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Charlotte, NC, Release: December 15, 2020. For Immediate Release

At the 2020 Annual Meeting the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce quietly announced a historical shift that will positively impact the Chamber for years to come. Chad Turner, after serving three terms as President was unanimously selected as the Chamber’s first staff member in the role of Chief Executive Officer.  His duties will include managing the day-to-day operations of the organization, and development of community and corporate relationships to foster continued and sustainable growth.  The Chamber has experienced exponential growth under his leadership as president and he and the new chair will work in tandem to see the organization to the next level. “By establishing a President/CEO of our Chamber we are letting the community know that we are invested in the long future of this organization” said Erin Barbee, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy.

Also, the Chamber announced that Ciara Lilly was appointed as Chair of the Board of Directors, after serving two terms as vice president and director of supplier diversity and certification.  In her new role, Lilly will oversee the board of directors, set the agenda, and continue managing the supplier diversity and certification program.  The wealth of knowledge and experience that she brings to this role will enhance the overall mission of the organization as the Chamber continues to grow.

In addition, Tiffany Keaton from TIAA was elected as the Vice Chair for Internal Affairs, Jennifer Carbuto from Jen Carbuto Designs was re-elected as Vice Chair for External Affairs, Bryan VanHuystee of Chase Bank was re-elected as Director of Finance and At-large board members elected include Rosa Berger from Fifth Third Bank, Bryan Segers from First Citizens Bank, Dawn Pugh from Dawn Pugh Team Realty and Jade Reese from Jade Reese, LLC.

The Chamber board also announced that on January 1, 2020 they will open their offices in Southend in the newly renovated Hearts Beat as One Foundation building.  The offices will be open Monday through Friday and boast meeting and office space as well as ample parking and access to a board room and networking area. 

2021 marks the second year of a two-year planning project for regionalizing the Chamber.  The Chamber will begin building chapters in Asheville, Winston Salem, High Point, Rock Hill/Fort Mill, Charleston and Columbia.  The move will expand membership and offer greater opportunities for corporate partners to access LGBTBE® Certified businesses for procurement. 

“We are fortunate to have someone of Ciara’s caliber and experience to lead our board,” said Chad Turner. “We are at a critical moment and we need dynamic leadership to successfully implement our strategy and take advantage of the market opportunities ahead. Ciara is a supplier diversity visionary with a proven track record of success. She is a powerful communicator who is member focused and outcomes driven. Furthermore, as CEO I look forward to working with her and charting the course for a vibrant and robust chamber that is game changing for our small businesses, professionals and community.”

Turner went on to say, “I am honored and excited to lead an organization that places diversity, equity and inclusion at the forefront of all we do. We have built a Chamber that every person can be proud of. I believe the LGBT Chamber matters – it matters to Charlotte, North Carolina and the broader LGBTQ community.”

Speaking on behalf of the board, Lilly said, “Our board of directors is pleased to announce Chad Turner as President/CEO of the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Not only does Chad have a proven track record of success, but he just gets it. He understands that we need to invest in our businesses and the people. He understands that the work we do now lays the foundation for LGBTQ individuals and allies for generations to come.”

She continued, “I have witnessed the progressive growth of our organization and could not be prouder of what we have accomplished. Together with our dynamic board, and Chad’s sound leadership, I look forward to serving as board chair and playing a supporting role in the continued success of the organization. This is a significant moment in the history of our organization; a moment that is truly indicative of the great things that lie ahead.”


The CLGBTCC mission is to foster equity, inclusion, and economic prosperity for the LGBTQ community through strategic policy, professional enrichment, ally partnerships and economic development.

Contact info:
Name: Erin Barbee, Public Relations
Organization: Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce
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