The Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce

Advancing Diversity, Inclusion & Growth


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  • September 03, 2019 9:08 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA) is collaborating with the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber on a unique opportunity for LGBTBE certified law firms.  Shell is one of the valued Greater Houston LGBT Chamber corporate partners and is a strong supporter of the LGBTQ business community.  Shell Legal Global Operations, through their Law Firm Panel Review Project, is focused on increasing diversity & inclusion participation in terms of its legal services across the globe.  Shell is actively seeking LGBTQ+ certified law firms (LGBTBE certification) to submit an RFI about legal services that you may be able to provide as part of the Law Firm Panel Review Project.  As part of our collaboration as part of the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce, our colleagues at the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber asked us to share this opportunity with our member law firms who are LGBTQ-owned.

    While the LGBTBE certification is not required to submit an RFI, it is preferred by Shell.  We encourage you to pursue the LGBTBE certification for this opportunity and other potential opportunities in the future.  The certifying body is the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) of which our Chamber is an affiliate.  If you are a member of 3RBA, your certification fee is waived  Learn more about the certification and how to apply

    Please review the RFI Proposal and Project Review brochure for more information from Shell Legal Global Operations about how to submit a Request for Information (RFI).  Note that the deadline to submit the RFI is September 16, 2019

    3RBA encourages you to submit the RFI as Shell will be building a list of LGBTQ+ certified firms as their Legal Global Operations team identifies resource or jurisdiction gaps in the future as well. Any questions related to the RFI should be directed to Simon Bolaños

  • August 25, 2019 2:02 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Three Rivers Business Alliance's president, Ronald L. Hicks, Jr., was featured in The American Lawyer article, "LGBTQ Businesses and Lawyers the Focus of New Partnership at Porter Wright," about his law firm's new partnership with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).  Hicks, a partner in the Pittsburgh office of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP, shared the importance of his commitment to LGBTQ+ businesses.

    Under the partnership, the Columbus, Ohio-based Am Law 200 firm will seek out co-counsel relationships for client matters with solo practitioners and small law firms that have been certified as an LGBTQ-owned business, Hicks said.

    “[The partnership will] allow firms like Porter Wright to partner with other types of minority law firms to work together to provide a great quality product to in-house general counsel,” (Hicks) said.

    Read the full article here.

  • August 22, 2019 11:42 AM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA) is proud to announce that Vibrant Pittsburgh and 3RBA have become affiliated members Vibrant Pittsburgh is an economic development nonprofit that seeks to address one of the greatest challenges facing the Pittsburgh region, its aging population and workforce, by providing leadership to accelerate the growth rate of diverse workers in the region.

    Vibrant Pittsburgh’s mission is to build a thriving and inclusive Pittsburgh region by attracting, retaining, and elevating a diversity of talent. Vibrant Pittsburgh accomplishes its mission in three ways:

    • By working with employers and diverse community groups to organize, promote and implement initiatives that are designed to welcome and retain more diverse talent;
    • By conducting targeted talent attraction initiatives at diverse national conventions, cultural festivals and career fairs using traditional and digital marketing tactics; and
    • By serving as the region’s central resource, spokesperson and convener on workforce diversity and inclusion issues.

    “3RBA is excited to announce its affiliation with Vibrant Pittsburgh,” said Ronald L. Hicks, Jr., a partner at Porter Wright Morris & Artur LLP and President of 3RBA. “A Vibrant Pittsburgh membership gives 3RBA and its members access to a network of national and local diversity and inclusion professionals. This is a unique opportunity for 3RBA to build relationships, share best practices and resources, and advance corporate and community diversity and inclusion initiatives that will expand our region’s economy.


    About Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA)

    Launched in early 2018, 3RBA serves to promote networking and business development within the LGBT+ and allied business community operating in the Pittsburgh and Greater Allegheny region.  Together with its foundation, 3RBA is committed to expanding the economic interests of LGBT+ owned and allied businesses through advocacy, education, business development and growth, diversity, leadership, and partnerships throughout its region.  Also, as an NGLCC affiliated chamber, 3RBA serves as a point of connection for LGBT+ and allied business owners and professionals, corporations, nonprofits, and civic leaders. Learn more about 3RBA at

  • August 19, 2019 11:04 AM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA) is proud to announce PNC has joined 3RBA as an Ohio River Sponsor.  Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PNC is one of the nation’s largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking, residential mortgage banking, wealth and asset management, and specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending.  

