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The DC Center Blog







The Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce 2013 Annual Awards

Permanent Link | Posted by Front Desk on March 26, 2013 3:46 PM

The Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce 2013 Annual Awards will be presented at the Chamber's April 19 gala at the Mayflower Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel from 6:30-9:30pm. The awards recognize excellence in business, dedication to community and development of new entrepreneurs.

The honorees are:

The Excellence in Business Award, honoring long-term achievement for the greater benefit of the Washington metropolitan area or the national LGBT community, is awarded to David Franco, founder of the Universal Gear chain of men's retail fashion. From its debut in Washington, Universal Gear is now in New York, Chicago and Atlanta, and has aggressively grown its online retail presence. Franco personally leads the management team and is responsible for nearly 50 employees.

The Business Leadership Award, honoring an LGBT individual for their leadership, accomplishments and example for the Washington area LGBT community, is awarded to Christine Delucchi, who has drawn on her 30-plus years of marketing and public relations experience to launch to strategic communications firms: Delucchi+ and Blue Bug Digital. Delucchi has used her experience as a breast cancer survivor to speak out on the importance of health issues for LGBT people and women.

The Corporate Ally Award, recognizing a non-LGBT business that has made significant accomplishments in partnering with the LGBT community, is awarded to KPMG, the international consulting firm that was the first of its kind to partner with the Chamber with its PRIDE@KPMG group and the personal work of Scott Shaughnessy. A major supporter of the Chamber, KPMG knows the value of the LGBT community and the power of diversity.

The Emerging Entrepreneur Award, honoring an LGBT individual, group or business that has demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit and success in new and creative endeavors in the LGBT community, is awarded to John Caldwell of Malvin, Riggins & Co., a full-service tax and accounting firm that expanded into the DC area in 2011. In addition to serving the LGBT community, Caldwell has been instrumental in launching the Chamber VA program in Northern Virginia.

The Community Advocacy Award, honoring an individual, group or organization whose activism has benefited the health, well-being and position of the Washington area LGBT community, is awarded to Amanda Simpson, who under President Barack Obama, became the first-ever out transgender woman political appointee. After her first posting as Senior Technical Advisor at the Department of Commerce, she now serves as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army, but is always an inspiration figure for the Transgender and LGB communities.

The Volunteer of the Year Award, honoring an LGBT individual for outstanding dedication and service to the broader LGBT community, is awarded to Ashley Smith, well-known in the community for his work with both the Human Rights Campaign and the DC Coalition of Black LGBT People. Whether co-chairing the HRC National Dinner or knocking on doors for marriage equality, Smith is at the forefront of the LGBT community's dedicated and inspiring volunteers.

The awards will be presented at the Chamber's Annual Awards Dinner, Friday, April 19, from 6:30 to 9:30 at the Mayflower Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel (1127 Connecticut Ave. NW).

Information and tickets are available online at

As the 2012 National Lesbian and Gay Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) "Chamber of the Year," CAGLCC is the Washington metropolitan area's voice for LGBT businesses and allies. With deep roots in the community and more than two decades of proven service and results, the Chamber means business.


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