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Bay Area Reporter :: News Briefs: Kendell lands new gig

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Kate Kendell, the former longtime executive director of the San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights, is now the first chief of staff for the California Endowment.

Kendell began the new position June 1, after having served for nine years on the endowment’s board of directors, a news release stated.

“The endowment is excited to have Kate Kendell continue to serve our foundation, now as chief of staff,” stated Dr. Robert K. Ross, CEO and president of the endowment. “Kate’s career is steeped in racial justice, LGBTQ advocacy, and civil rights. She will be a strong leader for our work in the next decade.”

According to the release, Kendell’s hiring comes after recent retirements of executive team members and a major transition of staff. Kendell will assist and support the executive team, and will play a key role in the development and implementation for the endowment’s future work, helping to deepen the racial equity efforts of the organization. She will also support grant making from the CEO’s office, and ensure the prioritization of critical issues and required information for the CEO to help facilitate efficiency and provide timely decision-making.

Kendell stepped down from NCLR at the end of 2018. Most recently, she served as interim chief legal officer at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Kendell said she’s enthusiastic about the new job.

“After serving on the board of the California Endowment, I am especially excited to join the staff of an organization committed to health and social and racial justice,” she stated in an email. “For 25 years the endowment has empowered and partnered with youth and residents to create vibrant communities where all can thrive, including LGBTQ residents. I look forward to helping the passionate and talented team at the endowment deepen and grow that work for all Californians.”

The California Endowment has a budget of about $3.5 million, according to the audited financials on its website. It works to provide grants to develop social justice and health equity for all Californians. Learn more at https://www.calendow.org/

Glide announces Pride festivities
Glide Memorial Church and the Glide Pride Team have announced various activities to recognize LGBTQ Pride Month in June. There will be tributes, special offerings, and Pride-inspired Sunday celebrations.

Led by Marvin K. White, Glide’s minister of celebration, the church is dedicated to unconditional love, radically inclusive faith, and social justice.

“Glide Memorial Church has a long history of LGBTQ+ inclusion,” White stated in a news release. “Our congregation has been a spiritual home for the LGBTQ+ community from the beginning. … We celebrate Pride because we know that the LGBTQ+ stories that make up our beloved community will endure.”

There are drag and spirituality shows on Friday, June 11, featuring Afrika America; Monday, June 14, with Lotus Boy; and Monday, June 21, with Honey Mahogany. All start at 7 p.m.

“Black Trans Lives: Breaking the Silence” will be held Tuesday, June 22, at 6 p.m. There will be a virtual watch party for the classic drag ballroom film “Paris is Burning” Friday, June 25, at 6 p.m. On Sunday, June 27, at 2 p.m. there will be a virtual Pride party on Twitch with DJ David Harness.

For more information and to register for the events, go to https://www.glide.org/

LGBTQ first-time homebuyer seminar
The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance will hold a virtual national first-time homebuyer seminar for queer people Wednesday, June 16, from 4 to 5 p.m. Pacific Time. Organizers said they believed this is the first such program ever offered specifically for the LGBTQ+ community.

This is also the first public program offered by the alliance, a 501(c)6 nonprofit with more than 1,200 members that launched last October. According to a news release, it will feature a variety of important topics for potential homeowners, including discussions about down payments, mortgage types, pre-approval, and the lending process. The program will offer insight into selecting an agent, home, and neighborhood while offering perspectives on the offer, negotiations, and the different steps to closing. The alliance will also provide resources to help combat potential housing discrimination against sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Today’s market conditions have heightened the challenges facing first-time homebuyers and we believe it is important to provide members of our community with the tools and resources they need to navigate the buying process,” stated Ryan Weyandt, CEO of the alliance. “Along with discrimination, and fear of it, we have found a lack of education focused on the LGBTQ+ community that would allow more to better prepare for the process.”

Weyandt pointed out that the LGBTQ+ homeownership rate is just 49.6%, according to the Williams Institute, an LGBTQ think tank at UCLA School of Law. This is far below the national mark of 65.6% cited by the U.S. Census Bureau.

One of the featured speakers will be Josh Pringle from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Leaskou Partners in Palm Springs. Other speakers include Kassandra Alicea, the alliance’s San Antonio, Texas chapter president and an agent with Coldwell Banker’s D’Ann Harper Realtors, and Ron Waterson, a loan officer with PrimeLending in Dallas.

There is no cost to attend. To register, go to https://realestatealliance.org/event/first-time-home-buyers-course/

According to a new report from the National Association of Realtors that was released June 9, LGBTQ buyers purchased older and smaller homes more than non-LGBTQ buyers, and expect to live in their new homes five years less than non-LGBTQ buyers.

CA Hispanic chamber launches LGBTQ business initiatives
The California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce has announced its LGBTQ+ Business Initiative launch. The initiative will promote an inclusive ecosystem at the CHCC through regional collaboration, maximizing resources, and leadership development, according to a news release.

The CHCC has committed to building bridges between its regional Hispanic chambers, affiliates, and the regional LGBTQ+ chambers or business associations in launching the initiative.

“LGBTQ+ rights this decade has seen a range of positive changes. Companies have come a long way putting in place policies that promote and protect diversity,” stated Julian Canete, president and CEO of CHCC. “But there’s still more that can be done, in particular a formal collaboration between the CHCC and the LGBTQ+ business community.”

The CHCC will work on cultivating certified LGBTQ+ diverse suppliers, connecting them to opportunities. It will also assist its corporate partners in diversifying their supply chains, and advocate on behalf of LGBTQ+ and allied business communities.

Help keep the Bay Area Reporter going in these tough times. To support local, independent, LGBTQ journalism, consider becoming a BAR member.



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Thom Brennaman has a new gig – and is making Nick Castellanos jokes

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Maybe Thom Brennaman should stick to his day job – now that he has one again.

