This week Angela Giampolo is in the hot seat! My partner Jon and I got to know Angela while she helped us with LGBT financial and estate planning. She is an attorney, author, avid entrepreneur, and advocate for the LGBT community.
Tell us about a cool project you are currently working on.
I am actually very excited about a new radio show that I will be hosting. The show will discuss contemporary issues with regard to LGBT equality and follow recent legal developments that may affect this community. My goal supersedes simply making the general population aware of LGBT law; I would like to help individuals understand it, as well. I get to sit down with some of the community’s most influential members – such as Rep. Brian Sims, Mark Segal, Executive Directors of local LGBT non-profits and more – on air so that the public can get a better idea of these individuals’ perspectives. This affords me the opportunity to discuss generally the same material I evaluate in my blogs and columns, but on a larger scale and for a new audience. The new show will be available on Loraine Ballard Morrill’s“Insight”, airing on WDAS FM on Sundays from 6:00-7:00 AM and on Power 99 FM from 7:00-7:30 AM. To read more, visit: http://www.wdasfm.com/pages/loraine.html#ixzz2MiQaVxFG.
How would you describe yourself? What words would you use? What is your brand?
My firm’s motto is “Driven. Focused. Passionate.”, and those are three words and an overall ideal that I try to apply to all facets of my life – not just business. But frankly, I think the most important one and the one that describes me the best is passionate. I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning if I weren’t passionate about what I do.
Similarly, what has really helped me to excel, both personally and professionally, is my sense of empathy. The legal system can be particularly cold and dehumanizing, and being empathetic helps me keep in perspective that my clients are human beings, many of which have been wronged in some way, who take their legal problems with them to work, to lunch and home at night. Their legal problems can be all encompassing and I have the honor and the privilege to help them assuage some of their fears. My clients deserve the same measure of patience, attention and devotion that I would expect to be paid to me, my friends, or my family.
What are you passionate about? What type of work makes you jump out of bed in the morning and/or stay up late at night?
Well, I am fortunate enough to have a job that combines all of the elements that I am most passionate about: law, advocacy and writing. I get to work every day to help clients navigate our complex legal system, and by doing so, I am sometimes able to spur positive change, particularly for the LGBT community and small business owners. Then, at the end of the day, I have the opportunity to reflect on that, and write about the law and my experience in simple terms so that everyone can learn from and build upon those goals and challenges.
What is your source of inspiration? What drives you forward?
There have been incredible individuals and advocates within the LGBT community that have made considerable progress for everyone and they are my main source of inspiration. I’m driven by the desire to help individual business owners achieve their dreams and in one day living in a country where there isn’t Gay law and Straight law – just the law.
How do you see yourself evolving, or “becoming”, in the next year? In the next 3 years?
The beauty of my job is that I am able to evolve and improve each time that I work with someone new. Ideally the next year, or three, or five, yields equal rights for everyone, including the LGBT community. That would entail millions of couples dealing with formerly unchartered legal territory; it will be a learning process for everyone involved, myself included.
In the next year, my book on rooftop bars from around the world will hopefully be in bookstores! www.rooftopbarbook.com.
And last but not least, my three-year goal is to own a B&B or small guesthouse internationally (somewhere hot!) and while the guests would come from all over the world, I specifically want to create a travel and wedding destination for the LGBT community.