    “3RBA is delighted to have PNC as an Ohio River Sponsor,” said Ronald L. Hicks, Jr., a partner at Porter Wright Morris & Artur LLP and President of 3RBA. “PNC's sponsorship is an extension of the support it has provided 3RBA since its formation.  PNC's Vice President and Lead Product Manager, Bryan Jeffers, serves on 3RBA's Board and leads the Pittsburgh branch of PNC’s LGBT Employee Business Resource Group, PNC Proud.  We look forward to continue working with Bryan and PNC to improve the LGBT+ business community in the Pittsburgh and Greater Allegheny region and to continue the advancement of entrepreneurship in the region.”


    About Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA)

    Launched in early 2018, 3RBA serves to promote networking and business development within the LGBT+ and allied business community operating in the Pittsburgh and Greater Allegheny region.  Together with its foundation, 3RBA is committed to expanding the economic interests of LGBT+ owned and allied businesses through advocacy, education, business development and growth, diversity, leadership, and partnerships throughout its region.  Also, as an NGLCC affiliated chamber, 3RBA serves as a point of connection for LGBT+ and allied business owners and professionals, corporations, nonprofits, and civic leaders. Learn more about 3RBA at

  • August 17, 2019 12:30 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    From August 12 through 16, 2019, Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA) attended the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)' s 2019 International Business & Leadership Conference in Tampa, Florida.  NGLCC is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities for the LGBT business community.  3RBA is an affiliated NGLCC chamber covering Pittsburgh and the Greater Allegheny region.

    At the 2019 NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference, nearly 1,400 LGBT business owners, corporate leaders, affiliate chamber leaders, policymakers, and special guests convened at the Tampa Convention Center for the largest LGBT business event on the planet.  For 3RBA, its president, Ronald L. Hicks, Jr., its secretary, Mike Testa, and its board members, Missie Berteotti and Bryan Jeffers, attended.  Also in attendance were 3RBA members, Ryan Ruskin of the Ruskin Group and Meesha Gerhart of RedTree Web Design LLC.

    Among the highlights of the 2019 IBL Conference were:

    • A stirring performance by celebrated poet and advocate Hannah Drake to open the Conference.
    • Tampa’s openly LGBT Mayor, Jane Castor,  in a fireside chat with NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson. The Mayor made history by announcing the City of Tampa is the latest government to accept NGLCC’s LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE) certification and welcome LGBT business owners into city contracting and economic development opportunities.
    • $50,000 in cash and prizes awarded at the 8th annual NGLCC LGBT Biz Pitch Competition, NGLCC’s LGBT version of Shark Tank, to certified LGBTBE Lumenomics.
    • Sally Hogshead, NY Times bestselling author and business leadership keynote speaker, astounding the attendees with her keynote about the power of connections and ‘fascinating’ our business collaborators.
    • Over 50 workshops, learning sessions, mentorship meetings, networking engagements, and more designed to connect LGBT business owners to life-changing contracting opportunities.
    • Deborah Cox, Grammy nominated performer and longtime LGBT ally, performed many of her biggest hits in celebration of the LGBT business community.

    This is the second IBL conference 3RBA has attended.  Next year's conference will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada.


  • August 12, 2019 10:06 AM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA) is proud to announce Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP has joined the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) as a corporate partner to support LGBTQ+ businesses across the country. Through this new partnership, the firm will expand its existing supplier diversity program to include certified LGBT Business Enterprises® (LGBTBEs®), creating parity for LGBT-owned businesses, which contribute an estimated $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy..  

    Porter Wright is a large law firm that traces its roots to 1846 in Ohio. With offices in Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dayton, Ohio, Washington, D.C., Naples, Florida, Chicago, Illinois, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Porter Wright provides strategic legal counsel to a worldwide base of clients.  

