I heard a wise woman once say, “When more of us are concerned about the rest of us, the world will be a better place,” and I agree. This need to lend my voice to the collective concern of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender economic empowerment comes from an understanding of what it means to make a difference.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are,” and our team at Affinity Inc Magazine and AIM Digital has done just that. For almost four years, we’ve brought you stories of vision and inspiration, practical business advice and market trends, events from around the nation and the world and some of the most amazing and innovative business owners in the country. We’ve been able to do this because more of us are concerned about the rest of us. We have an amazing list of sponsors and community partners who have shown their commitment to business equality by allowing us access to their organizations and leaders for great interviews, contributing thought-provoking insights and perspectives, along with advertisements of their programs, products and services in support of LGBT economic empowerment.
In this issue of Affinity Inc Magazine, our cover feature is a story of commitment, accomplishment and inspiration. Tim and Thom DeWitt, cofounders and co-owners of OBOX Solutions LLC, show us how doing business with an LGBT-owned and -certified business is actually an example of more of us concerned about the rest of us — even in the face of adversity.
The LGBT business community is poised to make significant gains in 2016 with the trendsetting actions taken by the state of Massachusetts to include certified LGBT-owned businesses in statewide supplier diversity programs. California’s Department of Insurance conducted its Fourth Annual Insurance Diversity Summit, and like the California Public Utilities Commission, it is setting examples and creating models that others will follow. Both states are examples of more of us being concerned about the rest of us.
Once again, we have named Affinity Inc Magazine’s Top Corporations for Economic Empowerment. These companies are more of us demonstrating concern for the rest of us, and in 2016 we will continue to share their stories. Marriott International Inc. is one of our top corporations that has had a year of excellence in support of and recognition from the LGBT community. Marriott demonstrates diversity leadership in its outreach to the LGBT community. With its LGBT-focused supplier diversity initiatives, ONE Marriott associate network, smart advertising campaigns like #LoveTravels, philanthropic support and a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, it is showing us all what concern for the rest of us really looks like.
In these pages I hope you find stories that inspire you and information you need, as we look toward growing the voice of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender business community around the world. Enjoy and look forward to even more of us showing concern for the rest of us in 2016!
Robin Dillard, Publisher
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