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LGBT Chamber of Commerce Foundation Graduates LGBT Leadership Institute Class of 2024

LGBT Chamber of Commerce Foundation Graduates LGBT Leadership Institute Class of 2024

DALLAS, TEXAS: The LGBT Chamber of Commerce Foundation is pleased to announce the graduation of its fourth LGBT Leadership Institute cohort. Launched in 2019, the program has grown steadily each year.

Members of the 2024 LGBT Leadership Institute graduating class include:

  • Elizabeth Adams, she/her; Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum
  • Prisilla Arredondo, she/her; Resource Center
  • Marquesse Banks, he/him; Prism Health North Texas
  • Zachary Bartush, he/him; Scouting America
  • Mary Elaine Benton, she/her; Hope’s Door New Beginning Center
  • Ryan Bloss, he/him; Vistra Corp
  • Michael Dewberry, he/him; Pride Museum of Texas
  • M`ich`el Macklin, she/her; Texas Pride Impact Funds
  • Erica Mendez, she/her; North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce
  • DeMondre Montgomery, he/him; Longhorn Protective Group
  • Austin Price, he/him; MarshMcLennan Agency
  • Evie Wise, she/her; Wise Insurance Group
  • Sidney Yerger, she/her; Dallas Hope Charities

Class members participate in a nine-month program designed to provide valuable leadership skills development, such as strategic planning, change management, and conflict resolution. They also gain an opportunity to meet and learn from experts in their fields, along with an historical view of the LGBTQ+ equality movement and community.

Pictured: Michel Macklin, DeMondre Montgomery, Sidney Yerger, Erica Mendez, Mary Elaine Benton, Prisilla Arredondo, Marquesse Banks, Ryan Bloss, Austin Price, Michael Dewberry, Elizabeth Adams, Evie Wise, and Zach Bartush

“I have enjoyed working with this diverse group and appreciate their commitment to the program and passion to serve the community,” stated Lisa Howe, who manages the program and serves as Vice President of Membership & Programs for the North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce. “Although there are a number of quality leadership programs in North Texas, none are designed to fill the generational information gap in the LGBTQ+ community. We use every session to prepare our graduates to be better, more informed representatives of the LGBTQ+ community, whether they identify as LGBTQ or an Ally. The graduates of the 2024 class are going to have an extremely positive impact on their organizations and in our community.”

Graduation day consisted of finishing up over 60 hours of instruction and skills development. Graduates and guests were treated to inspirational speeches by fellow classmate, Michel Macklin and keynote speaker Ahmad Goree, National Assistant Director of Program Management for the U.S. Small Business Administration. After the graduation ceremony hosted by The City of Dallas Small Business Center, graduate and guests celebrated at a reception hosted by the Aloft Dallas Downtown

The LGBT Leadership Institute provides an inclusive and nurturing environment for a diverse cohort of individuals to develop leadership skills and explore the critical issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. The LGBT Chamber of Commerce Foundation is now accepting nominations for those interested in participating in the 2024-2025 LGBT Leadership Institute class. Applications are due by July 15, 2024. Participation is open to members of the LGBTQ+ community and Allies. Tuition for the nine-month program is $2000. Partial scholarships are available. More information is available at 

About LGBT Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Established by the North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the LGBT Chamber of Commerce Foundation carries out the charitable and educational objectives of the Chamber, supports young adults, and nurtures the development of leaders in the LGBT community. The Foundation is also home to the LGBT Chamber Foundation Scholarship Fund.

The LGBT Chamber of Commerce Foundation is a Texas nonprofit organization designated as tax exempt as defined in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Additional information is available at  

Additional Info

Media Contact : Lisa Howe

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