Kevin Heard Makes Top 'Twenty in Their 20s' List


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One of this year's top 20 millennials influencing progress in Southeast Michigan is a member of the LGBT community. Kevin Heard is the founding board member and board president of the Detroit Regional LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

Crain's Detroit Business holds an annual celebration highlighting the best and brightest under 30 who may not have made their first million, but whose creativity and entrepreneurial spirit is already positively contributing to a new energy locally.

"When they told me I was one of the 'Twenty in their 20s' I was shocked and immediately humbled. I have been working on this chamber for three and a half years. I never knew how big it was going to get, let alone gain any recognition," said Heard, noting the chamber's role in putting a magnifying glass on the diversity and validity of LGBT businesses.

"I am thankful for my board of directors, our members and corporate partners for their support. We still have a lot of work to do. With their continued support we can get closer to creating an inclusive environment for all."

Heard confirmed the organization continues to grow and attract corporate partners, including Kroger, Henry Ford Health Systems, and most recently PNC Bank, which signed on in April. When Heard became board president in September 2015 he increased paid membership by 400 percent, creating an operating budget close to $20,000.

Long-term goals for the chamber include creating an LGBT business district within the city of Detroit. Heard told Crain's he believes a less fragmented business district could help with another goal: attracting LGBT tourism dollars.

In addition to his chamber responsibilities, Heard works full time as an account executive at Michigan.com. He recently became the lead for USA Today Network's LGBTQA employee resource group, which fosters a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with the company's mission, values, goals and business practices.

Read more about Heard online.


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