This Week in Leadership: COVID-19 and LGBT+ Events

This Week in Leadership: COVID-19 and LGBT+ Events

This Week in Leadership – Episode 4: COVID-19 and LGBT+ Events broadcast live on Thursday, April 30th at noon EST.

Out Leadership Managing Director, Global Events Chris Frederick led a discussion around LGBT+ Events in the age of COVID-19 and the importance of continuing the celebration.

Watch the full episode:

Episode Transcript:

Welcome everyone, My name is Chris Frederick I’m the Managing Director for Global Events here at Out Leadership. Thank you for joining us today for Out Leadership’s This Week in Leadership episode 4. Wow. I can’t believe we’re already on episode 4! We’ve had more than 350 people register to tune in this morning which is amazing.

Seven weeks ago Out Leadership launched a virtual extension to its in-person events and we’ve seen a tremendous amount of success thus far. We’re doing upwards of 10 -15 of these virtual events a month now and have had some wonderful feedback.

Some of you may know me from my previous role where I was the Executive Director of NYC Pride for over a decade and was a part of helping to execute WorldPride in New York last year. I’m personally devastated by the news that New York City Pride and many other Pride’s around the world have had to cancel or postpone their events due to the emergence of Covid-19.

Pride is that special moment every year where the community comes together to connect with one another, embrace our individual identities that make us so incredibly unique and show the world that we aren’t afraid to love one another. These events are the lifeblood of what connects us all as a community. It’s that singular moment that allows us to unite as one.

Over the last month, we’ve had lots of discussions over here at Out Leadership about the impact the lack of Pride events will have on our community. What will that mean for those teens that had wanted to experience Pride for the first time? What does it mean for that couple that wanted to share their love for one another to the world? What are the fundraising implications for so many nonprofits that rely on Pride to raise awareness and needed funds for their operations?

So we decided to help out. Out Leadership is going to be launching a first of its kinda month-long virtual Pride offering called Proudly Resilient. A roster of digital events that can provide visibility on issues, organizations, and people that matter to our diverse community. Throughout these 30 days we’ll cover a wide array of topics that allow us to pay homage to our history, help us to develop professionally as leaders, highlight our unique characteristics, and most importantly – celebrate Pride. Additionally, we’re hoping to help raise funds for community-driven organizations that are overstretched and lacking the means to address imperative issues that so many within our community are affected by. So I hope all of you will join us in June and feel free to reach out to myself or others at Out Leadership to learn how you can be a part of this jam-packed schedule of programming. As always, you can learn more about all the amazing work we’re doing here by heading over to or following us across LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with the handle @outleadership.

I wanted to send a special congrats and shout out as one of our dear colleagues, Rufus Gifford is leaving the Out Leadership team where he’ll be starting as the Deputy Campaign Manager for the Joe Biden campaign fighting the good fight. We’ll miss you Rufus and can’t thank you enough for your guidance and support.

I’d also like to thank all 80 of our member firms, without which Out Leadership couldn’t do the important work we do, specifically highlighting this week:

Specifically this week Coca-Cola. We have the wonderful Eric Lewis with us today from their team. Coca-Cola has been a member of Out Leadership for over 3 years. Out Leadership has participated in their partner summit where they bring organizations across all their diverse communities together including Boys & girls club, NAACP, and Urban League. Coca-Cola led Todd, our Founder and CEO, to one of his mentees, the Olympian – Gus Kenworthy. Additionally, they’ve helped Out Leadership to advocate against many anti-LGBTQ laws in the south.

Additionally, I want to thank Barclays, Equitable, PayPal, Capital One, Thompson Reuters, Gibson Dunn, Morgan Lewis, Bank of America, PayPal, Bloomberg, and HSBC Life.

Of course, we have to send some love to our Global Sponsors as well and thank HSBC, Ropes & Gray, RBC Capital Markets, and KPMG. Your support in these trying times is so incredibly important.

Now, I’d love to introduce our three special guests, Ariel Palitz who is the Senior Executive Director of Nightlife for the City of New York,

Along with this exciting role, she is a Native New Yorker and grew up going out in the New York nightlife scene where she became a club promoter at legendary venues like Tunnel, Limelight, and Mars, among many others. She opened her own venue in the east village called Sutra Lounge and operated it for a decade. She also served on the local Community Board for 6 years on the Liquor Licensing committee while juggling owning her own business. Before being appointed to the first ever Director for the newly created New York City Office of Nightlife, she started and ran a consulting company called Venue Advisors for nearly 3 years to help other aspiring business owners open and run their own venues in New York City.

Next Madonna Cacciatore is the Executive Director of LA Pride who is also a vegan, has been married for 16+ years where they were married by the CEO of the LGBT Center, Lorri Jean. Another fun fact is she was once in prison with Viola David. Don’t worry though it was for a small role in How To Get Away with Murder and included a prison shower. She has ridden her bike from San Francisco to LA four times for AIDS Lifecycle and was a dancer for 42 years.

Our final guest is Eric Lewis who is the President of the BRG group at Coca-Cola. Eric has been married since 2016 and got immediately engaged after the Supreme Court decision granting the right to marry. Like myself he’s from a small town of just 1,200, Greenup, Illinois where he grew up as the youngest of SEVEN kids. He’s spent his career in brand marketing at Coca-Cola and has always had the full support of his Coca-Cola family.

Huge thank you to the three of you for joining us today. I know you’re all so busy, and we can’t express how invaluable your presence is here today for our team and our viewers.

Now I’d love to get us started on our topic today.


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