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The Washington State Weed Conference, one of the largest meetings of its kind in the United States, celebrates its 66th Anniversary November 2-4 at the Wenatchee Convention Center.

The 2½ day event includes over 40 speakers, workshops, general and concurrent break-out sessions, a large trade show, luncheon, and social. Attendees will have the opportunity to earn up to 14 pesticide license re certification credits for Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. There are also Certified Crop Advisor Credits available.

This year’s conference features Dr. Frederick Whitford, the author of The Grand Old Man of Purdue University and Indiana Agriculture: A Biography of William Carrol Latta. He has authored more than 250 publications and become a popular speaker with more than 4,400 presentations given throughout Indiana and the United States. In recognition of his significant contributions to Extension outreach efforts, he has received numerous awards, including the Frederick L. Hovde Award of Excellence in Educational Service to Rural People of Indiana, the Outstand Extension/Specialist Award from Produce Extension and an Excellence in Extension Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

The Weed Warrior award, recognizing achievement in weed control and the highest honor the Washington State Weed Association can bestow, will be announced on Wednesday.

“Weed Cup” trophies will be presented in the annual Mike Braun Weed Quiz which includes both a professional and “fun” division. Cash prizes are also awarded in the pro division. A photo contest will be held with cash prizes for the winners.

The conference is open to the public, with a fee of $125 for those registered by October 26th and $150 if registered thereafter. Registration is open on the website at www.weedconference.org or by calling the office at 509-288-4677.

Additional information is available on-line at www.weedconference.org, or by contacting the Washington State Weed Association office at (509) 288-4677, info@weedconference.org.

In-person coverage of the 66th Weed Conference is welcome!

Why do business owners and employees choose this area to live and work? Is it the beauty of our Chelan PUD Parks or the arts culture in downtown? Learn how the winning combination of our lifestyle opportunities that make our region an exceptional place to live and work at the Nov. 9 workshop hosted by GWATA and presented by Chelan PUD.  The workshop on “Energized! Living and working in NCW” is the final session in a three-part series on the global benefits of public power for local business.

Learn from Matt Cadman about Numerica Performing Arts Center’s wide range of arts programming for the upcoming year.  Sip and savor locally produced products as Rhona Baron shares about food and drink adventures in the Cascade Farmlands. Hear how Chelan PUD provides our region with world-class waterfront parks and services from Ray Heit of Chelan PUD Parks. Plus, we’ll talk through the range of outdoor recreation available with Sarah Shaffer from Wenatchee Outdoors.

This is a great event for all industries with a special focus on resources for recruiting to NCW. We invite business owners, human resource professionals, and the community to join us at this fun panel to learn more!

“As a non-profit focused on supporting our business community, it was a natural fit to bring in a workshop focused on recruiting points from a variety of angles” said Jenny Rojanasthien, GWATA Executive Director.  “As residents of NCW, local businesses can tell the story of what they love about this region – but this workshop will educate them with comprehensive look at our community and help them enhance their recruiting knowledge. GWATA would like to thank Chelan County PUD for the opportunity to host these educational events for our local business owners and the community.”

GWATA also thanks Apple Valley Human Resources Association (AVHRA) for help in promoting the event to human resource professionals.

The Nov. 9 workshop at Confluence Technology Center begins with lunch and networking from 11:30-noon. The panel discussion starts at noon with speakers:

  • Matt Cadman, Numerica Performing Arts Center
  • Sarah Shaffer, Wenatchee Outdoors
  • Ray Heit, Chelan PUD Parks
  • Rhona Baron, Cascade Farmlands

“Energized! Living and working in NCW” is free for all GWATA members and $10 for others. The event also includes lunch. Please RSVP on the link here to guarantee your seat.

Chelan County PUD’s support for the workshop series is part of its Public Power Benefit program to provide timely and helpful information to its customer-owners, enhance the quality of life in Chelan County and to provide the best for the most for the longest period of time.

