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF), the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), and the UC Berkeley Center for Consumer Law & Economic Justice.
  • February 18, 2022 12:08 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Pittsburgh, PA - On February 17, 2022, Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA) welcomed Samantha Goldberg and Micah Caporali as directors to its Board.  

    Sam is the founder and executive director of Open Space Counseling, Consulting & Wellness (Open Space CCW).  Founded in 2018, Open Space CCW is a LGBTQIA+ affirming, relationship minority affirming, and racial justice-oriented therapy group where people can move from merely surviving their lives to truly thriving. Open Space CCW helps people with concerns related to addiction, trauma, and LGBTQIA+, among many other things. Sam completed her academic and clinical training at the University of Pittsburgh, and earned her Master's of Social Work degree with a focus on clinical social work and direct practice mental health. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has over a decade of experience working in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. 

    Micah is the first supplier diversity program manager for Duquesne Light Company (DLC).  In this role, Caporali helps DLC forge connections with qualified, local diverse suppliers that can create value and meet DLC requirements of safety, affordability, reliability, excellent service, and sustainability.  Micah is a graduate of Liberty University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Business Finance and Waynesburg University where he received an MBA in Project Management.  Micah has experience in both the private and public sectors, working in Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh, PA.  

    "We are fortunate to have Sam and Micah join our Board as its newest directors," says Ron Hicks, 3RBA's President.  "Both Sam and Micah have the skills and experience that will enable 3RBA to continue its growth and pursue its mission of promoting and improving the business conditions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other nonconforming persons (LGBTQ+) in the Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny Region and their allies."

    3RBA appointed Sam to serve a three-year term and Micah to a 2-year term.  In addition to their appointments as directors, 3RBA appointed Sam and Micah as Co-Chairs of 3RBA's Programming & Events and Supplier Certification committees, respectively.  

  • December 03, 2021 2:43 PM | Cynthia Oliver (Administrator)

    National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Grubhub Announce Recipients of String-Free Funds for Struggling Restaurants

     

    November 30, 2021 | For Immediate Release

     

    Hollywood, FL. – The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBTQ+ community and certifying body for LGBTQ+-owned businesses nationwide, and Grubhub, a leading U.S. food-ordering and delivery marketplace, announced today three recipients of $100,000 grants given by the NGLCC/Grubhub Community Impact Grant Program.

     

    FOODE + Mercantile, Café Gabriela, Pitchers DC and League of Her Own, serving communities in Fredericksburg, Va., Oakland, Calif., and Washington, D.C., were granted $100,000 each at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) Back to Business (B2B) Summit 2021. These small business owners are among the first recipients of the $2 million COVID-19 relief funds generated by the Chamber in partnership with Grubhub. With the funds, the NGLCC and Grubhub created the NGLCC/Grubhub Community Impact Grant Program to support struggling LGBTQ+ owned and LGBTQ+ ally establishments.

     

    “The impact of COVID-19 has been debilitating for countless restaurant and bar owners, including the many LGBTQ+-owned restaurants across the country who have persisted through lockdowns, operational changes and labor and supply shortages,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and President Justin Nelson. “We’re grateful to have partnered with Grubhub to offer real lifelines to support businesses throughout the nation. America’s 1.4 million LGBTQ+-owned business owners have shown incredible resilience over the past two years, and as we travel along this road to full recovery, we are proud to continue being partners for many in our community.” 

     

    “COVID has turned the restaurant industry on its head the last 18 plus months, and at Grubhub, we’ve been working hard every day to support our restaurant partners across the country,” said Amy Healy, vice president of government relations for Grubhub. “As the world starts to return to a new normal, we’re proud to partner with the NGLCC and provide these grants to LGBTQ+ owned and LGBTQ+ ally-owned restaurants across the country that are pillars of their communities.”

     

    Here’s what the grant recipients had to say: 

     

    “As a trans-masculine and queer, immigrant person of color, I’ve worked hard and put all my love and energy into building a beautiful and welcoming space in Café Gabriela. I’ve remained resilient through COVID and this grant is the injection of funds that we need to continue along our journey to full recovery,” said Penny Baldado, owner of Café Gabriela.

     

    “Building community in a fun and safe place has been our mission since the very beginning. We’re relieved and thankful for these funds, and are looking forward to more stable days ahead,” said David Perruzza, owner of League of Her Own and Pitchers DC.

