Blaine Lawson is the product of a Navy family, growing up around the Pacific Ocean, with familial roots in Joplin, Missouri. He graduated from Truman State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.  Blaine has served on the Diversity Chamber board for two years as the Treasurer and looks forward to reaching out to the Tampa Bay business community as the Membership Chair next year. He lives with his partner of 4 years, Tom Penman, in the city of Seminole (Pinellas County).

In October of 2015, after two years in the insurance industry, Blaine founded Benefits With Friends—a full-spectrum employee benefits agency with clients across the state of Florida. Benefits With Friends has a small business focus, and offers a new approach to the world of employee benefits by concentrating on a combination of low-cost supplemental programs—like Aflac or Allstate—with qualified health plans.

Blaine has always been passionate about building the community around him, but it wasn't until Blaine was fired from a short stint as a bartender at a popular bar in Madeira Beach that he realized just how important support from the LGBTQ community continues to be.  It is his hope that his service in the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber will foster acceptance, diversity, and security in the Tampa Bay marketplace for LGBT individuals and their allies.

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