Celebrating 20 Years!!
Maine's original LGBT business and professional networking organization, RBPA was established in 1992 to promote networking within the LGBT business community. It was initially conceived to support the coming out process of LGBT professionals and business people throughout the State of Maine and to encourage us to spend our gay dollars within the gay community.
By 2001 membership in RBPA had increased to 160, listings in our advertising directory had doubled, and our mailing list was more than 500. Monthly meetings are held from September through May at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland. Members meet for networking and community announcements, and we feature a guest speaker who addresses topics of interest to the community, featuring a new business, non-profit groups or addressing best practices for the business community.
A donation of $1,000 in memory of Donna Tennant launched the RBPA Scholarship Fund in1997. From that initial gift, annual fundraising events such as the Holiday Auction and individual and group donations have enabled us to award scholarships each May. The grants are awarded based on the Scholarship Committee’s selections from essay applications.
1998: RBPA was awarded the Southern Maine Pride "Pride in the Community Award.” The award honors the courage to be ourselves.
2005: RBPA established the RBPA Scholarship Endowment, with an initial gift of $10,000.00, to allow Scholarships to be awarded in perpetuity.
2006: RBPA joins the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the exclusive certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses and entrepreneurs, with over 45 national and international affiliate chambers.
2012: RBPA provides leadership for Maine LIFE Events, a series of fundraising events which take place over Pride weekend. First established in 2009 by the Maine AIDS Alliance, these events have raised 10s of thousands of dollars in support of HIV/AIDS programs in Maine. In 2012 RBPA presented the Frannie Peabody Center with a check for $5,300 as a result of the efforts, along with a pledge to do even more in the future. For more information about Maine LIFE Events, visit mainelifeevents.org.
RBPA is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization
Membership dues are tax deductible as a business expense.
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