by Lainey Millen & Jeff Taylor, qnotes staff

Attorney honored

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Connie Vetter, a long-time LGBT activist and attorney, was awarded with the Julius Chambers Diversity Champion Award by the Mecklenburg County Bar Association on Jan. 7.

“I’m incredibly honored and blown away by it. I’m in the company of some pretty amazing people,” she said in a Facebook post.

Vetter said that the award recognizes outstanding contributions to diversity and equal opportunity in the community.

It was named for its first recipient, civil rights attorney Julius L. Chambers in 2008. He represented the plaintiffs in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education desegregation case.

“…it is a huge step for the Mecklenburg County Bar Association to give this award to an openly lesbian attorney. I’ve been a bar member since 1994 and this wouldn’t have happened even as recently as a few years ago. I am honored,” she added. She is the ninth awardee.

The award  will be presented at the Hon. James B. McMillan Fund Fellowship Dinner on Feb. 25, 6 p.m., at Byron’s South End, 101 W. Worthington Ave. #110. McMillan was the presiding judge at the aforementioned trial.


Org nets HRCNC award

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce has been named the 2016 Organization of the Year by the Human Rights Campaign North Carolina (HRCNC).

The award, according to the HRCNC’s website, is “given to an organization that has furthered the progress for civil rights for LGBT people in North Carolina.” It continued by saying that “the organization should have created and sustained policies and practices that work to end discrimination against LGBT people and exemplifies the mission and vision of HRC.”

“In what has been a historic year for the group formerly known as the Charlotte Business Guild, the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce has been named the Human Rights Campaign’s Organization of the Year,” the organization said in a press release. “This award comes on the heels of an announcement of the Chamber’s President Chad Turner winning the Person of the Year Award by qnotes, the area’s largest LGBT newspaper.”

“This is yet another moment in our organizational history that allows us to realize that we have become more than a social networking club, but moved far beyond into making an impact across our city and state in the area of equality and business,” said Turner in an email to the chamber’s Board of Directors announcing the award.

The Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce has seen an increase in membership of nearly 40 percent since Turner took office. The group creates a network for its members to connect with local business members as well as larger business organizations outside of Charlotte. They also fight for equality in Charlotte, North Carolina and beyond.

The HRCNC will present the award at their annual gala on Feb. 20 in Charlotte, N.C.


Search on for gala co-chairs

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Board of Directors and Board of Governors for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) North Carolina have extended an open call for gala co-chairs for its 2017 season.

The chairs are responsible for raising critical funds for HRC through the gala dinner; cultivating, educating, leading and motivating committee members; serving as positive ambassadors for HRC; being problem solvers and proactive leaders; building and nurturing new and existing relationships with other organizations in the community; and building an overall stronger and inclusive community.

Applicants must be available to attend a number of events during the upcoming year in preparation for and in advance of next year’s event, as well as attendance at the gala on Feb. 4, 2017.

Completed applications are due no later than Jan. 22 and should be sent to Dan Mauney at After review by the various boards, selected individuals will be notified on or before Feb. 8. Applications are available online at

The 2016 gala will be held on Feb. 20, 5:45 p.m., at the Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St. Tickets for the affair are available online.


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Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.