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The Maker Faire is coming to Wenatchee! The inaugural Wenatchee Maker Faire is scheduled for Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 at the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, Washington.

Call for Makers Open until September 27th

The Wenatchee Mini Maker Faire will showcase maker’s talent from all over the Pacific Northwest including makers from University of Washington’s Engineering program, one of the fastest cars in the world, local leather workers, and many more.  

In order to put on this exciting innovative event, we need a healthy support structure of volunteers. We need a team for set up on Friday October 2nd, hosting all day October 3rd, and breaking down night of October 3rd. Volunteers are welcome to sign up until the day before the event on October 2nd. To volunteer, send an email to our team at info@makerfairewenatchee.com.

Anyone wanting to donate or sponsor the event, or anyone wanting to learn more about this event, should check out the sponsor page of the Wenatchee Maker Faire website http://makerfairewenatchee.com/ or, in the case of sponsorship, contact our team (See contact info at bottom of page).

The call for Makers, Artists, Performers, and Crafters is open now through September 27th. Any groups or individuals interested in presenting their project, activity, or performance in this event should complete the simple application at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1zY8NiCaxE7pnss7UqBGAZwwQhrWNlXjrCPHTY_-0duY/viewform

Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth — a family ­friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker Movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.

“Make, create, craft, recycle, build, think, play and be inspired by celebrating arts, crafts, engineering, food, music, science and technology.”

Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. They are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.

The original Maker Faire event was held in San Mateo, CA and in 2013 celebrated its eighth annual show with some 900 makers and 120,000 people in attendance. World Maker Faire New York, the other flagship event, has grown in four years to 600+ makers and 75,000 attendees. Detroit, Kansas City, Newcastle (UK), Rome, Oslo and Tokyo are the home of “featured” 2013 Maker Faires (200+ makers), and community ­driven, independently organized Maker Faires are now being produced around the United States and the world—including right here in Wenatchee.

The Wenatchee Maker Faire is fortunate to have GWATA and the Community Foundation as its partners and sponsors. GWATA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote a vibrant technology-based economy benefiting the citizens and communities of North Central Washington and the Greater Wenatchee Area . The Community Foundation of NCW is a tax-exempt philanthropic organization that helps individuals, families, businesses, and agencies support charitable causes such as our Wenatchee Maker Faire.

Follow the development of the Wenatchee Maker Faire on Twitter https://twitter.com/MakerFaireWen

As well as on our facebook page,


Wenatchee Maker Faire is independently organized and operated under license from Maker Media, Inc.


MAKE is the first magazine devoted entirely to Do ­It­ Yourself (DIY) technology projects. MAKE unites, inspires, informs, and entertains a growing community of resourceful people who undertake amazing projects in their backyards, basements, and garages. MAKE celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your will.



The Wenatchee Mini Maker Faire is independently organized and operated under license from Maker Media, Inc.

A couple of important processes are in the works concerning the future scope of recreation in the Wenatchee Valley. On the outdoor recreation scene, a group of local stakeholders has been formed with the intent of gaining a better understanding of our outdoor recreation assets. It’s no secret Chelan and Douglas counties are continuing to gain momentum as an outdoor recreation hub for locals and visitors alike. Our unique blend of mountains, rivers, lakes and trail systems that afford visitors and residents amazing opportunities for hiking, cycling, boating, fishing, skiing and much more are gaining recognition on a worldwide basis. Phase 1 is to coordinate an economic impact study in order to better identify and quantify the importance of outdoor recreation here. Once completed, phase 2 would commence using the findings of the survey as a tool for education, with the goal of leveraging these tremendous assets to the benefit of residents and our local business community. The Request for Proposal has been sent out to selected firms with responses due mid-August.
Meanwhile, at the invitation of the Eastmont Metropolitan Parks District (EMPD) and the City of Wenatchee, the Trust for Public Lands is working separately with each jurisdiction on feasibility research to look into funding for the benefit of parks and related recreation facilities in each area. Exploring fundraising options for the possible formation of a metropolitan parks district in Wenatchee would be a consideration. Meanwhile, capital Improvements are on the radar for the EMPD. Public opinion surveys may be conducted as soon as the 4th quarter of this year in order to gauge the interest level on specifics concerning a property tax assessment resulting in parks improvements/possible expansion plans. If poll findings indicate a positive reaction to move forward, it would be possible for the measures to be included on a future general election ballot.
While the outdoor recreation study and the Trust for Public Lands projects are completely separate endeavors, these actions are indicative of the importance recreation carries as it steadily moves up on our list of priorities not only for resident’s lifestyles but the potential economic impact involved.
If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call and I can assist you or forward them on to the appropriate parties.