     

    “The past 18 months have been some of the most challenging in my career. Restaurant people are resilient people, but we are forever changed, and these funds will be crucial as we continue to evolve with new technologies and tools to help us compete in this new normal,” said Joy Crump, founding partner and chef of FOODE + Mercantile.

     

    The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Grubhub partnered for the month of June for Grubhub’s Donate the Change program, where diners could opt-in, round up their order total, and donate the difference to the NGLCC. Applications for the grant program, ranging from $5,000 to $100,000, opened in September. Recipients were selected based on criteria including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their businesses as well as the restaurants’ plans to use the grant money to recover from the pandemic. Following this initial round of recipients, more grants will be issued in late 2021 and early 2022.  

     

    These legacy businesses were initial recipients of a grant program intended to help restaurants and bars impacted by COVID-19. Over the past two years, these small business owners have been among the hardest hit by the global pandemic with loss of jobs and income alongside rising operating costs. 

     

    • League of Her Own and Pitchers DC, two Washington, DC based gay sports bars owned by David Perruzza, used savings in the early days of the pandemic to prioritize payroll commitments for his 46 employees. They were soon saddled with debt, unable to pay taxes and other commitments, eventually taking out a Small Business Administration loan to cover overdue tax payments. The establishments plan to use funds from the grant to pay back rent and unpaid utilities so they can break even and move towards financial stability. Both bars are safe spaces welcome to all in the Nation’s Capital, and Perruzza, also a veteran, wants to continue to support and build community for years to come.

     

    • Penny Baldado, a formerly undocumented, trans-masculine and queer immigrant from the Philippines opened Café Gabriela, a neighborhood café “with a big heart”, in 2010 in Downtown Oakland. Before the pandemic, Penny employed four full-time staff, who were paid a living wage and received full medical and dental insurance. After sustaining an 85% decrease in revenue, Penny laid off their last full-time employee in June, but they plan to use proceeds from the grant for rent and marketing, with the hope of rehiring employees in the near future.

     

    • Downtown Fredericksburg, Va. is home to FOODE + Mercantile, the award-winning restaurant brand built on community, with founding partners Beth Black and executive chef Joy Crump, at the helm. At the beginning of the pandemic, Crump and Black persevered through the sudden challenges, first by pivoting to offering fresh groceries and hard-to-find commodities to their guests, and eventually by creating their version of an upscale outdoor dining experience. The two plan to use funding for continuous marketing and promotion, focusing on cross-promotions with their fellow local businesses as well as enhancing their technology. Their immediate goal is to fine tune the touch free aspects of their business while continuing to celebrate the personal experience behind the heart of hospitality.

     

    Of the over 100 grants to be awarded, 30% of the funds available are intended for businesses owned by people of color and transgender/gender non-conforming individuals. In the coming weeks, grant recipients will be notified and a full list of restaurants and bars that received funds will be made available.

     

    For more information on the Community Impact Grant Program please visit www.nglcc.org/ghgrant.

     

  • October 15, 2021 3:51 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Pittsburgh, PA - On Monday, October 11, 2021, Three Rivers Business Alliance was awarded a $2,500 Grow with Google Grant by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).  Funds from the grant will enable 3RBA to support its operations and provide meaningful education to its members through at least four (4) Grow by Google sessions in the 2021/2022 calendar years.  

  • September 30, 2021 9:27 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    City & State PA and AARP Pennsylvania have selected Three Rivers Business Alliance's President, Ronald L. Hicks, Jr., as an honoree at City & State’s 1st annual Pennsylvania Top Fifty Over 50.  Working as a partner at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP, Ron is one of only four Pittsburgh residents selected as part of Pennsylvania's 50 most prominent leaders in government, business, media, and beyond over the age of fifty who have committed decades of their lives to making Pennsylvania a better place.  This is the second honor Ron has received this year, having been named by Best Lawyers® as the "2022 Pennsylvania Lawyer of the Year" for Real Estate Litigation in Pittsburgh.

    To help celebrate this recognition, City & State PA will be hosting a virtual event on Tuesday, October 12th.  Attendees will be hearing from TV Personality and Host Michael Smerconish along with other Lifetime Achievement Honoree Speakers.  Also, the event will be emceed by News Anchor Dennis Owens and introductory remarks by Former Governor Ed Rendell.  For a complete list of speakers, click Here

    Anyone interested in attending can register by using this LINK. Registration is free and all are welcome! 

    3RBA congratulates Ron on this well deserved honor!

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