By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

It can be challenging to define what makes a hero, but a survey through our community will quickly prove that some individuals go above and beyond. Their actions and activism should in no way be overlooked, so here a few of those individuals that we define as heroes. 

Chris Lugo serves as the Executive Director for the OUT Georgia Business Alliance (formerly AGLCC) that serves as the LGBTQ+ and allied chamber of commerce for the state of Georgia. 

How do you feel your work is making an impact on the LGBTQ+ community?

Even though I am just a few months into my role as Executive Director here at OUT Georgia, I am incredibly honored to work each day with the passionate and talented humans who are behind our state’s LGBTQ+ and allied business community. OUT Georgia Business Alliance was most recently known as Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and there’s a 25-year history of our Board members and volunteers working tirelessly to highlight the power of the LGBTQ+ economy across metro Atlanta and beyond. Building on that work is givens me strength and guidance to collaborate with leaders and organizations to further underscore the impact of our community’s dollars. 

Why do you think there is a need for an organization like OUT Georgia in our community right now?

OUT Georgia knows that visibility matters, and that’s why we feel it’s more critical than ever to help LGBTQ+ businesses start and grow, so our larger community sees what queer business success and positive financial impact looks like. We take great pride knowing our membership has an influence on tomorrow’s business leaders and entrepreneurs, and that point is even more relevant today when it comes to lifting up our trans and gender non-conforming talent.

Given the political climate across the US and here in Georgia, it’s also vital that we help leverage the voice of the business and corporate community to drive large-scale change. Whether it’s comprehensive nondiscrimination protections or full access to healthcare benefits for our trans workforce, the bottom line of diversity, equity, and inclusion is simply good for business. I’m proud to dedicate this phase of my career to fighting for a better tomorrow through the power of LGBTQ+ economics.

atlantagaychamber.org