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Author: Christen Fischer

A Message from the Chamber President

As you may already know, I will be leaving the Chamber at the end of 2021, after seven years in this role. It will be a bittersweet departure, but it’s time to move on and re-focus on my own businesses and projects, which have taken a backseat for a long time.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Chamber – the incredible people I have gotten to know, the relationships that were sparked or strengthened, and the work that we have done together. The challenges and successes I have shared with so many of you, especially in the past couple of years, have left me very humbled and inspired by our local business community. And I’m prouder than ever before to call Jefferson County my home and to own a business here.

I thank you all for the great memories I’ll take with me and I look forward to continuing our work in making the area better and stronger.

Remember that there’s still time to get tickets for next Wednesday’s 113th Annual Awards Dinner & Meeting at St. Florian Hall. Come out for great food and drink, exciting speakers and an evening celebrating our members and their importance to the local business community.


Tricia Maple-Damewood

Annual Dinner Presenters Announced

The past 18 months have put unimaginable challenges in front of business and industry worldwide, with two of the hardest hit being travel and food service. With that in mind, The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce that the theme for its 113th Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner is “The Long Road Back: Business In A New World.”

Even more exciting is the duo of speakers lined up for the evening: Cameron Mitchell of the Columbus, Ohio-based Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and Paul Hoback Jr., Chief Development Officer for the Allegheny County Airport Authority that operates both the Pittsburgh International Airport and the Allegheny County Airport. These dynamic and interesting business leaders will discuss how they navigated through the past 18 months and what the future looks like in a post-COVID world.

Cameron Mitchell Restaurants began in a very humble place– Cameron Mitchell’s mother’s dining room table. It was there that Cameron mapped out his career goals that would eventually set the course for his restaurant industry career.

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The Day That Changed America Forever

Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, when the United States experienced the deadliest terrorist attack in its history.

The Chamber pauses this weekend to remember and honor the victims of that day, the first responders, the families who lost loved ones, and the members of our military who fought and died in the ensuing wars on terror.

May we forever cherish our freedoms and our heritage, and may we strive to live in peace and unity with our neighbors at home and abroad.

“For me and my family personally, September 11 was a reminder that life is fleeting, impermanent, and uncertain. Therefore, we must make use of every moment and nurture it with affection, tenderness, beauty, creativity, and laughter.” — Deepak Chopra

Jefferson County’s Natural Resources: Check them out this weekend!

Jefferson County’s natural beauty is something to be witnessed, regardless of the season. Its 411 square miles include wooded hills, over 900 miles of streams, rolling farmlands and, of course, the beautiful Ohio River which is fed by three main tributaries: Short Creek in the southern part of the county, Cross Creek in the center, and Yellow Creek in the northern section. The county is home to various other natural resource areas that provide excellent opportunities for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Fernwood State Forest boasts over 3,000 acres with camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, a shooting range, and bird watching. The Brush Creek Wildlife Area is over 4,000 acres and, in addition to the amenities available at Fernwood, also has ATV trails. Jefferson State Lake Park’s 962 acres includes horseback riding trails in addition to hiking, camping, boating, hunting, fishing and bird watching. And the county-owned Friendship Park, host site for the annual Jefferson County Fair, sits on 1300 acres, providing a beautiful setting for boating, mountain biking, camping, and fishing.

The Steubenville Parks and Recreation Department maintains 13 parks throughout the city in addition to the Belleview Municipal Pool and the Martin Luther King Recreation Center. The staff also offers a variety of recreational activities and programs free to the community throughout the year. From baseball fields and playgrounds to walking trails and shelter houses, the Steubenville park system has just what you’re looking for when a little fresh air is in order.

Austin Lakes & Campgrounds, a local business icon, opened in 1946 and was named one of the “top urban campgrounds in the United States” by USA Today. Imagine stepping back in time but with all of the modern conveniences and updated amenities that make a day, weekend, or week away comfortable and convenient. Picnic shelters, RV, and camping sites, cabins, hayrides, swimming, pontoon boat rentals, paddle boarding, and more make Austin Lake a favorite among locals as well as haven enjoyed by guests from across the country and beyond.

It’s Time For Coffee & Connections!

Come enjoy the Chamber’s most popular networking event! Join us on Wednesday, September 8th, at a Coffee & Connections’ favorite location. We will be gathering at Margaret’s Cafe in Toronto to network and mingle with fellow Chamber member businesses and organizations.

Coffee & Connections is casual, fun, and the perfect way to share news about all that your business or organization has to offer. Bring business cards, marketing pieces, coupons, and/or giveaway items. We’ll have you in and out in no time.

What: “Coffee & Connections”
When: Wednesday, September 8th, 2021 – 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. (Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.)
Where: Margaret’s Cafe, 805 North 5th Street, Toronto, OH 43964
How Much?: $15 Per Person. $20 for walk-ins.

Please Note: The Chamber’s credit card processing is currently down for maintenance and will be up and running early next week. In the meantime, please feel free to RSVP by phone or email. 740.282.6226 or Watch your email for updates.

Herald Star 2021 Speaker Series Featuring Eddie Olczyk

Date: Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Steubenville High School Auditorium
Price: General admission tickets – $25

Preferred Tickets: A preferred ticket package is available for $50. It includes a copy of “Beating the Odds” and the opportunity to be among the first people to meet Olczyk after the presentation.

