70° Clear See Full Forecast

The Blog - What's Going on in Business

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.

Haven’t visited the WenatcheeOutdoors.org website lately? Then take a look. Since the start of 2016, the Outdoor Discovery Network (the non-profit organization overseeing WenatcheeOutdoors) has been modernizing the look, simplifying the use, and improving the functionality of the WenatcheeOutdoors website. The original website was launched in 2005 and, over the course of a decade, WenatcheeOutdoors became the go-to website for information about person-powered outdoor adventure sports in and around Central Washington. But while the old website was a deep repository of local outdoor information, increasingly it was becoming clunky to use and administer.

Some highlights of the new website:

Photography. The new site relies heavily on top-quality photography to inspire visitors.
Spanish. Because we are a multicultural community, the new website has a setting allowing Spanish speakers to read all of the website’s content in Spanish.
Clean layout. The new website is cleaner in design and less cluttered. It’s easier for users to move around the website and identify useful website features.
Improved access to archived information. Both the enhanced linkages to website features as well as the improved tagging of content makes it easier for website visitors to sift through and find content of interest. The guidebook entries, for example, can now be filtered not just by activity type, location, and ability level but by such new filters as to whether the trip is family friendly, pet friendly, or handicap accessible.

WenatcheeOutdoors.org is a free resource with nearly 1000 entries providing the complete details and topographic maps needed to explore the trails, mountains, forests, and rivers of Central Washington. The website also houses hundreds of articles about outdoor techniques, outdoor equipment, local flora or fauna, local personalities, and regional outdoor organizations.

The website is funded through grants, contributions from businesses, and donations from individuals who are aligned with the website’s mission. That mission is to develop and strengthen the regional outdoor culture by connecting people to the region’s outdoor resources and adventure sports. Such connections enhance the lifestyles of individuals, improve public and personal health, bolster regional economic vitality, and help protect the natural resources that have made Central Washington an outdoor-recreation center of national distinction.

Residents of the 12th Legislative District are invited to join Rep. Cary Condotta for an hour-long telephone town hall on Monday, June 27 at 6 p.m. The program works much like a call-in radio show during which residents can listen in, ask questions and participate in poll questions.

To participate, constituents can call (509) 795-3791 during the event. If listeners have questions during the call, they can press the star (*) key on their telephone keypads.

“The telephone town hall will offer constituents an opportunity to ask questions and also give me an idea of the priorities and concerns of the 12th District at this point in time,” said Condotta, R-Chelan. “Given the large geographic size of our legislative district, this technology allows anyone to participate and ask questions from the comfort of their own home.”

Those who are unable to participate in the call can contact Condotta’s district office at (509) 664-1274 or email him at cary.condotta@leg.wa.gov.

For more information about Rep. Condotta, visit: www.representativecarycondotta.com.

In 1976, Gerald Ford was president of the United States, gasoline cost 59 cents per gallon and Apple Computer was in its infancy. It was also the year that the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) held its first ever Rural Hospital Leadership Conference at Campbell’s Resort in Chelan, gathering health care leaders from across the state for a June workshop that explored the latest issues affecting rural health care in Washington state.

Now, WSHA and Campbell’s Resort are celebrating four decades of their partnership, as WSHA will hold its 40th Annual Rural Hospital Leadership Conference at the Central Washington resort this year, June 26-29. The longstanding relationship reflects the resort’s hospitality and its family feel, making its guests feel welcome year after ye Some guests have been visiting the resort for three generations.

“Our resort is a five-generation family owned business,” said Clint Campbell, co-owner of the resort. “To have WSHA return every year for 40 years is amazing. I think it’s our close connection with these guests that keep them coming back. It’s like we’re family.”

“Our conference in Chelan is where we pay particular attention to issues facing rural health care, and Campbell’s Resort has always been a natural fit,” said Mike Glenn, CEO of Jefferson Healthcare and chair of WSHA’s Rural Hospital Committee. “Guests start booking their rooms for the following year before leaving the conference, and we’re already looking forward to 2017 for another year where we can come together to share ideas and best practices to keep improving health care in Washington state’s rural communities.”

“WSHA’s Rural Hospital Leadership Conference has grown and evolved a lot in the last 40 years, but the core of it has remained intact,” said Jon Smiley, interim CEO of Garfield County Public Hospital District, who attended the first Rural Hospital Leadership Conference in 1976. “As members of WSHA, we always look forward to coming to Campbell’s in Chelan, and even though it’s a professional conference, it feels like a vacation. June is also such a lovely time in Chelan, with the warm weather making it the perfect time for everything around the resort, including golfing and wine tasting.”

The growth of the wine industry has marked one of the most substantial changes to Lake Chelan valley over the years, diversifying the agricultural traditionally dominated by apples. The region received its own American Viticultural Area (AVA) designation in 2009, and now more than 28 wineries dot the area.

The 40th Annual Rural Leadership Conference includes presentations by national health care experts, including Founder of the Harwood Institute, Rich Harwood, and Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman. It also includes breakout sessions, panel discussions and networking events that include a golf tournament, wine tasting, an ice cream social and a barbecue, which has become a conference tradition on the resort’s beach.

