Walla Walla Sweets to offer internship for 2011 season

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A Sweet internship this summer will give participants a behind-the-scenes perspective on a professional sports organization.

The Walla Walla Sweets will offer an internship program for the 2011 West Coast League baseball season, giving aspiring sports professionals an up-close view of the operation.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for aspiring sports executives to break into the world of professionally run sports," said Sweets General Manager Zachary Fraser, in an announcement Tuesday.

"Our interns will really get a sense for the type and amount of work that goes on behind the scene to make the organization run smoothly."

The internship will run from late May through mid-August. Sweets interns will learn the facets of the teams's operations, including marketing, media relations, ticket sales, retail, corporate sponsorships, stadium operations and customer service.

Participants will be highly involved in game day stadium operations, including setup and breakdown, on-field promotions, usher services, guest services and ticket operations.

All participants will receive an undisclosed stipend for their work but must find their own housing and provide transportation to and from Walla Walla.

The workload includes three to four hours per day in the office or at the ballpark.

Additionally, participants will have game-day in-stadium responsibilities that will require six to eight hours per day on game-days and three to four hours a day when the team is on the road.

The deadline to apply is March 1. For more information on the visit www.wallawallasweets.com/jobs

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A group of new employees at the Marcus Whitman Hotel Conference Center is bringing new energy to the historic property at Second Avenue and Rose Street.

Several people have joined in key positions at Walla Walla's luxury hotel in recent months.

Bud Stocking came on board as the hotel's new sales manager. His first area of focus is in the Tri-Cities, where he is building relationships and brand recognition.

Stocking came to the Walla Walla Valley in 1978 with a background in sales and marketing management. He worked for KUJ radio in the 1980s and helped start KWHT radio, according to the announcement. After that he began to work for a small cellular telephone company that was owned by Kyle Mussman, who owns the Marcus Whitman with his wife, Brenda. In 1999, Stocking and two business partners began Three Rivers Winery.

The partners sold that business in 2008. "It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with Kyle again," Stocking said in a prepared statement.

"I look forward to filling as many meeting and guest rooms as possible."

Jonathan Grant is the hotel's new front office manager. The son of Nancy and the late Rep. Bill Grant, he grew up in the community and graduated from Walla Walla High School in 1988.

He recently returned to the community with his wife and baby after more than a decade in Los Angeles, where he worked in numerous hotels, including Century Plaza Hotel, W Hotel and Shutters on the Beach. For the last five years he's been a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker in Beverly Hills.

The Marcus Whitman holds numerous memories for Grant. It was the site for his wedding as well as a place for numerous campaign functions for his father.

Mike Lemke joined the team as engineering manager. A Sultan, Wash., native he came to Walla Walla in 1996 for an engineering position at Key Technology. After a downsizing at the company, Lemke worked at the Department of Corrections before joining the team at the hotel. In the community he is active in youth sports, serving as president of Walla Walla Youth Baseball and Softball. He is also a member of Wa-Hi's Big Blue Boosters and president elect.

Sean Powell serves as the IT and security manager. Born in Honolulu and raised in San Diego, Powell came to Walla Walla in 2008 and joined the Marcus Whitman staff last June. He enjoys the fast pace of his job and changing facets, working with various groups that book events at the hotel.

Since joining the staff, he has upgraded and streamlined the hotel's technological infrastructure.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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