WBENC Women & Pride, brought to you by FedEx, is an outreach and development program designed to support and strengthen the community of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and corporate professionals within the WBENC network and beyond.
The 2022 WBENC National Conference welcomed 3500+ attendees to Atlanta, Georgia, for the first in-person WBENC event since 2019! Keeping in line with the conference’s theme of “BE BOLD,” Women & Pride in Partnership with the WBENC Allyship Program hosted Corporate Allyship: Standing Up for LGBTQ+. This impactful session was led by Dee C. Marshall of Diverse & Engaged, and featured guest speaker and LGBTQ+ corporate allyship expert, Tiffany Ringgold (she/her), Managing Director, Northern California District, Western Region, FedEx Ground. This session was followed by a Women & Pride Community Meet Up, in which LGBTQ+ women business owners, corporate professionals, and allies alike gathered to network, engage in thoughtful discussions, and celebrate WBENC’s LGBTQ+ community.
Women & Pride WBE Spotlight
We kicked off Pride Month by celebrating five WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprises in the first WBENC Women & Pride WBE Spotlight! This dynamic group of community leaders, advocates, innovators, and disrupters share insights on their unique entrepreneurial journeys as LGBTQ+ women business owners. Learn More and view Capability Statements!
Lianne Lami (She/Her)
CEO & President
Bocci Engineering & Construction
Norel Mancuso (She/Her)
Social House Inc.
Denise Merrit (She/Her)
Brand | Pride
Felicia McCoy (She/Her)
CEO & President
BG Promotions, Inc.
Denise Merrit (She/Her)
Merritt Business Solutions
Women & Pride Allyship Series: LGBTQ+ Allyship as a Business Imperative
Women & Pride, in partnership with the WBENC Allyship Program presented the two-part series, LGBTQ+ Allyship as a Business Imperative. The objective of the series was to educate women-owned businesses and Corporate professionals alike on the value of investing in the LGBTQ+ community. Attendees learned how to activate LGBTQ+ allyship through tools and resources in order to optimize revenue, LGBTQ+ spend, and attract diverse talent.
Part 1 – the WHY
Part 1 took place on September 29th and focused on the why – why is it important to be an ally to this community? Our panel of experts addressed common barriers experienced by folks within the LGBTQ+ community and shared perspectives from their lived experience as business owners, corporate professionals, and LGBTQ+ interlocutors.
Betsy Cerulo | Founder & CEO, AdNet/AccountNet
Betsy Cerulo is the founder of AdNet/AccountNet, Inc, a management consulting firm focused on Professional Staffing, Human Capital Management and Executive Search services. Based in Baltimore City, serving government and corporate clients throughout the United States, AdNet places experts with Accounting/Finance, Human Resources and Legal expertise. Betsy is Co-Founder and Past President of the Maryland LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
Joanne LaRose | Managing Director, Employment Law Group, FedEx
Joanne LaRose is Managing Director of the Employment Law Group at FedEx Ground, where she oversees a team of attorneys, paralegals and administrative assistants in handling an extensive variety of employment issues throughout the United States and Canada. She has worked at FedEx Ground in various capacities of the legal department for the past 15 years.
Sabrina Kent | Executive Vice President, Programs & External Affairs, NGLCC
As Executive Vice President of Programs & External Affairs at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), Sabrina Kent (she/her) serves as a member of NGLCC’s Executive Leadership and supports the efforts of its Board of Directors in advocating for the economic empowerment of LGBT-owned businesses both within the U.S. and globally.
Part 2 – the HOW
Part 2 of the series focused on building awareness and upstander techniques in order to galvanize the workforce into more activated and impactful LGBTQ+ allyship.
Best-selling author, Inclusion expert, and dually certified WBENC and NGLCC entrepreneur, Jennifer Brown (she/her), built understanding around concepts that include intersectionality, privilege, upstander behaviors and the power of allyship. She discussed the ally and inclusive leader journey and challenge the audience to move off the sidelines to become allies and advocates in their communities and workplaces.
All who attended the December 1st webinar were offered one free copy of Jennifer Brown’s newest edition of How To Be An Inclusive Leader: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive.
Women & Pride Resource Library
The WBENC Women & Pride Resource Library serves as a hub for LGBTQ+ resources for individuals as well as organizations who are looking to be more inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community in their language and actions.
Visit the Resource Library to watch the recordings of Part 1 and Part 2 of the Women & Pride Allyship Series HERE
Interested in connecting with fellow LGBTQ+ women business owners? Join our Women & Pride LinkedIn Group!
Looking ahead to 2023
Join us in Nashville, TN, for the 2023 WBENC National Conference taking place March 20-23, 2023, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. WBENC, along with our 2023 National Conference Co-Chairs, Bristol Myers Squibb, DuPont, EY, Nissan Group of the Americas, The ActOne Group, Ampcus Inc., CSS Building Services, and M. Davis & Sons, Inc. look forward to connecting again in person, building momentum, identifying innovative best practices, learning industry trends and celebrating accomplishments by our WBEs and Corporate Members that further a diverse supply chain and grow business opportunities for women entrepreneurs.
On Monday afternoon, March 19, Women & Pride will be hosting a pre-conference session open to all WBEs and Corporate Members. We hope you will join us!
Check out the Conference schedule!
On Monday afternoon, March 20 from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM, Women & Pride will host a pre-conference event, Elevating the LGBTQ+ Women’s Business Community, that will be open to all. We hope you’ll join us!
To stay up to date on Women & Pride and all WBENC programming and events, make sure that you are subscribed to our WBENC newsletter.Subscribe for Updates