As we approach this Thanksgiving holiday, I am reminded of the words quoted above from American author Cynthia Ozick. Certainly times are tough for many people and, although there are positive signs that the economy is improving, there are still many people struggling. In this season of thankfulness and gratitude, open your heart to the many blessings we have.
When we gather this Thursday with family and friends around the table, I am grateful for being together in Marietta. For too many years we lived in other places and couldn't come home for the holidays. Sure, we lived and worked in exciting places like New York City, but there's nothing like gathering with the family at Thanksgiving. I am grateful for being here to pass the gravy to my parents and to my niece, Gretchen, for saying grace with my mother-in-law and my husband, for the extended family and friends who come for a piece of pumpkin pie.
Gratitude doesn't begin or end on Thanksgiving Day. Throughout 2010 there were many blessings for my family, my friends, the chamber staff and our business community. In these tough times, we are grateful for area business who generously gave to the Pioneering Spirit Award competition to help "make a good business better."
I am grateful for the winners who truly exemplify the pioneering spirit and congratulate Gary O'Brien (O'Brien's Safety Services), Martha Brown (Faces by Design), and Shari Brown and Billie McClelland (Polymer Services of Ohio). They are keeping the entrepreneurial spirit alive in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
All of us at the chamber are grateful for those who started or bought businesses this year. It takes courage and perseverance to start an enterprise during tough times. We wish them much success. Here are just a few of our new entrepreneurial chamber members: Cheryl Lang, A Unique Flower & Gift Shop; Dr. Roger Anderson and Callie Lyons, The Anchor; Shane Stotts, Bar-B-Cutie; Mike and Claire Mullen, Over the Moon Pizzeria; Jeri Nine, Miche Bags; Tad Wigal, Ace Lock Safe and Security; Jason Ware and Maheseh Nachani, no idea sports dining in the Comfort Inn; Jane Cases, M.D., Comprehensive Life Style Center; Bonny Carper, Petland Marietta; Connie Skroma, Strategic Personal Finance; and Tony and Dana Styer, new owners of Marietta Brewing Company. We are also grateful for the 40-plus new chamber members in 2010.
We are grateful for local developers rebuilding and renovating our historic buildings. We are grateful for hoteliers and shopkeepers extending warm welcomes to tourists. We are grateful for the inventive employees producing high quality and innovative products so we retain a strong manufacturing base. We are grateful for farmers' who toil long hours to bring tasty local produce to our markets. Throughout the summer we enjoyed juicy tomatoes and the sweetest sweet corn. This autumn we bite into crispy apples and fill our homes with the aroma of pumpkin pie baking.
We are grateful to live in a land where opportunity still abounds. I would like to share these words from Grenville Kleiser, American author 1868-1953. "Today a thousand doors of enterprise are open to you, inviting you to useful work. To live at this time is an inestimable privilege, and a sacred obligation devolves upon you to make right use of your opportunities. Today is the day in which to attempt and achieve something worthwhile."
From the chamber board of directors and staff, we wish you a bountiful Thanksgiving!
Charlotte Keim, CCEO-AP, is president of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce, The Riverview Building, 100 Front St., Suite 200, Marietta. Chamber Viewpoint appears every other Monday on Opinion.