    “We are excited to have Porter Wright join us as an NGLCC National Legal Partner, serving as a role model for other law firms and a leader among our corporate partners seeking to expand LGBT-inclusive opportunities throughout the legal industry,” said NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson. “Within an industry that has maintained a strong commitment to inclusion, partnering with the NGLCC is a logical step for many law firms that seek to advance their diversity values while also attracting and maintaining Fortune 1000 clients by mirroring their inclusion practices, including supplier diversity.”

     This is the latest step that Porter Wright has taken toward their commitment to diversity and inclusion. The firm recently joined the third cycle of the national Mansfield Rule pilot program, which is focused on increasing the number of women, lawyers of color, lawyers with disabilities and LGBTQ+ lawyers in significant leadership positions and promotions.

     “We see diversity as the responsibility of our entire firm,” said Robert Tannous, managing partner of Porter Wright. “With our involvement in the NGLCC, the Mansfield program, and other efforts, we are embodying our serious commitment to being strong allies to our partners and staff, our clients, and our communities.”

    The partnership with the NGLCC is driven by attorney Ronald L. Hicks, Jr., a partner in Porter Wright’s Pittsburgh office and longtime NGLCC member.  Hicks serves on NGLCC’s National Legal Industry Council and is a member of the NGLCC Supplier Certification Committee.  Hicks also serves as director and president of Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA), an NGLCC affiliate chamber in Pittsburgh that supports LGBTQ businesses in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Southeastern Ohio, Northern West Virginia and Northwestern Maryland.  Together with its foundation, 3RBA promotes networking and business development for LGBTQ business owners and assists the NGLCC with its LGBTBE® certification program.   

    Porter Wright encourages its clients and other law firms to support the NGLCC and 3RBA as they work to expand economic opportunities and advancement for LGBTQ people. To learn more about or join the NGLCC and 3RBA, please visit their web sites ( and or contact Ron Hicks at To learn more about Porter Wright, visit

  • July 14, 2019 5:19 PM | Stephen Donaldson (Administrator)

    Our first member spotlight is on Cautionary Tale by Dean.  Dean and his company were one of our first members to successfully complete the LGBTE certification process.  We sat down with Dean to find out more about his business!!

    1. Tell me about your business? 

    I call it custom art embroidery. It’s not just machine embroidery. I can create custom art for a customer, digitize it for embroidery and then stitch it out for them. I have specialized software that allows me to create the files for the embroidery machine. I have access to thousands of apparel and other items. You can put embroidery on just about any item. 

    2. What made you interested in your industry? 

    Ever since I was a kid, I liked art and creating new things. I have a degree in graphic design and Information Science. I thought what a great way to combine the two. I enjoy taking my drawings and sketches and turning them into something to embroider. I see embroidery as painting with thread. Each stich is a brush stroke. I am very into a technique called watercolor. It’s where you have open stich patterns that overlap and blend to create new colors and textures. It’s very much like pointillism regarding putting colors next to each other to get a new color. 

    3. How did you get your start? 

    I bought a used high-end home machine and was off and running! I studied many videos, books and tv shows about embroidery to get a good grasp of the process and other materials needed. 

    4. Why did you join the 3RBA? 

    I joined 3RBA to learn how to run a business, get access to resources and to network/socialize. I knew many businesses and corporations have embroidered products like polo shirts or jackets. I thought why shouldn’t they give me their business? I thought this organization will be a great way to network within the LBGT and Pittsburgh business communities. 

    5. How has the 3RBA helped you in growing your business and advancement? 

    Getting certified to NGLCC and attending the conference was a huge boost. I’ve met people from various careers. There are people who know about finance, legal, running a small business and logistics/supply chain. Ron helped me by getting my company turned into a corporation and getting all the paperwork done with the state. My next step is to find an expert who can help with putting copyrights on my designs to protect them. 

    6. What would you tell others that are thinking about starting their own business or joining the chamber? 

    I would encourage anyone with a small business to join. The wealth or knowledge and access to resources is invaluable. If you’re starting a business write up a business plan. That will help with getting all the legal documents done. Have a specific goal for your business. Members helped me by sharing templates for many of these start up documents. Every member of the organization has something to contribute and is so willing to help. It’s a great place to feel you are going for your dream and having a community to help you. 

