Chamber wants business to get on the ball

'Business amp;amp; Baseball -- Executing Big Ideas In Rural Markets' will be the subject of a March 28 luncheon.

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The Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce is stepping up to the plate for its next quarterly business luncheon to talk about lessons that can be learned in business from America's favorite pasttime.

"Business & Baseball -- Executing Big Ideas In Rural Markets" will be the subject of a March 28 luncheon open to Chamber members and the public.

The panel discussion will feature John Stanton, a part owner of the Seattle Mariners and Walla Walla Sweets, who is regarded as one of the foremost entrepreneurs of the wireless communications industry. The Whitman College alum and board member will be joined by Kevin Mather, executive vice president of finance and ballpark operations for the Mariners; and Zachary Fraser, general manger of the Walla Walla Sweets.

Chamber Chief Executive Officer David Woolson said the event is intended to be highly interactive. Though baseball may be presented as a specific example of a business success story, it's also intended to be symbolic.

The over-arching theme is more about how big ideas can flourish in rural markets, Woolson said.

The discussion takes a slightly different approach to fostering economic development, Woolson said. It offers a chance to tap the expertise of entrepreneurs who have found success and have served as pioneers in rural areas.

The event, presented in partnership with Inland Cellular, will be at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Reservations must be made by March 23. Tickets are $25 for Chamber members and $30 for nonmembers. They can be reserved at 525-0850.

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