The Wenatchee Valley is fortunate to enjoy three local Dutch Bros coffee stands that are owned by an individual who has had close ties to the original “brothers” from the start. Jimmy Crocker grew up outside of Grants Pass, Oregon, the birthplace of the Dutch Bros coffee franchise, and found himself rubbing shoulders with Dane and Travis Boersma, the original “Dutch Brothers” as a barista out of high school. The Dutch Bros culture quickly captivated Crocker and empowered him to live a more confident, authentic life, ultimately inspiring him to move his young family, including his wife Danielle, a longtime Dutch Bros employee herself, to a completely new location to open their own franchise.

Crocker will tell you that the beginning stages of opening their own business in Wenatchee were a challenge, yet the steady encouragement from Danielle, along with guidance he received from his mentors within the larger Dutch Bros community, gave him the courage and resilience to remain steadfast in the face of the uncertainties that come with opening a new business. By embracing the idea of his business being equally relational as it is product-driven, Crocker has cultivated a working environment for his employees that encourages them to be the best and most true versions of themselves, allowing them to offer some authenticity along with their signature beverages.

His investment into the lives of his employees, coupled with an emphasis on consistency in both product and service, are key things Crocker believes have helped him prosper as a business owner. He is also deeply grateful to his wife, crediting her with the love and support it took for him to emerge as an effective leader within their business. With the recent opening of a third Wenatchee Valley Dutch Bros location, it seems that the success of Crocker’s take on the Dutch Bros business model speaks for itself. These wildly popular coffee stands have made a unique mark on the Wenatchee Valley, offering residents a vibrant take on drive-thru coffee.                                    dutchbrosfam

We are always looking for quality people who enjoy the mountains, provide high quality guest service and convey a warm welcome to all who visit our area. We will begin hiring in October and will also be hosting a Job Fair October 22nd for those interested in joining the team for the 2016/17 winter season. Interested parties can fill out an Online Application prior to the Job Fair which will be kept on file and referenced when hiring begins.

3 Orondo Ave is the address of our amazing new roasting facility. It’s a block and a half down the alley from the Café Mela and across Columbia Street from Badger Mountain Brewery. The cafe isn’t moving or changing at all. Pretty soon, we will be starting public coffee cuppings (i.e. tastings) at the new location. We are cupping coffee all the time as we develop new lots and origins. It will be really fun to get to welcome people into that experience.
We had all our roasting stuff moved into the new space by July 1. We will really be up and running there as soon as possible, depending on finishing out improvements to the space. Being in the new location gives us three times more space than we had before which will allow us to continually optimize our roasting capabilities. It’s a really cool location and a great old building. It was the original location of Pybus. We’re excited to get to be involved with a little part of downtown Wenatchee history.
We will be launching a new website soon and have some other interesting projects on the back burner waiting for the new roasting facility to be finished, but those are really still too new to give many details. Hopefully, we can share more on those projects soon.mela logo

A dream to live in Wenatchee is coming true for a man and his family, as SCJ Alliance welcomes Mike Neer to our Wenatchee office.

“It has been a long-held dream of mine to move to Wenatchee. So when the opportunity came up to join SCJ’s team over here, I jumped at the chance,” Mike said. “SCJ has a great reputation with diverse, innovative projects to back it up.”

Mike joins the civil engineering group as a senior project manager for SCJ, a consulting firm specializing in civil engineering, transportation planning and design, environmental and urban planning, landscape architecture and design, and public outreach.

Mike started at SCJ’s headquarters in Lacey, Wash. last month and moved with his family to Wenatchee in August. He earned his bachelor of science in Civil Engineering from University of Wyoming and started his career in a rural community in Wyoming.

“I was drawn to Wenatchee because of its location on the sunnier side of Washington, nestled in the foothills of the Cascades, amongst all the outdoor activities I enjoy,” Mike said. “Wenatchee is a very friendly community filled with people that share similar interests with our family. I grew up vacationing in north central Washington and have always loved the smaller community feel.”

“Mike is a skillful engineer and dynamic project manager,” said SCJ Engineering Manager Dan Ireland. “He will be a valuable addition to the team and to the greater Wenatchee community.” Mike has spent nearly 20 years in the industry and has a keen eye for detail, focuses on open community and understands the importance of incorporating value and quality into construction document and specifications.

SCJ has provided the expertise behind many endeavors in the Wenatchee region, including the recently constructed Downtown Wenatchee Revitalization Project and the Miller Street signal projects currently under construction.