Matt Kearny – Wenatchee Valley Sports

Matt can be reached at the Chamber office at 509-662-2116 or matt@wenatchee.org

Chelan-Douglas CASA Program

In 1994, a small group of foster parents, committed to furthering the aims and goals of the foster parent program sought out Sue Baker for direction and help in forming a CASA program in Wenatchee.  Sue had been a CASA Guardian ad Litem in Seattle before moving to Wenatchee with her husband Don.

Taking up the challenge, Sue worked closely with many people, including then-Superior Court Judge Carol Wardell, to start the Chelan-Douglas CASA Program.  Today, the CASA program is up and running with 66 volunteers, providing a voice for abused and neglected children needing a safe and nurturing environment in which to grow and live.

The Work of a CASA:

CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.

The Need for new CASAs:

The Chelan-Douglas CASA program is currently serving 170 children.  During June of 2015, our CASA program appointed CASAs to 10 new children; in July, 8 new children.

We are seeing an increase in the number of children who need a CASA.  Due to this increased need, the Chelan-Douglas CASA Program needs new volunteers!

To learn more about the program or how to join the CASA program in providing a voice to every child who needs one, stop by the CASA open house on September 9th from 6-7:30pm at the PUD Auditorium on Wenatchee Ave or contact Arlene Grover at arleneg@nwi.net


CI Information Management, a Columbia Industries company, is pleased to announce they are now offering imaging services, offsite records storage, and shredding & destruction to businesses in Wenatchee and surrounding cities. A mobile shred truck hits the road this month and will be servicing the new area every two weeks.

“This is something we’ve been working towards for some time. We now have the resources in place to make it happen,” says Jeff Thompson, Director of Operations. CI Information Management is operated by Columbia Industries, a Tri-Cities based non-profit organization whose focus is to help people with disabilities and other barriers to employment achieve their highest employment potential.

 “People need to realize that by utilizing our services, they’re helping us help people in Washington State with significant and lifelong disabilities. We may be a records management and shredding company, but we’re a lot more than that,” says Thompson.

For chamber members in our new service area, we’re offering a FREE 30 Day Bin Trial. For friendly, flexible and prompt shredding services, call CI Shred & Information Management at 509-586-6090 for details. We’ll deliver a shred bin to your place of business and in 30 days service the bin for free. After your free trial, you can cancel or continue your safe and secure shredding services.

Contact Ci Shred at 509-582-4142 or visit their website at www.ColumbiaIndustries.com.

2015 leadership 22015 leadership 42015 leadership 52015 Leadership graduate

This is the 13th dedicated group of local business people and community leaders to take the nine month commitment to personal growth, professional development, and community awareness that the Chamber offers each year.

During the last nine months these participants developed a broad knowledge of the Wenatchee Valley and key issues facing the region as they hear from community leaders and toured local facilities. They became a strong network of informed and motivated citizen leaders who will guide the future growth of the Wenatchee Valley.

