The State of the Unions Gay Guest

The State of the Unions Gay Guest



You have a lot of national and local clients — what are some of the more interesting initiatives that you've taken on recently?
One of our latest accounts is Cincinnati Bell, and we're helping them with moving into this market and expanding into Columbus and Louisville. It's been really exciting to see their business grow. We're going to be a part of doing their PR and marketing for them. Another group is Author Solutions. They're based down in Bloomington, Ind. They're the world's largest self-publisher, and they've been growing a lot, and we've been doing publicity campaigns with some of their authors.

Recently, since we've been doing well, this is our 15th anniversary, and we've always done a grant program, where we give out $50,000 in in-kind services to nonprofit groups — this year we've upped it to $150,000 to celebrate our 15th anniversary. We've awarded it to 12 different nonprofits. That's been really cool and really rewarding for us.

My goal is that there are gay businesses out there that are doing great things, and we have a National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to enable us to do great things on an even greater level to the greater society. I hear it all the time, that when people think that because we're gay, we're at the right hand of Satan and that we're horrible individuals who aren't there to help anybody. I know that my friends who are gay tend to be some of the most generous people I know.

Can you reveal some of the organizations you'll be helping?
There's one called School on Wheels, which has three locations, one here, one in Boston, and one in L.A. School on wheels helps provide tutors to underprivileged children. A lot of that is after-school education, and they're trying to work in some health education as well. It's a pretty exciting group, since they're all children-based. We're also working with the Madame Walker Theatre, which is one of the longest-standing here in town. We're helping them with branding positions, and to get them more established. We had another one called Indy Hub, which is a young professionals association, which is a nonprofit, and their goal is to let people know about Indianapolis from a YP standpoint, because a lot of people are looking at where to live based on that. We had dozens and dozens that applied.

Your business has actually been able to flourish during one of the most difficult economic climates in decades. What would you attribute to your success?
There's multiple things going for us. We've built a strong foundation over the past 15 years. There are things that Obama's put into play, and we're seeing more jobs being created. Some people say he's spending too much money, but in my business, and in any business, you have to spend to make. That's a philosophy that people share.

Also, having organizations like NGLCC out there helping with advocacy has really helped small businesses to recover and add jobs and move forward.