Greater Houston Gay & Lesbian
Chamber of Commerce (GHGLCC)

Founded in 1996, the GHGLCC was active through 2008, and among its
accomplishments were staging several business events called Empower.
In January 2001 the name was changed to GLBT

In a way the organization was a successor to the
Greater Montrose Business Guild (1982 to 1993)
and the precursor to current organization
which was formed in 2016.

GHLGBT Chamber of Commerce (GHLGBTCC)

Most of the information available
can be found in its excellent newsletters. (and if anyone has
issues I am missing I would love to borrow and digitize them)

Coy Tow was the oganization's first President, Jan 1996, and much of the activity
in 1997 was directed into its first business expo, Empower '97.
Anita Renteria became President in January 1998, and Empower '98 was held in November.
With 1999 came Empower '99 with record attendence of over 5,000. Debra Hunt
was President in January 2000, and Empower 2000 was held in October.
Michael Tolleson led the organization in January 2001 and that year started with a new logo,
which changed the name to GLBT

October brought Empower 2001; in 2002 and 2003 it was held in September;
Empower 2004 and 2005 were held in June. And I do not have information if there were later events.
It appears the website became inactive after July 2005 through May of 2008, when it
sputtered alive with a new website, changing from to
That site seemed to last about a year, with almost nothing uploaded. So it seems
the organization ended around 2008. I would love additional information.



Newsletters 1996: May, July, Nov, Dec PDF
Newsletters 1997: Jan, Feb, Apr to Aug #1
Newsletters 1997: Sep to Dec
Newsletters 1998: Jan to Jun, Aug to Oct, Dec PDF
Newsletters 1999: Jan to Nov
Newsletters, 2000: Jan to Apr, Jun; 2001: Jan PDF
Newsletter, 2004: September PDF

Empower '98 Program, PDF
Empower '99 Program, PDF


not many, it's all in the newsletters





1998 Pride Parade



2000 Pride Parade


articles on both the Chamber and Community Center


Note, this was a paid ad



I was able to grab the following from 2005 from the Internet Archive,
and it is the last Empower event I can document



And this Board listing is the last, from July 2008

And, see This Link for coverage
of Rockets Pride Night,
Coordinated by the Chamber
April 14, 2021