So kudos to our 2015 graduates:

  • Aaron Harvey, Town Toyota Center
  • Carroll Plews, Confluence Health
  • Criselia Grupp, RiverCom
  • Duane Ownbey, VisiCore Inc
  • Jason Abt, GTC Technical Support
  • Jeff Johnson, Douglas County PUD
  • Kelly Walker, Cashmere Valley Bank
  • Marsha Hays, Clear View Janitorial
  • Nicolle LaFleur, American Red Cross
  • Rick Baldini, State Farm
  • Sandy Appel, Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • Stacey Luckensmeyer, Wenatchee Valley College

Whether you have lived in the area for a short time or for decades, CLWV will open your eyes to new challenges and opportunities and the role you can play in the future of the region.

If you’d like to be a part of the next leadership class beginning in September, the Chamber is now accepting applications. Stop by the Chamber of Commerce at 1 S. Wenatchee Avenue in Wenatchee or call (509) 662-2116.

While career and college fairs are important for students as they explore career paths that are equally important for businesses and the broader community.

As the end of the school year draws to a close at Wenatchee Learns we are getting just geared up for the NCW College and Career Expo on November 3, 2015. At

This will be the second year this mega-sized event will be held at Wenatchee Valley College for high school students. This year we have invited neighboring school districts to participate in the Expo transforming it into a regional experience. We are planning for over 3,000 9-12th grade students to participate. With the help of community leaders and a Stronger Schools grant from the Community Foundation of North Central Washington we are on track to make this expo larger than ever.

It’s important for business to introduce their professions and industries to students that may not otherwise know about them. Teachers can help students develop the academic skills needed to be successful but the business community can help students connect those skills to a career.

That’s where Wenatchee Learns Connect comes in.

We are helping students in the Wenatchee School District explore potential career paths so they have a plan in place after graduation. Facilitating a college and career expo is one way to do that. Businesses that exhibit are able to introduce their work and their industry to kids who are just beginning to think bout post secondary education or training.  Businesses will be able to promote the skills needed to be a successful employee.

For instance, an interior designer could have a display of their designs and talk with students about the math skills they use. A financial planner could have a game that challenges students to think budgeting and a digital media company could show students hands on technical skills with camera equipment.

Experiential exhibits are a key to engaging with youth. Exhibitors can entice students to their table a share valuable knowledge and experience by providing hands on opportunities to learn more about a profession.

With more that 10,000 people a day reaching retirement age, connecting your business with youth is critical. The students of today ARE the workforce of tomorrow. Preparing students as they get ready to head into the working world benefits them and our area businesses.

To register your business for the NCW College and Career Expo or to learn more about how to get your business connected to youth go to wenatcheelearns.com or Diana Haglund at call (509) 888.2828wenatchee learnswenatchee learns 2

It was exciting to see the enthusiasm generated at an early June press conference at Town Toyota Center announcing the Wenatchee Wild joining the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). Ever since the team was formed several years ago, it has been a talked-about move that has so many positives. From a sports tourism standpoint, it has the potential to move the meter due to the much closer proximity of the teams, as a vast majority of BCHL franchises are in the southern portion of BC. Marketing efforts are already being planned to entice visiting fans to come south of the border. And I’m sure that will be reciprocal with many Wild fans planning a weekend or two to follow the team on the road. Affiliation with the NAHL served its purpose, but when your division ‘rivals’ are in Alaska, Kansas and Texas, somethings just not right. BCHL executives have long been impressed not only with the Wild organization and the outstanding facility in which they call home, but also the fan base. This past season, the Wild were 2nd in the NAHL in attendance out of 24 teams, more than 14,000 ahead of #3 Amarillo. The BCHL truly is where the franchise belongs.

Also last week, we received official confirmation that The US Figure Skating Northwest Pacific Regionals will be returning here in October 2016. This will mark the 2nd time in 3 years that the Wenatchee Valley will be awarded this prestigious competition. The announcement from US Figure Skating was the result of a collaborative bid process that involved The Wenatchee Figure Skating Club, Town Toyota Center and Wenatchee Valley Sports. There will be nine regionals nationwide, in locations such as Scottsdale AZ, Ogden UT and Lansing MI. The fact that USFG officials were highly impressed with the organizational efforts of our local club and the Town Toyota Center facility itself during last fall’s competition played a major role in their unusual decision to award a return here so soon.

