Out & Equal

Well time to catch up with my blogging.

For those that don't know, I've been volunteering my time with Out & Equal to maintain their website for the last 18 months or so.  Last week was their annual workplace summit which was held in Tempe, Arizona.  Chris and I decided to attend and check out what I've been volunteering for.  Actually, Chris has been to a couple of these before and highly recommended attending.  He was right!

We flew out on Wednesday afternoon, and was hit with a very warm, and dry heat when we landed in Phoenix, even though it was the evening.  After registering, and settling into our room, we headed down to the pool area to check out the welcome reception.  Actually met a couple of the people that I've been communicating with for the longest time — it's always nice to finally put faces (in the flesh) to a name.  It was great to see so many companies sponsoring this event — the largest ever in the organization's history.


This  morning we had a brunch with the guest speaker being Sally Susman, Senior Vice President of Global Communications for the Estee Lauder Companies, or as she put it – THE lipstick lesbian.  She spoke of her life and the six challenges of her life, offering wisdom for each of these challenges. It was awesome to listen to someone so successful share the same concerns about coming out, life in the workplace and dealing with family issues.  One of her comments was that you should never loose your soul for a job. Very powerful stuff.  We actually sat with the Chubb folk for brunch, and caught up with Gary, along with a number of others who Chris had not seen in a while (he used to work with Chubb).

Headed to the exhibit hall after and started to collect fun stuff.  It's all about the freebies, I was told a number of times 🙂  Attended a workshop today.  “The Future of LGBT Workplace Law: A Look into Proposed and Pending Legislation Impacting LGBT Issues in the Workplace” discussed the various legislation and laws that impact, or could impact the GLBT community in the workforce.  A great deal of this workshop was spent on the issues surrounding marriage, especially given the Massachussetts decision.

Motorola sponsored the Best Practices Plenary today with Geoffrey Frost, Chief Brand Officer for Motorola, Inc. and Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Personal Communications Sector.  He spoke about Reaching LGBT Consumers Through Innovative Entertainment Marketing.  This basically meant an advertisment about Motorola, and how the placement of the product in television series and movies can assist in brand recognition.  It was actually quite interesting, and provides a great opportunity for businesses to get “free” advertising when used appropriately.

I'm going to break up the posts for each day (just to keep the length down a little).