    7. Why did decide to get certified as an NGLCC LGBTBE? 

    This was the next step in going from thinking about my business locally to thinking about it globally. That might sound scary but it’s not. You are not making a global conglomerate but you are tapping into global businesses. Being certified to NGLCC allows me access to their database of corporate members and sponsors. I can find contact information and ways to get into corporate supply chains. My next goal is to get with some boutique hotels to monogram embroidery for their pillow cases. Some hotels do that for each guest with the guest's initials for them to keep. With NGLCC I’ll be able to access people that can make that happen. Not something I could do on my own. 

  • June 08, 2019 7:32 AM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    A year after its launch, Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA) has established a charitable foundation to assist 3RBA fund its educational programming and allow 3RBA to concentrate on being a membership association.

    Named Three Rivers Business Alliance Foundation, its mission is to educate, inspire and empower members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and other nonconforming persons (LGBT+) business community and their allies in the Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny region and build a stronger overall economy and community. 

    The Foundation's goals are to:

    • Provide professional and business development education and programming for LGBT+ business professionals, entrepreneurs and small business owners and their allies;
    • Fund scholarships and grants to deserving LGBT+ residents so that they may develop skills and become more successful;
    • Fund studies and reports on the impact of LGBT+ businesses in the Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny region; and
    • Engage in activities that foster diversity, inclusion and growth.
    Some of the projects the Foundation is looking to fund are:
    • $1,500 for a Lunch & Learn for 30 participants. $6,000 for 4 lunches in 2019/2020;
    • $5,000 for a pull out section in the Pittsburgh Business Times or other similar publication to highlight LGBT+ business owners;
    • $2,500 to video our programs and post them on our website; and
    • $10,000 in scholarships for LGBT+ business owner development and skills training.

    The Foundation has established the following donation levels:

    Diamond: $25,000+
    Ruby: $10,000 - $24,999
    Emerald: $5,000 - $9,999
    Sapphire: $2,500 - $4,999
    Garnet: $1,000 - $2,499

    You can donate by mailing a check to:

    Three Rivers Business Alliance Foundation
    1735 E. Carson St. #403
    Pittsburgh, PA 15203-1705

    Also, you can contact 3RBA to become a sustaining donor.

    Three Rivers Business Alliance Foundation is a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation that is exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3).  Here is a copy of its IRS exemption letter

    To learn more about the Foundation and its activities, click here.

  • May 16, 2019 8:17 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Arthur Perkins of Uzuri Enterprise/UE Promotions!  Art is the winner of 3RBA's $50 VISA Gift Card Giveway that was conducted at 3RBA's booths at the Ohio Valley Pride Festival and Pittsburgh Business Show between May 11-15, 2019.  

  • May 13, 2019 11:03 AM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Three Rivers Business Alliance is pleased to announce that Jessica Eberley has been named a director to fulfill a three year term, ending December 31, 2021.  

    Jessica is the Founder and Chief Executive Office of HRT Solutions, LLC.  Founded in 2016, HRT Solutions' mission is to ensure that every organization it partners with has a laser focus on its organization’s greatest asset: its people. HRT Solutions works directly with its clients to understand their mission, vision, and values, and through this partnership, HRT Solutions customizes its service offerings to bridge gaps and develop the right solutions for its clients.  HRT Solutions service offerings include Recruiting Process Outsourcing, University Relations Outsourcing, and Human Resource Process Outsourcing.  Jessica was awarded the Pittsburgh Business Choice Award for HR services and SCORE Business Championship winner for the state of Pennsylvania.

    “3RBA is delighted to have Jessica as a Director,” said Ronald L. Hicks, Jr., a partner at Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP and President of 3RBA. “She is a successful entrepreneur having grown her company’s client base to support team growth from 5 to 12 employees in under two years.  We look forward to working with Jessica and her company to improve the LGBT+ business community in the Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny region and to continue the advancement of entrepreneurship in the region.”

    Jessica joins 3RBA’s ten other directors. 3RBA thanks Jessica and all of its directors and officers for lending their time and expertise to 3RBA as it grows over the next three years. 

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Three Rivers Business Alliance

1735 E. Carson St. #403
Pittsburgh, PA 15203-1705

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