How to Maximize your INBA Membership

Greetings,

My name is Charles Smaltz and I have been a member of INBA since 1995.  I have been a part of recruiting new members and directory sales since 1996. I have served on the events committee, the board of directors, twice as Vice-President and as President in 2013.  I am proud now to be serving as your current INBA Membership Manager.

Please reach out to me at charles@inbachamber.org with any questions or concerns about your INBA membership.  I am always happy to follow up and introduce myself and the perks of INBA to friends, co-workers, and businesses you think would be awesome additions to the INBA family.

The most asked question I have had over the years is: “How do I maximize my INBA membership and my connection to the LGBTQA Community?”

Here are a few ways to easily make the most of your INBA membership:
  • Actively create and use a referral list.  At INBA lunches and functions, introduce yourself and meet others in businesses who you, your clients, friends, and family may use. Ask questions about what, how, and where they do business so referral to others can be fresh and accurate. Take time to reach out to other INBA members using the printed and online directories. Use calls, email and meetings with INBA members to expand your referral base and expose yourself and your business to other members.  Most importantly when possible make the introduction yourself via email phone or in person.  Connect the client, friend or family member with the person and business you are referring them too. This always is great win/win/win and will show that you are actively referring which always gets you the same in return.
  • Attend events! People in the LGBTQA community look for familiar faces and want to get to know you.  Coming to INBA lunches, After-hours and special events allow you time to connect with and grow your business, and become truly visible to the community.
  • Sponsor an INBA event, after hours event, or a fundraiser.  This shows the community at large you are more involved and highlights your business, services and products.
  • Expand your presence, expand your clients! Look at all the possibilities to showcase you and your business with INBA.  Online and printed directory ads, website banners, LGBT Travel Spokane website, and free INBA email-newsletter member spotlights are just some of the easy and affordable ways you can expand your message, exposure, and business.
  • Be present at Pride. I think one of the biggest mistakes newcomers to our community make is skipping the Pride march and festival.  The largest number of LGBTQA community members and supporters come out for the Spokane Pride Celebration over every other event.  You can join INBA under “our big tent” at Pride, or have your own booth. Small and large businesses alike are strongly encouraged to join the LGBTQA community in our unified day of celebration.
  • Serve on a committee or volunteer. INBA participates in plenty of community events that require your help representing out business community. If you want to make a difference on a longer scale, consider serving on the INBA or INBA Outreach Board of Directors. This makes you and your commitment more valuable and impactful to the LGBTQA community and you will make lifetime connections, friends, and business partners in the process.
  • Ask where your clients heard about you! Back in the day the response was “I found you in the phone book”. There are more options now, but many will give a simple answer, “I found you online”, “saw your ad”, or a “friend mentioned you”. How are you tracking your ROI unless you’re tracking where your customers come from. If you’re not using market research tactics like surveys, intake forms and conversion metrics, you may never know how your client found you unless you ask.  Just this year a particular INBA member decided not to renew, thinking they had not received much business from INBA. On the contrary, I knew that business had been used several times for larger orders by INBA members specifically because of their affiliation with this organization. By tracking your clients’ referrals, you’ll make sure you know precisely where your returns are coming from.

 

As a member of INBA  for over 20 years, I can guarantee that all of the above work and they work well! The more you do– the more time, energy and talent you put into INBA and into the LGBTQA community– the more benefits, connections, and lifetime friendships you’ll get back, on so many levels!

Sincerely,

 

Charles Smaltz

INBA Membership Manager

charles@inbachamber.org

Join INBA for the Women’s March on Spokane

WHERE: Spokane Convention Center
WHEN: Saturday, January 21st 2017, 11:00AM

On January 21st,  we will join forces and unite for the Women’s March on Spokane in solidarity with the national Women’s March on Washington D.C. We invite people of all gender identities, ethnicities, ages, abilities, religions, and sexual orientations to come participate in this unifying event. Continue reading Join INBA for the Women’s March on Spokane

Business Planning Class Series with SBA– Session 3: Cash Flow

The date of this event has been rescheduled to January 25th

Learn How to find hidden cash in your business, improve cash flow, all without selling more! Impossible?…not at all. Attend our Small Business Administration Cash Flow Workshop and you too will be able to find the ‘low hanging fruit’ that can help you and your business be more profitable! You will also learn what you need to know to create a usable cash flow plan for the life of your business. We will help ‘demystify’ many of those scary accounting terms and help you take your business to the next level and be prepared to make the most of it once you get there!

