Valerie is a lecturer at the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a social impact strategist, writer, and consultant specializing in change-related communications–especially in the areas of environmental protection, health, public affairs, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Valerie has spent her career breaking down complex environmental issues into fun, profound campaigns that take creative risks and get results. She cofounded EnviroMedia in 1997, leading as CEO for 22 years with clients that included Vital Farms, Dell, Microsoft, Google, Intel, HP, Daimler, LafargeHolcim, AMD, Tetrapak, and many government and nonprofit organizations. She is Chair-Elect of the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, President-Elect of the League of Women Voters of Austin, and a board member of Austin Habitat for Humanity. Valerie received a Bachelor of Journalism in Public Relations from UT and is teaching two “Integrated Communications Management” classes in the Stan Richards School in Fall 2020.
Adam has been an active member of the LGBT Chamber since 2016 as both a Board Member and Ambassador. He is also an active singing member and committee member in the Austin Gay Men’s Chorus. Professionally, he is the owner of Texas Independent Insurance & Risk Management where he serves as a Risk Manager and Advisor of Insurance Services. He specializes in working with the LGBTQIA+ community and prides himself in working with honesty, integrity, loyalty, and respect. His passion is to help the Chamber grow in membership and grow in support, both inside and outside of the LGBTQIA+ Community. He is honored to represent his community as a leader in the Chamber and looks forward to working hard toward the ever-so-important goal of growing the success of LGBTQIA+ businesses in Austin. Adam also serves on the Board of the Austin Police Department’s Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association as the Vice-President of Sponsorship and is the Treasurer for the Board of Directors of his neighborhood’s owner association. In his free time, Adam loves good food, good conversation, good movies, and playing board games with his friends and family. You might catch him playing a round of golf every now and again – he’ll be the one looking for his ball in the hazards!
With over 18 years of consulting experience, Josh has provided consulting services to clients in a variety of industries, including financial services, manufacturing, energy, transportation, technology, construction, and engineering. Joshua serves on the firm’s National Committee for Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), which focuses on scaling the application ERM projects to meet the needs of middle-market clients. In addition, he serves as the regional leader of the firm’s financial institutions practice, focused on driving value through internal audit and loan review.
From hackathons to IPOs to global product launches, I have spent the last 18 years building award-winning marketing programs and teams at technology companies, including Silicon Labs, Jive Software, and National Instruments. I’m obsessed with creating innovative campaigns that measurably impact the 4Rs: reputation, reach, relationships, and revenue.
I have been published in several outlets, including the Harvard Business Review and Wall Street Journal, and a speaker more than 60 events such as Adobe Summit, SXSW, The Federal Reserve, Forrester, and Gartner. I’ve also been included on the following lists: Social Media Club Top 100, Kapost’s 32 of the Texas Marketers to Follow, Traackr’s Top 25 Marketers in Software and Top 25 Content Marketers, and Austin’s SMC Women Kicking Ass.
I’m extremely passionate about communications, equity and education. I’ve contributed to the community as a White House LGBTQ Tech & Innovation Fellow under President Obama, the board vice president of the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy, a STEM non-profit Changing Expectations board member, and a Leadership Austin essentials participant.
I’m a proud graduate of The University of Texas, wife to a wonderful partner, and mom to a goofy labradoodle. My superpower is finding the perfect .gif for any situation.
A serial entrepreneur, Becky has spent her career building great businesses, teams and company cultures. In her most recent venture, The Arreaga Agency – Farmers Insurance, Becky along with her sister and business partner Liz, are bringing a fresh, new perspective to insurance. Along with their team of seasoned insurance pros, The Arreaga Agency is dedicated to educating and empowering clients to see insurance as a powerful tool designed to build and protect their best life. In short, to worry less and do more as a result of a comprehensive insurance strategy – Home | Auto | Commercial | Life | Retirement.
Previously, Becky served as agency founder/partner of experiential marketing agency Mercury Mambo. Mercury Mambo specialized in developing targeted shopper and experiential campaigns designed to drive sales at the point “Where Commerce & Culture Collide!”. Clients included some of the top brands on the planet such as Anheuser-Busch, 7-11, Moet Hennessy, Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc., JM Smucker brands, People en Español Festival, REI, and the Outdoor Industry Association to name a few. Becky currently serves on the National Board of Directors of the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University. Becky is an award-winning graphic designer, having won 3rd place in her third-grade fire prevention poster contest.
A dynamic, out-of-the-box leader who tackles one challenge after another. Ms. Cannon is currently the Executive Director of the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce after recently serving as the Vice President of Government Relations with the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. Cannon also served as a Senior Policy Analyst for the City of Austin. Prior to her work in politics, Ms. Cannon has been a seasoned entrepreneur having spent many years in the Austin startup space. Ms. Cannon served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Texas State University and has been a guest blogger for CBSNews.com. She has been a featured presenter at various technology events. Cannon graduated from Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Kyle wants to gain a better understanding of the local issues facing the community and be more active in the LGBT community. He has served the Chamber through board service, happy hours and the Large Company ERG Committee. Kyle brings expertise with large company ERG programs and can leverage his connections on the Chamber’s behalf. He believes LGBT businesses help promote equality and acceptance in the city. Kyle’s vision for the Chamber is to help smaller businesses make the right connections to grow. He also wants to encourage more participation with and from LGBT youth to help grow a better tomorrow.
