Charlotte Business Guild Frequently Asked Question

Charlotte Business Guild Frequently Asked Question

Audience: Charlotte-area professionals interested in joining the Charlotte Business Guild.


Q. What is the Charlotte Business Guild?

A. The Charlotte Business Guild (CBG) is a network of business contacts and friendships, that encourages fellowship and support among business, professional and charitable leaders, and provides and promotes positive role models in Charlotte’s lesbian and gay community.

Q.What is the mission of the CBG?

A. Provide a diverse network of professional, business and social connections among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight communities.

Q. Who leads the CBG?

A. The CBG is governed by a Board of Directors.  This board is headed by CBG President Teresa Davis.

Q. Who can join the CBG?

A. Anyone can join!  The CBG membership base consists of professionals, business owners and students in the Charlotte area.

Q. When and where does the Guild meet?

The CBG usually meets on the second Wednesday of every month for a “happy hour” social. Admission is free, and the meeting place changes from month to month.

While the Guild attempts to support Charlotte’s LGBT establishments, the Guild also occasionally meets at different “gay friendly” establishments to provide members new experiences throughout the Queen City.

A current calendar of the Guild’s upcoming events can be found online.


Q. Is there a cost associated with becoming a member of the Charlotte Business Guild?

A. While most of the Charlotte Business Guild (CBG) social networking events are free, there is a membership fee charged to help support the organization.

Q. How much is the membership fee?

A. The CBG offers several types of memberships.  The fee to join is different based on the type of memberships.  The membership types and fees are as follows:

Membership Type Description Annual Rate
Student Applies to full-time students attending a four-year college, university or community college. $25.00
Individual Individual Person or Sole proprietor can join the Guild under this plan. $50.00
Partner Two individuals residing in same household. Certain Businesses may apply for this type of membership. $80.00
Senior Individuals that are age 60 and over. $40.00
Business Business membership includes special business benefits (covers up to 3 people) $200.00
Non-profit Non-profit membership includes Business Membership benefits (covers up to 2 people) $100.00

 Q. What benefits do members receive?

A. Personal membership benefits include:

  • Free admission to certain “Guild Only” events
  • The Charlotte Business Guild monthly newsletter, “The Networker.”
  • Free business listing and web link on the CBG’s Member Listings page.
  • One-half price membership in the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.
  • Guild members also get discounts from 10-15 area businesses just for being a member. Please contact us to get the updated list of businesses offering discounts.

Business and non-profits members receive:

  • The same benefits as personal members plus these additional benefits:
  • 1/4 page ad in 12 issues of “The Networker.”
  • Business logo and link on the CBG Member Businesses webpage.
  • Preferred Expo opportunities.
  • Two minutes to speak at one CBG meeting.
  • Membership for one (single) or two (joint) individuals.

Q. How do you I join the CBG?

A.  Those interested in the joining the CBG can apply online.  Personal applications and business applications can both be completed online.  You can also contact the CBG at 704-750-5CBG (5224).

Contacting the Guild:

Q. How can I contact the Charlotte Business Guild (CBG)?

A. The CBG can be reached by phone at (704) 750-5CBG (5224) or by e-mail

The Guild is also on Facebook.

Q. I have an event that I think the members of the CBG, how can I have it posted?

A.  Feel free to fill out an online form and we will see if it fits the interests of our members.


Vegetarianism Blooms in Charlotte

The South is known for its extra use of butter, ham-seasoned side dishes and gravy-covered meats, but in Charlotte, N.C., signs that vegetarianism is on the rise can be spotted throughout the “Queen City.” While the number of individuals in the United States that consider themselves to be vegetarian remains unchanged, around 5 percent, according to Gallup polls in 2001 and 2012 – the number of vegetarian restaurants in Charlotte tells a different story.

Just five years ago, the city had no strictly vegetarian restaurant to call its own, but now there are several.

Fern, Flavors from the Garden is one of Charlotte’s most popular vegetarian restaurants according to Yelp reviews.  Fern is tucked away in the outskirts of Charlotte’s Uptown on Central Ave.

The restaurant offers diners a selection of kimchi lettuce wraps, carnitas tacos with braised spaghetti squash and braised “beef” papardelle made from house-crafted black pepper papardelle, braised seitan brussel sprouts and arugula gremolata. The restaurant breaks the mold for those that associate vegetarian meals with a simple dish of leafy greens and canned green beans.

“My goal is to help people interested in becoming a vegetarian open their mind to new ways of cooking,” said Jasiatic, a vegetarian meal coach in Charlotte.    Jasiatic, a local artist, has been a vegetarian for about 10 years and decided to use her talents to help others that want to remove meat from their diet.

