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Augusto Penaranda Jr. has been named Executive Director of the NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Photo: InsiderNJ
Augusto Penaranda Jr. has been named Executive Director of the NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Photo: InsiderNJ

Augusto Penaranda Jr. becomes first Latino, LGBTQ+ man appointed executive director of New Jersey LGBT Chamber of Commerce

Penaranda Jr. will assist the tri-state area’s LGBTQ+ community in business ventures.

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The New Jersey LGBT Chamber of Commerce is a business organization dedicated to advancing business pursuits and bettering the quality of life of LGBT and allied professionals in the tri-state area.

The Board of Directors for the NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce announced on Monday, Jan. 3 that Augusto Penaranda Jr. will serve as executive director of the business organization.

Penaranda Jr. will be the first Latino and LGBTQ+ man to serve as Executive Director for the NJ LGBT Chamber.

The new executive director received his Master of Science degree in International Relations and Public Policy from William Paterson University of New Jersey.

Earlier in his career, Penaranda Jr. served as Public Information Officer for the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs in the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General. 

In this previous role, Penaranda Jr. served under Paul Rodríguez, the former NJ Division of Consumer Affairs director.

Rodríguez now serves as the U.S. Department of Health’s deputy general counsel for the Biden administration.

Penaranda Jr. was also once the Chief External Relations Officer for the American Red Cross of New Jersey. It was here that Penaranda Jr. served as the Latuno Media Spokesperson.

During this role, he proved to have invaluable heart and grit when he assisted Florida and Texas in Hurricane Irma and Harvey relief, serving as a bilingual communicator and disaster volunteer.

Penaranda Jr. also provided relief for those affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, supplying resources and communication throughout a time of communicative stagnation.

Formed in 2013, the NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce has sought to facilitate supportive and healthy business collaboration between LGBT and allied businesses. 

The NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce promotes a branch of objectives including: certification of LGBT-owned businesses, business education, networking, corporate outreach, government outreach, and student outreach.

The certification of LGBT-owned businesses welcomes contracting opportunities through affiliated state and local government agencies and Fortune 500 companies seeking increased spending among LGBTQ+ communities.

Penaranda Jr.’s role is a recently-created position, and part of the NJ LGBT Chamber’s 2022 Realignment Plan, an initiative created to mark organizational improvements.

The new Executive Director's main focus will be to formulate an agenda and lead the business organization in a new direction by revitalizing commitments Governor Phil Murphy made to the LGBTQ+ community.

For another example of Penaranda Jr. 's grit and strength on the playing field, let it be known he’s a member of the LGBT sports scene, with involvement in the International Gay & Lesbian Football Association (IGFLA) and the New York Gay Flag Football Leage (NYGFL).

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