Two new VPs for Brisbane Gay & Lesbian Business Network
The Brisbane Gay and Lesbian Business Network (GLBN) has two new vice-presidents following its AGM yesterday.
President Brendan Heck will continue in the role, along with Tom Augustsson (treasurer), Tia Smith (secretary) and Grant Hiscock (events).
They are joined by Pam Barker and Jason Garrick as dual VPs, a move in response to the group’s desire to expand its activities beyond Brisbane.
In fact, the organisation will discuss the possible removal of ‘Brisbane’ from its official title as it looks to expand up and down the coast.
Heck, who was elected president in October 2014, says creating value for members has been paramount over the year he has been president; making sure members receive social and professional advantages.
“There’s no point coming along and paying membership if you’re not getting a return for your investment,” Heck told QP.
There are a range of memberships available, including Social, Entrepreneur and Corporate. Social members pay $95 for 12 months and there is one event per month.
“If you’re a social member you get into most of those for free, so you only have to attend a little over six times for [the membership] to pay for itself,” Heck says.
Taking a more structured approach to networking are GLBN’s two breakfast chapters, called Breakfast with a Twist, that meet fortnightly on alternate weeks. During these meetings, referrals and business advice are passed between members, plus business education, goal-setting and brainstorming sessions.
Heck says referrals from GLBN members played a major part of Heck’s personal success as a financial planner, and referrals continue to be an important part of the group’s activities.
He says as a financial planner he may meet someone who needs legal assistance with a will, at which point he can recommend a GLBN member who is a solicitor.
“In a chapter you own a category, so there can only be one accountant, one financial planner, one solicitor. So there’s an opportunity between them to build up a relationship between each other and leverage off each other’s professions.
“When I first joined, I got a third of my business through the group in the first 12 months. It’s tough out there starting a business. It’s hard to make this statement, but I don’t think I would still be in business without [the group].”
The ‘Brisbane’ part of the name may go, Heck suggests, as the group has been asked to offer something similar on the Gold and Sunshine coasts.
“That’s part of the structure change, getting a second VP on to manage that work load,” Heck says. “It’s all volunteer-based.”
New members are welcome and you can make enquiries through the group’s website.
The next GLBN social function, which includes a fundraising event for QuAC, is on Friday, November 6 from 6pm at Can You Keep A Secret?, 619 Stanley St, Woolloongabba. glbn.org.au
IMAGE: Jason Garrick, Brendan Heck and James Sheeran at a recent GLBN function.