Elected to lead the Charlotte Business Guild in December, Chad Sevearance, a Charlotte-based human resources consultant and small-business owner, is ready to take the organization to a new level. He and the rest of the group’s board — including several new members bringing a fresh outlook — recently held a board retreat, where they plotted their course for the year. Sevearance says the group will be “taking on a new outlook and becoming more business and professionalism centric.” The Guild’s new goals and strategies are expected to be announced within the month, and qnotes will be sure to keep you updated.

For now, we thought we’d give Chad a chance to introduce himself to the community at large in our first “Our People” interview of the new year.

Where are you originally from?
I grew up in the Gaston County area, but I’ve been in Charlotte for the past 12 years.

And, what kind of work do you do?
For the past 12 years, I’ve done HR, starting out as an HR specialist and working up to director. In 2008, I laid myself off in a large reduction in the company I worked for. I was unable to find a full-time position in HR, because companies were cutting back. Companies were telling me that they needed an HR person, but they couldn’t afford one full-time. So, I incorporated and created a firm that offered HR services a la carte to companies with 50-500 employees.

What kind of community involvement did you have before coming into the Charlotte Business Guild?
I’ve been heavily involved in the Chamber of Commerce. In years past, I did quite a few things with Pride.

What prompted you to get involved in the Guild?
I was asked to speak at a presentation on DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) at the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte as an HR expert and how it affects benefits and workplace issues. In that process, my partner and I were asked to join. Being from here, I’d never heard of the Charlotte Business Guild. I’d never heard of them, even though I’d heard of other LGBT community organizations. Once I got invited to join, that became my call to action — to get the word out so people know about the Charlotte Business Guild and create a better Guild so people will flock to join. We want to offer business owners, entrepreneurs and college students opportunities and to become a resource to the LGBT community.

On to some more fun questions… What is your favorite color?

I don’t run across many people who say orange. Why’s that?
It is very odd. I’m color blind. Orange is one of the few colors I do see. It’s always really stuck with me. It was the one color I didn’t have to look at the wrapping around the crayon to know what I was coloring with (laughs).

Your favorite food and drink?
Japanese and Coke.

What’s your normal Friday or Saturday evening? Go out much?
We normally like to go out to the movies and we usually hit up our favorite restaurants. We’re out for three or four hours and then come back to the house and catch up on our DVR.

Where’s your favorite place or neighborhood to hang out in Charlotte?
Our favorite neighborhood would have to be Plaza Midwood. We lived there previously and we really loved the restaurants and the area along Central Ave. It’s ideal for going out, with all the restaurants and bars all in walking distance. : :

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.