INBA's HISTORY

25 Years and Counting

In the spring of 1994, a small group of Spokane professionals came together in hopes of solving a problem. You see, back then it was easy enough for lesbians and gays to find a “friendly” hair-dresser or interior designer if needed, but things could get tricky if they needed to find, say, a plumber?

So, having been inspired by the extensive directories of gay-owned businesses they had seen in much larger cities, the group agreed that Spokane needed a directory as well. To produce this directory, they envisioned an organization that could bring businesses together with the community and create a resource network for the entire region.

Now, 25 years later, the Inland Northwest Business Alliance has grown, beyond the vision of its founding members, into the regional chamber we know today.

1994

25 Charter Members establish INBA in October

1995

  • First business directory published at PRIDE March

1996

  • First scholarship of $500 split between two students

1998

  • Advocated the approval of including LGBT as a protective class in the City of Spokane’s human rights and non-discrimination ordinance

2004

  • Started the conversation on forming a Spokane gay district
  • Representation on Downtown Spokane Partnership board

2005

  • Advocated in favor of the City of Spokane extending city employee benefits to domestic partners

2006

  • INBA Outreach formed as charitable arm of INBA

2009

  • Only chamber in Eastern Washington to advocate and support Referendum 71 extending state benefits to same sex domestic partners and some seniors

2009-2011

  • Board leadership appointed as Pacific Region Chair of NGLCC’s Council of Chamber and Business Organizations

 

2011

  • Board of directors votes to move from volunteers to paid contractors to manage the chamber on a daily basis

2012

  • INBA invited to sit on Mayor’s Advisory Board on Business
  • Only chamber in Eastern Washington to advocate and support Referendum 74

2013

  • Launched Pride Travel NW and Pride Weddings NW
  • INBA asked to make presentations on LGBT Tourism to Visit Spokane and the Washington Lodging Association
  • INBA members established in the Tri Cities

2014

  • U.S. Sen. Patty Murray chooses INBA and Spokane to announce her reintroduction of her college anti-harassment bill to combat bullying
  • Launched LGBT Travel and Tourism initiative
  • Celebrated 20 years

2018

  • First annual Friendsgiving celebration

2019

  • INBA rebranding with new logo and website
  • New focus on digitizing member directory on the web and in a new app

Shout Outs

Without these individuals, INBA would not be the robust chamber it is today.  We want to thank all our charter and emeritus members for all that they have done and continue to do for INBA.

The following businesses and professionals pioneered the development of the INBA.

 

James Barrett, M.S.

Tim Bealer – YES Beauty Salon

Dale Bloom – Massage by Dale

Helen Bonser, M.A., A.B.S., M.H.C.

Micheal Chappell, N.A.C., L.M.P.

Bob Cooke – R.H. Cooke and Assoc.

Glen Cooper, M.A.

Larry Cronin, M.S.W.

Jay Ellis – Oxy Fresh

Micheal P. Flannery – Smith Barney

Devon Greyerbiehl, M.A.

Hour Place Restaurant and Lounge

Gayle Johnson – Continental Mortgage

 

 

  • Kerry Kirking – American Express Financial Advisers

  • Terry LaLone – Edwards LaLalone Travel

  • Karen Licklider, M.A., C.M.H.C – Horizons Unlimited Counseling

  • Michael Loundgin – North Division Gull-Texaco

  • Maggie Montana – John L Scott Real Estate

  • Jim McDonald – Northern Electron Works

  • Barbara McKay, B.A., L.M.P.

  • Pets Are People Too

  • Cary A. Snyder – C.P.A

  • Lisa Startin – Cuttin’ Loose

  • Joseph Stout – Picture Frames

  • Jeri Lynn Vosburgh – Washington Mutual Bank

The following individuals were awarded emeritus memberships for their leadership and dedication to INBA:

2001 Michael Sonner

2010 Sandy Davidson

2013 Helen Bonser

2014 Michael Flannery

2014 Maggie Montana

Our Mission

Develop a prosperous business community by advocating LGBT and Ally business perspectives.

Our Vision

Create an economically robust and civically engaged community through the acceptance of diversity throughout our region.