The Path to Philly: 2018 Conference Host Chamber IBA

| By James Gleason

The countdown to the 2018 International Business & Leadership Conference is on, and none of NGLCC's constituents are more excited than the Philadelphia host chamber, The Independence Business Alliance (IBA). With hundreds from the NGLCC family and greater LGBT business community flocking to their city this August, IBA shared what drives the organization to success and why the IBA team is so thrilled to host this year's conference.

1. How would you summarize the mission of the IBA?
The Independence Business Alliance is a membership-based business advocacy organization dedicated to making the Greater Philadelphia area (in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware) an influential and diverse LGBT business community with an impact on economic development, equal rights and policy issues. The mission of the Independence Business Alliance is to promote Greater Philadelphia’s LGBT business and leadership communities to enhance financial opportunities, foster diversity, develop leadership and collaboration, and advocate for positive change. We utilize the powers of business and community to ensure that no one gets left behind.
 
2. What challenges face LGBTBEs in the Greater Philadelphia region, and how does the IBA help them overcome those challenges?
LGBTQ-owned businesses and LGBTQ employees often lack the opportunities, access, and resources necessary for their businesses and careers to grow and thrive. The IBA creates a community with a safe space for networking and asking questions. We create meaningful business connections, educate about access to resources, and amplify opportunities for the LGBT business community.
 
3. What goals does the IBA have for the future?
The IBA has so many goals for the future, which include, but are not limited to: continuing to increase the number of LGBTBEs in our membership, building on our innovative programming like Intersections and TransWork, growing our membership across many diverse measures, and eventually adding more staff to continue our commitment to excellent membership service.
 
4. What are you most looking forward to at the NGLCC International Business and Leadership Conference this year?
Every year, the NGLCC International Business and Leadership Conference feels a bit like summer camp, where we get to meet up with our like-minded friends from around the world who share the same passion for LGBTQ advocacy through the lens of business that we do. This year will be extra special as we witness conference attendees react to working, learning, and playing in our home city. We will be thrilled to kick the event off with a huge party on Tuesday night and host our old and new friends in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.
 
5. Is there anything else you would like to add? 
We’re incredibly proud that the City of Philadelphia will be hosting this conference, and we hope everyone loves our City as much as we do. We are beyond excited to learn from others, make new connections, and elevate the work we do to serve the LGBTQ business community.