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Business Spotlight: Lab Monkey Design

Lab Monkey Design's Jack Kinley

Jack Kinley founded Lab Monkey Design, a small graphic design and marketing firm, in 2007, and wants to ensure his clients know he is a fearless designer and businessman by just reading the company’s name.

“The name Lab Monkey Design is an homage to my college class. We spent many an all-nighter illegally locked into the school’s computer design lab after hours and collectively referred to ourselves as ‘lab monkeys,’” says Kinley, who is CEO and creative director.

“I wanted the type of fearless and experimental design work that we created as design peers to be at the core of my company’s mission. By putting it right in the name, I think of that experience daily and am reminded to continue experimenting and growing,” he says.

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It’s time to sweat, Atlanta

Nicholas Jacobs, founder of Sweat Atlanta

Nicholas Jacobs, 27, started teaching fitness classes when he was a teenager, following in his mother’s footsteps.

“My mom was an instructor for the YMCA and when I was young I started taking classes and then teaching classes myself when I got older,” he said.

Jacobs moved to Atlanta in 2004 and is originally from the “cornfields of Ohio” — or the small town of Lancaster, Ohio. Fitness has always played a major role in his life and led him to teach classes at LA Fitness. Now Jacobs is ready to take his career one step further.

Although he works fulltime as an account executive for Creative Loafing, he is launching his new side business, Sweat Atlanta. The new business kicks off with a free boot camp Saturday, April 16, at the Regal Hollywood 24 on I-85. While this may be an odd location, Jacobs, who is gay, says there is plenty of parking as well as green space. The boot camp will also include movie ticket giveaways for participants.

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You say you want a Silk Screenin’ Revolutionz

Ladyjane Meredith, silk screen printer

Ladyjane Meredith, 32, is a silk screening master in the queer world.

Her designs and silk screened t-shirts, bandannas, posters and other merchandise have been utilized by Atlanta’s own Feminist Outlawz, by transgender rapper Athens Boys Choir, for MondoHomo, the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition, YouthPride, Riot Grrl Ink, Mary’s and Lady Fest Deep South.

“I do work for a lot of different nonprofits around the U.S. and also queer musicians and queer celebrities,” Meredith says. “I like to focus on the community and keep it in the family.”

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Schloemer Business Services targets small companies

Pam Schloemer

Pam Schloemer opened her bookkeeping business in 2008 under the name Schloemer Bookkeeping Services. But just three years later, the business has expanded to provide clients more options and on Feb. 16 she launched Schloemer Business Services.

After starting with a handful of clients the business now has 150 in 15 states, Schloemer says.

“We are not just bookkeeping,” she says. “What we are geared for and what we pursue are businesses with employees of one to 10. We do payroll, tax preparation, human resources — all the things that can be a major problem for a small business.”

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HRC Atlanta bowls, dines for equality

HRC sponsors local bowling league

The HRC Atlanta Steering Committee is gearing up for a busy season, with its popular Bowling for Equality set for Feb. 26 and ticket sales underway for the signature Atlanta HRC Dinner in May.

The Atlanta Steering Committee is the local affiliate of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay rights group. The 11th annual Bowling for Equality features bowling in “waves” from 1:30-4:30 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. DJ Shane V will spin.

“The bowling event is first and foremost a fun event for every bowling level. We call it a tournament and certainly some teams get competitive with each other, but the majority of people to have a good time and support the work of HRC,” says Ed Patterson, spokesperson for the Atlanta Steering Committee.

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Meak Productions brings LGBT issues to the airwaves

Miko Evans, CEO of Meak Productions

Meak Productions dubs itself as the “World’s First LGBT Exclusive Talent Agency, Casting & Production Company,” but is perhaps best known by many in the Atlanta LGBT community for its live radio remotes from such events as the Transgender Day of Remembrance and the recent NOH8 photo shoot.

Miko Evans, CEO and executive producer of Meak Productions, also hosts the syndicated Same Gender Loving Expressions on the Exceptional Radio Network and recently partnered with Click Click Expose to have a program which features LGBT indie music artists, he said.

Same Gender Loving Expressions is a radio show that tries to break out of the box of normal radio shows, Evans said, and has included interviews with mostly African-American Atlanta LGBT business leaders and community activists.

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Community expo chance to ‘support businesses that support you’

The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is hosting its third Community Expo on Feb. 13 to showcase the numerous gay and gay-friendly businesses in metro Atlanta, as well as national companies.

Allison McDonald, president of the AGLCC, says corporations such as Nationwide, Coca-Cola and SunTrust will participate to either look for vendors to work with or have a representative from their human resources department collect resumes.

“The Chamber’s philosophy has always been support the businesses that support you,” McDonald says.

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Kai Lin Art showcases local artists

Yu-Kai Lin owner of Kai Lin Gallery

Gallery Director Yu-Kai Lin first opened the contemporary Kai Lin Art in January 2009 to showcase artistic collections in the heart of Midtown Atlanta.

“I opened Kai Lin Art because I knew so many local, talented emerging and established artists who needed a platform to exhibit their works of art,” says Lin, who is gay. “The pieces offered in our gallery range from paintings to photography, sculptures to one of a kind hand-crafted art —all at affordable prices.”

A graduate of Atlanta’s Emory University, Lin gained experience at Lowe Gallery and Mason Murer Fine Art before opening his own gallery.