WSHA will celebrate the milestone of 40 years with historic photos and T-shirts from previous conferences.

About Campbell’s Resort

Campbell’s Resort has been family owned and operated since 1901. Offering guest rooms, award- winning dining, meeting space and spa, it is located on the 55-mile long, glacially fed Lake Chelan. It was recently voted ‘Best Resort’ by King5.com and Evening Magazine’s Best of the Northwest Escapes contest. Campbell’s previously won the contest’s ‘Best Resort’ recognition in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

About WSHA

The Washington State Hospital Association works to improve the health of all Washington state residents by being active on key issues of policy and quality. WSHA represents more than 100 hospitals and health systems in the state, including those that are non-profit, investor-owned, and county, state and military hospitals. For more about our membership, see  our membership brochure on http://www.wsha.org/about/.camblees 2cambells 1

The Triple Aim guides our members and our work, as we strive to improve the patient experience, improve the health of populations and reduce the cost of health care. To see more about our strategic plan, visit  http://www.wsha.org/about/strategic-plan/.

GWATA, the NCW Technology Alliance will feature five local entrepreneurs in a Q&A Panel on July 20th. The title of this panel is ‘Women Rule the World’. All five entrepreneurs are women who own businesses in North Central Washington. Panelists include:

  • JC Baldwin, GTC Technical
  • Rosa Cruz, Rosa Maria Cruz CPA
  • Wendy Dalpez, The Entrepreneurs Source
  • Kelsey Dew, The Dilly Deli
  • Brianne Vertrees, Merriment

This is a great event for all individuals looking to start a business, who want to hear new perspectives, and to network! Plus, you’ll learn about local resources that support both local entrepreneurs and women in business. This event includes a free breakfast catered by Balsamroot Bakery. Breakfast starts at 7:30, panel from 8:00-9:00am, with questions and networking after the event.

Entrepreneurial Panel: Women Rule the World
July 20, 2016   7:30 – 9:00 am
Confluence Technology Center
FREE for GWATA and BPW Members, $10 Public

Please Register Here for the event

This event is put on with the support of Wenatchee Valley College – Center for Entrepreneurship, The Port of Chelan County, The Port of Douglas County, and the Wenatchee Business and Professional Women.

GWATA is a regional organization founded in 2000 to promote a vibrant technology-based economy benefiting the citizens and communities of North Central Washington. GWATA’s mission is to bring people and technology resources together, facilitate tech education, support entrepreneurs, and act a conduit between industry and education.

think linkIn January of 2016, the Link Transit Board of Directors and staff launched a community conversation called ThinkLink, Our Future Our Freedom Our Public Transit.

This conversation is intended to bring to the forefront a host of ideas and suggestions on how Link Transit can better serve the residents of Chelan and Douglas Counties with relevant, convenient, reliable and financially sustainable public transportation services.

Over the past twenty-five years, Link Transit has evolved into a necessary, valuable and integral asset to each of our communities, large and small.

There is change happening in every community we serve, and our populations are shifting and growing in many ways. This growth is predicted to continue for many years.

As Link Transit enters it’s second quarter century of service and looks toward the future, there are questions that need answering.

How do the citizens of our area see the need for expanding transit services to address the recent population growth, and that anticipated in the coming years?

Can and should our public transit system play a larger role to help address some of the transportation challenges these changes bring?

Are there different ways to provide service that would attract more people to use transit or increase their access to transit?

Your input is critical in helping chart the future of Link Transit. Over the coming months, we will provide many ways in which you can participate in this effort.

Public meetings will held throughout our service area, and the website letsthinklink.org<http://www.letsthinklink.org> is always available as a way to submit your comments and suggestions. We look forward to hearing from you!


On Thursday, June 16, Link Transit staff kicks off this public engagement effort with a BBQ at Columbia Station from 11 – 2. The Link Board and staff will be on hand to talk with you about your ideas and suggestions about changes and improvements to service, and what your vision is for the future of public transit in our area. We invite you down this Thursday to join this conversation and THINKLINK!

Let us know if we will see you on June 16: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=ftxofmcab&oeidk=a07ecryvg9y847081dd


SPOKANE, WA—LeadingAge Washington announces Representative Joe Schmick and Senator Linda Evans Parlette as the 2016 Legislators of the Year at their annual Awards of Excellence ceremony.  The LeadingAge Washington Legislator of the Year award recognizes state policymakers who have made significant contributions in advocating for Washington state’s older adults and advancing the work of aging service providers.

During the 2016 legislative session, Representative Schmick and Senator Parlette passed key legislation that improves the access to care and information for Washington residents living in long-term care facilities.  Representative Schmick led stakeholders in creating an improved payment system for Washington’s skilled nursing facilities and helped craft a registration process for Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) standardizing the disclosure of information important to resident choice.   Working closely together, Representative Schmick and Senator Parlette reduced a rate penalty that skilled nursing facilities face for caring for residents with lower levels of nursing needs.  Additionally, Senator Parlette was successful in modernizing the long-term care pharmacy laws that ensure residents in long-term care facilities have timely access to critically necessary medications.

