Successful Launch of a National Affiliate Chamber in Mexico

| By Michael Castellano
NGLCC Global celebrated the launch of its official national affiliate chamber in Mexico, the Mexican Federation of LGBT Entrepreneurs (FME-LGBT), last week from October 23 to 24. The two-day launch event and conference at the Marriott Reforma Hotel in Mexico City was sold out to the public and attended by nearly 150 people from across the country who traveled to the capital to learn about the new chamber and network with fellow entrepreneurs.
The highly successful launch represents months of capacity and institution building between NGLCC Global and FME-LGBT under NGLCC’s public-private partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and corporate partners. 
The event opened with remarks from Justin Nelson, NGLCC co-founder and president, César Casas Ferrer, FME-LGBT founder and CEO, as well as members of the FME-LGBT board of directors who represent various national constituency groups from the Mexican LGBT business community.

 The first day also included remarks from the other members of the international LGBT Business Partnership, which, under NGLCC Global’s leadership, includes CCGLAR in Argentina, CGLCC in Canada, and CCLGBTco in Colombia. Felipe Cárdenas and Andrés Vasquez, co-founders and President and Vice President of the Colombian LGBT Chamber of Commerce spoke on a panel about the importance of chamber affiliation. CCLGBTco will also be holding their own national conference, WE TRADE, in Bogotá, Colombia, on November 4, 5, and 6.
FME-LGBT hosted members from various multinational corporations who spoke about LGBT supplier diversity and their respective company’s policies on LGBT inclusion. The two panels included representatives from Marriott International, IBM, Microsoft, American Express, and Google. The popular Mexican musical artist, Jaime Kohen, made a special guest appearance, speaking about his decision to come out and how his identity has affected his business and work within the entertainment industry in Mexico. 
FME-LGBT and NGLCC Global were honored that Deputy Chief of Mission Laura Dogu from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City delivered closing remarks and joined attendees for the networking reception.
The overall message was one of positivity and excitement as members of Mexico’s first LGBT business organization discussed their challenges, hopes, and enthusiasm for this new initiative. Mexico is the U.S.’s third largest trading partner, with over $1.3 billion worth of commerce conducted across the border each day. With the successful launch of FME-LGBT, NGLCC Global looks forward to continuing to build this important relationship and expand opportunities between business owners in Mexico and the U.S.
Check out NGLCC on Facebook to see more photos from the event.