Also, the renovation of the Apple Bowl is well underway. Among the improvements is the installation of new field turf, new lights and expanded and refurbished locker rooms. The field will be lined not only for football, but soccer and lacrosse as well, giving those sports a much-needed quality facility. The new turf will allow the field to be used more regularly, without the fear of turf damage from overuse or bad weather. This is a great addition for locals, and will be an attractive asset in the world of tournament recruitment. Much needed improvements are also planned at Recreation Park this summer. Good news indeed!

Matt Kearny is coordinator of sports tourism for the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at 509-662-2116 or matt@wenatchee.org

Preliminary figures released today by the Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) indicate that tourism in Washington State improved slightly in 2014, but inconsistently throughout various counties in Washington and comparatively slower than the state’s overall taxable sales growth.
“The research underscores the importance of maintaining the WTA’s current marketing programs,” said WTA Board Chair Cheryl Kilday. That includes the Washington State Visitors’ Guide, destination web site, call center and international marketing, as well as the need for a long-term, industry led and funded tourism marketing program.
Direct visitor spending in Washington was $19 billion in 2014, up 5 percent over 2013, according to preliminary data compiled for the WTA by Dean Runyan Associates in the report State Travel Impacts & Visitor Volume 1991 -2014. This compares with 7.1 percent growth in overall state taxable sales during the same period, according to figures released by the Washington State Department of Commerce earlier this month.
WTA’s new research also reported on tourism employment and tax revenue. The travel and tourism industry supported more than 163,400 jobs in 2014, up 2.7 percent from 2013. Local and state travel-generated tax revenue was $1.7 billion, representing roughly 5 percent of all state and local tax revenues and generating $600 in tax revenue for each Washington household.
“Robust worldwide travel, combined with the individual tourism marketing investments of the state’s major cities, port districts and private sector companies, have helped buoy our industry for the past four years since the state tourism office closed,” said Kilday

“We’re also grateful for some interim funding from the legislature the past two years which has helped sustain our state visitor guide, web site, visitor call center and other essential visitor services. This support, in conjunction with the nation-wide travel and tourism growth trend, has been absolutely critical to keeping Washington tourism alive until our industry funding plan can be deployed.”
Nevertheless, WTA officials worry about loss of tourism market share in the absence of a legislatively approved, industry funded long-term marketing program. “Our latest research illuminates the disparity in tourism impact in eastern and western Washington,” said Kilday. “Annual spending growth for the eastern state counties was 3.1 percent, versus 5.5 percent for the western counties. Employment growth was 1.3 percent for eastern, 3.1 percent for western.”
“Seattle, Spokane and other destinations with local tourism promotion areas (TPAs) have raised marketing funds to offset the closure our state tourism office three years ago, but research continues to suggest that this cumulative return is not enough for our state as a whole,” said Kilday. “Our tourism marketing investment must be statewide to make a broad impact.”
Senate and House bills supporting WTA’s tourism marketing funding plan were introduced in Olympia this session with significant support, but ran out of time
for approval. Plans are underway to continue the approval process in the next session.
Since the closure of the state tourism office in 2011, the private, non-profit, industry-led WTA has operated on a minimal budget. In 2013, the State Legislature approved short-term interim funding of $500,000 in each year of the 2014-15 biennium to pay for the basics of a state tourism marketing program.
The results of that minimum investment indicate that there has been a positive impact on visitation and spending in 2014. Traffic to the Experiencewa.com website produced 154,500 partner referrals in 2014 and traffic to the site increased 26 percent over 2013, with more than 581,500 visitors and over 1.7 million page views. And 2015 is showing growth as well, with 173,000 visits to the site in January – March alone. The WTA call center receives over 500 calls and email inquiries a month and personnel assist travelers in planning their Washington State visits. And thanks to the state investment in these interim funds, more than 300,000 Washington State Visitors’ Guides were distributed for free to prospective visitors.
“We hope that our interim funding will continue until the WTA can rely on a long-term funding framework that assesses key sectors of the tourism industry,” said WTA Executive Director Louise Stanton-Masten. “With the growth that we’ve seen with our minimum funding investment, we’re looking forward to seeing the positive impacts of a more adequately funded program. It is critical to help keep Washington competitive in a particularly competitive industry.”
Competing western state tourism budgets ranged from $7-$50 million last year. Comparatively, WTA had a $481,000 budget in 2013 and a $1.1 million budget in 2014 which included the State’s investment in interim funding. The WTA began work with a budget of some $300,000 when the state tourism office closed in mid-2011, successfully established incremental funds through membership and corporate sponsorships and in 2013 secured state short-term funding to underwrite the basics of a marketing program in 2014 and 2015. Funds were allocated to the state’s consumer travel web site, postage for distributing the Washington State Visitors’ Guide, operation of a travel call center, international marketing and research.

