PDT Staff Writer
The man whose name is synonymous with activities involving veterans in the area has been honored as “Distinguished Citizen of the Year,” by the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce at their annual awards event, this time a breakfast, at the Scioto County Welcome Center in Portsmouth.
Jim Saddler received his plaque from Chip Maillet of the Chamber. He (Saddler) then turned and gave credit to his wife, former Scioto County Board of Elections Director, Jane Saddler.
“I come up with all of these ideas and plans,” Saddler told the large audience, “but she does all the work.”
“We usually have a dinner,” Chamber Executive Director Lisa Carver said. “But this year, with all the changes, we thought it would be good to have a breakfast, to get everybody into the facility, and let everybody know that the Chamber is still here; still in the Welcome Center; still operating the Welcome Center for visitors.”
Carver talked about the event.
“We’re honoring our Distinguished Citizen of the year, our Chamber Member of the Year, and also recognizing our Leadership Portsmouth graduates. We have about 20 of those,” Carver said. “Community Action is our Chamber Member of the Year.”
Earlier in the year questions came up as to whether the building would stay open when a scandal involving possible misuse of Department of Agriculture funds came up. That incident virtually ended for all intents and purposes the Southern Ohio Growth Partnership, which had operated the facility. That is when Community Action Organization (CAO) of Scioto County came to the rescue and purchased the building, allowing the Chamber to continue operating within those walls.
Steve Sturgill of CAO accepted the award for Chamber Member of the Year on behalf of the organization he works for, and told the crowd he was pleased that CAO had chosen to purchase the Welcome Center building, calling it an asset to the community.
Some 20 other people were honored for completing a class sponsored by the Chamber.
“Leadership Portsmouth has a class from September through May, doing various things in the community, and we honor them at the Awards Breakfast,” Carver said.
Carver said the Chamber currently has approximately 500 members.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.