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Lodi Chamber of Commerce to host business leadership forum

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Dante Nomellini

Anne McLeod

Will Durst

Billy Beane

Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 10:23 am, Mon Jun 20, 2011.

Local business leaders will gather Thursday to listen to speakers discuss how to do more with less in this economy.

This will be the first time the Lodi Chamber of Commerce will hold a business forum like this, although it is modeled after Stockton-based Business Leadership Summit that ended in 2006, said Pat Patrick, president and CEO of the chamber.

The event will run from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Thursday, and includes lunch and dinner from A Touch of Mesquite. The keynote speaker is Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics.

"The forum has been retooled for today's business and economic climate, meaning our speakers are speaking to local interests of water and health care. The keynote is an expert at getting better results and performance with fewer resources," Patrick said.

Health care costs directly affect businesses in Lodi, but water is also a growing issue. Lodi is surrounded by agriculture, and the city will be heavily affected if the state and federal government reroutes water to Southern California.

"Whatever happens to our local agriculture industry is going to happen to us all. If it is a negative hit, it's going to hurt all businesses," Patrick said.

The Chamber Board of Directors suggested holding the event to promote networking. So far, 500 businesses have signed up.

"Any time you get 500 people together, there's going to be some great business-to-business contacts made," Patrick said.

The directors said they enjoyed the networking opportunity at the chamber's annual meeting in January and the Mayor's State of the City luncheon in November.

"They felt like those were good quality events that were bookends on the year. They felt that there was an opportunity for another high-caliber event where business leaders and civic leaders could come and have a valuable shared experience," she said.

The event will be held at Hutchins Street Square. Tickets cost $150 per person or $125 for chamber members.

To purchase tickets for the event, go to www.loditickets.com.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com or read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/city_buzz.

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