Pride in Business Awards


The Nashville LGBT Chamber will present its annual business awards at a high-profile virtual event on Friday, June 4, 2021. 

Support the Nashville LGBT Chamber Foundation at our annual Pride in Business Awards, which includes a Who’s Who of Corporate leaders, small business owners, civic leaders, and professionals. While reimagined for a virtual world, this high-energy event will still bring a powerful audience, emotional acceptance speeches, and optimism among those committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

Presenting Sponsor

Title Sponsors

The Pride in Business Awards, formerly known as the Excellence in Business Awards, is the Nashville LGBT Chamber’s premier business event. This high-energy lunch is best known for its diversity of attendees, powerful presentations, and inspirational acceptance speeches. These awards are presented by AllianceBernstein!

Join us for the 2020 Pride in Business Awards at the JW Marriott Nashville

Stay posted for the new date and details for this year’s Pride in Business Awards presented by AllianceBernstein.

Now Accepting Nominations

We need your help! We have to give awards to somebody and you get to tell us who is deserving.
We are now collecting nominations for the awards. Please use this form to nominate a company, small business, friend, co-worker, boss, spouse, peer, mentor, mentee, or yourself for an award from the LGBT Chamber.
Nominations close on Friday, March 26. 
We will announce all finalists at our virtual Brewing Up Business program on April 15th. Please send as many deserving nominees as you want in the following categories:
  • Corporate Diversity
  • Small Business Diversity
  • Business Leader of the Year
  • Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Ally Award
  • Community Service Award
  • Leadership in the Arts

You can read all the award descriptions below.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Your Dollars at Work

The Nashville LGBT Chamber Foundation educates, inspires, and empowers our individual, small business, corporate, and nonprofit members, and the community-at-large; who share the values of promoting equality and diversity in business and society.

Our 2021 goals are to provide professional development education and programming for LGBT business professionals, provide programming for LGBT entrepreneurs and small business owners, advocate for contracting opportunities for LGBT business owners, fund a scholarship for an LGBT entrepreneur to participate in local programs, and offer scholarships for LGBT candidates to attend classes at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Launch Tennessee, and other programs.

Sponsorship Levels

Look over our Sponsorship Prospectus for benefits for each of the following levels:

Presenting Sponsor- $10,000
Title Sponsor- $5,000
Award Sponsor- $2,500
Gold Sponsor- $2,000
Table Sponsor- $1,000
Half-Table Sponsor- $500

Award Descriptions


The LGBT Chamber presents seven awards (see award names and descriptions below):

Ally Award is presented to someone who does not identify as LGBT and has shown a commitment to helping the LGBT community. Donations include monetary, time, policies, budgeting, treatment, support, engagement, etc. An ally uses their resources and centers of influence to provide opportunities for and empower their LGBT peers, employees, organizations, or the community.

The Leadership in the Arts Award is given to an individual who identifies as LGBT or an organization (which does not) who, over the past year, has demonstrated a commitment to equality, especially LGBT equality. Considerations should be given to performance topics, performers, staff, audience, policies, and more.

Business Leader of the Year is presented to someone who identifies as LGBT and has an employer. First, the candidate should show strong business results over the last 12 months, including increased revenue, attendance, programs, clients, promotion, or whatever is relevant to their field. The better candidate will be involved in the LGBT community or give back to LGBT organizations. The best candidate will be able to tie their increased outcomes to the LGBT Chamber.

Community Service Award is given to an individual who identifies as LGBT or an organization which caters specifically to the LGBT community (like Pride or GLSEN). The better candidate will be involved in the local LGBT community. The best candidate will have a consistent relationship with the LGBT Chamber. The least qualified candidate will one who get paid for the work they do to serve the community.

The Corporate Diversity Award and Small Business Diversity Award are given to the company who has the most policies and practices that protect and engage their LGBT employees, customers, and suppliers. The better candidate will be involved in the local LGBT community. The best candidate will have a consistent relationship with the LGBT Chamber. The least qualified candidate will be one who intentionally markets to the LGBT community but does not protect and engage their own LGBT employees to the best of their ability.

Entrepreneur of the Year is presented to an entrepreneur or small business owner who identifies as LGBT. The candidate should be able to show increased outcomes over the last 12 months. The better candidate will give back to the LGBT community and the best candidate will have a consistent relationship with the LGBT Chamber.

Click here for a historical list of nominees and winners.

Past Excellence in Business Award Winners


Corporate Diversity Award

2019 Asurion

2018  Cracker Barrel and Dell

2017  Waller

2016  Baker Donelson

2015  Fifth Third Bank

2014  Nissan

2013  Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Small Business Diversity Award

2019 Focus Middle Tennessee

2018  Medicopy

2017  The Turnip Truck

2016  GS&F

2015  Emma

Business Leader of the Year

2019 Pamela Sheffer, Oasis Center

2018  Kimberly Stephan-Tate, Asurion 

2017  Paul Vasterling, Nashville Ballet

2016  Steve Smotherman, Cracker Barrel

2015  David Bzrozoski, Dollar General

2014  Bradley Pinson, Fifth Third Bank

2013  Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Ally Award

2019 Kathy Halbrooks, PFLAG

2018  Bethany Mason, Dollar General

2017  Sean Henry, Nashville Predators

2016  Amy Parker, Deloitte

2015  Megan Barry

2014  Christopher Robinette, Mass Mutual (Capital Financial Group)

2013  Don Abel, Jr., Fifth Third Bank

Entrepreneur of the Year

2019 Jenny Ford, JF Government Strategies

2018  Phil Cobucci, BAM! Social Business 

2017  John Dyke, The Turnip Truck

2016  Jack Davis, J.D. Events & Festivals

2015  Bruce Pittman, Bruce Pittman, Inc.

2014  Joey Amato, Unite Magazine

2013  Amos Gott, AmosEvents

Community Service Award

2019 Brian Marshall, MashUp Nashville

2018  Joe Woolley, Get It Done Solutions

2017  Launch Pad Volunteers

2016  Jim Schmidt, Schmidt Government Solutions

2015  Marisa Richmond, Middle Tennessee State University

2014  Abby Rubenfeld, Rubenfeld Law Office

2013  Nashville CARES

Leadership in the Arts Award

2019 Belcourt Theatre

2018  Don Schlosser, Nashville in Harm

2017  Oz Arts Nashville

2016  Nashville Ballet

2015  Nashville Opera

2014  Jim Robert, ALIAS Chamber Ensemble

2013  Nashville in Harmony

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Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce
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Nashville, TN 37210


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