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GGBA Member Highlight: Suzanne Ford, Interim Government Director of SF Satisfaction – San Francisco Bay Occasions

Suzanne Ford

Since the end of February 2022, Suzanne Ford has served as the Interim Executive Director of San Francisco Pride. Her leadership, along with that of President Carolyn Wysinger, has made the organization woman-strong during an important year when the 52-year-old organization is preparing for its first in-person Pride Parade and Celebration since 2019. Ford, who previously served on the boards of Trans Heartline and the Spahr Center, is more than up for the daunting tasks ahead.

An advocate for the transgender and gender nonconforming communities, Ford has plenty of nonprofit as well as small business savvy. The Owensboro, Kentucky, native owned a coffee house in Louisville before moving to the Bay Area about 14 years ago.

GGBA: Tell us about San Francisco Pride and its business structure.

Suzanne Ford: San Francisco Pride is an LGBTQ+ nonprofit organization. The mission of SF Pride’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender Committee is to educate the world, commemorate our heritage, celebrate our culture, and liberate our people. Before the pandemic, SF Pride welcomed over a million attendees to San Francisco for the parade and festival on the last weekend of June. While we’ve continued to celebrate Pride during the last two years, we cannot wait to take back Market Street and San Francisco’s Civic Center!

SF Pride crowd at Main Stage

GGBA: In a nutshell, how did SF Pride start, and what drew you to it?

Suzanne Ford: Crazy queer people came together 52 years ago to protest for our rights while showing our fabulous community to the world here in San Francisco. I grew up knowing that if I came here, I would find my people. I want SF Pride to be here for generations to come in order to provide a beacon of hope.

GGBA: Who are some of your role models, and especially those who helped to influence your work here for the LGBTQ community?

Suzanne Ford: Theresa Sparks, current Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, is my role model. She used her experience in private business to work tirelessly for the trans community. I hope to do the same. Additionally, social activist Nikki Calma, also known as Tita Aida, has paved the way for trans people at SF Pride. I can always count on her support and she has been a tremendous help through my own work at SF Pride.

GGBA: Why did you decide to join the GGBA, and how long have you been a member?

Suzanne Ford: We are new members! I was excited to join so that SF Pride could become even more integrated into the LGBTQ+ business community of San Francisco. I look forward to connecting with the queer entrepreneurs of the city for important discussions.

GGBA: How has being a member of GGBA helped your work so far?

Suzanne Ford: Being a member of GGBA enabled us to connect with members regarding SF Pride’s return to an in-person celebration this year. We look forward to finding more allies in the group for our work, building and strengthening our partnership with GGBA members.

https://sfpride.org/

GGBA Calendar

Thursday, May 5
Boost Your Business Growth Through Brand Building
9am-10am
Virtual/Webinar

Fire. When you hear the word, what do you think of? Is it just a compelling logo or tagline? How does your brand impact your business bottom line? In this Partner Digital Series workshop hosted by Google and Canva during National Small Business Week, we’ll be exploring what makes a strong brand, why it’s important for your business, and how to create a style guide and brand kit to build better brand consistency and attract more customers. https://tinyurl.com/3nrpuztc

Thursday, May 5
Preparing to pop up
2pm – 3:30pm

Join the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center and the GGBA for a virtual workshop that will teach you how to identify the tools and resources you need to Pop-Up while helping you navigate the necessary permits you must obtain. https://tinyurl.com/3ackanjw

Friday, May 20th
GGBA Ambassador Club
5:30pm – 6:30pm
LocationTBD

The GGBA Ambassador Club helps celebrate and support LGBTQ+ and allied businesses in the Bay Area and is open to all GGBA members.
https://tinyurl.com/nhpeenp3

Friday, June 17
GGBA’s Annual Event: Power Connect 2022
9am-4pm
SOMArts
934 Brannan Street, SF

Everything is different in 2022, it seems, so we’ll be tackling big issues under the theme “The New World of Business,” with highly curated experiences centering on the interests and needs of our member businesses and corporate partners.
Some of the new elements we are introducing are:

  • strategic networking with business-to-business and business-to-corporation matchmaking;
  • food and drink options hosted by our local members;
  • keynotes and workshops focused on supplier diversity, the challenges and opportunities of the future, and tools for success in the new world of business.

Tickets: $95 for Members ($70 Early Bird Ends on May 17!); $125 for Non-Members https://tinyurl.com/bddwzwj6

Published on May 5, 2022

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