Other current, high-visibility efforts include trail and roadway improvement projects in Crescent Bar, Winthrop, Twisp’s downtown revitalization, and community planning efforts in Entiat, Rock Island and Grand Coulee.

Celebrating a 10 year anniversary this year, SCJ has grown steadily from three employees in one location, to a dynamic team of nearly 70 employees in five locations: Seattle, Vancouver, Lacey, and Wenatchee, Washington and Denver Colorado. SCJ Alliance, a nationally-recognized firm, was founded in 2006 and in the last 12 months was the recipient of two top places to work awards.

Numbers for the first half of 2016 have been crunched, and when those are coupled with the schedule ahead, it’s becoming obvious that 2016 is shaping up to be a record-breaking year in the world of sports tourism in the Wenatchee Valley. There are a number of factors that have contributed to the fast start. Weather, as usual plays a major role. From a snow-sports perspective, you couldn’t have asked for a better winter. In the past couple of years, we have seen events cut back in size or occasionally moved away due to a general lower snow base throughout the northwest. It was back to ‘the good old days’ this time around, and that always is a factor in making cash registers ring, while at the same time giving locals prime opportunities to get out and recreate.

Quarter 2 is by far the highest producing 3 months of the year in terms of sports tourism in the Valley. Key factors include baseball and softball, both having some significant-sized events in Q-2, and April thru June provide ideal weather for running and cycling, both of which are in a rapid-growth mode here. Then there are always the sports categories that have one or two events on the docket. This spring, those included State Gymnastics, tennis, ice skating, and a rodeo, to name a few.    Looking ahead, running events resume in the fall, once the heat settles down. The Apple Cup Soccer Tournament in October generally brings 80+ teams into the area, and we once again will have the honor of hosting the US Figure Skating Regionals at Town Toyota Center for the second time in three years. Earlier this year, we realized residual benefits from that event. The Wenatchee Figure Skating Club held their annual Apple Ice Classic in June and nearly 180 out-of-area skaters came to participate, as compared to approximately 90 last year. The reason for the uptick: many wanted to get familiarized with the facility and the ice prior to the Regionals. That bumped up the Ice Classic’s economic impact to the region by some $46,000 over 2015. That’s the kind of result that can occur when you combine an outstanding facility with a talented and hardworking local organizing committee. It pays dividends.

Sports tourism spending here was first tracked regularly in 2007. Last year, the number was $7.61m of estimated economic impact, which was the highest to date. This year, we are projecting out to about $8.05m, providing there are no negative surprises in store. Keep in mind this is for events and tournaments only, and does not include spending by locals. Otherwise, those numbers would multiply significantly, when you take into account the investment local folks make in supporting our teams, such as the AppleSox, Wild, Rams and Capitals. People enjoying activities, and the local economy getting a nice boost….that’s what sports tourism is all about!

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

The Community Foundation of NCW is now accepting applications for the Woods Family Music and Arts Grant. Open to nonprofit organizations in Chelan, Douglas, and Okanogan counties (excluding the Methow Valley), the grant seeks to supports work that provides music and/or arts related services and education in these communities.

Up to $5,000 is available for programs in one of the following areas:

  • Foster and improve cultural awareness and education;
  • Music performance;
  • Music education direction for a wide range of students (children and adults);
  • Participation in coordination of regional arts events; or
  • Seminars and workshops for music educators and arts professionals.

Applications are due by the end of business on Friday, September 30th.

Visit www.cfncw.org/woodsfamily to learn more and apply.

Wenatchee, WA – On July 7, Stemilt Growers hosted a group of Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) recipients along with Wenatchee Valley College (WVC) students to learn more about the company and career paths in high-tech agriculture.

The tour of Stemilt was part of a professional development platform developed by WSOS to connect students with industry professionals, provide networking opportunities and a better understand career pathways in their fields of interest. GWATA extended this opportunity to WVC students taking related coursework.