Register Here

See what else the Small Business Administration can do for you and your business here.

IBM introduces new Pride logo as a commitment to diversity

Press Release By Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, Chief Diversity Officer, IBM

IBM is proud of our long-standing commitment to fostering diversity, acceptance and inclusion. We strongly oppose discrimination of any kind toward anyone. IBM firmly stands by all of our employees and strives to attract, retain and grow the very best and brightest diverse talent to fulfill our company’s purpose — to be essential.

IBM rainbow 8-bar logo

The new symbol of IBM’s commitment to diversity, acceptance and inclusion.

Continue reading IBM introduces new Pride logo as a commitment to diversity

Black Lens 2nd Anniversary Party

You’re invited to the Black Lens Second Anniversary Party

Join INBA member The Black Lens as they celebrate the 2nd Anniversary and all that they’ve accomplished. Learn about what’s coming up in 2017.  Good food. Good company. Great cause. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, January 22nd, 3:00 pm- 5:00 pm

CHKN-N-MO, 414 W Sprague Ave, Spokane, Washington 99201

Check out the Facebook event for more info

Letter from the General Manager, Marvo Reguindin

2017 is poised to be an interesting year. We cannot predict how businesses will be affected by the new administration, but changes are certain. There are warnings that anti-LGBT legislation could be introduced that would severely impact LGBT individuals, their families and friends, and our INBA business community. For us, equal and nondiscriminatory legislation go hand-in-hand with good business practices. Continue reading Letter from the General Manager, Marvo Reguindin

Remembering a gay pop icon: George Michael dead at 53

George Michael, who found fame in the 1980s as the lead singer of Wham! before launching a successful solo career, has passed away at the age of 53. The performer will be remembered for his work as a prominent gay rights campaigner as well as for his shining pop career.

George Michael had been a fervent supporter of LGBT issues, with some of his most famous solo work referencing his sexuality. He came out as gay following his arrest in April 1998 for engaging in “a lewd act” in front of an undercover police officer in Beverly Hills. He was fined £500 and ordered to do 80 hours’ community service for the incident, sparking headlines along the lines of “Zip Me Up Before You Go Go”. Some might have crumbled under the pressures of a tabloid press that had assumed the position of moral judge, but George Michael unapologetically flaunted his human sexuality. Continue reading Remembering a gay pop icon: George Michael dead at 53

Letter from INBA Board President, Lance Kissler

Season’s Greetings!

Oh how it’s been a season of change—from local weather to the political climate. As many of us spent time with our friends and family during the holidays, we probably had crucial conversations about how our lives have been impacted. For some of us, our beliefs and assumptions have been challenged. But a challenge is a challenge: it’s an opportunity to rise up and move forward.

That’s where we find ourselves at the closing of the year: reflecting upon our past, celebrating the moment we’re in, and embracing the future. As an organization that has been advocating on behalf of the LGBT community, we must not forget about the battles we’ve fought, the strides we’ve made, and the work that is yet to be done. We are strong in our resolve—and we are even stronger, together.

To bring us together we need to walk the talk. We must remember that diversity comes in all forms—which includes differences in beliefs and values. By staying open-minded, embracing new and different perspectives, engaging others who may think differently in conversation, and listening with the intent to agree (yes, I mean actually listening—not just hearing someone while thinking up your counter-argument), we might actually create shared meaning. Without that, we’ll perpetuate the “us vs. them” dilemma we find ourselves in; we can’t afford to polarize our society any more. That may require a change in thinking and approach—and each one of us has to be open to the possibility that perhaps it involves some form of change on our end.

Change is constant and it affects all aspects of our lives, including this organization. After serving as your board president for three years, it’s time for me to pass the torch to new leadership and light the path ahead. Our vision and mission remain at the core of who we are. We will continue to create an economically robust and civically engaged community through the acceptance of diversity throughout our region. And to do this, we must develop a prosperous business community by advocating LGBT and Ally business perspectives. I look forward to fulfilling my term on this board and supporting INBA’s leadership over the coming year. We have a long and potentially arduous journey ahead of us. I hope you’ll all continue to join me as we charge forward together.

 

Sincerely,
2016 INBA Board President
Lance Kissler