A 4 minute video on the day in the life at Pybus Public Market is now released and available for viewing on the Pybus Market web site,  http://www.pybuspublicmarket.org/

The film has been 1 year in the works.  It showcases the experience of Pybus Market, over the course of a day. It presents a rare and unique perspective, unseen by the everyday visitor.  The film is narrated by Mike Walker, who with his wife, JoAnn, are the primary private sector benefactors that renovated the historic 1946 steel warehouse.

“Most people who visit Pybus Market for the first time describe Pybus as a unique and inviting space with a warm, comforting feel,” said videographer Charley Voorhis. “I hope the film captures the sense that Pybus has an amazing energy.”  added Voorhis.  “The building has an interesting past with an exciting future,” said Voorhis.

“Charley Voorhis is a master storyteller and this film is no exception, capturing the essence of Pybus Market, said Mike and JoAnn Walker.  “We hope others find it as satisfying as we do,” added Walkers.

The film release follows on the heels of Pybus Public Market taking 1st place in KING TV’s Evening Magazine “Best Farmers Market” in their Best Northwest Escapes contest.


Today, Native Network, a telecommunications and membership initiative to connect Tribal lands across the US to foster communication and trade between Tribes, announces the completion and success of an extensive tribe-to-tribe pilot program across Washington State.

“Native Network is rebuilding the connections between Tribes, once provided by a sophisticated network of trade routes, that today will be accomplished with an advanced telecommunications backbone connecting Tribal lands to each other and the world,” CEO Andrew Metcalfe said today from the CATTCOMM/Native Network booth at the 2015 Tribal Telecom and Technology Summit.

Salish Networks, a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier that Metcalfe helped Tulalip Federation of Tribes create in 2012, has been an early participant in proving out the Native Network initiative by participating in a proof of concept exercise with Spokane Tribe of Indians. Together, the Tribes have established the capability of one tribe providing wholesale telecom services to a remote tribe that acts as a consumer and reseller of those services to its citizens and potentially to the non-Native community around it. After completion of the trial period, Rudy Peone, Tribal Council Chairman for the Spokane Tribe of Indians, who also serves on the Coalition Of Large Tribes Board of Directors, expressed his excitement for the endless nation-to-nation opportunities: “We can work together to improve economic prosperity in our respective reservations, it’s fantastic. I can’t wait to get started.”

The head of Native Network explained that this initiative is a reprise of the successful strategy to connect rural and underserved communities employed by Northwest Telephone, Inc., (NTI) a Wenatchee-based regional fiber-optic carrier access provider and telephone company he and co-founder Jenny Rickel built and then sold in 2008 to Zayo Group. Both Metcalf and Rickel are pleased to be working on challenges that face remote reservations and tribal lands as they have done in the past at NTI.

“Participation in the Native Network will provide member tribes with access to telecommunications, expertise and support that can be used to lower costs, while creating diverse sources of income from trade of everything from telecommunications services to Native goods by and ecosystem web-enabled tribal members,” he added.