Oil & gas expo a big success

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Port Authority Director Larry Merry and Rick Frio of MPR Supply Chain Solutions gave a report to the Belmont County commissioners after the recent oil and gas expo at the Carnes Center.

Frio said MPR was interested when the commissioners requested that they run the expo this year.

“We had never run a show but we said it’s something we can do, so we had 10 weeks to prepare and I’m proud to tell you the show was sold out. It was a wonderful platform 2,000 attendees plus and 160 exhibitors. Not only that, we created a platform,” he said, noting that many valuable connections were made among visitors and exhibitors.

“We had industry-leading speakers there,” he added, noting presentations by the Ohio EPA, representatives of alternative energy fuels, and Toby Rice of Rice Energy.

“We had some powerful speakers there,” he said. “Overall it was a great success. I can’t be more proud of the MPR team and everybody who was involved.”

He added that they were looking forward to utilizing the database for next year.

Merry thanked MPR for their enthusiasm and teamwork in extending hospitality to the attendants.

“It was really handy that it was locally-driven,” Merry said. “They did a really great job of understanding as a business that there needs to be value for the businesses that are there, and that was Rick’s mission from Day One to create an environment and to encourage the businesses to create an atmosphere where those businesses can talk to each other. I thought there was a lot more bus done.”

They acknowledged the service from Undos and the presence of the sheriff’s deputies.

Commissioner Matt Coffland called it one of the best expos he has attended.

“It was exciting to be part of that,” he said. “In our expo and our job fair I think we set the standard.”

Commissioner Mark Thomas extended thanks to Favede for spearheading the initial leadership.

“She’s been involved since Day One,” he said.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com