by Sarah J.F. Braley | December 14, 2017
The LGBT Meeting Professionals Association, founded in 2016, grew to 500 people in 2017. The group next meets at the Professional Convention Management Association's Convening Leaders annual meeting in Nashville, Jan. 7-10; they also have a gathering planned for MPI's World Education Congress, which will be held June 2-5 in Indianapolis.
 
The group has announced its 2018 executive board members. Jim Clapes, conference and events manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, will serve as chairman. Joining the board are James Delmar, national accounts manager for the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Lexi Dinyovszky, president of the board of directors for the Southern Comfort Conference Organization. 
 
"I'm excited to see the vision of connecting the LGBT meetings professional community and developing the voice of leadership for diversity being carried forward by Jim Clapes," said David Jefferys, executive director and founder of the LGBT MPA, which started with 20 members in January 2017. "His reputation and success in our community will positively influence our mission and growth. When we began, we expected more of an organic growth process... After every networking event, workshop and news article, we had a significant membership boost. With our new executive board and 501(c)(6) [nonprofit business association] status, we are ready to make an important difference in 2018."
 
The LGBT MPA is committed to the professional advancement of LGBT meeting professionals and strives to offer opportunities for its members to network at various industry gatherings. Jefferys, president and CEO of the Altus Agency, a Philadelphia-based marketing enterprise firm specializing in LGBT travel, founded the organization in August 2016; membership is free. Click here to learn more.