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Mainland LGBT chamber of commerce president has Guam ties

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Courtesy: Gareth Gooch Photography Courtesy: Gareth Gooch Photography

The new president of the nation's original lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender chamber of commerce is a Chamorro. John Paul Leddy now heads the San Francisco-based Golden Gate Bridge Association that was founded in 1974 to advocate for the gay business community.

Born and raised in Dededo, the son of the late Herbert Sablan Leddy and Joyce Martratt. Leddy also has roots in the Guam Chamber of Commerce, where his brother David and late sister-in-law Reina Leddy are former presidents. And he himself worked there as an assistant for a short while after graduating from JFK High School.

"As a son of Guam, I'm very proud because this is the first time in the 41-year history of this organization that someone, a Chamorro, one of the few minorities, that has held this position," he shared with KUAM News.  Leddy eventually moved to the mainland. The father of four and grandfather of three, came out later in life.

About a decade ago he moved to San Francisco, where he says he developed an interest in small business advocacy. He says his role as president of the GGBA fits in well, saying, "It also gives the opportunity to have a platform in the general community decision-making. A lot of different things that have been influencing the LGBT equality movement for many years. So the GGBA has  played a significant role not only in San Francisco, but also as a model for many LGBT chambers, including the national chamber here in the United States."

He says his business inspiration was developed through the Junior Achievement program, and other positive influences while growing up in Guam. "Just the knowledge that anywhere we go even if we're from a little island in the Pacific, we can make an impact. I think gives credit to the leaders, my parents, to the teachers to the community I grew up in. I'm a result of all of that," he said proudly.

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