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Covid has changed a lot about how we communicate and collaborate on a daily basis. Meetings were replaced with video calls, happy hours turned virtual and business travel ground to a halt. But after over 18 months of social distancing and separation, the world is beginning to open back up and figure out how to reconnect – in person – safely and productively.

With offices reopening and some travel resuming, it was a thrill to participate in the NGLCC Back to Business (B2B) Summit in Hollywood FL last month. The B2B Summit was three days of networking, education and celebration of LGBT-owned and LGBT-ally businesses committed to promoting cross-segment diversity, equity and inclusion. Smaller-scale than the regular NGLCC Annual Conference, the Summit provided a uniquely intimate opportunity to connect, communicate and collaborate with the extended NGLCC community.

The GSG team attended keynote addresses, matchmaker meetings, the annual awards gala and more. Director of Strategic Accounts, Peter Louie, said “At first it was a little surreal to be in a room with so many people after being apart for so long. But after getting acclimated it was so amazing to be able to talk to people and connect on that level, without being separated by screens.”

One of the major themes of the event was “Be human, see human.” As Executive Director of Professional Services Matt Kussman summarized it for us, “it was a simple, but really powerful lesson we learned and discussed throughout the weekend. Don’t focus on race, color, gender, orientation, or anything else: see the human being. Respect people, who people support and love, we’re all human.”

Matt went on to share one of his biggest takeaways from guest speaker Dominique Jackson. “Someone asked her, where do we go from here as a society? And she said, ‘give someone a shoulder to stand on to help realize their dreams, even if you don’t understand it.’ That spirit of community and collaboration was really powerful, especially looking around the room and seeing it absorbed by so many peers and allies. That to me represents the NGLCC ethos perfectly: help, empower, and motivate your fellow human, because then the opportunities for everyone are endless.”

Big thank you to the NGLCC for hosting such an inspiring community event. Being there really underlined what we here at GSG know to be true: When we can communicate, we can collaborate. Together, we can execute.

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