“It’s all about creativity,” says Jasiatic. “I’ve had a number of new clients that come to me because they’re not sure where to start.  I’ve taken them on grocery store tours, pulled items from the shelf and said ‘did you know that you use this as a great meat substitute?’”

While there are numerous reasons that people  switch from living as a full-time carnivore to a vegetarian, one of the top reasons is weight loss.  Fad diets like the Atkins high-protein meal regimen seem to come and go, but vegetarianism is one trend that appears to be here for the long-run – especially in Charlotte. and similar websites seem to be popping up on the scene, creating a community for those that are interested in becoming a vegetarian or even vegan, also ridding their diet of dairy products.


“For me, it was about becoming more fit and healthy,” said Allison Maxwell, one of Jasiatic’s newest clients. “I wanted to make a clear choice to healthier and I needed help getting started.”  Maxwell, a Charlotte native, connected with Jasiatic via Facebook after hearing about her services through word of mouth.  “It seemed like the best choice for me at the time and having support was important.”

Religion also plays a huge role in diets.  Some people make a clear choice to move toward vegetarianism based on their way of life.  “Vegetarian and Vegan Meetups” are sprouting up around Charlotte as well.  These meet-ups help local Charlotteans exchange ideas on where and how to eat.  There is even a raw food meet-up, a movement that is somewhat new to the Charlotte scene.

“It’s minimalism at its best,” said Actor John W. Love who is a raw foodist. “Raw foodist eat only raw vegetables and are able to create a truly balanced diet from what comes directly from the earth.”

Regardless of the reason for the transformation, Charlotte’s vegetarian food scene is blossoming and gaining momentum. From new restaurants to food coaching, the “Queen City” lends itself to  an old trend with a new twist.

Charlotte-area Entrepreneur Noah Lazes to Present at Charlotte Business Guild October Networking

ImageCONTACT: Davien Anderson




  • Noah Lazes, president of the Ark Group in Charlotte, to discuss upcoming business ventures on Tuesday, Oct. 15
  • Charlotte Business Guild, Charlotte LGBT professional network, holds monthly networking events open to the public
  • The Guild celebrates its 21st anniversary this year with its second annual gala and LGBT Community Service Awards



CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 14, 2013 – The Charlotte Business Guild’s guest speaker Noah Lazes will answer one of Charlotte’s most unanswered questions in his presentation to the organization on Oct. 15: what are the possibilities for the dilapidated Eastland Mall area?

The entrepreneur, co-founder, President and C.O.O. of the ARK Group will discuss:

  • The launch of the NC Music Factory and its associated risks;
  • The rapport he’s built with the LGBT community and;
  • His newest projects in the Charlotte area.

For more information on the Charlotte Business Guild, the Queen City’s first Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) business organization, visit or follow the organization on Facebook for the most up-to-date information on news and events.

(Photo:; caption: “The Charlotte Business Guild Board of Directors meets to discuss its upcoming events.”)


“Noah Lazes’ relationship with the LGBT community and the Charlotte Business Guild is unique and unlike any other business owner in the Charlotte area,” said Ronald Thomas, Charlotte Business Guild Business Development Manager. “The Charlotte Business Guild is proud to have Noah as a strong ally and looks forward to the changes that he will bring to the Charlotte area.”

In addition to his work with the NC Music Factory, Lazes is also highly recognized for his work as the producer of some of the largest arts and music festivals in the United States including RocktoberFest, Carolina MusicFest, Indy Summer Stages, Center CityFest and CityFest Live!

“Presenting to the Charlotte Business Guild’s members is an honor,” said Lazes. “As many of the Guild’s members are entrepreneurs, I plan to shed light on the risks that I took when starting many of my ventures and discuss the development of my newest project – a ski slope at the former Eastland Mall complex.”

The details of event are as follows:

Date: Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013

Place:  The Saloon at the NC Music Factory

(900 NC Music Factory Blvd.)

Time:  Networking Begins – 6:00 p.m.

Appetizers/Dinner for Purchase

Members’ Introductions and Business: 7:00 p.m.

Presentation by Noah Lazes: 7:15 p.m.

The Charlotte Business Guild holds monthly networking socials that are open to the public. In November, the organization will host the second annual gala on Nov. 15 that celebrates its 21st anniversary.  Tickets can be purchased on the Guild’s website.  The Guild will also present its 2013 LGBT Community Service Awards, formerly known as the Don King Awards. Video from the Guild’s 2009 Don King Awards highlights a few of the areas leaders in LGBT initiatives from previous years.

