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Businesses honored at chamber dinner

T-L Photos/ROBERT A. DEFRANK Business owners and representatives honored Tuesday by the St. Clairsville Chamber of Commerce. Left to right: Ross Stoltz and Terry Endsley, owner and manager of the Martins Ferry McDonalds; Alicia Freeman, director of A Special Wish; Paul Gasparro, president of Belmont College; Tammy Butler, manager of ICR; Todd Cover, president and CEO of Belmont Savings Bank.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Several area businesses were honored for their contributions to the community during the St. Clairsville Chamber of Commerce annual dinner and awards Tuesday.

“We are really, really excited because we have so many people that’s in St. Clairsville Rotary, we have a lot of people in Belco Works,” Chamber Director Wendy Anderson said, “We have a packed house.”

The banquet and meeting hall of Undos was at capacity with more than 230 guests. Anderson said the nominees and winners are chosen by the businesses themselves.

“I send out an e-mail to our members. I give them the categories,” she said, adding that the businesses replied with their feedback and voted on the candidates.

She commended the chamber members.

“I’m inspired and I’m humbled to be a part of this chamber,” she said. “Our purpose is to promote business, and I think St. Clairsville is a great place to have community growth.”

Belmont Savings Bank won the Business of the Year award for longevity in the business community, growth and development and support of local merchants and organizations.

“It’s an honor just to be nominated,” Todd Cover, president and CEO, said, adding that they have been a sponsor of the St. Clairsville Christmas Parade for the past two years. “We’re very excited to win this award. When I started three years ago, our mission was to be more involved in the community. … We like to be involved. Be part of the community. A lot of organizations just give a check out, but we like to be involved.”

Belmont College won the award for Community Improvement.

Jeff Campbell, Community Development Manager for South Central Power, said the award recognized businesses that have improved the visual and environmental aspect of their location and enhance its attractiveness, while creating jobs through providing work.

“We’re very thankful for the votes we got,” Paul Gasparro, president of the college, said, noting the remodeling work and new training building.

ICR Equipment Rental was the Safety Professional of the Year.

“This award recognizes the business that helps with maintaining positive safety culture in their workplace as well as in the community,” Belmont County Safety Council Coordinator Beverly Fahey said, adding that the business regularly attends safety council meetings and has been active in implementing safety programs.

“I would just like to thank everybody for nominating us. We will continue to strive for a better future and a safer future,” Tammy Butler, manager, said, adding that they will continue to work with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and enact safety measure related to oil and gas work.

A Special Wish took the award for Community Involvement. Anderson noted that Community Involvement was a new category specifically for non-profit entities.

“We find that a non-profit is not recognized enough,” Anderson said. “It recognizes how non-profit companies contribute to the strength of the community. Here in Belmont County, non-profit businesses contribute millions of dollars in service the the community. We salute all volunteers.”

“I feel very honored and blessed that we were chosen,” Special Wish Director Alicia Freeman said, adding that her organization is committed to being part of community events.

Mac-Stow McDonalds, the McDonalds in Martins Ferry, was the Distinguished Employer of the year for providing workforce opportunities for people with disabilities.

“McDonalds understands the barriers to employment for people with disabilities in the Ohio Valley,” John Marshall, president of the Belco Works board said. “McDonalds in Martins Ferry goes all out to ensure that each employee has what he or she needs to get the job done.”

Afterward, the audience was treated to sleight-of-hand and probability manipulation from Craig Karges, speaker, author and illusionist.

Awards were presented by representatives from Home Savings, the Belmont County Home Safety Council, Belco Works, the St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce, and South Central Power.

Recognition went to the sponsors, including Wheeling Hospital, XTO Energy, Huntington Bank, Sleep Inn & Suites, iHeartRadio, Belmont Savings Bank, Residence Inn, WesBanco, the Belmont County Board of Developmental disabilities, Spadafore Orthodontics, Williams Energy, Gerevics & Associates LLC, the County Club Rehabilitation Campus, Williams, and The Times Leader. Further sponsors included Belmont Aggregates, Inc., Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal, and Softie Community Federal Credit Union.

There were proclamations from Sen. Frank Hoagland, R-Mingo Junction, U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine, and Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague.

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