‘I am Cait’ cancelled amid low ratings and LGBT disapproval

It’s the end for “I Am Cait.”

Caitlyn Jenner took to Twitter Tuesday night to confirm that her very own E! reality series has been cancelled after two seasons on the air.

Continue reading ‘I am Cait’ cancelled amid low ratings and LGBT disapproval

Mariners hold first LGBTQ night

Billy+Bean+Milwaukee+Brewers+v+Seattle+Mariners+0msDOCWfnktlFor the first time in franchise history, the Mariners held an LGBTQ Night at Safeco Field on Friday night.

The event was highlighted by a pregame ceremony that honored eight Greater Seattle Business Association scholarship winners. The Mariners donated $5,000 to the GSBA, the largest LGBT and allied chamber of commerce in North America. At the center of it all was Billy Bean, Major League Baseball’s Vice President for Social Responsibility and Inclusion.

 Bean, who played for the Tigers, Dodgers, and Padres, came out in 1999 after his retirement. He threw out the first pitch Friday. Before the game, he spoke to reporters.

Question: Have you seen the LGBT movement move to the forefront of the conversation because of the Orlando nightclub shooting in June?

Answer: I always try to say the LGBT message is part of the overall diversity initiative. It’s not separate. We’re in a very interesting time and place where LGBT communities are used as kind of a polarizing topic in a political environment. When Orlando happened, that moves the conversation. I was extremely proud of Major League Baseball, wanting to make sure we’re all on the same page in a way to honor the victims and their families. Orlando is part of the baseball world as well. It’s not a big-league city, but it’s a spring-training location.

Q: As a former player, how have you tried to make sure that MLB becomes more inclusive? How have LGBT Nights such as tonight helped?

A: Being a former player allows me to have initial conversation that isn’t uncomfortable or clumsy with guys. I appreciate their courage and seeing that it is more than what my stats are. I want them to be able to make decisions that they’re willing to stand by and be informed. … The Mariners made a statement, and I’m proud to be a part of that.

Q: Are we close to seeing an openly gay MLB player?

A: I think to understand what that decision is like for a person, there’s no template that says, ‘OK, the temperature is good. It’s the time for it to happen.’ Most of these players are very young, they’re at the peak of their greatness. Emotionally, most of us did not have time to focus on our lives away from the field. That was part of my problem. … Our report card is not about how many; it’s if the player’s ready, I want it to be a positive experience and not for a player to feel that they’ve made a decision that was a bit ahead of its time or have the pressure for one athlete to carry the conversation on his back by himself every day.

Former Spokane City Attorney joins Winston & Cashatt

Nancy Isserlis Joins Winston & Cashatt Lawyers

NLI-Press-Release-1Winston & Cashatt, Lawyers is pleased to announce that Nancy Isserlis, former City Attorney for the City of Spokane, will be rejoining the firm on October 1, 2016. Ms. Isserlis was a principal at Winston & Cashatt from 2004 to 2012 before accepting the City Attorney position. Her legal career spans over 35 years, and she is well known within the Spokane legal community for her expertise in debtorcreditor law, receiverships and bankruptcy, and her longstanding passion and commitment to social justice. “We are extremely pleased to welcome Nancy back to the Winston & Cashatt family,” says principal Kevin J. Curtis. “Nancy’s extensive experience, reputation, and legal ability are well known throughout

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Nancy back to the Winston & Cashatt family,” says principal Kevin J. Curtis. “Nancy’s extensive experience, reputation, and legal ability are well known throughout the state and we are indeed fortunate that she has chosen to resume her private law practice with us.” Ms. Isserlis has previously served on the Washington State Bar Association Board of Governors, the Legal Foundation of Washington, Columbia Legal Services, and is a past president of the Spokane County Bar Association. Ms. Isserlis is the current board chair of the Health Sciences and Services Authority (HSSA) and is a current board member for both the Endowment for Equal Justice and the Washington Leadership Institute. She has also served as chair of the Spokane City Ethics Committee and was a founding member of the Access to Justice Board. Ms. Isserlis received the Smithmoore P. Myers Professionalism Award from the Spokane County Bar Association in 2004 and the Spokane County Bar Association Volunteer of the Year Award in 1995. Ms. Isserlis is AVrated by Martindale Hubbell.

“I am honored to be returning to this prestigious law firm and this wonderful group of lawyers. Winston & Cashatt has an excellent reputation both regionally and nationally and prides itself on providing exceptional services to its clients. I will enjoy the rest of my summer, and the impending births of several new grandchildren, and I look forward to getting back to work on October 1st.” Ms. Isserlis received her undergraduate degree from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon and her law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law.

