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CIARA LILLY, Vice President
CHAD TURNER, President & CEO


Charlotte, NC | July 12, 2023 – The Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce is delighted to announce the historic appointments of Chad Turner, President & CEO, and Ciara Lilly, VP of Corporate Relations & Supplier Diversity, to Charlotte’s Business Advisory Committee and Business Inclusion Advisory Committee, respectively. These appointments mark a significant milestone in the chamber’s ongoing efforts to advocate for the interests of the LGBT+ business community. The Charlotte City Council approved these appointments at the Monday, July 10, 2023 Business Meeting.

These landmark appointments would not have been possible without the unwavering dedication and persistent advocacy of Councilmember At-large, LaWana Mayfield. Councilmember Mayfield’s commitment to ensuring that LGBT+ small businesses have a voice on these committees has been paramount to the creation of permanent seats for years to come. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Councilmember At-large, Dimple Ajmera, Councilmember At-large James Mitchell, and Councilmember Tariq Bokari for their work as well. Also, acknowledgement and appreciation for former council members who were also instrumental in these efforts, Julie Eieselt and Larken Egleston.

Councilmember LaWana Mayfield, expressed, ” As Charlotte’s first Elected LGBT+ official I am proud to have moved for the expansion of both the Business Advisory Committee and the Charlotte Business Inclusion Advisory Committee to include true diversity.”

Chad Turner brings a wealth of experience as the President & CEO of the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce. With his more than seventeen years in progressive human resources roles across multiple industries, Chad has a deep understanding of the needs and challenges faced by LGBT+ businesses. His strategic leadership and financial acumen have been instrumental in the chamber’s growth and success.

Chad Turner expressed his excitement about the appointment, stating, “I am honored to represent the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce on the Business Advisory Committee. This appointment is a testament to the chamber’s commitment to elevating the voices of LGBT+ businesses and creating a more inclusive business landscape.”

Ciara Lilly, as the VP of Corporate Relations & Supplier Diversity, has been a driving force in establishing meaningful connections between the chamber and corporate partners. Her expertise in fostering relationships and promoting supplier diversity has resulted in groundbreaking partnerships that benefit the LGBT+ business community. Ciara’s dedication and innovative approach will be invaluable to the Business Inclusion Advisory Committee.

Ciara Lilly shared her enthusiasm, stating, “I am thrilled to join the Business Inclusion Advisory Committee and contribute to fostering supplier diversity and inclusion in the business community. This appointment underscores the chamber’s dedication to supporting underrepresented businesses and driving positive change and to see LGBT+ businesses added to the inclusion process with the city.”

These appointments will have a profound impact on the chamber’s representation and influence in the business community. Chad Turner’s role in the Business Advisory Committee will provide a platform to advocate for the interests of LGBT+ businesses, fostering an inclusive economic environment. Likewise, Ciara Lilly’s position on the Business Inclusion Advisory Committee will drive further progress in promoting supplier diversity and creating opportunities for underrepresented businesses.

The Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce looks forward to the valuable contributions that Chad Turner and Ciara Lilly will bring to the Business Advisory Committees. Their appointments represent a significant step towards creating a more equitable and inclusive business environment in the Carolinas. We are grateful for the opportunities that this will provide, and special thanks to the Charlotte City Council for their continued efforts in inclusion.

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

For media inquiries, please contact:
Abby Mederos
704.837.4050 ext. 7102

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