During the visit, students learned about Stemilt’s daily operations through a guided, behind-the-scenes tour of its production lines and facilities. Zach Williams, Stemilt Director of Human resources, led the event and brought in department heads from Accounting, IT, Operations, Quality Control, and Sales. Students had an opportunity to learn about each department and what skillsets are required as well as the wide-range of positions within the organization. The event’s ultimate goal was to give students a better understanding of not just the company itself, but also the opportunities in the agriculture industry in North Central Washington.

“After taking the tour at the Stemilt Growers, I was fascinated to see how technology assists employees in sorting the cherries, which tremendously increases the efficiency of the process,” said one student on the tour. I learned that all staff at different departments work together as a family to accomplish the mission of delivering high quality products to their valued customers. After staying for a few hours at the company, I felt the friendly culture of this organization which was radiating from every employee that I saw and talked to.”

The Industry Exploration tour was organized by GWATA, The Apple STEM Network, and WSOS. “GWATAs mission is to bring people and technology resources together to create a thriving community” said Jenny Napier, executive director for GWATA. “We have a rich offering of local Technology and STEM jobs in NCW. Organizing this tour was a natural fit for our organization because highlighting career opportunities and our business members is one of the ways we serve our community.”

This was the first WSOS Industry Exploration held outside of the Seattle-Metro area. With students hailing from every county in Washington, WSOS aims to continue to work collaboratively with industry leaders in STEM and health care fields across the State to highlight companies and careers and professional opportunities for Scholars. All three organizations would like to thank the entire Stemilt Team for their time and support of this event.

About the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship

The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship is a public-private partnership between Washington State and private business, including founding partners Microsoft and Boeing, helping to grow the pool of skilled, homegrown talent prepared for the jobs of our innovation economy. In the 2015-16 academic year, WSOS supported over 2,300 students attending 67 colleges across Washington. To learn more, visit waopportunityscholarship.org.


GWATA was founded in 2000 to promote a vibrant technology based economy benefiting the citizens and communities of North Central Washington. GWATA’s mission is to support technology, entrepreneurship, and STEM education. To learn more about GWATA, visit www.gwata.org or call 509.661.9000.

Call for Makers Open Until October 15th

Wenatchee, WA ­­ The Mini Maker Faire is coming to North Central Washington! The Second Annual Wenatchee Mini Maker Faire is scheduled for Saturday, October 29th, 2016 at the Wenatchee Convention Center in Wenatchee, Washington. This event will be free and open to the public from 10:00am ­ 4:00pm.

The call for Makers, Artists, Performers, and Crafters is open now through October 15th. Any groups or individuals interested in presenting their project, activity, or performance in this event should email: info@makerfairewenatchee.com

The Wenatchee Mini Maker Faire is actively seeking business and community members who are interested in sponsorship opportunities. Sponsorships allow this event to remain free for all members of the community. To learn more about sponsorships, please email info@makerfairewenatchee.com or info@gwata.org

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 Wenatchee Mini Maker Faire was started in 2015 under the organization of three local students from Wenatchee High School ­ Ethan Toth, Silas Abbott, Storrie Skalisky. These three young men, along with more than 20+ students volunteered to organize and run the entire process. This was the first Mini Maker Faire in the world produced by students and has paved a way for students in other cities to follow.

In 2016, a new group of students are continuing to lead the local Maker Faire. Under the mentorship of GWATA, students will lead all organizational aspects of the event. The following students volunteered to lead: Ashley Turner, Grant Carroll, Matt Springer, Ryan Thompson,

Karli Kuntz, Sabrina Zhu, Tammy Doan, Moses Lurbur, and Theo Marshall. The Mini Maker Faire is actively looking for more students in K­12 and post secondary who are interested in joining the planning team. Please email info@makerfairewenatchee.com for more information.

GWATA, the NCW Tech Alliance is the 501(c)3 non­profit providing the backbone support for this event. GWATA was founded in 2000 to promote a vibrant technology­based economy benefiting the citizens and communities of North Central Washington. GWATA’s mission is to support technology, entrepreneurship, and STEM education. Email info@gwata.org for more information.

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.

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.

Contact: info@makerfairewenatchee.com

Website: http://makerfairewenatchee.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MakerFaireWenmaker

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wenatcheemakerfaire

Instagram: https://instagram.com/makerfairewenatchee/

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