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Pride Month Member Spotlight: Thomas Whelan

How long have you been a member of NACE? What drew you to NACE?

I became a member of NACE in 2020. After an amazing time at NACE Experience in Cincinnati. I attended originally as a speaker but was quickly folded into the Boston Chapter group who were attending. They showed me so much love and compassion. Since then they have continued to support, inspire, and host truly amazing events that foster conversation and education. Also, the chapters commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has shown clear alignment with my passions.

What does Pride Month mean to you?

Pride will always be a protest. Pride is a time for LGBT+ folx to take up space and be amplified. Despite Pride Events looking different than those in our history, it is imperative that the issues harming so many in our community are spoken about and brought to light. The LGBT+ Community, especially those who are LGBT+ & BIPOC, still have a lengthy journey to true equity, equality, and access in our world.

What do you think people can do this Pride Month to raise awareness about important issues that impact the global LGBTQ+ community in the catering and events industry?

Take time to listen to the experiences of LGBT+ professionals in Catering and Events. There are amazing events all month (Including the Day of Diversity that LGBT MPA is hosting online on June 30th,2021) to hear about the experiences we have had in our industry. The good, the bad, and the shocking. It may surprise you that despite the appearance of acceptance – even the Events Industry has its dark moments. You will also hear how our industry has literally saved lives. How for many of us the Catering and Events industry was the first time that someone has finally felt respected, heard, and given the chance to succeed. Opportunity and Access is the best way to be an ally for the LGBT+ community. Reflect on the doors you have held open on your career path. Is there an opportunity for you to open a door that may have been closed on someone prior because they live authentically? Also if you have questions about how to be a better ally when discussing – gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Find the proper space to get answers. There are many who are willing to have this conversation. I will always find time for someone looking to amplify the amazing folx in the LGBT+ community – feel free to reach out to me.

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Charmayne Branch

Charmayne Branch is the Marketing and Communications Manager for NACE and brings 6 plus years of experience ranging from content marketing to social media content creation and website management.

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One Reply to “Pride Month Member Spotlight: Thomas Whelan”

  1. Thomas Whelan says:

    Thank you so much for including me in this series and for doing the heart work! Appreciate all you do NACE!

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