Chamber shows region’s strength strength of our area

The strength of the region’s business community was on display when the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce held its 110th-annual banquet Oct. 17.

That included the recognition of three individuals, a local business and a longtime community institution during the event, which was held at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville.

James Morgan earned the lifetime achievement award for his efforts in the community, including his work with the United Way of Jefferson County. The former employee of the Weirton Steel Corp. and Eastern Gateway Community College also has actively been involved with the chamber, including serving as chair.

Winning the young professional of the year award was Dan McBane of McBane Insurance and Financial Services. In 2014, he joined the agency that was formed by his great-grandfather in 1900. He and his associates, including his father and brother, have helped support the United Way, the Bergholz Community Foundation and A.I.M. Women’s Center, as well as the Longest Table event presented by Urban Mission Ministries.

Jenn Cesta, an employee of the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County, earned ambassador of the year honors. A member of the group that assists the chamber’s various activities since 1998, she works with the special events committee, which among other activities, coordinates the annual dinner.

Theo Yanni’s Greek Restaurant was named new or emerging business of the year. Located on Armenian Way in Weirton, the restaurant has supported area school projects and events, local law enforcement agencies and the Jefferson County and Weirton Area chambers of commerce.

Eastern Gateway was recognized as the organization of the year. The school recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and has expanded to include campuses in Steubenville and Youngstown.

The theme was Feeding the Local Economy, and the evening included a salute to the many local restaurants, bakeries and eateries that work to satisfy the appetites of residents from around the Tri-State Area.

In keeping with that, the speaker for the evening was Barbara McKenna, owner of the Hyeholde in Moon Township. She stressed the importance of serving locally produced food.

It was an evening focused on the individuals and businesses that are tireless in their efforts to improve the quality of life for all area residents. Chamber President Tricia Maple-Damewood, her staff and the chamber’s board of directors deserve to be commended for their efforts.