The former Cincinnati Reds play-by-play announcer has landed a new gig after a hot-mic homophobic slur during what he thought was a commercial break cost him his job last August. Brennaman is joining Chatterbox Sports, a sports media outlet for high school sports in Southwest Ohio, as a play-by-play announcer.

The 57-year-old provided one of the most cringeworthy moments of 2020 when, as he attempted to apologize to the audience for the slur, he was interrupted by a home run from Nick Castellanos. The moment was painfully awkward for everyone involved and went ultra-viral, but after a year, Brennaman appears ready to make jokes about it.

“By the way, I think Castellanos hit a deep drive to left field,” Brennaman said in a video announcing him joining Chatterbox.

Brennaman was taken off the broadcast immediately after his August apology and was fired by FOX Sports soon after. He has since called games in the Roberto Clemente League in Puerto Rico.

Chatterbox president Trace Fowler said he strongly believes in second chances and wanted to give another opportunity to the announcer.

“Over the past two months, I have done a lot of research to see what kind of person he is; was the comment that he made, is that who he is, or is it just a mistake like all of us have made at some point?” Fowler said of the hiring.

Thom Brennaman in 2019.
Thom Brennaman in 2019.
AP

“And the conclusion that I’ve come up with, quite frankly, is that he’s a great person who made a mistake that I know he’s deeply regretful for. And we’re excited to allow him another opportunity to put a headset on again. And the biggest thing that I hope people take away from this is that we are not downplaying what was said, what people feel from that.”

Brennaman is a graduate of both Anderson High School in Cincinnati and Ohio University, so he is familiar with the area. After graduation, he began his career at WLWT – covering high school sports – before calling Reds games on TV with Hall of Famer Johnny Bench.

Since then, he has had stints with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs, and FOX Sports where he covered the MLB, NFL, and college football. He made his return to Cincinnati in 2006.

“I’m so grateful and excited,” Brennaman said of joining Chatterbox. “I grew up here in Greater Cincinnati. I know what high school football, high school basketball and high school sports mean to this area. This is what I was doing…when my career started. Here we are coming full circle getting back out to high school sports.”

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LeVar Burton: ‘Jeopardy!’ host gig began ‘scary,’ ended fun – New York Daily News

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Labor-For-Hire Company Struggling to Find Gig Workers Despite Hiking Wages

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  • Laborjack said it can’t find enough gig workers to meet soaring demand for its services.
  • The Colorado-based company boosted staff wages but said there’s huge competition for labor.
  • Clients are so desperate for labor that they’re no longer price-sensitive, its founders added.

A labor-for-hire company in Fort Collins, Colorado, says it’s missing out on huge chunks of revenue because it can’t find enough workers to take more jobs on.

Blake Craig and Josh Moser, founders of Laborjack, told Insider that more people had been applying to work at the company during 2021, but that it still wasn’t enough to meet the massive growth in demand for its services.

“Good help is hard to find,” Craig said. “And it’s even harder right now.”

Read more: These 9 food tech startups are capitalizing on the labor crunch with tools that help franchisees hire or automate the restaurant workforce

Laborjack staff doing landscaping work

Laborjack’s staff are mainly college students who do gig jobs in landscaping, moving, and general staffing.

Laborjack


Laborjack hires out labor to help with moving, landscaping, and general staffing — often to individuals who need extra help with projects.

“But right now, the bulk of our business is focused on helping other businesses that can’t get the staffing that they need,” Craig said. This includes delivery, brewing, and construction companies.

Around 80% of its workers are college students or recent graduates. But some of them have full-time jobs and use their gig work at Laborjack to supplement their income. During the pandemic, they’ve been working more hours at their main jobs and don’t need the side income anymore, Craig said.

In June, just over 200 workers completed a shift on Laborjack’s platform – but nearly a fifth of these only did one job.

This US is currently in the midst of a huge labor shortage that’s causing some businesses to cut operating hours, slash production, and raise prices. Joblist CEO Kevin Harrington told Insider that it’s primarily driven by people in entry-level, hourly-paid, and customer-facing jobs.

“Hiring had never been an issue for us until about February of this year,” Laborjack’s Craig said. “There’s a lot of other people going after the same talent that we are – not only new workers but also our existing workforce.”

“There are a lot of people fishing in a small pond,” he added.

The demand for Laborjack’s services roughly tripled over the past year, while the number of job applicants has increased by just a quarter, Craig said.

“We’re still struggling to keep up with the demand that’s coming in for the service we offer,” Moser said. 

This is despite Laborjack rolling out its biggest set of worker perks yet. This includes increasingly average payouts, made up of wages and on-job bonuses, to just over $26 an hour. The company is dishing out $75 hiring and referral bonuses if a new hire completes five jobs, too.

Businesses are ‘on the verge of desperation’

Laborjack has made its services more expensive to cover the higher wages. Moser said its clients had changed their pricing tolerance “drastically” over the past three months and were no longer price-sensitive.

“They just need to get people in the doors because otherwise their business will collapse,” Moser said. “They’re on the verge of desperation.”

Moser said that, for example, the event and trade show industry had rebounded massively with the reopening of the US economy. “They’re chomping at the bit for any amount of workers we can get them.”

Laborjack founders Blake Craig, Josh Moser

Laborjack’s founders say the tight labor market is holding them back.

Laborjack


Laborjack’s June revenue is up around 90% year-over-year, but “we could be growing more if there was more labor on the market,” Moser said. Laborjack is turning down jobs worth up to $2,500 each day and is struggling to balance its B2B and consumer sides, which are “both in full swing,” Moser said.

“Our margin has decreased despite the fact that we’re increasing prices, just because we’re trying to pay out all these bonuses,” Craig added.

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