Nico Ramsey is a community organizer, active volunteer, and public speaker, who resides in Austin, Texas. Since 2005, he has called Texas home and has lived in Austin for several years. With an educational background in Mass Media Communications, Nico is the Community Relations Specialist for Velocity Credit Union. Alongside his work at Velocity, he builds a financial education curriculum and produces interactive videos covering various financial topics such as credit building, budgeting, and basic banking to name a few. Additionally, he oversees Velocity’s annual giving, student scholarships, and employee volunteering. Nico is a Director on the Board of the Dog Alliance, serves as a co-chair for the Austin Human Rights Campaign Steering Committee and is a member of the AIDS Services of Austin development committee. Above all else, Nico is passionate about inspiring civic engagement among millennials and developing/empowering the next wave of community leaders.
Jason wants to further the impact and reach of the Chamber within Austin metro. He believes that assembling of some of Austin’s well-connected, hardworking, diverse, and well-suited visionary talents can carry the city and the Chamber to new heights. With the backing of his media connections, Jason can help shine an even brighter light on the Chamber. Jason served the Chamber by representing KVUE at the 2018 Proud! Gala. He brings experience with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake Fundraiser in 2016-2017. His operating philosophy is “to whom much is given, much is required” and he tries to live by that every day. He believes LGBT businesses are important to the local economy to provide added, critical, relative, and business savvy support to the LGBT community. Jason’s vision for the Chamber is to help eliminate any sort of negative stigma of LGBT or non-profit organizations or what people negatively think about communication chamber organizations.
Retired Attorney/State Executive turned Transgender advocate/activist. After a 31 year career in Law, Risk Management, Insurance and Executive Management with the State of Texas, Ms. Bow now devotes her time to working for social justice and fostering understanding and acceptance of the Transgender Community.
Owner and operator of Seedlings Gardening, a company she founded in 2011. A native Austinite, Liz earned a master’s degree in architecture from Texas Tech University. She now puts her skills to work designing and installing landscapes with a focus on style and sustainability. Outside of work Liz enjoys exploring the many creative and social opportunities Austin has to offer and spends time with her two dogs, Ziggy and Lola.
Natalie leads both the Lynch Service Company, focusing on harassment, retaliation, and discrimination in the workplace, and the Lynch Law Firm. In addition to the Chamber board service, she participates actively in animal welfare issues, the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Humane Legislative Network, and her son’s Boy Scout Troop. Natalie brings strong organizational skills and experience with other small and large community organizations. She believes the chamber provides a safe and empowering arena for LGBT employees or company leaders to better themselves, network, and find resources that align with their outlook in a mutual pursuit of business opportunities. Natalie’s vision for the Chamber is stability and professionalism. She believes the Chamber needs to invest in itself in order to move to the future.
Chase is a Vice President at MassMutual Southwest, a financial services firm. Having worked extensively with chambers of commerce in the past, Chase was responsible for the creation of our chamber’s Ambassador program. He recently served on the Board of Directors for the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival. Chase enjoys racing sailboats on Lake Travis where he is an active member of the Austin Yacht Club, volunteering at the Austin Galano Club, and is an avid astrophotographer with the Austin Astronomical Society. He is an alumnus of Tarleton State University and Leadership Austin. His family has lived in Texas since 1835.
Hunter Coleman is a Wealth Management Advisor at Raymond James Financial. Based in Austin, Texas, Hunter operates as a dedicated financial concierge, bringing a deep level of
experience and knowledge to LGBTQ individuals, families, and the specialized physicians he serves. Hunter is designated as an Accredited Asset Management Specialist to assist high net worth clients with portfolios of significant wealth. Hunter is a financial advisor who, in addition to providing traditional advice and guidance, can help clients establish and pursue their unique financial objectives through personalized investment strategies that align with their values. As a fiduciary, Hunter believes in forging lasting relationships built on understanding, trust, advanced ethics, and a heightened level of privacy. Hunter is a former college football player and a graduate of Columbia University in the City of New York. He studied psychology, political science, and classical literature. Hunter serves as a member of the Board of Directors and as a Committee Chairmen for the Austin LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce. He is the President of the Columbia University Alumni Association of Austin. Additionally, Hunter serves on the Finance Committee and the Development Committee of AIDS Services of Austin. Hunter was born in Louisiana and has family living throughout the great state of Texas, in New York, and California. He and his partner live in Austin with their rescue dog, Argos.
Experienced Business Owner with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and printing industry. Skilled in networking, leadership, lead generation, marketing, and email marketing. A strong business development professional.
Serving in the Austin homeless community, addiction and mental health industries are her passion outside of the LGBT Chamber.
Originally from the Hill Country of Mason, Texas, Gunner Gardner is well familiar with the areas surrounding Central and West, Texas. After graduating from Granger High School, Gardner took to Alpine, Texas to play Division 3 Collegiate Tennis for Sul Ross State University. While there, he served as the President of The Rotaract Club Alpine, a division of Rotary International. Through Rotaract, Gardner organized several charitable fundraising efforts to support organizations like the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and those affected by tragedies like the Flint Michigan Water Crisis, The Nepal Earthquakes and more. In May of 2017, Gardner graduated Cum Laude and received his Bachelor of Arts in Social Science with honors in History and Political Science. He was most recently named the 2016-17 Community Service Athlete of the Year by the American Southwest Conference and the NCAA.