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metro-business-orlando-0 The Metropolitan Business Association of Orlando is prepared to announce new leadership at the helm. With the resignation of President Dr. David Baker-Hargrove, Gina Duncan will become Central Florida’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce president. In addition, Dr. Baker-Hargrove also resigned as Board President for Come out with Pride.

 

 

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The Metropolitan Business Association of Orlando is prepared to announce new leadership at the helm. With the resignation of President Dr. David Baker-Hargrove, Gina Duncan will become Central Florida’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce president. In addition, Dr. Baker-Hargrove also resigned as Board President for Come out with Pride.

 

Per chamber bylaws, Vice President Gina Duncan becomes President of MBA Orlando. She also inherits the position of COWP Board President. Duncan, a branch manager for Wells Fargo, served as MBA Orlando Secretary in 2008 and 2009 and was most recently vice president.

 

“Dr. David Baker-Hargrove has provided the guidance, motivation and leadership that has taken MBA Orlando and Come out with Pride to the next level,” said incoming President Duncan. “He has poured his heart and soul into our organization. It is with a very heavy heart that we continue without him. We thank Dr. Dave for all of his time, energy and efforts in making our organization what it is today.”

 

In one of her first acts as president, Duncan announced that she will name MBA Orlando Business Development Director Mikael Audebert as interim vice president.

 

“The work that Dr. Dave has done for MBA Orlando over the past ten or more years has helped this organization grow and get closer to achieving its mission,” said Audebert, who is also COWP Senior Producer of Event Development. ” He has turned Come out with Pride around and has given a lot of us a reason to believe in ourselves and in the goals we have set.”

 

Dr. Baker-Hargrove was elected MBA Orlando President in 2008 after serving as vice president from 2006 to 2008 and as secretary from 2001 to 2004 and in 2006. His involvement with COWP began in 2006 on the production team and culminated with him being the event’s senior executive producer in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In that time, COWP has grown to be the largest Pride event in the state of Florida with more than 70,000 people attending the 2010 celebration.

 

“As we continue to move our LGBT business community forward, there are three main areas around which we will focus our efforts,” said Duncan. “First is the growth of our parent organization, MBA Orlando. This next year we will focus on outreach to major business allies in Central Florida to assist them in their diversity business growth, while providing them with a value added alliance with Central Florida’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce, MBA Orlando. We will continue to grow our business referral programs to provide immediate business opportunities and growth for our members and we will focus on growing the membership of MBA Orlando so that the LGBT community and our allies will benefit personally and financially from their involvement.

 

“Second, Come out with Pride has grown each year to where we now have over 70,000 people coming out to experience this great event. We will continue to make Pride bigger, better and more meaningful for all who attend.

 

“Third will be the creation and development of Converge Orlando, MBA Orlando’s newest initiative. Converge will focus on aligning MBA Orlando with business and job growth by attracting LGBT events and conventions to the area. Working along-side related business partners, we will focus on attracting major events like the 2018 Gay Games. Such an event would bring hundreds of thousands of people and $60-$80 million in revenues to Greater Orlando. This will be an exciting opportunity to partner with a number of regional organizations such as the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Orlando Downtown Development Board and the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, as well as our local elected officials, to provide an immediate positive impact to the economy of Greater Orlando.”

 

The Metropolitan Business Association of Orlando is Central Florida’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Chamber of Commerce that works with LGBT and LGBT friendly business professionals, business owners, and corporations. MBA Orlando is a 501(c)(6) non-profit.

 

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