August Networking Lunch Recap: Joel Nania, U.S. Small Business Administration

Joel Nania, Economic Development Officer with the U.S. Small Business Administration joined INBA for a very popular lunch last Wednesday (8/10/15) to share some invaluable resources for entrepreneurs and small business owners across the Inland Northwest. Continue reading August Networking Lunch Recap: Joel Nania, U.S. Small Business Administration

Unity in the Community: Saturday, 8/20

logo1Unity in the community is a multi-cultural celebration of Spokane’s diversity, bringing the Inland Northwest together based on the shared values of respect, trust, and collaboration. It is about putting into action a “community-building mindset” based on inclusion, equity, and valuing our community asset – human capital. Unity in the Community is in its 21st year of existence. Launched in 1994  It is the biggest multi-cultural event in the Inland Northwest, involving over 30 generous Corporate Sponsors, 100 or so volunteers, over 150 vendors and multi-talented entertainers.

Visit or volunteer with INBA’s booth. INBA needs the support of all of our members, and we invite you to either stop by or help spread our mission by volunteering the INBA booth this Saturday. Two shifts we’re looking to fill are from 10:00 to 1:30 and from 1:30 to 5:00, and anywhere in-between. Contact staff@inbachamber.org for more information.

Continue reading Unity in the Community: Saturday, 8/20

Journalist dismissed from Olympics after outing gay athletes

The International Olympic Committee has condemned as “simply unacceptable” a since-deleted story on the Daily Beast where a straight reporter posed as gay on Grindr to do a feature on sex at the Olympics. The IOC indicated in an email to Outsports that the writer, Nico Hines, is no longer in Rio.

“We understand the organization concerned recalled the journalist after complaints and withdrew the story,” an IOC spokesperson told Outsports today in an email statement. “This kind of reporting is simply unacceptable.” It’s the IOC’s first response since the controversy broke on Thursday. Continue reading Journalist dismissed from Olympics after outing gay athletes

For growing number of LGBT entrepreneurs, identity becomes an asset

LGBT business owners are opening up about themselves and their work.

This article originally appeared on Star Tribune. 
Written by Covey Son.

Starting a new business is a challenge in itself, but for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, their identities can present an additional hurdle.

There’s often pressure on these entrepreneurs to withhold aspects of their personal lives from professional circles to steer clear of controversy.

Since last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage, more LGBT business owners are driven by shifting public opinion and diversity-hungry companies to start openly embracing who they are.

“While people may be out in their personal lives, connecting it to their business is a relatively new phenomenon,” said Jonathan Lovitz, vice president of external affairs at the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). “But doing so has been incredibly beneficial for them.”

Erica Fields, president of St. Paul-based grain trader Brooks Grain, didn’t come out as a transgender woman until she was 53 in 2007.

Even then, she only came out to a few friends. Just five months earlier, Fields had started her business providing rye to whiskey distilleries like Jack Daniel’s and Jim Beam. Fields feared how the revelation might be perceived by her clients in a male-dominated industry.

“I thought if I just came out, I would lose everything,” said Fields, who waited until 2009 to tell clients.

That fear, echoed by many LGBT entrepreneurs, stems from a desire to avoid friction with potentially less accepting colleagues or clients, said Jay Miller, founder and creative director of Minneapolis branding firm Imagehaus.

Since starting his own firm in 2000, Miller joined NGLCC’s Supplier Diversity Initiative, which he calls a “professional way to come out” that is less frightening.

The program, which started in 2004, certifies LGBT-owned businesses and connects them to a network of “corporate partners” looking to improve diversity in their supply chain.

It follows similar initiatives that promote businesses owned by women, people of color, veterans and people with disabilities.

Recently, there’s been a spike in interest for the certification.

The national roster of certified LGBT businesses jumped from roughly 500 in 2013 to 896 by the end of July. In Minneapolis, that number grew from just four in 2013 to 22 in 2015, said Mark Waldorf, president of the Twin Cities Quorum, an affiliate of the NGLCC.

About 140 companies — including Delta Air Lines, General Mills and Target — use the program’s directory to find LGBT vendors. This year, NGLCC added the Democratic National Convention, Major League Baseball and defense contractor Northrop Grumman.

The certification can help a new business get noticed and make new connections, said Teresa Mock, owner of wedding planner L’Etoile Events in Minneapolis.

Mock attends NGLCC and Quorum events, such as Quorum’s annual luncheon on National Coming Out Day.

