Category Archives: Member News

The 2017 INBA Business Directory is HERE!

The 21st edition of the Inland Northwest Business Directory has arrived! Inside you’ll find resources from over 200 members of the Inland Northwest’s progressive LGBTA business chamber. Check out the online version of the directory as we add more members throughout the year.

Within the next few weeks, directories will be distributed to the list of locations below. If you or your business want to distribute the directories too, call INBA offices at 509-455-3699 and we’ll provide you with a full box (80) or half box (40) of directories plus branded holders that hold 10. Continue reading The 2017 INBA Business Directory is HERE!

Winston & Cashatt Welcome New Associate Attorney

Winston & Cashatt, Lawyers Welcomes New Associate Darren M. Digiacinto

Spokane, Wash. – Winston & Cashatt is proud to announce that Darren Digiacinto joined the firm on January 17, 2017.  Darren’s practice focuses on bankruptcy, creditor/debtor rights, commercial litigation, and employment law litigation.  Darren represents both debtors and creditors in the prosecution and defense of adversary proceedings relating to discharge, in addition to working with creditors to protect their rights and claims.  Darren is licensed to practice in Washington and Idaho state and federal courts.  He also serves as a Trustee for the Eastern District of Washington Bankruptcy Bar.

Prior to joining Winston & Cashatt in January 2017, Darren was a partner at a mid-size law firm in Spokane.  Before entering private practice, he served as a judicial clerk at Division II of the Washington State Court of Appeals for the Honorable Judge Marywave Van Deren and the Honorable Judge C.C. Bridgewater.  His pre-law background includes serving as a securities-licensed branch manager for a national financial institution.

Darren is an active Rotarian, having served in various leadership roles including Club President for the Spokane South Rotary Club.  He and his wife Corey are also active members and leaders in the Spokane Enological Society.  His passions include live music, snow-skiing, football, and reading.

Winston & Cashatt is a multidisciplinary regional law firm that has been serving clients for more than 40 years. An experienced litigation firm, it represents a roster of local and national clients through its offices in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.

Kaiser Permanente Acquires Group Health Cooperative

Feb. 1, 2017

Kaiser Permanente’s acquisition of Group Health Cooperative became final today, and with that, Group Health’s more than 651,000 members and more than 6,000 employees in Washington are now part of the largest integrated health system in the nation. With the acquisition, Kaiser Permanente now serves more than 11.3 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia, providing both care and coverage. Continue reading Kaiser Permanente Acquires Group Health Cooperative

How to Maximize your INBA Membership


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 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!



Charles Smaltz

INBA Membership Manager

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 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.


2016 INBA Board President
Lance Kissler

Get your business in the INBA Directory! Advertising deadline is this Friday.

inba_web_final_daysThe INBA Directory is your key to reaching LGBTA businesses and consumers across the Inland Northwest. Now, more than ever, is the time to show your dedication to diversity and equality by supporting the region’s only LGBTA chamber of commerce.  INBA has grown to over 200 business members representing about 300 people, all of whom are LGBT or Ally business owners, professionals, and corporations that believe in our mission. Help us work towards an inclusive business community.

The 2017 business directory will be the 21st publication and is the only regional resource to help businesses reach the LGBTA audience. The RSVP space deadline to be included in the 2017 edition of the directory has been extended to this Friday, December 2.

If you know of a business that should be in the INBA Directory, you can win a free room night at the CdA Casino, by sending an email introduction of the business owner or decision maker to our Membership Manager Charles Smaltz at

The business information on our on-line business directory is used to publish the printed directory, If you need to make updates to your own business information, please email Sierra VanderHoogt at

Raymond Lawton named 2016 Lewis Memorial Lifetime Achievement Recipient

Spokane business owner and civic leader honored for contributions.

Raymond Lawton, Chairman of Lawton Printing Services, has been named the 2016 Lewis Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award recipient by the Printing Industries of America. Established in 1950, the Lewis Award pays tribute to business leaders who have made major, long-term contributions to the graphic arts industry and have been a significant force in shaping the business of printed communications. The award was presented on November 18, 2016 at the Fall Administrative Meeting of Printing Industries of America in Kansas City, MO. Continue reading Raymond Lawton named 2016 Lewis Memorial Lifetime Achievement Recipient

November Lunch Recap: City of Spokane’s Economic Strategy

037Jonathan Mallahan, Director of Neighborhood and Business Services with the city of Spokane joined INBA on Wednesday, November 9th to discuss the City of Spokane’s economic strategy.

A member of Mayor Condon’s cabinet, Jonathan oversees a division of city departments that includes social services and housing investment, planning and business support services, and the customer service functions so that citizens have easy and open access to all of the services that the city of Spokane provides. “In short, it’s my job to raise incomes in Spokane and ensure there exists a safety-net for the people in need.”

Jonathan joined INBA to share what the city is doing to promote investment and grow jobs in our community. First of all, Jonathan highlighted the City’s new membership with INBA as a first step in connecting with various communities and opening opportunities to the shared vision of an economically robust and diverse region. More diverse and equal communities point towards an enhanced quality of life and a stronger economy. The two concepts are intrinsically related, and in some senses it can be difficult to separate them, but the City of Spokane recognizes that biases and systemic and institutionalized discrimination need to be addressed separately with deliberate action.

The five areas where the City is focusing in order to best promote investment and growth are

  • Working to identify and proactively work with and support diverse businesses
  • Efforts to promote the Targeted Investment Program to promote growth in the City
  • What to expect as the City implements the earned Sick & Safe Leave policy
  • Addressing homelessness and creating shared housing programs
  • The general shared strategic economic development plan

The primary vision behind these targeted areas is to bring “economic equity” to Spokane. In order to accomplish this at the local level, the City is reaching out to business owners and community groups to consult on appropriate steps and perspectives.



Transgender Day of Remembrance

Written by Stacey Sampson

Boston, Massachusetts. November 28, 1998.  Rita Hester, an active, engaging, and widely known member of her local transgender community, is stabbed 20 times in her apartment. Moments after arriving at a hospital, owing to the 911 call placed by her neighbor, Rita dies from cardiac arrest. Nearly two decades since this horrendous murder, the case still remains unsolved.

One year following Rita’s death, transgender advocate and writer Gwendolyn Ann Smith organized a vigil dedicated to Rita and all other victims of transgender crimes. This also marked the inaugural Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day when individuals and organizations remember and honor the lives lost in acts of anti-transgender violence, in addition to highlighting much-needed attention upon the struggles members of this community face on a daily basis. Continue reading Transgender Day of Remembrance