Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce Announces Partnership with Blue Ridge Pride

Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce Announces Partnership with Blue Ridge Pride As They Continue Their Regional Expansion to include Western North Carolina

Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce will join Blue Ridge Pride on June 28, 2021 at New Belgium Brewery in Asheville, NC to announce their strategic partnership in the Chamber’s two-state expansion.

“Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce will be a robust and impactful economic development organization by uniting the exceptional and diverse strengths across our region,” said Chad Turner, who will continue as the President and CEO for the new enterprise. “This is a strategy-driven and bold step forward highlighting our commitment to our greater mission to foster equity, inclusion, and economic prosperity for the LGBTQ community and this partnership with Blue Ridge Pride will give greater visibility and support to LGBTQ and ally businesses.”

The expansion will encompass the Blue Ridge region and exemplify a vision for strategic collaboration and unity.

Ciara Lilly, who will serve as the first Board Chair of the Regional Chamber, said, “Locking arms with Blue Ridge Pride will open new doors for collaboration, economic impact, and purposeful advocacy work across Western North Carolina. Across both organizations, we’re now ready to roll up our sleeves and begin the important work that lies ahead of us.””

The new mark for the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce represents these unique areas coming together as one with a shared vision and mission. The expansion is an effort to provide much-needed resources as support to LGBTQ and ally business owners and professionals through economic and professional development, policy and advocacy work, and community engagement.

In addition to the Blue Ridge region, CLGBTCC will also begin work in Winston-Salem, Greensboro/High Point, Rock Hill/Fort Mill, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, and Charleston.

Blue Ridge Pride’s Executive Director, Tina White added, “We are so excited by this partnership. It brings new skills and networks to western North Carolina. If we are to build a more diverse economy that can attract and grow entrepreneurs, we need to offer them access to markets and capital across the South. The LGBTQ community wants to be a vital contributor to our community.”

The Chamber will remain an affiliate chamber of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. The affiliation will continue to broaden the network of opportunities and shared strategies in the LGBTQ and ally business community. In addition to these strategies, the expansion will grow the current number of LGBT Business Enterprises, allowing our corporate and civic partners to access a larger pool of certified LGBTBE’s.

In a recent announcement about the expansion, NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson & Co- Founder & CEO Chance Mitchell stated, “As we approach NGLCC’s 20th Anniversary this year, we are excited for the newly rebranded and expanded Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce to grow its reach alongside our 60+ US and International Affiliate Chambers. By helping identify local-owned businesses for NGLCC to certify and by expanding the economic opportunities available to them, the Carolinas Chamber will increase the visibility of LGBT individuals and promote much-needed equality.

The chamber will continue to be a valuable partner in our work promoting LGBT economic inclusivity in both the public and private sectors throughout the South.”


The Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce mission is to foster equity, inclusion and economic prosperity for the LGBTQ community through strategic policy, professional enrichment, ally partnerships and economic development.

3520 Dewitt Lane, Suite 108, Charlotte, NC 28217 | 704.837.4050 |

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Mental Health Providers

Eric Davis  MS, LCPA, NCC, Counselor

Willow Wellness and Recovery, PC 9 All Souls Crescent  Suite B, Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 490-4137 | Website I am a firm believer in empowerment and self-determination. In the past, I have worked well with folks experiencing a range of issues, such as anxiety, depression, substance-use, sleep disturbances, relationship issues, and issues unique to the LGBT community.

Scott Thomas,  Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC, LCAS

Silver Lining Therapy 70 Woodfin Place  STE 21, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 705-3084 | Website I believe humor can be a powerful tool for healing and seek to incorporate this into our time together. Unique to my practice is an approach that truly puts you at the center of the counseling experience, and I draw from a wide variety of techniques to help you see and experience real change in your life. To see if therapy might be a good fit, I offer free phone consultations.

James Harrison, PhD Psychologist

12 Westridge Dr , Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 348-6300 | Website I enjoy helping people achieve physical and emotional intimacy whether they are young or old, straight or gay, in healthy, responsible, and mutually affirming ways. I also enjoy helping people improve their earning and manage their assets. And I like working with older people. I offer free phone consultations.

Judy Maris, Counselor, LPC, LCPC, MA, MS

Maris Psychotherapy 41 Clayton St, Suite 301, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 537-4489 | Website We can explore troublesome patterns that tend to repeat themselves in your life or look at new issues that have just come up. The important thing is for us to work together to get to the bottom of your difficulties and resolve them. I will assist you in becoming more aware of what you are feeling and thinking in the present moment. The untapped wisdom within you is a powerful healing force. Let me help you gain access to your full inner resources. I offer free phone consultations.

Elizabeth Heaney, Counselor, MA, LPC 

166 E Chestnut Street, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (520) 447-3319 | Website I work with individual adults with concerns like: family history issues, relationship concerns, life satisfaction issues (related to jobs, living situations or relationships), anxiety and depression. I’ve had a particular focus on working with couples, addressing every aspect of relationship challenges – relationship dissatisfaction/boredom, affairs, sexual/intimacy issues, etc. And I was a civilian counselor on military bases for several years, so I have a clear understanding of the unique pressures and challenges facing service members and families. I offer free phone consultations.

Siljoy Maurer

Holistic Perspectives P.O. Box 333, Enka, NC 2872  Phone: (828) 333-0103  | or For many years now I have been mentoring men and women from all walks of life. It continues to be my greatest joy to accompany someone from “just being ok” into thriving! As a Mentor & Healer I partner with my clients in creating authenticity, wellness and deep contentment, in whatever area of their lives they are seeking change. The combination of giving very practical, livable tools for direct “next steps” while “holding the big picture” and then manifesting that big picture often feels like this: a new client brings me their life or life situation in a jigsaw puzzle box, they lost the lid and forgot what the picture on it looked like. I am good at knowing that picture and then guiding my clients/mentees to put all the puzzle pieces together.  

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