Representative Schmick represents the 9th District, which includes Asotin, Garfield, Franklin, Adams, Whitman and south Spokane counties.  He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2007 and has been sent back to Olympia by voters 4 times.  Senator Parlette represents the 12th Legislative District which includes approximately 137,000 people living in Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan and Grant counties.  Parlette’s legislative experience began in 1996 when she was elected to the House of Representatives.  She served two terms in the House before being elected to the Senate in 2000. She was re-elected to her fourth four-year term in 2012 and recently announced that she will be leaving office in early 2017.

“We are extremely grateful for Representative Schmick’s and Senator Parlette’s leadership in support of our skilled nursing facility, CCRC and assisted living members as they continually strive to improve the lives of those they serve,” said LeadingAge Washington CEO Deb Murphy.

For more information about LeadingAge Washington’s Awards of Excellence, visit http://leadingagewa.org/recognition/awards-of-excellence/

About LeadingAge Washington

LeadingAge Washington is the largest state association representing the continuum of care for our aging population.  With over 180 not-for-profit and mission driven member providers we support meaningful choices in long term services and supports for over 50,000 older Washingtonians.  Our “Return on Investment” is the health, safety and wellbeing of our residents, our staff and the communities in which we live.

Contact:  LeighBeth Merrick, Director of Senior Living & Community Services,

 LeadingAge Washington, 360.631.1322, lmerrick@leadingagewa.org


We’re playing all the biggest songs, all the time. The best of today, along with the biggest songs of the 80’s and 90’s. We’re music the whole family can agree on (and sing along to!). Your day is too busy to wait for your favorite song. No more waiting to get past a song to get to one you love…because they’re ALL the ones you love.


Listeners have relied on KOHO for years for local news and information on what’s happening in our corner of the world. We’re changing NOTHING about that. In fact, we’re pacing our news so our listeners can get the valley scoop easier than ever. Headlines, recaps, and interviews with the people who make our valley go. Now our listeners will have an even easier time accessing those conversations online, which brings us to…


The website is one-stop for streaming music and information. The site boasts an intuitive interface and totally upgraded playlist monitor, along with an all-new news archive. Listeners can search for the story they’re looking for by keyword, rather than sift through each individual page. Looking for the info or segment you need to hear is a snap! It’s up and live now. Click and enjoy! www.koho101.com

KOHO 101 Program Director Clint Strand says “Musically, we’re widening our reach to welcome an even larger demographic. It’s the right time for this shift for our station, and it’s the right music mix for North Central Washington.”

KOHO has offered a mix of in-depth local news and community information along with their music mix, and Strand says that won’t change. “Our listeners depend on us for local headlines and conversations with newsmakers, and we’re looking forward to deepening that commitment moving forward.”


logo koho

A wide variety of sports events in April has resulted in a record breaking month in terms of sports tourism economic impact in the Wenatchee Valley. With one event still to be verified, sports tourism spending estimates for the month are expected to surpass $1.7 million, breaking the previous record of $1.425 million achieved in May 2015. Economic impact derived from sporting events has been tracked in the Wenatchee Valley since 2007. April activities provided a nice jolt of business to area hoteliers. Events that included youth baseball, ski racing, a state gymnastics meet, men’s softball and the Wenatchee Marathon helped contribute to an estimated 6,300+ room nights, also an all-time high for a single month. The surge is expected to continue throughout much of 2016. The increase of participants in outdoor recreation-related events, combined with a strong presence of existing tournaments/events on the schedule bodes well. Also our sports teams such as the AppleSox, Wild, Rams and Wenatchee FC help create a solid foundation that is most valuable. And that doesn’t even take into account the impact of events generated by our school districts and Wenatchee Valley College.
In keeping with the theme of a strong variety of offerings, this October marks the return of the US Figure Skating Northwest Pacific Regionals for the 2nd time in three years. That spectacle in particular takes us into a different level when looking at the ‘big’ picture. Because of its prestige and the regional media coverage it generates, the Wenatchee Valley receives exposure that is pretty unique for an area our size. Consider that there are only nine such regionals held nationwide.  Other 2016 hosts include the likes of Lansing Michigan, Ogden Utah, Scottsdale Arizona and Plano Texas (hosted by the Dallas Figure Skating Club). It’s pretty heady stuff to be included in that group. But thanks to the outstanding efforts of the Wenatchee Figure Skating Club and having a terrific venue such as Town Toyota Center, we are able to reap the benefits.
Keep in mind the estimates referenced above are only for sports tourism spending on tournaments and events (new money in the area), not local dollars. Nor do they include the estimated millions of dollars generated by those coming here not for races or events, but simply to enjoy our many outdoor recreation-related assets. There is an in-depth, year-long study on the economic impact of outdoor recreation in Chelan & Douglas counties in progress now. This project, spearheaded by the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce, will provide detailed insight into areas we have been unable to track up to this point in time.

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