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County tourism in good hands

Dear Editor,

As Ms. Barbara Ballint has recently retired from her position as executive director of the Belmont County Tourism Council after serving in that capacity for approximately five years, following the retirement of her predecessor, Eugene “Doc” Householder under whom she had served as assistant director, I would like to compliment Ms. Ballint, and her excellent staff, for their professionalism and dedication in service on behalf of Belmont County.

They helped to even further enhance Belmont County as a very desirable destination for tourists.

Ms. Ballint, a Martins Ferry native, has done much to promote Belmont County as a unique and prime destination for tourists, and in the process has helped to make Belmont County an even better place to visit and to live.

The Belmont Tourism Council, with their administrative office located at the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville, began operation in 1983, and was under the outstanding leadership of Eugene “Doc” Householder, who served as executive director from 1989 until his retirement in 2017, and at that time was succeeded by Ms. Ballint.

The Belmont County Tourism Council, which is funded by local lodging taxes, provides financial support to numerous nonprofit agencies and communities in support of events, facilities, and efforts to help promote local tourism yearly through their very popular grant assistance program as well.

Local tourist attractions of which Belmont County Tourism has been associated over the years include: the Belmont County Heritage Museum, the Great Stone Viaduct of Bellaire, the Great Western Schoolhouse of St. Clairsville, the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival and, for many years, Jamboree In The Hills.

It presently is involved with the Blame My Roots festival, as well as countless others.

Ms. Jackie Pugh of St. Clairsville has recently been selected as the new executive director of Belmont County Tourism ,and with her successful and impressive career in marketing, will undoubtedly do a very commendable job on behalf of Belmont County Tourism in the years to come.

Many thanks, and happy retirement wishes to Ms. Ballint on a job well done.

The future of Belmont County Tourism appears to be in very good hands under the direction of Ms. Pugh and her excellent, professional staff.

Richard Hord

Martins Ferry

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