Every June we see a deluge of “Business of Pride” stories, but there are plenty of great LGBTQ business stories to tell in the 11 other months. Even if you don’t cover business on your daily beat, come to this session to learn from business experts and financial reporters and editors who can tell you about those hidden business story gems. They will also teach you how to frame them so your audience will want to pay attention. We’ll discuss the role of corporations in the equality movement, the impact of LGBTQ business owners on our economy and the untold stories of economic inequality within our own community. There is always a business case to be made for every story, and the LGBTQ business case adds an important dynamic to every piece.
Panelists: John Lake, Jonathan Lovitz, Patrick Manning
JOHN LAKE is vice president, multicultural strategy and LGBTQ segment leader for Wells Fargo. In that role he develops and drives national multicultural marketing efforts across Wells Fargo’s multiple regions and lines of business, with a special focus on LGBTQ initiatives. Prior to Wells Fargo, he served for eight years as corporate development director for the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest LGBT advocacy organization. At HRC, he led their national corporate sponsorship program, developing strategic partnerships to bridge some of the world’s biggest brands with the LGBTQ community. Before moving to the nonprofit side, Lake ran his own company, Open Door Marketing, and headed client services at the Isosceles Group — both agencies focused on respectfully connecting brands to LGBT consumers. He also spent over a decade working for traditional advertising agencies on the West Coast, including DDB Worldwide in San Francisco and The Sachs Group in Los Angeles. A California native, he currently lives in San Francisco with husband, Chris, and dog, Rocky, and serves on the board of directors for Muttville, a rescue organization dedicated to finding homes for senior dogs.
JONATHAN D. LOVITZ is a senior vice president at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce overseeing media and political relations, strategic partnerships and stakeholder engagement. He previously served as director of NGLCCNY, the New York office and network of NGLCC. In addition to leading public affairs, press relations, supplier diversity and political advocacy efforts, he regularly speaks to conferences and the press about LGBT economic empowerment and the vital role NGLCC and business plays in creating equity for the LGBT community. Lovitz is a regular commentator on MSNBC, CNBC, NPR, The Advocate and Out Magazine, among others. Lovitz previously served as director of communications and operations for StartOut, a national nonprofit empowering LGBT entrepreneurs. Prior to his work in advocacy, Lovitz was a respected actor and news anchor for Logo TV and other major networks. In 2018, Lovitz was recognized by Business Equality Magazine as one of its “40 LGBTQ Leaders Under 40.” He was also named “Outstanding Young Alumni” by the University of Florida in April 2018.
PATRICK MANNING serves as a field producer for CNBC. He covers a wide scope of business news stories for the network, from retail to banking. Manning is based out of the network’s headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, and is active with the station’s LGBT network: Out@NBCUniversal and a member of NLGJA. He has produced stories covering the Royal Wedding, a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Bank of America, tariffs, OPEC and severe weather. The stories he produces also appear on MSNBC, NBC affiliates, CNBC digital and “Nightly Business Report” on PBS. Manning joined CNBC in 2017. He previously worked as a field producer for Fox News Channel and Fox Business, based out of New York City. The story that has had the most profound impact on him was covering the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando. Prior to working as a field producer, Manning was in the inaugural class of multimedia reporters for the network, based in El Paso, Texas. There he covered the Mexican drug war, border and immigration, as well as the 2016 presidential race. He resides in New York City.