Wisconsin LGBT Chamber Announces Winners of 2016 Business Awards

BMO Harris Bank recognized as Corporate Partner of the Year

MILWAUKEE — The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce today announced the winners of its annual Business Awards, a program that recognizes the contributions made by Chamber members to building a more diverse and inclusive community in Wisconsin.

“The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize these great award recipients for all that they have done to build a more diverse and inclusive business community in Wisconsin,” said Jason Rae, founder and executive director of the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce. “These winners represent the creativity, the determination, and the diversity of the Wisconsin business community and they are committed to building a pro-fairness business community in Wisconsin.”

Those businesses and individuals receiving awards are:

  • Corporate Partner of the Year: BMO Harris Bank
    This award is given to a corporation that is a member of the LGBT Chamber that has shown a commitment to diversity in the workplace and has worked to positively grow the LGBT and allied business community around the state. Specially, BMO Harris Bank has been instrumental in growing and supporting the LGBT Chamber by serving as a Diamond Founding member, in helping create an LGBT Scholarship Fund with Cream City Foundation, and engaging their employees through LIONS Pride Network.

  • LGBT Business of the Year: Hinckley Productions (Madison, WI)
    This award is given to an LGBT-owned business that is a member of the Chamber, is an active participant in building a more diverse business community in Wisconsin and has a proven track record of success and involvement. Hinckley Productions is a certified LGBT Business Enterprise that has been active in LGBT Chamber events, including presenting to other businesses about the importance of certification.

  • Allied Business of the Year: I Do Island Weddings (Janesville, WI)
    This award is given to an allied-owned business that is a member of the Chamber, is an active participant in building a more diverse business community in Wisconsin and has a proven track record of success and involvement. I Do Island Weddings has been an active Chamber member since 2013. They have participated actively in the LGBT Wedding Show and have worked internationally to help and assist LGBT couples and individuals.

  • Nonprofit Organization of the Year: Bay View United Methodist Church (Milwaukee, WI)
    This award is given to a nonprofit organization that is a member of the Chamber who has a proven track record of success and involvement and is committed to building a diverse community. Bay View United Methodist Church has participated actively in the Chamber, including in our LGBT Gives Back event, has partnered closely with other Chamber members, including Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, and is active in the greater community through a weekly meal program they serve.

  • Business Leader of the Year: Michail Takach of ManpowerGroup (Milwaukee, WI)
    This award is given to a hard-working and creative individual who has had a positive professional and personal impact on building a diverse business community in Wisconsin. Michail Takach has been an active and forceful leader in growing the LGBT community. He founded and serves as the Co-Chair of Elevate, ManpowerGroup’s LGBT+ Business Resource Group. As the Communications Director and Vice President of Milwaukee Pride, Michail has been driving daily awareness for the new, year-round non-profit organization formerly known as PrideFest Milwaukee.

The recipients of this year’s awards were selected by a committee of Chamber members based on nominations solicited from other members and the public. Each winner demonstrates a strong commitment to diversity in the workplace, has a proven record of community involvement, and has worked to positively grow the LGBT and allied business community in Wisconsin.

The awards will be presented at the Chamber’s Third Annual Business Awards & Expo on Wednesday, May 18 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Milwaukee. The event runs from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. and the presentation of awards will take place at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Registration is requested and can be done online at www.wislgbtchamber.com/expo.

The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce is an organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and LGBT-allied businesses, corporations and professionals throughout the state of Wisconsin. It offers networking opportunities, business development efforts within the LGBT community, and educational programming to its members. Membership information can be found online at: www.wislgbtchamber.com.

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