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Spring training is back: Greater Fort Myers Chamber’s Feb. 23 luncheon to share industry, business insights for baseball season

Four headshots of Greater Fort Myers Chamber's luncheon speakers in 2023

The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23 will focus on all things baseball ahead of Southwest Florida’s spring training season.

Spring Training has been interrupted by the pandemic and labor negotiations for the last several years, making this season projected to be the first “normal” spring training since 2019. The Chamber’s “Talking Baseball” program will feature a panel discussion with senior management from the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins that covers 2023 spring training, industry insights and how Southwest Florida is growing with the game. Attendees will leave with information that they can take back to their businesses to capitalize on spring training crowds and potentially offset a slower season in a post Hurricane-Ian tourism environment.

Luncheon speakers include the Red Sox’s Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom and General Manager of Florida Operations and JetBlue Park Shawn Smith along with the Twins’ President & CEO Dave St. Peter and President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey.

Bloom is responsible for all baseball operations matters and has worked to position the Red Sox to compete every year for a World Series title by broadening the organization’s talent base through player acquisition and development. Prior to joining the Red Sox, Bloom spent 15 years with the Tampa Bay Rays baseball operations department and began his career with internships with the San Diego Padres and Major League Baseball. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Classics (Latin) from Yale University.

Smith has over two decades of experience in professional baseball, working with the Red Sox in a variety of roles on key business and baseball development projects, and also as the general manager of its former affiliate in Massachusetts. He previously held positions with the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) NBA Development League and Team Marketing and Business Operations. He earned a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School and bachelor’s degree from Purdue University.

St. Peter was named the fourth president in Minnesota Twins’ history in 2002, and as president and CEO, he continues to oversee the team’s day-to-day operations, strategic planning and interaction with Major League Baseball. He joined the organization as an intern in 1990 and held a variety of positions over his first decade with the franchise. Under his leadership, the Twins established a new single-season franchise attendance record in 2010 by attracting more than 3.2 million fans to Target Field. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota.

Falvey is responsible for establishing the vision and related strategies for the Minnesota Twins’ baseball operations. He oversees the major league team, coaches and support staff, contract negotiations, player development, scouting, research and development, medical and communications. Under Falvey’s leadership, the Twins have reached the post-season three times in his seven seasons. His baseball career started with Cleveland Guardians, where he held a variety of positions over nearly 10 years with the franchise. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Trinity College.

The luncheon will take place at the Twins Player Development Academy at Lee County Sports Complex, located at 14100 Six Mile Cypress Parkway in Fort Myers. Admission is $25 for Chamber members and $35 for future members and includes lunch.

To learn more or to register, visit FortMyers.org or call 239-332-2930.

About the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce:
Serving Lee County and surrounding areas since 1989, the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, Inc. is a business organization that provides solutions and serves as a catalyst for growing the economy. The Chamber represents over 725 professionals and businesses throughout Southwest Florida, empowering, connecting and uniting members through meaningful networking, educational and community- and business-focused programs and events. For additional information regarding membership opportunities or events, please call 239-332-2930 or visit www.fortmyers.org. For the latest news and updates, follow the Chamber on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gfmcc.

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