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A letter to INBA members from Christopher Zilar

Dear INBA members,

img_2384-jpgLast year my wife and I bought property about 40 miles west of Spokane on the Spokane River. Since then, she has gotten a job working for the Spokane Tribe as a Nurse Practitioner and we moved onto our property while we develop it. During this transition, I was offered an opportunity to head the Spokane Tribe’s Vocational Rehabilitation program. I’ll be leaving my INBA role as Membership Manager soon so that I may serve an amazing group of case managers whose job it is to help disabled tribal members find meaningful work.

I’ll continue with INBA to the level I am able, so you will likely still see me around at some events. Thankfully, the leaders at INBA have allowed me to reflect on my three years here at INBA in today’s newsletter.

I am ever grateful for the leadership in INBA. Three years ago, INBA’s board used Express Employment to hire me to fill the membership sales role. No other small chamber of commerce in our area has been able to make such a bold move. We’re very fortunate to have the insightful volunteer board as our leaders.

I’ve really enjoyed working with INBA’s general manager, Marvo. He is the single most even-tempered person I’ve ever known and he has a great eye for talent as evidenced by the staff he has chosen. Marvo’s staff is the healthiest group I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. They’re a lot younger than me; they’re smarter, funnier and better looking than me, too. Most importantly, Marvo’s staff have a real sense of respect for one another and I love being around them!

As much as I’ve loved working with the staff, it has been the members that kept me motivated. I’ve met nearly all of INBA’s members. So many of you are passionate about your work. Some small business members make a lot of personal sacrifices in order to keep their businesses open. Some of you have told me you went into your industry to help others. Many of you want to provide a safe place for your staff to be out and be their authentic self at work. The common theme seems to be that all of you feel an urge to positively impact our community. And like me, you love being a part of the LGBTQA community, a community that has helped our social humanity evolve to where it is now.

INBA hit some great milestones over the last three years. We’ve grown by more than 50%. We have more people at our events than ever. Policy makers and business leaders outside our organization are noticing us. However, these milestones aren’t the real measure of our bottom line. INBA is special and unique. INBA attracts passionate business leaders who truly care about their staff and customers. We have people who want to make a difference in the world.

Let me say, you’ve all made a difference in my world and I continue to feel inspired by your service to others. Thank you all for making it easy for me to love the life I’m living.

Christopher Zilar

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The INBA gathers local, national, and international news articles relevant to business and community and sends out a newsletter regularly. We would love to add you to our list of newsletter recipients!