LGBT Chamber Foundation Announces Fourth Leadership Class

DALLAS, TEXAS, The LGBT Chamber of Commerce Foundation is pleased to announce its fourth LGBT Leadership Institute cohort. Launched in 2019, the program has graduated three classes. Members of the 2023-2024 LGBT Leadership Institute class include:

• Elizabeth Adams, she/her; Dallas Holocaust & Human Rights Museum
• Prisilla Arredondo, she/her; Resource Center
• Marquesse Banks, he/him; Prism Health North Texas
• Zachary Bartush; he/him; Boy Scouts of America
• Mary Elaine Benton, she/her; Hope’s Door New Beginning Center
• Ryan Bloss, he/him; Vistra
• Michael Dewberry, he/him; Pride Museum of Texas
• Elissa Flores, she/her; Children’s Health
• Marcus McNeil, he/him; The Brunch Club & Co.
• Michel Macklin, she/her; Texas Pride Impact Funds
• Erica Mendez, she/her; North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce
• DeMondre Montgomery, he/him; State Enforcement Protective Services
• Austin Price, he/him; MarshMcLennan Agency
• Evie Wise, she/her; Wise Insurance Group
• Sidney Yerger, she/her; Dallas Hope Charities
• Reese Zahner, she/her; Exponential Growth Experiences

Class members will participate in a nine-month program designed to provide valuable skills and knowledge, along with an historical view of the LGBTQ+ equality movement and community.

“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,” stated Lisa Howe, who manages the program and serves as Vice President of Membership & Programs for the North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce. “The Foundation’s goal has been to fill that gap without duplicating the work of other LGBT Chamber of Commerce Foundation is proudly supported by the North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce. leadership programs. We like to think of our institute as a great preface to other programs where our graduates can be better, more informed representatives of the LGBTQ+ community, whether they identify as LGBTQ+ or an Ally.”

The Class of 2024, which had the most applicants compared to previous cohorts, is made up of a diverse group of LGBTQ+ people and Allies who represent small business, large corporations, non-profit organizations, and civic engagement from the greater Dallas Fort Worth area. “This program continues to grow and improve year after year,” said Chamber President and CEO, Tony Vedda. “The LGBT Leadership Institute is one of our most impactful programs because of the amount of quality time we spend together and the intentional balance of leadership development, regional economic issues, and LGBTQ+ history in each session.”

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 and Texas Diversity Equity & Inclusion Conference, now in its 7th year.

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