About Charlotte Business Guild:

The Charlotte Business Guild was organized in 1992 to establish and nurture a network of business contacts and friendships, encourage fellowship and support among business, professional and charitable pursuits, and provide and promote positive role models in Charlotte’s Lesbian and Gay community.

The mission of the Charlotte Business Guild is to provide a diverse network of professional, business and social connections among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight communities.

Distribution: This release will serve as a media advisory as well and will go out on Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. prior to the time that most newsrooms have their assignment meetings.  The intention is to have media attend Tuesday’s event.

Revised: War Outside My Window

Audience: Readers of the community section of a local newspaper

Abstract: Davien Anderson retells the moments of his childhood that shaped the person he’s become.  He examines detailed moments growing up that gave him a sense of freedom and motivated him to move forward in life contrary to his surroundings.

Fun and Games

Tiny scrapes draped my small frame as I lie at the bottom of the hill and allowed the bright sun to tease my skin. My niece and nephew, who are very close in age, and I brainstormed games like “who can roll down the hill the fastest” or “hide and seek” just to exclaim “I won” before supper time.  This was my safe place. I itched from the grass blades that whipped across my arms and legs. Giggling, I spread my arms wide in the field and stared at the Carolina blue skies.

I attended Hidden Valley Elementary until the 5th grade.

I attended Hidden Valley Elementary until the 5th grade.

“What should we do next?” I yelled to Carmen.  “Let’s ride our bikes,” she replied.

Pulling ourselves up from the earth, the three of us made a quick dash to the back of the house to grab our bikes, again turning the sprint into a mini-marathon. Reaching my bike first, I quickly jumped on the seat and made my way to our normal path. The path outlined our safe haven around the neighborhood.

Outside those lines was a dangerous world. This world was full of drugs, domestic violence, poverty and gang activity. My mom sheltered the three of us from this world and kept us in our own little protected southern area.

Thinking Back


Screenshot of the story that appeared in The Charlotte Observer on Aug. 22, 2013.

Reading the front page of the Charlotte Observer on Friday, August 22 took me back to those days of safety and security in a deviant world.  The headline read “Judge Oks crackdown on the Hidden Valley Kings.”  The above-the-fold story described a life of crime, gang activity and drugs that I didn’t encounter growing up.  As I read further down the page, another headline caught my eye.  This story was one that I had provided a quote for a recent community outreach activity. “Wow” I said to myself.

The Difference

Just a couple streets over from my house, my peers were fighting wars that I didn’t see in my home.  I had classmates that went without food, witnessed domestic violence daily, lived with family members on drugs and didn’t see their parents often.  Ten-year-olds were fighting in the trenches disguised as street corners. The same kids that I went to school with each day were struggling to live and survive.  My life was different.  My support system was strong at home.  My mom never allowed me to go outside the perimeter she drafted.  She always made sure that school came before anything else.

My mom and I in Paris.

My mom and I in Paris.

“Have you finished your homework?” my mom called to me.  I started scribbling on the pages even faster, hoping for a few more moments to run outside and play before the street lights flickered.  My niece and nephew had finished their assignments for the day and I was anxious to get back outside. I wrapped up my last sentence of my report, slammed my book shut and made my way out the door.

“Ring! Ring! Ring!”

I couldn’t wait to take the few dollars I saved and run to the ice cream truck.  This was the same ice cream truck that crept slowly down the street singing it’s same song each day.  My mom taught me the importance of saving.  This was extremely important when I had friends that didn’t understand this.  Rather than saving, they were stealing.

The strawberry ice cream never tasted so good.  I bit into the frozen treat covered in tiny flakes of shortcake and closed my eyes. “Davien, let’s go,” my nephew yelled and we headed to our park. Walking down the street we talked about the happenings at school that day.  We shared tales from the schoolyard and told silly jokes that we’d heard earlier in the day.  Life felt so easy then.

Giving Thanks

Sitting at my desk I reflected on the moments when I felt completely safe and surrounded as a kid. I felt thankful for those moments as a child as I continued to read the words on the page describing the state of the neighborhood in which I matured. I began to feel thankful that I was motivated and encouraged in the same neighborhood where so many felt hopeless. Running back through the memories that I shared with my niece and nephew ignited an emotion of pride in knowing that I developed into the person that I am today.

Myself, my niece Carmen and my nephew Jarrett in 2007.

Myself, my niece Carmen and my nephew Jarrett in 2007.

Each day I played carelessly in my own backyard which pulled me one step closer to the moments of success that I’ve been so lucky to grasp. Just like the many races I won as a child, I felt like throwing up my arms and screaming “Yes!” It felt like I had made it. I felt as if I could do anything.  I thought about how excited I felt about life then and today felt just as excited as I did then.