Steve Markel is the GM of Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce via 360 MAGAZINE


Listen to Steve Markel on 360 MAG Spotify/Apple podcast HERE.

Steve Markel is the General Manager for the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce with 20 years of experience in the events and entertainment industry. Steve now specializes in non-profit management, events, and diversity. Supporting the queer creative economy of Austin is his passion. In his free time, Steve is usually out attending live shows, practicing guitar, or designing new elements for his fashion brand Psychic Cactus.

Before working in the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Steve worked in the South by Southwest (SXSW), the biggest conglomeration of various conferences and festivals, dedicating itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. As the Senior Account Manager of the event, Steve states that “SXSW is more than a festival. It was a dead start as a way for musicians that didn’t have representation to find either labels or managers or all those of the things that come along in the entertainment industry.” Meanwhile, it paves the way for expanding the influence and exposure of those artists on social media and everywhere. 

After spending about 20 years in the event industry, especially festivals and entertainment, when Covid hit, Steve realized that he needed to make a transition to a position for gathering people and will be able to be around the crowds for those events.Therefore, He decided to apply for the Chamber, one of his old clients, for its opening position: the General Manager.   

According to Steve, the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, which is at its 25th anniversary, holds multiple events all year round for the LGBTQ community. It just produced the biggest event that the Chamber has ever held called “Pride in Local Music,” which featured seven LGBTQ bands from Austin. Besides the celebration of the global pride month in June, the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce will celebrate their own pride month, August, with a sing-along of an iconic queer song led by the band. Also, a gala will be held at the end of the year where the Chamber will give out a $5,000 scholarship to students all around the nation who study LGBTQ-related business. 

Steve is passionate about providing a stage for young queer artists and musicians in Austin. By helping them hold their own showcases and establish their own show games, Steve hopes that the Chamber would make those artists prosperous in their field.   

At the same time, to expand the influence of the Austin artists on the internet, the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce is grouping with facebook and also with Google called the “Growth Google Business Package.”

Under the immense pressure of modern society, it is easy for people to lose their sense of self-identity. For those people who are having mental health issues and do not know how to love themselves, Steve inspired them by saying, “It’s important to always try to find the light in your life and whatever that light is. You really have to give yourself grace and find something good about yourself.” 

Article: Iris Li, Vaughn Lowery