VIP Admission: A VIP package is available, and includes admission to a private reception that will be held from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Froehlich’s Classic Corner; a selection of beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres; the opportunity to meet Olczyk and have a photo taken with him; a copy of the book “Beating the Odds;” transportation from Froehlich’s to the high school; and preferred seating for the presentation. The price is $150 for a couple and $85 for a single ticket.

Tickets may also be purchased at the Herald Star offices, 401 Herald Square, Steubenville. Tickets also are available at and

For more information about tickets and the availability of preferred and VIP packages, contact Diana Brown at the Herald-Star at (740) 283-4711.

Five Under Five: This week’s list reminds us of what we may be overlooking.

Sometimes we forget the basics of being a small business owner. Make sure you have them covered, or your hard work and long hours may not be enough.

  • Have a website. Even if it’s just one page. List your products, services, location, hours, and phone number…..minimum. An online presence is not just suggested anymore. It’s a given if you want new customers and if you expect returning customers to not eventually go with a competitor. If consumers look up your business online before they decide to buy from you, but you don’t have a website, many will suspect you’re not trustworthy. And these days, you can create and host a website for $20 per month or less.
  • Respond to emails & phone messages. Nothing turns a prospective customer off more than being ignored. Set aside an hour each day and get back to people, even if it’s to say you can’t help them right now. One of those unreturned calls may have turned into a big sale, a long-time customer, or an income source during a slow time.
  • Know “Marketing 101”. Have a logo, a quality printed marketing piece, a professional headshot, and be able to say what your business does in one minute or less.
  • Be professional & polite. Have a voicemail box that is not full and with a pleasant message. Don’t post signs, inside or out, “yelling” at people with rules, what not to do, what you don’t accept or what they shouldn’t do. Stay off social media with personal and political commentary. Train your employees in customer service. Don’t assume they know it or don’t need ongoing reminders.
  • Be humble. No business is immune to hard economic times, unexpected scenarios or bad luck. The novelty will wear off. A dry spell will happen. Just because you’re booked for six months, doesn’t mean that will always be the case. So don’t let success go to your head. And give back when you can, whether it’s time, money, product or expertise.

If you’d like assistance in any of these areas, contact the Chamber offices at 740.282.6226.

OhioSE and JobsOhio Host Webinar Focused on Attracting & Keeping Quality Employees

Are you struggling to recruit employees? Is growing your workforce more difficult than ever before?

Ohio Southeast can help! Join Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE) and JobsOhio for a free, three-part virtual training series on best practices for Human Resources. Learn how to help your organization develop, expand, and implement your recruitment brand in order to attract top talent and retain your current workforce.

Led by industry leaders, this series will increase employers’ opportunities to attract talent, provide an in-depth look at marketing tactics that work, and provide context to reach niche talent pools to supplement your workforce.

Each session is one hour in length and includes engaging discussion and time for Q&A. Sessions take place on Tuesdays via Zoom Webinar from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Course Schedule:

  • Tuesday, July 27 – Building Your Recruitment Brand
  • Tuesday, Aug. 3 – Using Your Recruitment Brand to Attract Talent
  • Tuesday, Aug. 10 – Tapping into Niche Talent Pools

Click here for a course outline or click below for more details or to register.

Learn More/Register >

Annual Oil and Gas Update Luncheon

On Tuesday, August 17th, the Chamber will host its Annual Oil and Gas Update Luncheon at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. This is a great way to learn about all the latest developments in Jefferson County and how your business may be able to benefit.

Sponsored by the Ohio Oil & Gas AssociationWilliams and MPLX MarkWest Energy, this popular event includes a delicious lunch followed by a panel of presenters and a question and answer session. The cost is $20 per person with advance reservation required. Register by clicking below or by contacting the Chamber offices at 740.282.6226.

Register now >

Back by popular demand….. Head Shot Happy Hour!

When: Thursday, July 29th, 2021
Time: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Price: $50 individual, $125 group
WhereJefferson County Chamber of Commerce Offices
630 Market Street, Steubenville

Often, a head shot is what reflects your professional image to a prospective customer before you ever get to the chance to meet them. And it’s important for you, your staff, your board or other leaders at your business to have them and for them to be current and professionally done. (A cropped vacation shot doesn’t cut it). Whether the local media needs one for a story they’re doing or you’re creating a welcoming staff page for your website, head shots are a small business necessity.

Once a year, the Chamber makes it easy, fast and painless for you to check this off your to-do list. On Thursday, July 29th, don’t miss “Head Shot Happy Hour” at the Chamber offices. This year’s featured photographer is Bella Lux Images from Steubenville. The Chamber will provide you with light refreshments and an area to freshen up or change clothes and all you have to do is smile for the camera. It’s fun, casual and private.

Remember – our time slots fill up fast so book yours today by calling the Chamber offices at 740.282.6226 or by emailing Hannah Ward at The cost is just $50 for individual shots and $125 for group shots. Payments are made that day by cash, check, or credit card. Can’t make it that day? Contact Brandi at Bella Lux Images via email here to book an appointment at her studio.