LEADERSHIP & EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
nglccNY / NGLCC Leadership
Thomas "TJ" Chernick, Director of nglccNY | he/him/his
(806) 236-9091, cell
TJ serves as the Director of The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, New York (nglccNY). He joined nglccNY in June 2014 and previously served as the Director of Membership and Engagement. TJ is responsible for overseeing all New York chamber-based logistics as well as serving as a liaison and advocate for New York area certified suppliers. He works directly with NGLCC in Washington, DC to help support the national mission of creating economic advancement and opportunity on a local level.
TJ holds a Master’s degree in Journalism from DePaul University and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. He has experience in coordinating international gender projects in Iraq with the International Human Rights Law Institute, as well as serving as a Program Officer for the renowned International Fulbright Scholar Program.
His areas of interest include the issues of sexual minorities in international human rights. An avid writer and traveler, he has lived and performed research in Morocco and Iceland and enjoys playing the cello in his spare time.
Phyllis Mehalakes, Chair | she/her/hers
The Ambassadors Committee welcomes event participants, discusses membership benefits with members and guests, and manages the twice-annual New Members’ Breakfast. Phyllis is an associate real estate broker with Compass. She specializes in the sale of residential properties in Manhattan and Brooklyn including co-ops, condos, townhouses, multi-family homes, and investment properties.
Stefanie Francis, Chair | she/her/hers
The Corporate Engagement Committee builds new and manages existing relationships with nglccNY Corporate Partners. Stefanie is the founder of Hootology, a company that specializes in the art and science of smarter business decision making. Hootology is a Certified LGBTBE®.
Diversity & Inclusion
Mateo Suarez, Chair | she/they/he
The Diversity & Inclusion Committee is the Gen Z conduit for engaging the diverse groups across the community to ensure that our chamber is a reflection of our city and the LGBTQ and allied business community at-large. The D&I committee drives awareness toward the economic power of black and minority professionals, high caliber women, and business owners. Through education and fortification, the committee works to strengthen the diverse business community at large. The committee also hosts events that promote inclusivity for all members of the community. Mateo is a multifaceted designer by night and the LGBT Lead for Acronym’s Diversity & Inclusion team by day. Acronym is an NGLCC Corporate Partner and a Certified LGBTBE®.
Events & Experience
Mitchell Weaver, Chair | he/him/his
The Events and Experience Committee drives the engagement of prospective and current nglccNY members through the Members Monthly Mixers (M3) and all other special events. The committee works in tandem with the other committees to ensure every event hosted by nglccNY is a unique and worthwhile experience for its members. Mitchell is a screenwriter and podcast host and has been active in the LGBT community for several years as a programming and events chair for the NYU LGBTQ Alumni Network.
Long Island and NY Regional Engagement
Kevin Claus, Chair | he/him/his
The Long Island and Regional NY Engagement Committee engages with Long Island-based members and NGLCC Certified LGBT Business Enterprise companies through professional, personal and corporate programs. We plan and execute Long Island-based events and work strategically with local businesses to integrate them into the chamber with a guided view of how to leverage certification and the chamber to elevate their business. Partnering with the Corporate Engagement Committee, we identify local Corporate Partner opportunities for nglcc. Additionally, we engage with regions throughout NY State to provide strategic direction to grow nglccNY in their local area. Kevin is the founder and owner of Claus Coaching and Consulting LLC, specializing in leadership development, employee engagement, and executive and career coaching. Claus Coaching and Consulting LLC is a Certified LGBTBE.
Media & Communications
Cindi Creager, Chair | she/her/hers
The Media & Communications Committee amplifies the work of nglccNY and its members to grow our visibility and solidify our role as the business voice of the LGBT community. Cindi is a co-founder of CreagerCole Communications LLC, a boutique public relations firm experienced in LGBTQI issues, providing media relations, media training and message development. CreagerCole Communications LLC is a Certified LGBTBE®.
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