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Stepping Stone, future-ink to be honored at Greater San Diego Business Association awards

SAN DIEGO – Stepping Stone and future-ink will be among the winners at this year’s Business and Leadership Awards presented by the Greater San Diego Business Association.

The honorees will be awarded at a public luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, June 25, at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, 1380 Harbor Island Drive. Tickets are $50.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.gsdba.org or by calling (619) 296-4543 or by faxing to (619) 296-5616.

The awardees meet various criteria that fall into six categories, and the two corporations honored by GSDBA in the lineup were required to hold a 100 percent rating in the Human Rights Campaign Equality Guide. The categories and winners are as follows:

Nonprofit of the Year

Stepping Stone. The honor coincides to the agency’s 10-year anniversary of its modern facility in City Heights, which provides housing and health programs to LGBT individuals in their recoveries from drugs and alcohol. The organization continues to serve as a model for other agencies of its kind throughout California.

Business of the Year

future-ink. Company president Christianna Connell is recognized for advocating equality and business fairness on behalf of the LGBT community. In December, she took part in President Barack Obama’s White House job summit, offering her support of the jobs tax credit while raising concerns over the rising costs of health care.

Community Leadership Award

Mayor Jerry Sanders has been awarded for his open support on a variety of political and business issues that affect the spirit, pride and diversity of LGBT people. His political stand on such issues over the past year have contributed to the success of LGBT businesses and organizations.

Emerging Business of the Year

Urban Optics Optometry, owned by Gary Klein, has been awarded for its exemplary customer service and for demonstrating support to community-wide causes within the LGBT community.

Corporate Partner of the Year

Sempra Energy, which meets the award criteria in providing benefits to LGBT and non-LGBT employees alike, has openly supported the LGBT community at large, including non-profit organizations and political issues favoring LGBT equality.

Corporate Diversity Leader of the Year

US Bank and Vice President Karen A. Clark. This year’s new award category recognizes the financial institution for its national support of LGBT issues while demonstrating an excellence in business practices that extend to full LGBT-employee benefits and outstanding multicultural marketing. The bank has openly supported the GSDBA and took part in last year’s San Diego Pride parade.