Tony Vedda

National Chamber and Wells Fargo choose North Texas LGBT Chamber for innovative new TGX program

DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer

Wells Fargo and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce have chosen the North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce to produce programming especially designed for the transgender and gender nonconforming — TGX — business communities. Among the programs planned are Pitch Your TGX Business for Success workshops and TGX Pitch Program.

Transgender, nonbinary and gender expansive business owners may attend workshops to perfect their business pitch. As part of the workshop, attendees can apply for LGBT Business Enterprise certification for free. The certification allows them to apply for loans and grants seek customers as a minority-owned business.

The Pitch Program brings together TGX business owners and corporate representatives for a mock pitch event to give business owners a chance to hear constructive feedback from business leaders on how to best pitch their company

North Texas LGBT Chamber President and CEO Tony Vedda explained the importance of the pitch: “You should always have something ready,” he said. “You should always have some basic information about your business and why you are preferable over your competitors.”

Have something ready, he explained, because you never know when you might meet someone who can fund your business or contract your services.

Vedda said one of the most important things is to have a strong opening; say something that will grab the listener’s attention. The mistake too many business people make is not preparing something to say before someone asks for information.

How a business differentiates itself is important in winning customers, he added. “Be able to tell someone why you are better than the guy down the road,” Vedda said.

And, he said, make sure those reasons are relevant. “You’re saying you’re the oldest, but why is that good for me?” he gave as an example. Explain that some of the clients you’ve dealt with give your business the experience you need to do a good job.

Vedda said business owners should have ready little nuggets to share about their company that separates them from the rest and makes them the best choice. Finally, he said, it’s a good idea to have a capability statement, a one-page corporate resume that includes all the contact information a client would need about what the business does.

Vedda said the first workshop will be held on Nov. 2 and will be hosted by the city of Dallas Office of Small Business.

Those listening to presentations come from the corporate world. And while each may have a very specific and narrow area they oversee in their companies — Vedda used as an example one person who does nothing but manage beverages for an airline — they know who to put you in front of.

And referrals can be powerful.

But first, Vedda said, get the pitch perfected.

“We are excited to work closely with our affiliate chamber partners to elevate a new generation of inspiring, ceiling-shattering role models for future TGX business leaders,” said national chamber cofounder and President Justin Nelson.

“Wells Fargo is proud to expand our support for the transgender and gender expansive small business community in partnership with LGBTQ chambers across the country,” said Wells Fargo’s Roby Schapira, director of small business diverse customer segments.

Wells Fargo is celebrating 30 years of working with the LGBTQ community. During that time, Schapira said, the bank has provided more than $55 million in financial support to LGBTQ organizations.

Wells Fargo will fund the North Texas LGBT Chamber’s efforts to deliver the services to the TGX business community throughout the DFW area as well as pay for chamber membership and LGBTBE certification for those businesses that participate in the program.

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce has 53 local affiliates. It’s the exclusive certification body for LGBT-owned businesses.

The North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce is the largest LGBT business organization in Texas with more than 350 business and organization members from across the region. Within Texas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio also have LGBT chambers of commerce.

To participate in the Nov. 2 workshop or future events related to this program, contact the North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce at 214-821-4528 or email