My name is Derek Baziotis and I am pleased to introduce myself as your new local government affairs manager. I served as the board chair for the Spokane chapter from 2020 to 2023, actively engaging in state and local government affairs on behalf of our industry. I also served in the U.S. Navy and own two restaurants in Spokane County. My main focus is going to be ensuring our local members are informed and feel they have a seat at the table when it comes to local politics, as well as supporting the local board to meet members’ needs. Please feel free to contact me. I am eager to hit the ground running. You can reach me at:

Phone: 509-979-6079

Recently, we received several calls from members regarding a letter sent by the Spokane Regional Health District, stating that there was a public records request for complaints about their business within the last year. The letter mentioned The Inlander was the entity behind the public records request. In response, we proactively reached out to The Inlander for clarification, and their statement is as follows:

“Like all media, the Inlander watches open public records as part of our news-gathering operations. We’ve taken a look at Spokane County health department records multiple times over the years, looking at both local restaurants and how the Health Department does its job. This recent request, like past requests, was a general request, not specific to any one restaurant. We were not told the Health Department would be sending out letters; if that made any business feel like we were being singled out, that is not correct, and we are sorry for that. Sometimes records requests turn into stories; sometimes they do not. At this time, no story is planned. If the Inlander ever does a story involving your business, you would always be contacted directly by an Inlander reporter to share your response.”

There is no need to worry about a hit piece or any negative article coming out about your business.

Don’t miss out and join us for our future chapter member meetings:

3-4:30 p.m., Jan. 16
3- 4:30 p.m., April 16
3-4:30 p.m., Sept. 17

Locations to be announced. Keep an eye out for registration emails closer to these dates.