Embassy in United States

PRIDE MONTH 2020: The Impact of COVID-19 in the LGBTI Business Sector, Responses & Assessments

Post date: 12/06/2020

Covid-19 has severely affected economies all over the world and has brought a toll on SMEs (Small and mid-size enterprises). Managing fixed costs, loss of revenue, and adapting to teleworking have transformed the business landscape. Particularly, the travel and tourism industry has been one of the most affected by the outbreak but also where innovation and new resources emerged to help businesses navigate this new reality and start looking for a future of recovery and reboot.

We invite you to join us for a virtual panel discussion about the different resources developed by the LGBTI business community during the pandemic.


  • Erasmo E. Sanchez Herrera

Director of Global Division, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). 

Sanchez Herrera will comment on the initiatives that NGLCC has implemented in recent months to support and work with some of the affiliated chambers that are part of the Global network.

Erasmo is an experienced multicultural professional with a vast knowledge of current global economic and sociopolitical trends and challenges. He has several years of experience in the design, implementation, and management of international initiatives aimed to empower diverse groups worldwide. He is an avid researcher and expert at leading collaboration efforts among local and international nonprofit, government, private, diplomatic, and academic sectors. As Director of NGLCC Global Division, Erasmo works with LGBTI chambers of commerce outside the United States to provide best practices, strategic planning, and resources for potential collaborations across sectors that promote the growth of LGBTI-owned small and medium enterprises (SME’s) throughout the world.

Prior to NGLCC, Erasmo worked at The Washington Center where he led the design and management of ground-breaking professional development programs aimed to empower international young civil society leaders and entrepreneurs with core competencies to become global agents of change. He also led efforts to increase strategic partnerships and create awareness for The Washington Center’s ongoing international programs among key foreign policy and international organizations based in Washington, DC, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe. 

Erasmo conducted qualitative research at two of the world’s leading Think Tanks, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Brookings Institution where his portfolio focused on analyzing illegal economic activities, sociopolitical challenges, and security matters throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East, and South East Asia. He has also provided pro-bono strategic partnerships-building and program planning expertise to civil society organizations based in Latin America and the Caribbean seeking to grow, which has enabled Erasmo to connect and create alliances with raising civil society leaders and organizations throughout the region.

Erasmo holds a master’s in Business and Financial Economics from the University of Greenwich, in London where he resided for a few years, and he received a double BA in Economics and International Studies from George Mason University in the United States.

  • Pablo De Luca

President of Argentina LGBTI Chamber of Commerce (CCGLAR). 

President and co-founder at CCGLAR -Argentina LGBT Chamber of Commerce- a leading Argentinean member-based organization dedicated to increasing LGBT tourism to this country. CCGLAR also focuses on Diversity and LGBT Inclusion in the workplace and works closely with corporations and organizations. Co-founder at Gnetwork360 a Latin American LGBT Travel Organization, based in Buenos Aires and dedicated to promote LGBT tourism in Argentina and the region for the last 13 years.

De Luca will discuss CCGLAR work strategy amid the sanitary crisis, challenges and creative ideas to move forward.

  • Thomas Roth

President, Community Marketing & Insights.

Founder and President of Community Marketing & Insights, launched the company in 1992. Tom is primarily dedicating his industry-leading expertise to head up Community Marketing’s Research & Development division. Tom and his team produce the annual LGBTQ Community Survey (45,000 participants in 150 countries; 14th year), the annual LGBTQ Tourism & Hospitality Survey (25th year), the annual LGBTQ Marketing & Advertising Symposium @ Google (13th year), as well as custom surveys and focus groups for a variety of market leaders in tourism, hospitality, retail, finance, beverages, real estate, insurance, health care, government, etc., and conducts educational training seminars for corporations and organizations. Tom earned his MBA at Maharishi University of Management in 1985. He is a long-time instructor of the Transcendental Meditation program and is a volunteer teaching meditation to people living with HIV. 

Roth will present a recent study of his regarding how the LGBTI community is likely to respond to traveling amid COVID-19.

  • Julio Cesar Calvo

President and Founder of the Costa Rica Diverse Chamber of Commerce

President and Founder of the Costa Rica Diverse Chamber of Commerce. He has more than 18 years of experience in the tourism industry in Costa Rica. Julio graduated from the National University of Costa Rica with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Tourism. He is also the founder of a travel agency specialized in LGBTI tourism. In 2015 he decided to establish the Diverse Chamber of Commerce with the purpose of helping the LGBTI Community to grow their business and raise awareness for diversity and inclusion matters among the LGBTI community and tourists visiting Costa Rica.  


  • María Luz Pereyra

First Secretary, Economic & Commercial Section, Embassy of Argentina.

Maria Luz Pereyra is part of the Argentinean Foreign Service, specialized in international trade and economics. She is responsible for the commercial desk at the Embassy. Previously posted to the Argentine Embassy in Brazil has worked as well in the commercial desk. She has worked in the cabinet of the Secretary of International Economic Relations and in the department of LatinAmerica Economic Integration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade, and Worship.

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