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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

I think most people along the Wasatch Front are familiar with the Salt Shakers. They are the official good will ambassadors for the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and have been seen at countless events with their sharp white coats and happy countenance.

I became a Salt Shaker 33 years ago in 1968. I had recently moved to Salt Lake City from San Francisco and thought the organization would be a great way to meet some people and become involved in the community. Little did I realize that the decision would eventually result in my leaving my employer and becoming the president of the chamber.

The Salt Shakers started in the late '60s as a part of the Wholesale Trade Committee of the chamber. The members all traveled the Mountain states in their work and thought it would be beneficial if they planned joint trips to call on their customers and at the same time be ambassadors for Utah. Gen. Max Rich, then the chamber manager, embraced the idea and the original members included Orson Brown, Harry Miller, Jim Eberhart, Dick Wells, Herb Price and other community activists.

The group presides over ribbon cuttings, groundbreakings, open houses and appear at a variety of civic events throughout the state. They also take two trips a year on behalf of the state. One trip is to an immediate trade area like Reno, Pocatello or Phoenix. Another trip each year is outside the area like Kansas City, Washington D.C., San Francisco or Chicago.

Sam Gueverra of Art House is this year's president or Head Shaker as the members call him. He just notified me that on June 16 there will be a reunion for all present and past Salt Shakers at the Salt Lake Hilton Hotel. There will be a golf outing that day and in the evening there will be a reunion dinner, program and dance.

There are hundreds of former Shakers in the area. Many have retired from their work, others have changed vocations and many others have moved from the area. All are invited to attend.

I have great memories of trips and activities with the Salt Shakers. I don't know how many openings and ribbon cuttings I have attended but all of them were made pleasant and meaningful because of the effervescent and happy demeanor of the Salt Shakers.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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