At last October’s luncheon at the Marriott City Center, Mock found vendors she’d like to use for future events. Mock, who started her business January 2015, displays her NGLCC certification on her website and says it’s a good way to filter out a “poor match.”

“When someone looks at the website and sees that [certification], and if that’s a reason they don’t want to work with me, they have to look no further,” Mock said.

Miller said he got his certification after an executive at Office Max, a longtime client, asked him about it because the office supplies retailer wanted a way to quantify how much it spent on diverse vendors.

It’s a way for companies to go beyond preaching diversity as they feel pressure from groups like the Human Rights Campaign, which tracks workplace equality at Fortune 500 companies.

“They can’t just say it anymore,” Miller said. “They have to actually follow through with what they say by action, and it needs to be in a way that is measurable.”

Fields said she was asked by Jack Daniel’s, one of her biggest clients, to apply for the certification a year ago. She said it’s mutually beneficial — Jack Daniel’s gets to tout supplier diversity while she cements relations with a vital client. Fields said she sees more companies trying to up their diversity as more consumers are voting with their wallet.

LGBT consumers are especially drawn to companies that reflect their values, according to a 2015 survey by Community Marketing Inc., an LGBT market research firm used by NGLCC.

The survey found that 89 percent of purchasing decisions by gay men and 92 percent by lesbians are influenced by a company’s treatment of LGBT workers.

And their buying power is not one to scoff at — a 2014 survey by the U.S. Census Bureau found about 783,000 same-sex couples earned an average of nearly $118,000 year.

Still, a fear of the unknown lingers for LGBT business owners: Will clients welcome their identity or leave because it’s incompatible with their views?

When Fields came out in late 2007, her daughter Cara offered to step in and tend client relations. Over the next year and a half, Fields transitioned in private and prepared to come out to her clients. Fields wrote “heartfelt” letters to about 15 clients and business partners explaining her journey and reassured that it wouldn’t affect the business.

Relationships changed. Some clients felt uncomfortable interacting with Fields directly, she recalled, and it took them time to adapt to the change.

But she didn’t lose her clients. She said she considers herself lucky.

“It was a cathartic experience,” she said. “These were people who I’ve known for years. … And I think over time, there’s a growing sense that it’s not a big deal.”

Advocates say there’s more work to be done. Lovitz said NGLCC has its sights on new bills that would allow LGBT-owned businesses to vie for a portion of government contracts that are awarded to businesses owned by women, minorities, disabled people and veterans.

So far, California and Massachusetts have already adopted such provisions and a similar bill was introduced in New York in May.

By advancing LGBT entrepreneurs, activists aim to leverage the business success for more wins for the wider community.

“Many of the lessons learned from marriage equality are being used all over again to fight for business inclusion, which is leading with the business case,” Lovitz said. “Whether you’re for or against LGBT people, everyone’s for a strong economy. When we can make the case that equality is good for business, I think that’s going to help win more of these victories.”

Two INBA members named as Catalyst’s 20 Under 40 professionals

2016 20 Under 40 winners have been selected!

Congratulations to Lance Kissler of STCU and R. Skylar Oberst of Spokane Interfaith Council for representing INBA in the 2016 Catalyst 20 under 40 professionals.

Catalyst Magazine is celebrating impressive young professionals of the Spokane region that are making a name for themselves in business and in their community. Join us as we honor and celebrate the accomplishments of this year’s class of Catalyst 20 Under 40. There will be networking, a small trade fair, music, food, wine, beer, fun photo booth, and more.

Here’s the full list of 2016 Catalyst 20 Under 40 professionals.

Katherine Morgan – Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce
Adam Jackson – Mountain West Bank
Adrian Folsom – Ptera Inc.
Crystal Oliver – Washington’s Finest Cannabis
R Skylar Oberst – Spokane Interfaith Council
Kjerstin Bell – KHQ
Alissa Kensok – Umpqua Bank
Allison Sattin – 1-Stop Media
John Leonetti – Prohibition Gastropub
Keith O’Brien – Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery
Lance Kissler – STCU
Lindsey Diamond – Areas Natural Beauty
Matt Goodwin – Press, Fast Eddies, Boiler Room, Backyard, Volstead Act, Remedy
Ryan Oelrich – Priority Spokane
Sarah Wollnick – etailz, Inc.
Adam Hegsted – Eat Good Group
Jordan Allen – StayAlfred
Megan Snow – American Red Cross
Nick Pierre – Northern Quest
Thomas Tedder – Tedder Industries

Thank you to our Major Sponsor – Whitworth University School of Business