Skylight LGBT Team Kick Off New Young LGBTQ Professionals Networking Group – FLARE


Members of our LGBT Resource Team in Cleveland have recently kicked off a new young professionals networking group, called FLARE, focused on LGBTQ and ally rising entrepreneurs.  Its first networking event took place on October 10th and here we catch up with Katy Bryan, Financial Planner and LGBT Resource Team Member to find out a little more.

What sparked the idea of FLARE?

Our team got talking about how many great young professional organizations there are in Cleveland but how none were specifically geared towards the young LGBTQ and ally community and so we thought it would be a good idea to start an informal and dynamic networking group.  We came up with the name FLARE which stands for “Focused LGBTQ & Ally Rising Entrepreneurs”.  Our mission is to provide an avenue for young professional LGBTQ and Ally leaders to build strong business, community and leadership connections in the Cleveland area.

Could you share with us a little more about the aims and objectives of FLARE?

Our main objective is to create an informal networking group which will allow young LGBTQ and allies to meet new people and like-minded professionals.  The objective is to work with the many outstanding LGBT and young professional organizations and partner with them to help LGBTQ young professionals become educated about the many resources available to them, build connections in the community, and give back to the community as well.

Tell us a little about you first event?

Our first event went really well.  It was a relaxing and casual networking evening in the Skylight penthouse and we received a lot of positive feedback from the community. They were excited about this group and the organic growth model we are using.  By that I mean they liked that we are open to ideas, collaborations and partnerships and will listen to what people who attend want to get out of the group.

What other events have you planned?

We are really looking forward to our next event at Dive Bar on November 11th.  It’s a Happy Hour fundraiser for the LGBT Community Center’s Facility Endowment Fund Campaign.  There will be $20 charge which includes all food and drinks.   Check out the flyer.

Beyond that our plans are still forming.   We are tentatively thinking of holding monthly events based on networking, education or community action but this will be shaped by what our young entrepreneurs want. Our goal is to bring in community resources which are already available in the LGBT community (such as Plexus, the LGBT Community Center, and Equality Ohio just to name a few) to talk to us. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel but work alongside existing organizations.

Thanks Katy for sharing with us.

Kathryn Bryan is a registered representative of and offers securities, investment advisory and financial planning services through MML Investors Services, LLC Member SIPC. OSJ: 2012 W. 25th Street, Suite 900, Cleveland OH 44113. 216-621-5680.

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