The Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny LGBTQIA+ Chamber of Commerce



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  • 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!

  • September 24, 2021 11:56 AM | Cynthia Oliver (Administrator)

    $2 Million in New Grants Aimed for LGBTQ+-owned and Ally Restaurants

    National LGBT Chamber of Commerce Teams Up with 3RBA and Grubhub To Offer String-Free Funds for Struggling Restaurants Impacted by Covid

    America’s vulnerable LGBTQ+-owned restaurants and bars serving food will find a vital lifeline this fall stemming from the partnership formed by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and Grubhub. These small business owners have been among hardest hit by Covid impact with loss of jobs and income over the past two years.

    Grubhub, a leading U.S. food-ordering and delivery marketplace, and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBTQ+ community and certifying body for LGBTQ+-owned businesses nationwide, have opened applications for their NGLCC/Grubhub Community Impact Grant Program. The grants are expected to range from $5,000 to $100,000.

    “We often say at NGLCC that ‘If you can buy it, an LGBTQ+-owned business can supply it.’ That is especially true of the LGBTQ+-owned restaurants across America who kept our communities and first responders fed throughout the pandemic. We’re proud to partner with Grubhub in offering these grants to support these businesses throughout the nation. America’s 1.4 million LGBTQ+-owned business owners have shown incredible resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now, in turn, we can help them recover stronger than ever,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and President Justin Nelson.

    Throughout June, NGLCC was named the official partner of Grubhub’s Donate the Change program, which has raised tens of millions of dollars for organizations in need since launching in late 2018. The partnership welcomed Grubhub and Seamless diners to opt-in, round up their order total, and donate the difference, with the company matching eligible donations from Grubhub+ members. The proceeds raised will now be made available through NGLCC to support the LGBTQ+ community and LGBTQ+-owned restaurants.

    “As the world starts to return to a new normal, we know many businesses are rebuilding and reopening, especially LGBTQ+-owned restaurants that are often the pillars of their communities,” said Kevin Kearns, senior vice president of restaurants at Grubhub. “We’re thrilled to partner with NGLCC and give back to the LGBTQ+ community - one that has shown incredible strength and support for those in need throughout the pandemic.”

    Under the innovative grant program, the NGLCC has set a goal to allocate 30 percent of the funds to businesses owned by people of color and transgender/gender non-conforming individuals.

    Restaurants wishing to apply for grants should visit www.nglcc.org/ghgrant or 3RBA's Membership Benefits page.  Also, anyone with questions can contact 3RBA's executive director, Cindi Oliver, by sending an email message to coliver@3RBA.com

    NGLCC and its partners will expertly evaluate applications after the October 12, 2021 closing date. Major grantees will be awarded onstage during the NGLCC Back To Business (B2B) Summit in Hollywood, Florida this November, as well as in local communities.

    Over 30 of the more than fifty NGLCC Affiliate Chambers across America, including the Three Rivers Business Alliance, will help amplify this grant opportunity to support local restaurants. Those local chambers will also benefit from this initiative’s newly established “Affiliate Chamber Fund.” This fund will enable any establishment that receives a Community Impact Grant Program that is not currently a member of an NGLCC local affiliate chamber to have one year of membership paid. Additionally, many of NGLCC’s more than 300 corporate partners enhanced their Pride 2021 programming with food orders from Grubhub during their programming with Employee Resource Groups and community partners - a best practice expected to continue throughout future Pride celebrations.

    Additionally, many of NGLCC’s more than 300 corporate partners enhanced their Pride 2021 programming with food orders from Grubhub during their programming with Employee Resource Groups and community partners - a best practice expected to continue throughout future Pride celebrations.

    For more information on the Community Impact Grant Program regarding restaurant eligibility requirements, timelines, how to apply, and more, please visit www.nglcc.org/ghgrant

  • September 15, 2021 8:58 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA) proudly announces that UPMC and its Center for Engagement and Inclusion, PNC Bank, Luttner Financial, and HRT Solutions have all renewed their sponsorships of 3RBA for its 2021/2022 fiscal year.  

    “3RBA is delighted and honored that these four leaders in the region have renewed their sponsorship of 3RBA,” said Ronald L. Hicks, Jr., a partner at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP and President of 3RBA. “Each of these four corporate sponsors is committed to fostering a diverse environment in all aspects of their work and culture and believes that their ability to retain and serve their clients and their diverse needs is enhanced by supporting organizations like 3RBA.”

    ###

    About Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA)

    Launched in early 2018, 3RBA serves to promote networking and business development within the LGBT+ 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 LGBT+ 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 LGBT+ and allied business owners and professionals, corporations, nonprofits, and civic leaders. Learn more about 3RBA at www.3rba.com.


  • August 26, 2021 2:47 PM | Cynthia Oliver (Administrator)

    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 | Cynthia Oliver (Administrator)

    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.

Get in Touch

Three Rivers Business Alliance
1735 E. Carson St. #403

Pittsburgh, PA 15203-1705
info@3rba.com
412-346-4161


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