As chief corporate officer, Jeff Elgart (he/him) is responsible for the management and growth of BBBSNYC‘s corporate partner portfolio, expanding youth served by engaging teams of employees through corporate sponsored mentoring programs. In 1993, Jeff volunteered at BBBSNYC. Twenty-nine years later, he continues to share in the life of his “Little.” Jeff is an outspoken advocate of LGBTQ+ youth programming, working tirelessly to develop corporate programs that support DEI initiatives. Jeff is a long-time resident of the Upper West Side, where he lives with his husband and their dog, Milo.
What is your favorite Pride Month event or celebration?
I’m a huge fan of film and cinema and believe the global independent film festivals have the greatest impact and learning opportunities for our society. Many of these incredible pieces of work, these true representations of our community’s fights, struggles, wins, truths, and inequalities are an incredible lens to show who we are and how far we have to go to live freely as our authentic selves in a democracy that doesn’t entirely see it that way.
What LGBTQ+ icons or activists have inspired you?
I love this question because growing up I didn’t really have many icons or role models I could identify with — at least regarding this part of my life. Rather, the media and celebrities were more often confusing and not representing who I was. More questions were raised for me when I was really searching for answers. Today, however, I hold Sir Elton John in the highest regard for his talent and how he’s used his platform for good over the years. Imagine if all those with such a big “voice” did just a little bit of what he’s done?
What can people and corporations do to support the LGBTQ+ community year-round, not just during Pride Month?
Parades and corporate sponsorships are great, but unless you’re doing the work on the ground with a long term vision, you’re just putting your logo out there and hoping you’ll get some goodwill from the effort. Business leaders need to do more. Create mentorship programs within your company. Promote LGBTQ+ talent to the C suite. Put your company and business sector before High School students and start creating the next generation of your talent pipeline. Support small LGBTQ+ business owners so they grow! Talk about our community and how we’ve changed the landscape of your corporate culture for the better!