Mary Lou Retton's message that hard work and a positive attitude can pay big dividends in life as well as business really hit home Monday night.
Retton, who in 1984 became the first American to win the all-around Olympic gymnastics championship, shared those thoughts with the more then 400 area residents who attended the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce's 104th-annual meeting at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville.
The Fairmont, W.Va., native delivered an inspirational message, one that can be applied to all aspects of life, whether it's planning for an individual's future or making decisions about how a business is run.
Her words certainly applied to the businesses, organizations and individuals who were honored by the chamber.
Barb Wilinski, for example, received the chamber's lifetime achievement award for her work with numerous area organizations, including the American Cancer Society.
The Market Street Pharmacy in downtown Steubenville was recognized as the new business of the year. Its success can be traced to the hard work of its co-owners, Sue and Mike Adams.
Honored as the organization of the year was the Franciscan University of Steubenville. The school provides quality education to students from all parts of the world and has an economic impact of millions of dollars on the local economy.
Ed Rice, the owner of Signs Limited, received the chamber's businessperson of the year award. His signs help welcome shoppers to many area businesses.
Selected as ambassador of the year was Anita Jackson, whose has spent countless hours promoting the chamber and our area.
Also honored during the dinner was Jim Morgan, the immediate past chair.
Congratulations, then, are due to chamber President Sue Hershey, Chairman John Cucarese, staff members and all who were honored during Monday's dinner. Their continued work makes our area a special place to live and work.