5 questions with Tony Vedda
Tony Vedda was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but got out as fast as he could, he said. He grew up in Albuquerque, and said that he learned the value of volunteerism and the impact made by nonprofit organizations and chambers of commerce. He is an entrepreneur and a former officer of the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves on its board.
How did you get involved with chambers of commerce originally?
I’ve had the honor of working for the Greater Albuquerque Chamber, Scottsdale Chamber and San Francisco Chamber, but I am most proud of the work that I did as the executive director of the Golden Gate Business Association in San Francisco, the nation’s first GLBT Chamber of Commerce. The opportunity to work with a new chamber was more than I could resist. Chambers of commerce are the best places to do professional development and networking, to acquire new skills and to support the economic growth of a community.
What did you do as the executive director of the Golden Gate Business Association?
In San Francisco I learned that community, diversity, and acceptance are more that just words. At Golden Gate Business Association, I learned that you can actively participate in the business community as a GLBT person, you don’t have to exist on the fringes of the greater business community and that our opinions and points of view were welcomed and respected.
Why do you think the North Texas GLBT Chamber is useful for the whole LGBT community?
In addition to the economic issues inherent with any chamber, the North Texas GLBT Chamber has adopted standards of business conduct and ethics. GLBT consumers should know that if they are doing business with a chamber member that members had agreed to abide by these standards. Every business that is GLBT owned, operated or who serves and/or supports our community should be a member of the chamber.
What is your current day job?
My partner, Greg Wallace, and I operate our own business, Mildred’s Gourmet. It is named for the great Joan Crawford character Mildred Pierce. We hope to follow Mildred’s example and build Mildred’s Gourmet into a hugely successful business (except without the divorce and murder). Mildred’s Gourmet specializes in custom desserts, cakes, cheesecakes, cookies, pies and our fave cupcakes.
What neighborhood do you live in, and why did you choose to move there?
Greg and I moved to Dallas in 1996. Greg had lived in Dallas for a number of years before moving to San Francisco in 1994, where we met. In 1996, his job moved him back to Dallas and I came along. We’ve lived in Lakewood for seven years; it’s a great place to live. We’re five minutes from White Rock Lake and 15 minutes from Oak Lawn. You just can’t beat that.
Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the GLBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, contact staff writer Beth Freed at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 26, 2007