IBA board president honored with diversity award

The board president of the local LGBT chamber of commerce will be honored with a special award for his efforts to bring diversity and multicultural businesses to Philadelphia.

Independence Business Alliance board president Rich Horrow will receive PHL Diversity’s 2018 Bring It Home Award for his efforts and dedication to coalition building, networking and connecting. IBA, Philadelphia’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce, provides opportunities and resources to LGBT professionals and allies while promoting economic development, growth and diversity.

“It’s really a validation of the hard work of the entire IBA organization over the years — board, staff and members — to make Philadelphia a welcoming, diverse and inclusive environment for LGBT businesses,” Horrow said.

The Bring It Home Award is presented to individuals who support PHL Diversity’s mission to attract and strengthen tourism markets. The organization, formerly Philadelphia Multicultural Affairs Congress, is a division of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau dedicated to drawing in more multicultural visitors to the city.

“For as long as Rich Horrow has been board president at the IBA, a goal of his was to bring the  NGLCC International Business and Leadership Conference to Philadelphia. His years of coalition building, networking and connecting have paid off,” said Zach Wilcha, IBA executive director.

The NGLCC, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, conference will be held in Philadelphia in August.

“We’re thrilled that PHL Diversity has chosen Rich for their Bring It Home Award,” Wilcha added. “While we’re very proud of Rich, we can’t say that we’re at all surprised. Rich’s work ethic, ability to bring folks together around a common goal, and dedication to the expansion and inclusion of LGBT business have made any organization or project he’s part of more successful and sustainable by leaps and bounds.”

Horrow has been key in bringing the conference to the city, as well as opportunities for diverse business and significant economic impact in Philadelphia. According to Horrow, getting the conference in Philadelphia sends a strong message to the international LGBT business community.

“The Bring It Home award is presented to individuals who support PHLDiversity’s mission by working with the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau to bring a diverse convention to the city. Richard Horrow and IBA have been great partners, working alongside PHLDiversity in our continued efforts to expand our reach into the LGBTQ meeting and convention market and drive more business into Philadelphia,” said PHL Diversity executive director Greg DeShields in a statement.

Horrow has served as board president since July 2013. Aside from the 2018 NGLCC Conference, Horrow said hiring Wilcha as the first executive director in October 2015 stands as his biggest accomplishment as board president.

“That was an important and necessary step for the IBA to grow our membership base and develop our programs and benefits,” Horrow said. “Under Zach’s leadership, we were also able to hire our second employee, Jess Gregan, as our membership and marketing coordinator, and really improve our diversity and outreach efforts to the greater LGBT community.”

Horrow will be honored at the 2018 PHL Diversity Business Opportunity Luncheon Feb. 14. The awards will be presented at the Rittenhouse Hotel in Center City.

“While I’m honored to be recognized for this achievement, it really has been a true team effort,” Horrow said. “The NGLCC wouldn’t be coming to the city without the support and efforts of our partners at the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Visit Philly and, of course, Mayor Kenney. We all love our city and are just so excited to show it off at the 2018 conference.”

The PHL Diversity Business Opportunity program awards business leaders for contributions, and provides vendor opportunities and insight to future meetings and conventions.

Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jennifer Rodriguez will also be honored at the luncheon.