N. Texas GLBT Chamber marks 6th anniversary

CHAMBER HONORS | Dinner chair Lorie Burch, left, presents awards Fashion Optical owner Morgan Metcalf with the GLBT Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year award. (Courtesy Terry Walker/563 Photography)

Fashion Optical named business of the year; Bob McCranie of Texas Pride Realty wins businessperson of the year for 2010-11

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

Fashion Optical was named business of the year and Bob McCrainie of Texas Pride Realty was recognized as businessperson of the year by the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce.

On Wednesday, March 30, several hundred members of the chamber attended the sixth anniversary dinner and awards presentation at the Adolphus Hotel in Downtown Dallas.

Fashion Optical was cited for turning a discount eyewear store into the largest optical store in North Texas.

Morgan Metcalf said he turned the store that was doing about $350,000 annually into an almost $2 million operation in about two years.

“We have the look of luxury at reasonable price points,” he said.

Metcalf spoke about having been bullied in high school and by his father and said that was actually his motivation for success.

“I love being underestimated,” he said.

McCranie was recognized for his work locally with the Carrollton Project, an LGBT outreach project in the northern suburbs, for his evergreen award for promoting environmental issues and for his work nationally. McCranie was instrumental in getting sexual orientation added to the Realtors’ code of ethics.

J.T. Williams was named Emerging Leader for the success of his company, Uptown Capital Title, and for his work in the community. He is treasurer of Dallas Stonewall Young Democrats and volunteers with and raises money for Legacy Counseling Center and Lambda Legal.

Luke Crosland, developer of ilume on Cedar Springs Road, received a double award, the first time the chamber has given two awards to one company in the same year.

The ExtrAA Mile Award and the Member Service Award went to the developer for his commitment to the community and his contributions to the chamber.

“From the start, he made it clear they [ilume] would be part of the GLBT community,” said Lorie Birch, the dinner chair and presenter.

The company donates office space to the chamber as well as separate meeting space for the chamber and other groups.

Raytheon, recipient of the Corporate Ally Award, is “a great partner in the chamber,” said Chamber President Tony Vedda.

“The sponsored the Emerging Leader Award,” he said. “They sponsor a membership for Youth First Texas. They supply us with volunteers. Raytheon has a wonderful track record of diversity and inclusion.”

He said that Raytheon won’t sell more missile guidance systems because of company employment policies and support for the LGBT community.

Raytheon was the first aerospace company to score 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. Alice Walker, who heads the company’s LGBT employee group, gave credit for that to Louise Young.

Vedda gave the Chairman’s Awards to Jamie Sloan of the UPS Store Highland Park and Christopher Walthall, owner of Aneita Fern.

Chamber member Candy Marcum called Sloan a tireless ambassador for the community. Sloan has chaired the chamber’s membership and fundraising committees.

Vedda said that when ilume offered the chamber office space, he called Walthall about donating some furniture. Vedda said he hoped for a desk and a chair. Instead, Walthall fully outfitted the office with Stickley furniture, artwork and accessories.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 1, 2011.

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